The number of attendants is your decision, although a very large number of attendants would not be appropriate at a small wedding. One usher is needed for every fifty guests. It is not necessary to have the same number of bridesmaids as ushers.
It sets a positive family tone for the bride and groom’s siblings to be asked to be attendants, and it is not unusual for the groom to ask his father to be best man. The rest of the wedding party may consist of close friends and relatives. I recently attended a wedding where the bride had her three brothers as attendants, and another where the “best man” was a woman. Most important, you must be sure that your attendants are reliable and truly interested in helping to make this a happy wedding for you and your fiance.
Select your bridesmaids from among your close friends. Don’t choose your maid or matron of honor from “among the ranks.” Decide whom you want in advance, then invite her specifically for this special position. If a bridesmaid (or usher) has to drop out at the last minute, do not attempt to find a replacement. The substitute might wonder why he or she was not invited in the first place. Uneven numbers are quite acceptable in the processional and recessional sometimes even by prearrangement this isn’t Noah’s Ark.
Many people of experience advise against including a flower girl or ring bearer in the wedding party. Children are notorious scene stealers. By all means include them, however, if your heart is set on it and you are willing to risk scene-stealing on your big day.
Keep in mind the duties of the members of the bridal party as you invite each one to participate, and choose accordingly. A best man who is interested only in a good party would not be a good choice! The following are the duties of members of the bridal party. To make sure they are informed, it might be a good idea to give each a copy of these pages.
The male members of the wedding party are sometimes referred to as “groomsmen.” This term refers to all of the male members of the wedding party, i.e., best man and ushers. Ushers alone should not be referred to as “groomsmen.”