When it comes to wedding parties, conventions have remained fairly steady throughout history. Historically, they usually include equal numbers of women and men standing on the bride and groom's sides, respectively, and traditional wedding parties largely hold to these rules. But as the song goes: the times, they are a-changin’. Social trends are starting to let go of numbers or gender when it comes to who stands by the couple of the day, allowing for greater inclusion and flexibility, ultimately better representing the wedding party's real, heartfelt purpose. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with choosing the traditional model for your big day. But there are certainly reasons why you might want to opt for a more modern option for the day you tie the knot.
Reasons to Change It Up
Curious why anybody would break away from the typical wedding party model? Well, part of it might not even be a mindful decision. With social conventions less overall stringent than they were once upon a time, it’s pretty easy to completely forget about what the traditional way even looked like. However, it’s more of an informed decision for many folks, recognizing that the old-school way just doesn’t work for their lives. Want to know more specifics so you yourself can decide what’s best for you and your wedding party? Here are the top reasons why it’s good to no longer limit who stands on what side.
Perhaps one of the most obvious reasons a bride might have men on her side, or a groom might have women on his is because of the family and/or friendships they keep! After all, this isn’t limited by gender. Plenty of brides have male best friends or brothers, grooms with female cousins, bandmates, and everything beyond. Restricting a wedding party based on gender could be a problem here, thus making a mixed party a fantastic choice! Remember: the big day is about you and those you love. Your people should stand where it’s most meaningful to you and your partner. Decide on the dynamics based on that, and your wedding party approach will become crystal clear.
On top of the fact that brides, grooms, and nearlyweds of every cut and creed often have friends of different genders, there are also many same-gender couples out there ready to slide a ring on their fingers! This naturally changes up the entire wedding party formation, so it makes perfect sense to ditch the male-female wedding expectations entirely and open up the wedding party to all. Tying the knot will be all the better for it, and organizing should be far simpler because of it, too.
History has not been friendly to gender-diverse individuals, restricting even the most basic of rights. But nowadays, transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, and agender folks have slowly started receiving the dignity they deserve – and participating in wedding parties with their friends is definitely a small (yet important) piece of this. By letting go of gender binary oft held so-tight for wedding parties, you’re ensuring that all your friends who don’t fit within its rigid bounds will be included as they should be. Not only does this help the people close to you, but it also helps others, sending a message to society that inclusion for trans and nonbinary people is the way forward.
Group Wedding Parties
Remember those mixed-gender friendships and family ties we mentioned before? Well, many of these are shared between couples. That can get pretty unnecessarily confusing when trying to keep up with a traditional wedding party model. The solution? Just ditch it! Why not have just one group wedding party supporting both partners, no sides necessary? And don’t worry, the standing arrangement is entirely up to you. Separate folks out, clump them nearby, form a circle; the choices are nearly endless. Pick whatever makes you and your other half happy.
While we’re letting go of gender and “sides” for wedding parties, it’s timely also to question why there even needs to be equal numbers of people on each of those sides. And matching outfits? What’s up with that? Again, the name of the game is merely enjoying the big day and making it meaningful for the couple in question. Break the rules. Switch up the fashion. Embrace odd numbers in your wedding party. Do what feels right, and your wedding day will be even more special for it.
What’s the Point of Wedding Parties?
So, we’ve established why someone might choose to disregard the traditional wedding party model and why it’s beneficial to limit sides based on gender, number, etc. But what’s the big deal about wedding parties, anyways? What’s even the point? To sum it all up, a wedding party is there to divide up the various responsibilities needed when getting a wedding together. They play a role in so many different aspects of the planning process – from choosing the attire to putting together invites, hosting engagement parties, and more – and ultimately are there to help ensure your big day goes off without a hitch while you get hitched.
They’re a pretty big deal. That’s why it’s important to pick your wedding party carefully. Unsure where to start? Think about ‘why’ you want to invite someone to play a special role in your wedding. The ‘why’ will ultimately guide you to the ‘who,’ ‘how,’ and ‘where’ – not the other way around.