Traditionally, you’d see an even number of boys and girls paired up by height flowing down the runway together in 100% matching suits and dresses. No more!
Not only have bridesmaids dresses morphed into a choose-your-own-adventure array of colors and styles, the wedding party has evolved as well. Groomsmaids, Bridesmen, Best Lady, Man of Honor – all are honored positions within the wedding party.
We have the mix on the mixed-gender wedding parties and all the new ways couples are bringing friends and family members into a new vision of the Wedding Posse.
First things first – single-gender wedding party rules are out the window.
Since many weddings now include his and his and hers and hers, and they and them – the tradition seems pretty moot. Not standing up with your best friend or close sibling simply because of your gender is simply outdated.
For example: Sisters, close cousins or girlfriends of the groom would traditionally be asked to be a part of the bride’s wedding party, if at all. But that sister may not be close to the bride, let alone her friends. Crazy bachelorette weekends away may seem forced and uncomfortable.
There’s no need! Today, each person will often ask anyone they are close to, friend or family, to be a part of their wedding party.
You’ll want to decide on pre-wedding events and parties in advance. Just because your sister is your Best Lady doesn’t mean she may not want to be invited to your fiance’s bridal shower. And your other groomsmen may feel awkward with her at a raging bachelor party depending on the relationship.
The best way around this? Host your events co-ed style! If you have multiple genders on each side, this may just be the best way to go.
Envisioning your wedding means thinking about fashion and style for you and your wedding party. Don’t let that stop you from adding your gay best friend to your wedding party.
If you have a man on the bride’s side, he could dress to match the other groomsmen. Or, even better, select a suit that matches the bridesmaid dresses. Hello lilac suit!
Girls on the groom’s side can look super-savvy in a suit or tuxedo. Alternatively, they can wear a dress in the same color as the mens suits or in a matching accent color.
Think through the wedding day and the getting ready preparations. For example, arrange for your “bridesman” to get ready with the guys before joining your wedding party.
Let’s be clear – there’s no rule saying you even have to have bridesmaids or groomsmen. For couples that opt for smaller weddings, this is often the case. They don’t need an entourage for a wedding of 50 people.
In this case, you may only have one person on each side such as a best man or maid of honor. They’ll serve as your witnesses when signing the marriage license, and perform small duties leading up to the wedding and during.
That being said, if you do only have one representative per side don’t bog them down with To Do’s. One person can’t make up for an entire team.
For example, they may take the lead on the bridal shower, but recruit some family members to assist. And be sure you have the right help on the day of the wedding by using a wedding planner. Even if it’s just for “day of “coordination.
Whether the wedding is large or small, some couples just don’t want to put the added pressure on their friendships. We’ve shared several Bride vs Bridesmaids stories that have turned ugly. If you want to save your friends the time, money, and the potential fallout, skip the wedding party altogether.
You may want to skip the bridal party, but still have the party. Meaning you want a shower, or friends to join you in buying a wedding gown. No problem! Explain to your friends your wishes. Let them know you want to include them in the wedding but don’t want to put added pressure (for you and them) of having a wedding party. Talk about what you’ll be inviting them to, like gown shopping and plan casual get-togethers to talk wedding details.
Don’t overthink the processional. If your wedding parties are mixed-gender, or you have an uneven amount, don’t sweat it. Individuals in the wedding party can walk down the aisle on their own, in groups of threes, or whatever you envision feels right for your wedding.
If you do want to have a wedding party and need help deciding how to choose who makes the cut, we’ve got advice for that.