Bride-to-blogger Claire Adams talks numbers, because when it comes to bridesmaids - how many is too many?
I have known for a while that I want to have six bridesmaids. It wasn't until I got engaged and people started to ask if I was having any bridesmaids at all (is not having any even an option?!) that replying with the number six actually sounded like quite an extravagance.As the person asking would knowingly raise an eyebrow at my response it initially made me feel a little greedy and diva like, as if I expected to have this large entourage in matching dresses follow me around for the entire day, wiping my brow and cutting up my food and feeding me. But really I didn't have a choice. Each of my bridesmaids are very special to me for lots of different reasons so I really couldn't choose between them. Ultimately I didn't really think that I should have to.
Having that many bridesmaids can sometimes be a little bit of a struggle. Finding six dresses to fit six different girls, six pairs of shoes to fit six different pairs of feet and six individual styles to fit into one (maybe two) hairstyles? It's hard work but deciding to go with the whole schabam felt like a great idea when I went away for my hen do and had the best weekend EVER.
I knew that I was on to a winner when we were all waiting at the airport at 6am and one of my BM's began to hand out mini pots of candyfloss to all of the girls because as everyone knows - I truly love the sugary stuff.
After landing at Barcelona airport my little sister said that she felt really sick so I begrudgingly followed her into the toilets to check that she was okay and wait while she went into one of the cubicles. When we walked back to the others and I was welcomed by 15 smiling Idris Elba's which aside from hugely freaking me out also really made my day. I am slightly obsessed with the man and even in a mask with the eyes cut out he was looking pretty hot – only my bridesmaids would know how to embrace that long running obsession of mine.
Once at the hotel one of the girls greeted me with cold prosecco and at the beach another gave me a garter to wear while we sipped on cocktails in the sun. Later that night we all went for dinner at a lovely restaurant set on the beach called Agua and played a game where everyone was given an old photo of me and asked to make up a caption to go with it. This resulted in a selection of rude, cheeky and very often hilarious one liners.
It was very clear from the first 24 hours alone that all of my bridesmaids had put so much thought and effort into the weekend and as I looked around at everyone laughing (at the photos of me) I felt very lucky to be there with all of my friends.
I had thought it would be hard to top that first day and night in Barcelona but I was quickly proved wrong. The next day I was presented with a long platinum blonde wig. It slightly concerned me but I gratefully accepted the gift whilst internally re-thinking my planned outfit for that evening as unfortunately - it didn't go with matted bleached straw.
There is definitely a reason to why I have never been a blonde – it looked horrendous. I had been asked to wait in my hotel room until someone came to collect me and when they finally did I was desperate for a drink. I was confused, nervous, excited and had a very itchy head.
A lift ride later, I was greeted by all 18 of my friends (and sisters) in black 'Claire' wigs – each of varying shapes and styles. 'I CAN'T BEAR IT' was shouted at me as I left the lift (something I may say now and then) and I was speechless. I looked back at a couple who were stuck in the lift with me (poor tourists had no idea what they were letting themselves in for) and couldn't stop laughing. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life and as I studied each of my friends with their black hair I may have let a little 'I can't cope' slip out.
What followed was one of the best nights I have ever had. I was also given a gorgeous bracelet as a hen present before we all traipsed off to a club to drink even more – minus the wigs (far too itchy).
So - actually? I would recommend having as many (or as few) bridesmaids as you damn well like. No one else will truly understand the friendships that you have and if that means six (or even 10) of the closest females in your life walking down the aisle with you on the biggest day of your life then why not? Plus it means that you can end up with a an amazing support network whilst you're in the midst of wedding planning panic, a truly incredible hen weekend and Idris Elba's face to keep forever. Win win if you ask me.