How to have a Brides-man
Updated: Sep 16
Most of us have best buds of a different gender, so when it’s time to assemble your wedding crew, you might be looking at a co-ed situation. For modern couples, asking a male bestie to be a bridesman or a female friend to serve as a groomswoman isn’t that uncommon - especially in same sex weddings. Nearly one in three of today’s couples are mixing things up big time when it comes to gender in their bridal party or wedding party.
If you’re planning on having a brides-man, remember these five things!
1. Create lots of opportunities for your mixed gender wedding party to bond.
Bonding activities are important for all wedding parties or bridal parties, whether they’re mixed sex or not, but when you have folks of different genders, they become even more important. If you’re only including one person of a different gender — for example, a bridesman when the rest of your wedding party includes bridesmaids — you’ll really want to make sure that he feels included. Consider activities where everyone is sure to have a good time, like a games night at your home filled with Taboo or Cards Against Humanity, or an afternoon at a local street festival. Stay away from gendered activities that might alienate some members of the wedding party.
2. Treat everyone equally — including at the hen's party!
Even a childhood or school best friend might seem like an odd addition to an otherwise r all-female hen’s night, but trust me, your opposite-gender wedding crew shouldn’t be treated differently. Of course, your bridesman may opt out of your hen’s party or bridal shower, but encourage him (or them!) to participate fully in all of your pre-wedding activities so that they get the full experience of being a part of a wedding crew. This might mean chatting with your best man or maid of honour to be sure you’re planning events that are inclusive of your mixed sex wedding crew, or even combining some events, like with a mixed sex wedding shower rather than gendered celebrations.
3. Make sure your wedding crew outfits are coordinated.
Whether you were planning on matching attire for your bridesmaids or groomsmen, or a mix-and-match approach, you’ll want to be sure the shades, patterns and fabrics you choose will work well for both suits and dresses. Luckily, large retailers will often help you easily match shades across attire options, so the mint green of your bridesmaid gown can easily be found in a bowtie for your bridesman, or something to that effect. Another easy way to ensure your entire wedding party is coordinated is to select some unifying elements — a basic colour palette, fabric or even the same designer, if they offer designs for both genders.
4. Be prepared for hair, makeup and grooming on your wedding day.
It’s common for a groom to pay for pre-wedding grooming for his guys, or for a bride to gift her maids with hair and makeup. Since your mixed sex wedding crew will have diverse needs, make a plan to provide the necessary grooming for everyone in your wedding party on your wedding day. If everyone feels comfortable, you might be able to accommodate your wedding party in one suite for getting ready, or you might need to arrange for the getting ready suites to be single-gender, which might also mean that all the girls from both wedding parties get ready in one room and all the guys get ready in another room. Or just don’t look!
5. Choose gender-neutral gifts.
The act of thanking your wedding crew is admittedly a little less complicated when you can select one bridesmaid gift or one groomsman gift for all of your attendants. With a coed wedding party, you’re either faced with gifting different items, or selecting a gift that everyone will enjoy. Just as you would with a single-gender wedding party, think about what your friends really like to do or wear, and what would best commemorate the time you all spent together as a wedding party.
Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth. You can find him online at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook at smcelebrant, Instagram @smcelebrant or you can find lots of wedding inspiration on his Pinterest page @smcelebrant including wedding & engagement rings, dresses, shoes, groom's attire, flowers, arbours, the lot.
Call Steve to chat about your wedding ceremony today on 0418 897 215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org