Bridesman, Groomsmaid, Man of Honor, call them whatever you want but I am having them — and I’m not alone. Mixed-gender bridal parties are becoming more and more popular and experts told HollywoodLife.com they are here to stay and people need to get used to it!
I am getting married next fall, but I’m already deep in the throws of wedding planning and it is getting dramatic. Why is that, you ask? Well, I’ve decided to ask my brother to act as my “Man of Honor” at the wedding and a really close guy friend to be a “Bridesman.” Now some of my friends think that’s totally cool and some relatives, especially older ones, are not happy about the mix and match bridal party. Well, I am having men alongside women on my side of the aisle and you need to get over it. Especially because experts say the trend of co-ed bridal parties is rising and it is definitely something people should get used to seeing more of!
“I love the idea of mixing up the wedding party,” Real Weddings editor at wedding publication The Knot, Stephanie Cain, told HollywoodLife.com. “Who says women can only be friends with women and guys with guys?” Amen to that! Stephanie actually went on to explain why the custom of just having women on the bride’s side is kind of outdated. “The tradition of the ‘bridesmaid’ comes from ancient times—maids were dressed up like the bride when she traveled to the husband’s home as a way to protect her. Should she be the victim of a kidnapping and stolen dowry, the perpetrator could be tricked into grabbing a maid, not the actual bride. Since this isn’t really an issue in 2017, it’s not necessary to only have women and to have them all dress like the bride!” Yeah that totally doesn’t sound like something I’m going to need to worry about on my wedding day. (Fingers crossed).
When it comes to why a person may be more inclined to pick a member of another gender to be in their bridal, Stephanie gave really valid reasons. “Also, modern couples are friends and siblings of the opposite sex and they do want to honor them,” Stephanie said. “One bride we featured included two ‘bridesmen’ in her party. She explained to me that they had both been part of all her major moments in life, so she couldn’t imagine them not standing with her as she said, ‘I do.’ It made me tear up! They shouldn’t be discluded because of their gender when they mean that much to the bride. The best part is that they even carried bouquets like the bridesmaids!” I totally love that idea, and might steal it for my own bridal party!
This trend is also becoming popular because of a “larger shift in mentality of society toward gender neutrality,” according to Stephanie, similar toward “becoming more accepting of the LGBTQIA community, and in the growth of support for same-sex marriage.” “The modern couple isn’t concerned so much with fitting everything into a traditional box, because they might not even fit into that box themselves.” Click here to see pics of modern celebrity couples who bucked tradition and pulled off secret weddings!
So why is it that older generations (like my relatives) are having a hard time accepting this new trend? “Like with most things, some people are stuck in their ways,” Stephanie said. “People can be very tied to tradition. It doesn’t fit into what they know as ‘normal,’ and therefore some may view it as unacceptable. It comes out of fear of the unknown or of embarrassment. But I think if any couple explained to a skeptical person why they wanted that male or female honored in the wedding party, then most people would be accepting. Transparency and education go a long way in helping people understand and form new opinions!”
Then when it comes to things like bachelorette parties and bridal showers, what do couples with co-ed bridal parties do? “Well I’m a non-traditionalist myself so I’m all for co-ed showers aka couples showers!” Los Angeles-based wedding and event planner Alissa Hussey said. “I love when brides and groom’s make their own decisions about how they want to celebrate their love! To me, there’s nothing better! And why not, because it makes for a bigger and better celebration!” “As an event planner, we always try to take the middle road, especially when there’s a family planning a wedding and not just the bride or groom,” Alissa continued. “In this case, all opinions, wishes need to be considered, especially if a family member is paying for the shower.” However, Alissa noted that people have “become more open to change” and “family members ultimately want their kids, grandchildren, etc to be happy.”
Stephanie was totally on the same page with Alissa’s opinion on acceptance. “I think older generations just want to see the couple happy at the end of the day,” she added. “Once they attend and witness that, all reservations will wash away.”
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of mixed-gender bridal parties? Let us know below!