Many newly engaged couples, gay and straight, are involving friends and family members in their weddings in more creative and personal ways, redefining traditional gender-based bridesmaids & groomsmen roles.
[And really, why can’t brides and grooms have their BFF's stand with them at the alter regardless of gender?]
Increasingly, today’s modern couples — whether two brides, two grooms or a bride and groom — are choosing to co-create their wedding ceremony from the ground up, mixing cultural and religious traditions with unique elements, and creating new terminology to fit.
Whatever your reason - here are a few examples of interesting and modern takes on wedding rituals, and some fun alternative names for your wedding party too.
Wedding colors: Couples are managing the all-to-familiar bridesmaid matching outfit and coordinating groomsmen tradition with a much lighter touch. Couples are selecting a color (or two) and inviting a close circle of friends and family to wear the color(s). Sometimes instructions include a particular article of clothing (bow tie / socks / shirt or blouse color) and sometimes the request is simply to include that color in whatever outfit is chosen. Not only are couples able to involve more people than they might if the wedding color was limited to the more traditional gang up front, it looks awesome when it comes time for pictures. David and I went this route, but in hindsight didn’t take the idea far enough. We now wish we would have had his mom and my dad wear some “poppy orange” too [really - see picture!].
Non-traditional processional - rather than the 2X2, invite your closest friends, and wedding party participants to walk down the aisle at the start of your ceremony with their respective significant others and then sit in reserved rows at the front. This eliminates the need to have everyone pair up nicely…and means you can forget about requiring an equal number of attendants for each “side of the aisle”. Isn’t it more natural and enjoyable if a family with children move as a clump, or if you have a friend who is happily single, stride down your aisle individually?
Combined bridesmaid-groomsmen party - Why not! Especially if you each already have both men and women as attendants, why not have a co-ed party involving both groups. Not only do these people then have more of a chance to get to know each other, you can have some fun with your best friends while getting to know your future spouse’s best friends - win/win.
And now, a few alternative terms that are gender neutral and more encompassing too.
The safe, tried-and-true choice: “attendants” or “entourage”
Lighthearted: team [fill in the name of groom(s) or bride(s)];
And these too: party people, wedding squad, bridal brigade paired with groom squad.
…and it makes a great hashtag. #idocrew