Should You Have a Bridal Party? 6 Pros and Cons to Consider


Deciding whether or not to have a bridal party can be a tricky choice to navigate! While opting for a bridal party is definitely the most traditional option for weddings, it may not always fit your budget and personal preferences for the day.

On the one hand, a bridal party can be a wonderful way to honor your loved ones – but it can also mean some additional challenges. Not sure whether a bridal party is the right choice for you? Read on as we weigh up the pros and cons of having a bridal party, along with some alternative options you may want to consider!

Photo via Astrid Photography

The Pros of Having a Bridal Party

There are a number of reasons why so many couples continue to embrace the tradition of having a bridal party. If you can’t imagine celebrating your special day without having your favorite people by your side, this could be the right choice for you – especially if you consider the benefits involved!

  1. Extra Support While Wedding Planning

Having a bridal party usually means you’ll have some additional support during the wedding planning process, and on the day itself. Your bridal party will be able to provide emotional support, assist with last-minute tasks, and ensure everything runs smoothly.

Delegating tasks to your bridal party will undoubtedly alleviate some of the stress that comes with planning a wedding, giving you more time to focus on your priorities for the day. Not sure what tasks are appropriate to delegate? Check out our guide to bridal party roles and responsibilities here.

Photo via Karina Mekel Photography
  1. Honor Your Favorite People

Selecting individuals to be part of your bridal party is a beautiful way to honor and celebrate your most special relationships. By asking your closest friends and family members to stand by your side on the biggest day of your life, you’re acknowledging just how much they mean to you. This symbolic role can go a long way towards making your favorite people feel loved, valued and cherished.

  1. Shared Excitement and Camaraderie

There’s no doubt that having a bridal party can add an extra layer of excitement and energy to your wedding day. The pre-wedding rituals such as getting ready together, going dress shopping and sharing memes in the bridesmaid chat can make your wedding experience even more memorable! These shared experiences and camaraderie will become lifelong memories for you and your closest crew, and can be a wonderful opportunity to bring your friends and family members from different walks of life together.

Photo via Raegan Buckley

The Cons of Having a Bridal Party

On the flip side, there are a few potential challenges to consider when deciding if a bridal party is the right choice for your wedding. It’s up to you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons! Here are some of the most common reasons couples opt out of a traditional bridal party.

  1. Added Costs

Having a bridal party can take a hefty chunk out of your wedding budget (while also increasing costs for your bridal party members, too!). From dresses and suits to hair and makeup, these bridal party expenses can quickly add up. 

Correct etiquette dictates that the couple should pay the lion’s share of these costs, which can add a significant strain to your budget. Read our guide on who pays for what in your wedding party here.

  1. Logistical Challenges

Coordinating a group of people can be challenging at the best of times, let alone while planning a wedding! From dress fittings to rehearsals and pre-wedding events, everyone’s schedules need to align – which can be complicated if your bridal party live in different locations or have careers and families to manage. Be aware that managing the logistics of your bridal party could add an unwanted layer of stress to your wedding planning experience.

  1. Potential Conflict

Having a big bridal party often means navigating different personalities and opinions. From the style of dresses to the theme of the bachelorette party, conflicts may arise due to varying tastes, budgets and preferences. It can be difficult to strike the right balance between your  vision for the day, and the desires of your bridal party members!

Choosing your bridal party in the first place also has the potential to lead to some hurt feelings – particularly if you have close friends and family that feel excluded from your decision.

Photo via Studio Opia

Alternative Bridal Party Options to Consider

Still feeling torn? If a traditional bridal party doesn’t align with your vision, here are some alternative options that can still help you honor your loved ones while bringing joy to your wedding experience. 

  • Have a smaller bridal party. Instead of a large group, consider choosing just 1 or 2 special people to be by your side. This will help to reduce costs and potential conflicts, while also streamlining the logistics. A small bridal party can still provide you with emotional support and added excitement, while creating a more manageable dynamic.
  • Involve them in different ways. Having a bridal party isn’t the only way to honor your favorite people at your wedding! Why not organize a special reading at your ceremony, ask them to be your MC, or toast to them at your wedding reception?
  • Invite your crew to get ready with you. Even if you opt out of the bridal party, you can still invite your loved ones to get ready with you on the morning of your wedding. While they may not have specific roles during your ceremony, their presence on your wedding day can be just as meaningful!
Photo via Birds of a Feather Photography

Coordinate Your Bridal Party with WedSites

We’ve made it easy to coordinate your bridal party with our digital wedding planner here at WedSites. Use our online wedding planner to delegate specific tasks to your bridal party members, ensuring everyone is on the same page with their roles and responsibilities.

Learn more about our digital wedding planner here, or sign up for your free account to get started!