The Traditional Wedding Party

Your best man.  Your best woman.  Your maid of honor.  Your attendant.  Your groomsman.  Your bridesmaid.  Your person of honor.  Your best person.  Your best people.  Your man of honor.  Your bestie.

Who are these people?  Take your pick of any or none at all.  For the purpose of writing about gay weddings and being gender neutral, I’ll be using the word “attendant.”  But truthfully, I’ve heard all sorts of variations from my engaged gay and lesbian clients.

Here are the traditional roles of members of a wedding party.  They tend to have a lot of responsibility. 

Maid of Honor 
  • Goes dress and veil shopping with the bride
  • Throws the bridal shower if a family member does not 
  • Helps assemble and mail invitations 
  • Attends the wedding rehearsal
  • Has her hair and makeup done with the bride before the wedding
  • Helps the bride to dress before the wedding 
  • Participates in the wedding processional 
  • Holds the groom’s wedding ring 
  • Holds the bride’s flowers 
  • Helps with the bustle 
  • Dances with the best man at the wedding reception 
Best Man 
  • Throws a bachelor party
  • Helps the groom choose a tuxedo
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal
  • Helps the groom get dressed before the wedding
  • Participates in the wedding processional 
  • Holds the bride’s wedding ring 
  • Toasts the happy couple at the wedding reception 
  • Dances with the Maid of Honor at the wedding reception 
  • Returns any rental tuxes
  • Attend the shower 
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal
  • Participates in the wedding processional 
  • Dances with groomsmen 
  • Attend the bachelor party 
  • Seats wedding guests 
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal
  • Unrolling the wedding runner, if one is used 
  • Participates in the wedding processional 
  • Dances with bridesmaids 
Flower Girl 
Typically, not much is expected of the flower girl – they do tend to be young.  They’ll often carry a basket of flowers during the wedding processional.  Sometimes they will toss petals on the aisle runner during her processional.

Ring Bearer 
The little guy serving as the ring bearer usually isn’t asked to do too much.  He will often walk next to the Flower Girl during the processional while holding the pillow with the wedding rings.  

This is one of those areas where I’ll say “anything goes at a gay wedding.”  You can  mix it up and have opposite-gender individuals as your attendants.  You can have no attendants at all.  You can share attendants.

Why not?  This is a gay wedding and you can do whatever the heck you want.

I’m not going to keep saying that, I promise.  But you can.  In the next post (this Thursday), I'll discuss how all this changes for gay weddings.

What are you calling the members of your gay wedding party?

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