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38 Bridesmaids

I can’t remember if I ever published this photo I scanned of a page from a People Magazine from 2008 or 2009. “It took one hour to get all the people down the aisle.” What a delight for the wedding party and guests! If I already have published this before, it’s still worth a second gawk…err…umm…look.

{ 51 comments… add one }
  • PrincessSimmi March 15, 2010, 6:41 am

    First thing that came into my head: holy crap.
    Second thing: MUMZILLA! ROOOAR!

  • BHarris March 15, 2010, 7:15 am

    Wow, that’s whacked! But is it rude?

  • Anonymous March 15, 2010, 7:28 am

    To be honest, I always thought the whole “bridesmaids’ dresses can’t be white” thing was silly, because of course everyone knows which one is the bride…but I’ve gotta admit, if I went to this wedding, I’d be congratulating a lot of people by accident. Especially since I must have never met the bride, groom, or any relatives, or else I’d be wearing one of those dresses, too!

  • ferretrick March 15, 2010, 7:43 am

    The nicest thing I can say is at least she chose a tasteful gown and didn’t make 38 people wear a sofa.

  • Katrina March 15, 2010, 8:23 am

    And another one of my pet peeves, the mini-bride. One of the younger girls is dressed in a replica of the bride’s gown, down to the flowers being identical. I have always felt the bride should be unique and special, not have her own mini me. Not to mention the bride’s gown is often appropriate for an adult, not a child. It could just be me, but putting a young child a dress too mature is just not right.

  • nkkingston March 15, 2010, 8:24 am

    To be fair, apart from the bbride the only one’s in white at the younger bridesmaids – all the older ones are in ivory/champagne/off-white.

    And hey, if they could afford it, why not? From the snippet beneath the photo it sounds like, though large, the family is close (well, apart from poor “related but I don’t know how”). At least no one was left to feel snubbed!

  • Anonymous March 15, 2010, 9:23 am

    Katrina, it looks like the mini-me’s gown does have straps, so at least it is fairly child-appropriate. But I agree with you, the whole “mini-bride” thing is just weird.

  • Anonymous March 15, 2010, 9:25 am

    Oops, nevermind, I was looking at the wrong girl (was looking at the little girl with the large bouquet, not the other one with the strapless gown).

  • Laura March 15, 2010, 9:33 am

    How did she pay for all thoes attendants gifts?

  • Jennifer March 15, 2010, 9:39 am

    The “bride’s second cousin” directly in front of her creeps me out. That dress is much too old for a child to wear. A strapless dress on a little girl? Really?

  • Chocobo March 15, 2010, 9:40 am

    Holey moley! There are two things I think are inconsiderate here:

    1) Mom pressed her to have over twice as many bridesmaids as she had originally planned on. It’s not Mom’s choice to make, and obviously she went hugely overboard.

    2) “It took one hour to get all the people down the aisle” — to me, that’s really inconsiderate. Already I assume it’s a Catholic mass, which is rather long in the first place for a ceremony, probably like 30-45 minutes. And then she tacks on an hour long procession because no one knows how to say no? I don’t think the guests have really been taken into consideration here.

  • McGroom March 15, 2010, 9:53 am

    …and to think that my WTB struggled to pick between her two closest friends because “two would be too many”…

  • 2yellowdogs March 15, 2010, 10:06 am

    As a wedding photographer, this would drive me, um, nuts. Never mind the fact that it’s ridiculous and self-indulgent, it makes for bad pictures. Just look at all those happy people! And you can forget about getting a decent picture of the entire wedding party without a small sports stadium to gather all SEVENTY-EIGHT people in.


  • Chocobo March 15, 2010, 10:31 am

    It also kind of takes away the specialness of being a bridesmaid. When you’re one of what could be a small wedding in itself, I don’t think you precisely feel singled out as an important person in the brides’ life to witness her wedding (which is, as I understand it, the point of bridesmaids) when it includes “related but I don’t know how” and “brides’ mothers’ friend”. Really? Even if they did know each other fairly well, clearly some of these women are not nearly as well known if the bride is describing them as her MOTHER’S friend. As a guest or onlooker, I’d never be able to discern which of these women are actually being honored, or who the original 15 were.

  • Bint March 15, 2010, 10:40 am

    I think this kind of thing is ridiculous.

  • Jae March 15, 2010, 10:44 am

    It took an hour just for the attendants to get to the front of the church?! How boring for the poor guests. Then the ceremony, wonder if it was a full mass. MOB needed to be told “No.”

  • Joe J March 15, 2010, 11:19 am

    For a wedding, there sure doesn’t seem to be a lot of smiling faces in that photo. Wonder why…

  • Margaret March 15, 2010, 11:24 am

    At least they all look happy to be in the bridal party. No, wait….

  • Lizajane March 15, 2010, 11:55 am

    There were no guests to consider. Everyone was in the wedding.

  • Morty'sCleaningLady March 15, 2010, 11:55 am

    Umm, who was left to sit in the pews at the church? Seems like every living relative is in the wedding!

  • Jayne March 15, 2010, 12:04 pm

    The little girls as “mini brides” creep me out as well.

  • Southern Sugar March 15, 2010, 12:49 pm

    The rudeness is in having so many attendants that you keep your guests stuck in the church for an extra hour to get them all down the aisle. That’s inconsiderate at best, and, factoring in the average length of a Catholic ceremony, rude at worst. That probably doubled the length of the wedding.

  • ladycrim March 15, 2010, 1:15 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about being rude to the guests in this instance; after they filled out the wedding party, I’m pretty sure there was nobody left to be a guest.

  • Dani March 15, 2010, 2:36 pm

    “Bride’s brother’s friend” was asked to be a bridesmaid? Normally I’d think that being asked to be an attendant is an honor, but when you’ve invited 38 of your closest friends and relatives, the honor becomes a little dubious…

  • January Girl March 15, 2010, 2:46 pm

    Notice how over half the people aren’t smiling? Can you imagine the frustration in getting everyone positioned just right to see faces. Oh.my.goodness.

    I know what I went through on my wedding day for pictures, with just a total bridal party of 12.

    Bridezilla overload. It’s just beyond….

  • Patty March 15, 2010, 3:22 pm

    Yikes! Barely any of them are smiling. Very excessive and unnecessary. Large family or not, I thought your attendants were people close to you? Not rude, but I would never do that.

  • L.A. Lady March 15, 2010, 4:03 pm

    How many groomsmen were in the wedding party? I know some people like to have the sides even and all.

  • PrincessSimmi March 15, 2010, 4:07 pm

    To me this screams “I have way too much money but not enough sense/(cents)” (sorry, it had to be done). Tacky, tacky, tacky. Honestly, how many of these ‘cousins’ does she talk to outside of Easter and Christmas? And what about “related but I’m not sure how”? Trashy isn’t just confined to trailer persons, this has more trash than your average garbage dump.

    Imagine this:
    Dress/gown purchase for 38- approx $6000, plus whatever the brides dress cost.
    Hair- $4000+
    Makeup- $2000+
    flowers- $3500, an that’s just on boquets only!
    tux rental for 38 groomsmen- $10000+
    food to feed them all- $8000+

    So that’s upwards of $30000 just for the wedding party, and these are just modest estimates. Whoa.

  • Claddagh Lass March 15, 2010, 4:20 pm


    My Mom comes from a large family and she only had three bride’s maids.

  • LC March 15, 2010, 5:09 pm

    Yikes, were there 38 groomsmen as well???
    I’d be so confused…..who is getting married?! It seems like half of them have white-ish dresses and matching bouquets.

  • PrincessSimmi March 15, 2010, 6:23 pm

    I’ve found another wedding with 38 bridesmaids:


    According to this article, the record for most bridesmaids is 79, by a canadian couple.

    Holy hell. Remind me to never get married.

  • Kristina March 15, 2010, 6:31 pm

    Yikes, suddenly very glad I don’t have any cousins…

  • Fanboy Wife March 15, 2010, 7:44 pm

    Who was left to watch this wedding?

  • Snewt March 15, 2010, 8:05 pm

    The one thing that is nice is that she knows her second, third, and fourth cousins. How many of us can say that?

    I’m not sure if this is rude, per se, but I am a little surprised that her church let her process this many people in and out. I am hoping that the hour to get everyone in was an exaggeration!

  • Gemma March 16, 2010, 10:10 am

    People have mentioned that many of the people in the photo aren’t smiling. I think the most telling is that the BRIDE isn’t smiling!

  • Louise March 16, 2010, 12:14 pm

    If my fourth cousin asked me to be a bridesmaid, my first question would be, “Who are you?” and my second would be, “Really?”

  • NotCinderell March 16, 2010, 8:08 pm

    Odd, yes, but the desire not to leave anyone out makes me feel like her heart is in the right place.

  • kidsis March 16, 2010, 9:27 pm

    @PrincessSimmi – it may not have cost as much as you are estimating. When my best friend got married, we followed the “modern etiquette” rules that have the bridesmaids & groomsmen covering their individual outfit (and makeup/hair) costs. The only costs that the parents of the bride covered were for the bride and the MOH (who was the bride’s sister). Even the flower girl’s family (the bride’s niece) took care of their own costs.

    For my friend’s special day I did my own hair and the other bridesmaid helped with my makeup (lack of mirrors in the dressing room). The bride and I did go pick out the fabric for my dress, which was custom made by my mother, but the other bridesmaid picked her own dress. The cost for the flowers and the rehearsal dinner were covered by the groom’s family (which is tradition). It turned out to be a lovely day.

    That was my first Catholic wedding (even though it wasn’t in a full mass). Maybe it’s just because all of the weddings I’ve been to have had a religious setting, but it was not noticeably longer than any of the others.

  • Xtina March 17, 2010, 10:04 am

    That’s insane! haha. I think there comes a point to which it is insulting to the attendants themselves to take part in such a huge party. Surely these people can’t feel very special. One way to solve this problem (besides the bride putting her foot down with her mother in the first place) would have been to pick the closest few blood relatives (i.e. sisters or future sisters-in-law; i.e. groom’s sister) and tell everyone else personally that you were blessed with so many close relationships but are faced with a very tough decision in order to keep the size of the party down….and in order to avoid any conflicts or hurt feelings, decided to make only sisters (or whoever you picked) attendants. Then maybe include all the would-have-been attendants in a bridal luncheon with the attendants, for instance, as a good faith or thank-you gesture. Hopefully people will understand your dilemma and reasons for them “not making the cut” and appreciate your honesty.

  • Anonymous March 17, 2010, 11:20 am

    kidsis, a full Mass makes a big difference in timing (especially if everyone is taking Communion and not just the bride and groom).

  • Funky March 17, 2010, 7:52 pm

    She could have just said “Nope, I’ll have my three closest friends, and that’s it.” Notice the three friends of the bride are the ones furthest away from her?

    I imagine it would have taken less time, but still a lengthy time for them to recess..as a guest (perhaps a friend of the groom, unless he didn’t have sufficient cousins to make the 28) I would be bored out of my mind.

  • Funky March 17, 2010, 7:56 pm

    Aha – the 79 bridesmaids wedding was a direct attempt to break a world record – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suresh_Joachim They must have felt special.

  • ZHall March 18, 2010, 2:25 pm

    I’m with BHarris on this one. It wouldn’t be my style, and it doesn’t seem practical or comfortable for those involved, but I don’t see anything rude about it. But then, the procession has always been one of my favorite parts of a wedding ceremony, and the ceremony seems all too often neglected by those who focus on the reception.

  • hot_shaker March 20, 2010, 7:56 am

    A second cousin of mine had 45 attendants in the wedding (both her side and the groom’s). Did this groom have 38 groomsmen to balance things out or was there just a long procession of women/girls?

    I think it’s odd that the attendants are all wearing very pale/almost white dresses. It took me a minute to find the bride in the picture!

  • Kitchenscratch March 20, 2010, 3:18 pm

    That’s nuts! How many actual guests were there?

    I work at a banquet hall, and we had one b&g who wanted a head table to seat 40 (this included groomsmen, tho. It wasn’t just the bridesmaids). The bridal party accounted for 30% of the headcount overall. We actually revised our headcount rules after that couple..we used to say “# of guests, bridal party is free” but now we do “# of guests, plus 10 freebies” to account for the bridal party.

    That said, I’m a little jealous of people with giant families where they’re all close. My family is scattered all around the country and the world. Fourth cousins? I can’t keep up with my first cousins!

  • Lillie82 April 3, 2010, 9:46 pm

    Xtina, your suggestion is very good, but, to be fair, there are some families large enough that even limiting to the closest blood relatives will result in more than a “few.” My youngest brother and his girlfriend are talking seriously about getting married after college; there are nine siblings and siblings-in-law between the two of them. (She has four siblings, three married, and there are three in our family.) Her parents each have about 8 to 10 siblings, so you can imagine the size of her extended family, with all the cousins. Of course, she wouldn’t have to make them all attendants – but I wonder about the sizes of her parents’ and their siblings’ bridal parties.

    And I can understand a bride with several sisters not wanting to include some while excluding others, and then maybe having a couple of close friends, too.

    Of course, none of this was the case for the bride here – she went out of her way to include relatives distant enough that I suspect most people wouldn’t even include them as guests.

  • Skoffin April 13, 2010, 10:59 am

    The title suggests that her mother forced her to have so many bridesmaids, in which case… why did she not have the backbone to tell her mother that it’s her wedding and that it would be ridiculous to have so many?
    But the story itself seems to suggest that she was happy to do that, in which case… just why?!

    Frankly if I was offered to be a bridesmaid and found that there were 37 others I’d simply turn it down.

  • livvy April 23, 2010, 3:52 pm

    I wondered what they told the women when they asked…”You’re one of my favorite 38 women/girls/family members, would you do me the honor of paying several hundred dollars to be part of my cortege?” On the other hand, the could have said no.

  • essie August 21, 2010, 7:55 pm

    Good heavens! Has ANYONE else checked to see who counts as your 4th cousin? That would be YOUR great-GREAT-grandparents’ siblings’ great-GREAT-grandchild!! How many of you (besides me) even had great-grandparents LIVING when you were BORN?? (I knew 3 of my great-grandmothers for more than half my life.)

    I mean, did her mother really have to say “Now, dear, you know Aunty Mary was your great-great-grandmother Estelle’s favorite sister. If you don’t ask Aunty Mary’s great-great-granddaughter, Hazel, to be a bridesmaid, those two sweet old ladies might not come to the wedding OR send you a gift!”


  • Jillybean November 10, 2010, 2:53 pm

    Oh my – I feel much better now about indulging in 6 when I got married. I thought 6 was crazy – but in the end, my desire to have the 6 most important women in my life surrounding me for all of it won out. I just couldn’t have imagined it without any of them. Them being, my 2 sisters, my 2 best friends, and 2 cousins who grew up next door to me and are like nieces/sisters. But 38? I’d be hard pressed to even come up with that many people. LOL.

    And yes, you can’t help but notice that the majority of the participants, bride included, look miserable. And that’s the shot that ended up in a magazine. Imagine the “bad” shots.

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