Let’s face it, choosing the members of your bridal party can be the ultimate test in decision making.

If your initial list is numbering more groomsmen and bridesmaids than you’d wanted, it’s time to make some tough choices. Here are 5 ways to help cut down your wedding party size.

1. Establish a ‘Family Only’ Rule

If you and your fiancé have been in a ton of weddings, it can be hard to cut down your own list. One strategy to keep your bridal party small is to limit it with a “family-only” clause. Keep it a family affair by gently letting friends know that you’d like to keep things intimate and are only including family members in the wedding party.

2. Keep It Fair

One of the biggest fears brides and grooms have is hurt feelings – it’s never an easy decision to have to exclude others, but if having a bridal party of 20 people just isn’t your vision, try keeping the decision-making fair. That is, set guidelines on who to include: perhaps it’s limiting to just family, or maybe it’s making sure that all the bridal party members are people you still talk to (none of that “I was his groomsmen 10 years ago so I have to include him now” thinking).

3. Go All or Nothing

If you’re in need of an extreme way to cut your wedding party, perhaps it’s time for the ultimate answer: going all or nothing. And actually, according to The New York Times, not having a wedding party at all is becoming more and more common. An article titled, “Make the Friends Happy. Don’t Have a Wedding Party,” takes a look at the growing trend and how it could be a blessing in disguise for friends and family who otherwise were looking at mounting expenses, from attire to bachelor/bachelorette parties.

4. Keep Logistics in Mind

Sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense to include more bridesmaids and groomsmen. Whether it’s something small, like having an uneven number on each side, or because of logistical and travel reasons, it’s important to remember the details. In the case of Michael Sklar and wife Luiza, having a small wedding party (that actually informally put together for photos), made more sense with logistics. The couple, which according to Sklar, had an experience similar in vein to the TV show “90 Day Fiancé,” as Luiza is from Brazil and was waiting on a visa, got married with a civil ceremony before having a small wedding reception months later.

“In our case, because there was no ceremony there wasn’t any sort of jockeying, and there was never a sense of pressure in picking people, but if there would have been a ceremony it would have been hard,” Sklar said.

5. Find Other Ways to Include Friends and Family

And lastly, remember that just because friends and family may not be an official bridesmaid or groomsman, there’s still plenty of ways to include them. Make everyone feel like part of your day by honoring them in other ways – asking them to do a reading during the ceremony, naming a signature cocktail after them, or asking them to give a speech.

©CTW Features