Men as Bridesmaids, Women as Groomsmen – and what about that Man of Honor!
As more newly engaged couples, gay and straight, involve friends and family members in their weddings in more creative and personal ways, they are redefining traditional gender-based bridesmaids & groomsmen roles. Welcome to the I Do Crew!
[And really, why can’t brides and grooms have their BFF’s stand with them at the alter regardless of gender?]
While it’s increasingly common to have wedding party members of both sexes standing up for brides and grooms, what to call your male bridesmaids (not this for sure) or female groomsmen (possibly an even worse idea) is all over the place. Here are a few popular gender neutral alternatives to use in your program or when the wedding party is introduced.
I Do Crew and a Few Alternatives for your Wedding Party
Most popular: “I Do Crew”. It’s catchy, gender neutral, and – to me – a little bit sentimental, in a good way. You can find it on all kinds of wedding swag…and it makes a great hashtag: #idocrew . But if that just doesn’t work for you, here are some others…
The safe choices: “attendants” or “entourage”;
Lighthearted & best for personalized gear: Team [fill in the name of groom(s) or bride(s)];
These show up fairly often too: besties, party people, wedding squad, bridal brigade or bride tribe paired with groom squad.
For the male maid of honor: man of honor
And for the female best man: best woman
Or…how about best friend!
3 Other Wedding Traditions Your I Do Crew Will Love
Just as your wedding party may not conform to tradition, increasingly, today’s modern couples — whether two brides, two grooms or a bride and groom — are choosing to co-create their wedding ceremony too. From the ground up, couples are mixing cultural and religious traditions with unique elements.
Here are a few examples of interesting and modern takes on traditional wedding rituals.
Wedding Colors and Wedding Attire
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!].
But make sure your wedding party members look the part, so that there is something in common that helps your wedding pictures to have a coordinated look. If you’ve left people to interpret your request on their own, you may want to have some things available on your wedding day, just in case – a boutonniere, bow tie, socks – for pops of color that tie your wedding party together.
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 Bridesmaids-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.
New roles, new rules…or in this case, no rules. Be creative in the way(s) you choose to honor your friends and your lives together. If you are feeling in need of a “steady-hand”; someone to help you think things through, get a professional wedding planner involved! Your wedding is a time to celebrate. Ultimately, do what feels right rather than what you wish felt right.
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