How to have a Grooms-woman

A lot of us have best friends of a different sex, so when it’s time to choose your wedding crew, you might be looking at a mixed sex situation. For modern couples, asking a female friend to serve as a grooms-woman isn’t that uncommon. 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 or grooms-woman, 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 both sexes 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 sex — for example, a brides-man when the rest of your wedding party includes bridesmaids — you’ll really want to make sure that friend feels included. Consider activities where everyone is sure to have a good time, like a game 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 for the hens party! Even a childhood or school best friend might seem like an odd addition to an otherwise all-male bucks party or all-female hens party, but trust me, your opposite-gender wedding crew shouldn’t be treated differently. Of course, your bridesman may opt out of your hens 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 your wedding crew - otherwise, why do it in the first place? 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 attire is 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 sexes. 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 crew, or for a bride to gift her crew 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 crew 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 some folks from your “side” of the wedding party get ready with people from the other “side.” 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 mixed sex wedding crew, 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 steve@smcelebrant.com.au

STEVE MUMMERY

MARRIAGE & FUNERAL CELEBRANT

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