What the heck is a bridesman/groomsmaid?
It makes sense, right? Especially in this day-and-age, we see so many wedding traditions being reinterpreted that it comes as no surprise that there are more wedding parties adopting a non-traditional structure. Men and women don’t only have friends of one gender! Why should your BFF get excluded from your bridal party just because of their gender?
On your wedding day, you will be standing next to the most influential people in your life. So if your best friend is a dude, why not invite him up there with you? Your wedding day should be tailored to fit your needs, so there really is no “right” or “wrong” way to do things.
Image Source: Martha Stewart Weddings
Bridal Parties – How Did It All Start, Anyway?
Role of the bridesmen/groomsmaids:
- Assist with finding wedding venues/wedding vendors for the wedding – check.
- Assist with planning the bachelor or bachelorette party – check.
- Keep the bride or groom happy at all times – check.
We’re all familiar with typical bridal party duties, however, have you ever wondered where it all started? The role of the groomsman branched from the necessity to keep the bride safe. Thus, the groomsmen were people who were entrusted by the groom to help ensure the bride’s safety during the ceremony. They were sometimes called the bride’s knights. Once the bride was brought to the ceremony, the groomsmen would guard the bride, possibly with swords, so nothing interrupts the ceremony until it is complete.
As for the role of the bridesmaids, they helped escort the bride to the ceremony safely and were believed to also help ward off spirits or others who wanted to hurt her.
Image Source: Huffington Post
Bridal Parties Today
As we’ve mentioned, there are no rules that say the bride must have all female attendants – or any females at all. The same goes for the groom. It’s perfectly fine to have bridesmen and groomsmaids. All weddings are unique, they’re personal celebrations that should be a true reflection of the bride and the groom, so you can make up the rules as you go. Mixed gender bridal parties are becoming more and more popular these days.
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings
Bridesmen and Groomsmaids Attire
We have seen some woman rocking a tux next to the groom (think Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City). If this is the type of look which you would be interested in, that’s absolutely perfect. However, an alternative recommendation for the groomsmaid would be to wear a dress that matches the groomsmen’s suit colour. For the bridesman, matching ties, bowties or pocket squares to the bridesmaids dresses is a good idea.
For a more mix-and-match style, choose a wedding colour palette and pick clothing for everyone that coordinates. However, finding a suit to match the more vibrant bridesmaid dress colours might be difficult. In that cases why not chose a more neutral suit colour and incorporate touches of the dress colour in the accessories.
Images by: Pinterest (Left) Vanilla Photography (Right)
Image from: Inside Weddings
Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
Trips to the beach, braais or a night out on the town are all activities that men and women can partake in. So bachelor/bachelorette parties don’t have to be just for men or just for woman. You can combine it so that the whole bridal party comes together for a weekend of celebration! This will certainly be a great way to make all bridesmen and groomsmaids feel included.
If you’re not exactly fond of this idea and you really want your bachelorette party in Beefcakes, we get you. I mean, we’ve seen what the waiters there look like, so it’s understandable. Perhaps your bridesman can give this one a skip (or he can tag along – up to him). This way, he can join in on the bachelor’s party instead. This will give him an opportunity to mingle with the other guys. If you’ve been asked to be a groomsmaid, the same applies, join in with the boys or the girls! It’s your decision.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Abrantes
Bridal Showers & Getting Ready On The Big Day
Not sure how to handle getting ready the day of the wedding? It might be a good idea to ask the members of your bridal party to see what their comfort level is. Maybe your bridesman wants to hang out the entire time you’re prepping, or maybe he wants to come only towards the end of the hair and makeup time frame. He can always get ready with the boys and join you once you are already dressed.
For groomsmaids, the same applies. It all depends on what makes you feel the most comfortable.
Man of Honour helping the bride get ready. Image by Alexis Jaworski Photography