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Men of Honor, Bridesmen, and the Co-ed Bridal Party — oh my!

Image Source – Aria Photography

As a two groom event, we have no choice but to think outside this particular box, but more recent data suggest 15-20% of heterosexual couples are mixing up the sexes of their wedding attendants. The wedding industry is a buzz. Bridal magazines post warnings about etiquette faux-pas and trampled traditions that must be carefully massaged and excruciatingly reformulated (with their help of course!) lest you and your spouse risk being spirited away by The Knot’s “do it right” military enforcement division.

Having now reached the point of diminishing returns researching this topic, it is time for me to summarize my findings and move on. It is this – whether there are two brides, two grooms or one of each – please consider both your male and female friends to be viable options as participants in your wedding ceremony. And please, just refer to them as “attendants.”

Here is an unscientific sampling of the most often asked follow-up questions from worried men and women and a compilation of responses.

Q: Whatever will they wear so that it is clear who they are attending to?

    • A: Whether there is a bride and groom, two grooms or two brides, have all men wear the same tux / suit / color and all women wear the same dress / tux / suit / color. See, not so hard.

Q: Who gets invited to what pre-wedding parties? 

A: As David recently posted, there is plenty of opportunity to mix-it-up in this area as well. If you are keeping to a more traditional bride & groom separation when it comes to pre-wedding events, inviting men to the shower and women to a bachelor party is just fine.

Q: What will guests think?
A: It is what you think that is important. Your wedding party should be made up of the people you love most. Many wedding planners have embraced this notion and are increasingly supporting the couple’s decision. If however, you are concerned about what family and friends may think, maybe better to rethink the guest list.

Q: Do the responsibilities of the attendants change as a result?
A: No. Unless you want them to, then yes.

There is much money to be made by those professing superior knowledge of the “rule book” and how best to apply it. Frustrating and condescending. [Y]our marriage is a momentous occasion, so make it uniquely yours, not just like everyone else’s – okay?! If “existing traditions” are your thing – have at it. Including religious and/or cultural traditions can be a wonderful way of connecting you and your spouse’s past to your future. If creating “new traditions” is more your thing, do so with confidence, style and class. Either way, creating a memorable and enjoyable event that reflects a shared vision should be fun and worthy of the time and effort you are putting into it.

We decided to each have one person standing with us, dear friends and both male and female. We’ll tell you what we will be wearing after we figure that one out. We love what wxtwo (from Instagram) did here.

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