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How to Deal with an Uneven Wedding Party

Arguably the most important part of your wedding day (besides that saying "I do" detail) is the fact that your closest friends and relatives will stand beside you as you marry the love of your life. However, what happens if you and your spouse-to-be have an uneven amount of friends - or worse, someone drops out at the last minute, leaving you with an uneven wedding party? 

Family wedding selfie at uneven wedding party

Dealing with an uneven wedding party can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Though the tradition of wedding parties dates back to Ancient Rome (back then, couples needed 10 witnesses to get married), today’s couples are a lot more unconventional and unbothered by the societal norms of their parents’ weddings.  So, instead of stressing, make it fun! Here are 6 unique and creative ways to handle an uneven wedding party, when it rears it head.

Why Uneven Wedding Parties Are (Actually) Really Common 

Even though your friends may have the best intentions by agreeing to join your wedding party, sometimes life has other plans. Poor weather could ground flights. Someone may get injured or run into some unexpected financial issues, forcing them to pull out as the rising costs of being in a wedding mount. One of the biggest reasons that bridesmaids, in particular, back out of a wedding last minute is due to pregnancy.  

Though wedding party etiquette states that bridesmaids and groomsmen give couples at least six months' warning that they need to back out (circle back to the link above to learn why), last-minute things do pop up, making last-minute notices unavoidable. If this happens to you, don’t panic! As you’ll read below, there are plenty of creative ways to get around an uneven wedding party. 

bride and groom in street at uneven wedding

6 Creative (And Stress-Free) Ways to Handle an Uneven Wedding Party on Your Big Day

1. Seat Your Wedding Party Before the Wedding Begins

It’s been a tradition for the wedding party to walk down the aisle and stand on either side of the couple during the ceremony, but let’s face it: that tradition isn’t for everybody - especially if there is an uneven number of people. 

If you don’t want to have your uneven wedding party noticeable, opt for them to sit in the first row during the ceremony instead of next to you. Because everyone is seated, the uneven number will be less noticeable. Plus, everyone’s eyes will (rightfully) be on you. 

two groomsmen standing at uneven wedding

2. Have a Bridesmaid Walk Down With Two Groomsmen (Or Vice Versa)

One of the easiest and most common ways to offset an extra bridesmaid or groomsman is by having them pair up with two other members of your wedding party. This could either be two groomsmen and a bridesmaid or two bridesmaids and a groomsman walking down the aisle together.

The great thing about this option is that it looks purposeful rather than trying to accommodate an uneven wedding party. Plus, the grouping looks just as good as pairs when you get your wedding photos back. 

bride, groom and wedding party toasting at uneven wedding

3. Mix Up Where Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Stand

Traditionally, the bridesmaids have always stood behind the bride and the groomsmen behind the groom, but in 2024, that rulebook can be tossed out the window. After all, your wedding party comprises people you’re both close to, so why not share the love? 

Divy up the wedding party so that two or three bridesmaids and groomsmen have swapped sides and are both standing beside you. This unconventional option still looks great in photos and will help the unevenness of your party be less noticeable since your guests will be looking more at you and what your party is wearing. Consider this one a little trick of the eye!

4. Make Your Extra Groomsman or Bridesmaid an Adult Flower Guy or Girl

One of the more recent wedding trends is making one of your adult guests your flower girl or flower guy. In this, your friend usually walks down the aisle with a basket or fanny pack filled with flower petals.

This is not only a unique way to address an uneven wedding party, but it’s both funny and memorable. Of course, they can join the wedding party at the reception, but this could be a great option if you’re choosing to seat your wedding party in the front row. Plus, since you can order custom petals on Etsy for cheap, you’re helping out a small business, too. 

5. Have Only the Maid of Honor and Best Man Stand With You 

If there are a few extra people in your wedding party, then you can opt to only have your best man and maid of honor stand next to you, while everyone else is seated in the front row. This helps you maintain that wedding aesthetic without having to draw attention to the uneven amount of people in your party. 

family selfie bride and groom at uneven wedding

6. Embrace the Unevenness 

The photos taken of you and your sweetheart can be poised, and picture-perfect, but the ones with your group of friends? Go ahead and get a little crazy! 

Here’s a little secret: you’re far from being the only couple with an uneven wedding party, so your photographer will know how to set you up so your uneven wedding party still looks aesthetically pleasing. This could be putting the bridesmaids and groomsmen in a particular order or having everyone stand behind you as you share a kiss.  

Takeaways About Handling an Uneven Wedding Party! 

At the end of the day, no one who attended your wedding is going to care that you had an uneven wedding party, and the good news is that you won’t either.  Focus on your friends, family, and this exciting moment, and the last thing you’ll remember is that one side had more people than the other. 

Expecting to keep the crowd light on your big day? We’d love to host you at The Olde House! Book now 


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