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One of the early decisions that face brides as they are planning for a wedding is who to select for bridesmaids. The most common reaction for a bride when faced with this choice is to want to have all of her friends be a bridesmaid. Unfortunately, bridesmaids are special and everyone can't be a bridesmaid. This forces a bride to have to make some tough choices - to place priorities on friendships and relationships. This article is designed to help a bride navigate through the array of choices facing her when attempting to select her bridesmaids.

Usually one of the determinants of the number of bridesmaids is the size of the wedding. For a large wedding, it is generally okay to have more bridesmaids. For an intimate family wedding, most people elect to have on a couple of bridesmaids. A general rule is that you can have one bridesmaid for every 40 to 50 people invited. Obviously this is just an estimated number and can change based on the quality and type of friends that you would like to participate. However, it does provide a useful guideline.

Bridesmaids should generally be really close friends, or family. If you have not talked to someone in 10 years, you probably will not want to ask them to be a bridesmaid in your wedding. Moreover, if someone has asked you to be a bridesmaid in their wedding, there is no real need to reciprocate - invite your best friends and the people that will support you best to be your bridesmaids. Sometimes, it is a good idea to include the sister of the groom to provide a show of unity. You may see your friends after you are married, however, you will definately see your family at important events and reunions.

Finally, try to be realistic about your expectations for your bridesmaids and how you will have them help you in the reception process. You should also be mindful of their financial condition before you invite them to be a bridesmaid. You might want to invite someone to be a bridesmaid and say "I would love it if you would be in my wedding, however, it will probably cost X with the dress and transportation..." This gives the bridesmaid a way out gracefully but lets her know that she is important to you. Moreover, there are many other positions in the wedding besides a bridesmaid.

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