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A Mixed-Gender Wedding Party: Why Everyone Should Have One

by Wedding Shoppe Blogger: Sarah C. March 9, 2016 @ 2:18 pm

Wedding Tips

It’s 2016, which means it’s time for some wedding traditions to fall by the wayside. One of the biggest traditions is that the bridal party – i.e. the bridesmaids and the groomsmen – has to be strictly divided along gender lines. We’re positive that you’ll love having a mixed gender bridal party, so here are some reasons why it’s a great choice and why you shouldn’t have any worries!

A Mixed-Gender Wedding Party: Why Everyone  Should Have One

mixed gender party

Tandem Tree Photography

1. You should have the people you want standing by your side, regardless of gender.

This is the biggest reason why you should do exactly what you want in terms of mixing girls and guys in the wedding party. You should do what you want and have your best friends standing next to you!

Maybe you’re a girl with a lot of guy friends, or your groom has tons of gal pals or is super close with his sister; regardless of the configuration, you shouldn’t have to choose your bridesmaids entirely on being the same gender as you. Whether you want your best guy friend as your man of honor or as a bridesmaid, you can – and should – do exactly what you want.

2. It’s trendy.

Now, you shouldn’t do something just because it’s trendy. But sometimes following certain trends allows you to do what you want without feeling too revolutionary. Nowadays, many couples are straying away from having gender specific bridal parties. So, if you’re worried about what people might say when they see you have a male maid of honor, you can breezily blame it on the trends. No need to start a deep conversation about gender stereotypes with your great aunt Myrtle on the big day!


Tandem Tree Photography

3. Different perspectives.

As cliché as it sounds, men and women really do have different perspectives on certain things. Whether you have one guy, all guys, or an even number of girls and guys on your side, they can help balance out any drama that might come about and simply offer a perspective that you might not have thought of. From flowers, gifts, bridal party style, pre-wedding events, and everything in between, you’ll get a variety of perspectives.

4. Same rules apply for the groom. 

This probably goes without saying, but your groom can also have girls on his side, as part of the groomsmen. For example, if your fiancé is super close with his sister, he will obviously want her to be a part of the bridal party. Traditionally, she would have to be one of your bridesmaids. However, how cool would it be to have her be his “man” of honor? Having a mixed gender bridal party allows both you and your groom to have siblings and best friends of the opposite gender standing directly by your side.


Rochelle Louise Photography

5. You can have fun putting together an eclectic style for the bridal party. 
If you’re contemplating having both guys and gals standing by your side, one of your hesitations probably revolves around the question of wardrobe. Put those worries aside!

There are so many options here; you can do whatever your heart desires. If you want the two sides to be distinct, use colors to visually separate the two sides. For example, if your color scheme is lilac and gray, dress the girls on your side in lilac, the guys on your side in light gray suits, the girls on your partners side in gray dresses that match the dark gray suits the groomsmen wear, and have the men all wear ties that match the bridesmaid dresses. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry. The key here is to make everyone look cohesive while making it clear which side each person is on.

However, you could also style all the girls and guys in the bridal party in the same way: the girls all wear the color same dress, and the guys all wear the same color suit with ties that accent the girls’ dresses. This is perfect for the couple that shares close friends and want everyone to be equal.

groomswomen and bridesmen

Nina Francine Photography

6. Your friends can stand on the side they are closest to.

Sure, you both know each other’s friends and family, but it can be awkward having someone on your side that you aren’t necessarily that close to while your partner is. Having a mixed gender wedding party allows you to cut down on any awkwardness or drama this might cause, because you can each have the people you want standing on your side instead of worrying about how people are getting along on the other side.

7. Don’t worry about the pre-wedding events being specifically gendered.

You want your best guy friend to be your maid of honor, but you’re worried he’ll feel uncomfortable during the various pre-wedding events – specifically the bachelorette party/bridal shower if your friends are planning a crazy blow out.

Talk to the guys on your side about the specific events and get their opinions on it. Maybe they’re all in for planning the bridal shower or bachelorette party! If not, invite them to the events the groomsmen are having so that they don’t miss out on things. For example, if you and your girls are getting mani/pedis before the big day while your groom and his guys are getting an old fashioned shave, have your guy BFF go with them instead. Or whatever he’s comfortable with.

Long story short, you should have whomever you want on your side, regardless of the various pre-wedding activities you have planned. Whether you do the traditional events or forgo them and have co-ed group parties, you’ll have a blast.

mixed gender wedding party

Jessica Ranae Photography

8. But what do I call the bridal party?

This is all up to personal choice, and it shouldn’t be a reason not to have a co-ed party. Stick with the traditional “groomsmen” and “bridesmaids,” or go with “man of honor,” “best woman,” “groomswomen,” or “bridesmen,” or some other combination that speaks to you and your friends. Having just the right term is nothing compared to the joy of having all of your best friends standing next to you on the big day!

9. Versatility in terms of which side friends stand on.

This benefit was already touched on, but it deserves to be discussed further. If you’re a couple who has mutual close friends, having a mixed gender bridal party allows you to sprinkle them throughout the bridesmaids and groomsmen to create a cohesive and enveloping illustration of friendship. Just like you might ask your guests to sit wherever they want to for the ceremony instead of choosing sides, you can do the same for the bridal party.

mixed-gender bridal party

Brian Bossany Photography

10. You can have fun with the various groups walking down the aisle.

Instead of doing the traditional girl/guy pair walking down the aisle, you can have some fun mixing it up. Have the party walk down in threes, twos, or singles in a variety of different configurations. Same sex duos or trios or opposite gender duos or trios, or whatever you want. No matter what, it’ll look great!

11. No matter what style of wedding ceremony, mixing men and women together as bridesmaids and groomsmen will work perfectly.

Regardless of the style of ceremony you’re planning, you can absolutely have mixed wedding parties. If you’re planning a more traditional ceremony, you may think having your best guy friend on your side or your groom’s sister on his side might break too many traditions and boundaries. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Whether your planning a traditional and grand ceremony in a cathedral, or a more informal affair in your backyard, a single fact holds true: whether you have an all male bridal party, an all female party, or some combination there-of, the only thing that matters is that your closest friends are there by your side. That’s the most important part!


Brian Bossany Photography

12. It’s okay to break with tradition.

Sure, it’s tradition, but who actually says that your bridesmaids have to be all girls, and the groomsmen all guys? At the end of the day, it’s your special day, and those you love should surround you. You will love having exactly who you want by your side, and you shouldn’t worry about whether your upholding out of date traditions or not.

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