Traditional weddings are great and all, but between all the hair spray, rigid seating arrangements and not-so-cute corsages, things can get stuffy fast. Unsurprisingly, couples are modernizing their nuptials in lots of ways, whether it’s with taco trucks, llama rentals (yep) or even slashing their guest list to host a microwedding. And more and more couples are shaking up the old-school idea of gendered bridesmaids and groomsmen with gender-neutral wedding parties.
Why are people having gender-neutral wedding parties? Lots of brides have only female friends and plenty of grooms are buddies with all males. But for a lot of people, gendered parties are a long-held tradition that doesn’t really hold much significance. If a wedding party is about including your nearest and dearest in your big day, you should do just that without having to worry about how to categorize them. And for couples and their friends who don’t fall into the gender binary, bifurcating a group of people by gender just doesn’t make sense.
What does a gender-neutral bridal party look like? It looks beautiful! A couple can decide to nix the idea of separate parties and join forces into one big hodgepodge of friends, making the whole gender thing moot. Or maybe a couple decides they want separate parties but choose not to define them by gender. For instance, we saw one wedding where the bride and groom had their own designated parties, but he wanted his sisters in his party and she wanted her best guy friends included. The result was two groups of people who were selected simply because of their relationships with the couple. Period.
So what do you a call a gender-neutral bridal party? If the couple has one combined group, you can simply call it the wedding or bridal party. For example: “Can I skip the line at the bar? I’m in the wedding party.” Boom. If you have two distinct groups between a heterosexual couple, you can call it the groom’s party and the bride’s party. Same-sex couples with different parties can use their names, like Meghan’s party and Kate’s party. And instead of bridesmaid or groomsman, friends and family can simply say they’re “standing up” in the wedding. It all gets the point across without alienating anyone.