When choosing your wedding party, it’s important to recognise that each and every individual has a key part to play.
Whether supporting the bride or groom, the members of your wedding party will help with so much more than stag and hen party planning. Your VIPs will be the extra eyes, ears and even mouths (those cakes won’t taste themselves!) you need to organise the big day of your dreams. However, when creating your bridal who’s who, you don’t have to be bound by traditional gender roles…
A more inclusive wedding party
Searches for the term ‘male bridesmaid’ have increased by more than a fifth in recent years according to Hitched, with the couples of today looking to more realistically reflect the friendship groups that have been a vital source of support.
With more and more individuals looking to make the big and little changes that help them to be more inclusive in their everyday lives, it’s no wonder that we’re kicking gender roles and labels to the kerb when planning those once-in-a-lifetime occasions. The rise of male and non-binary bridesmaids has become the norm as a result.
Bridesmaids are becoming “bridesmates”
Planning an inclusive wedding is so much more than a great way to show your LGBTQ+ pride or support, you’ll also help to make every individual feel more comfortable and welcome at your celebrations.
Bridesmaids are becoming “bridesmates”, with the wider bridal party more commonly referred to as the ‘wedding squad’ or ‘I do crew’ for a more inclusive vibe.
Pre-wedding celebrations are also evolving. Couples are swapping single-sex stag and hen dos for ‘sten dos’, which, as Funktion Events explains, offer great ways to party:
“In a nutshell, a sten do is a joint party, when the bride and groom-to-be decide to celebrate together before the big day. Most commonly, sten dos are celebrated when the groom and bride-to-be both share the same friendship group, therefore making more sense to all celebrate together as a combined celebration, rather than separately. As well as all that being said, this can be a great way to save a few pennies before the big day too!”
Joint hen and stag parties or sten dos ensure everyone that’s special to the bride and groom is there to celebrate their last days of freedom, regardless of their gender.
Inclusive terms to use at your wedding
There are many ways that you can plan and host a more inclusive wedding, and this goes far beyond the VIPs that you choose to support you in the run-up to and on the big day itself. Asking guests which pronouns they’d like you to use, even if they aren’t LGBTQ+, is an excellent starting point. Not every label fits every person after all, and pronouns should never be presumed.
Using gender-neutral language is another must. People are so used to using the terms ‘bride and groom’ but there is an array of cute, inclusive alternatives that can be explored. Instead of ‘bride and/or groom to be’, use “nearlywed”.
When referring to your partner in written communication, stick to ‘fiancé’, instead of altering the spelling based on their sex to keep things gender-neutral. As mentioned previously ‘bridesmaids’ can become “bridesmates”, your ‘best man’ can be your ‘best person’, and your ‘maid of honour’ can become your ‘person of honour’ to ensure more inclusive language when discussing all things wedding.