Let’s acknowledge a simple truth: Being part of the wedding party sucks. It’s a special honor, yes, but wearing a knockoff Jessica McClintock as you walk down the aisle holding your neck in a spine-breaking position (so the pics look good) is also a special circle of hell. So, if you’re looking to avoid that, don’t move anywhere near the South.
Mic reports that new numbers show that while there’s no “normal” number of bridesmaids to have, women who live in states such as South Carolina and Alabama have a much higher chance of being lost in a sea full of foam-green tulle: brides there have around 5 bridesmaids in their wedding. And if you live in New Orleans or or Birmingham, the chances that you’ll be joining a party in which 9 or more bridesmaids (or more???) are participating jumps to 25 percent. (These offenses against good taste are called “mega” bridal parties.)
Why’s that happening? Well, according to Mic, large, close-knit families may be one reason, especially in the South. But there are other reasons why Southern brides are asking everyone they know to put on a giant pink bow and smile like they’ve been lobotomized for the occasion:
According to 2014 Pew data, the median age of Southern brides’ first marriage tends to be a bit lower than their counterparts in places like the Northeast. This could actually have implications for brides’ friendships: As we get older, making new friends and maintaining relationships gets more difficult. In other words, you might have more prospective bridesmaids in your life in your early 20s than you will if you get married later, once you’ve become busier and more disillusioned.
Plus, if you’re getting married at age 22, you’re going to care much more about offending people by not asking them. But when you’re 35, you might opt to have zero bridesmaids (or just, like, your sister) because you don’t have the energy for all that drama.
Speaking as a Southern bride myself, I can tell you that having fewer bridesmaids is always better. (That might be because I’m 31 and have given up on people.) Still, there’s nothing better than not having to take a phone call in the middle of the night because one of your best friends refuses to wear what everyone else is wearing because electric blue just isn’t her color. (That’s the point, friend! I’m the only one looking good today!)
The infographics detailing these numbers can be found on Weddington Way, and they’re useful for both brides planning their weddings and prospective bridesmaids who want to know the likelihood they’ll be one of 22 ladies-in-waiting on that big day.
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