Let’s Call Them ‘Attendants’

-     Why a gender-neutral wedding party is a great idea

The people standing up there with you at your wedding ceremony are more than just statues.  There is a reason you ask your closest friends, siblings or others to be by your side as you exchange your vows.

So who are they?  How do you choose them?

They are there the people you want not only to witness, but to support you through this important life transition.

It can be tricky when you have a lot of siblings and friends. Some grooms even choose their father as their best man. But here’s the thing: there is no rule that the bride must have women stand with her and the groom, men.

Same-sex couples have taught us so much; think about this –  when you remove the ‘bride’s side/groom’s side’ from the equation a truth is revealed! Have those you mean the most to you stand with you!

Sometimes, to balance things, someone gets excluded. Again, there’s no rule here, folks. You do not have to have the same number of people standing on each side.

However, if the imbalance bothers you, consider having people participate in a different way, such as sharing a reading, ushering or other ceremony related task.

You can get your attendants more involved with your wedding right from the start by asking for their help, confiding in them, and sharing your feelings.

Have your 'best people' with you!

Today ceremonies are becoming more unique and personal, and that is great because we are all different and your wedding should be an honest reflection of your life. There are still, however, some classic duties worth knowing.

  • While the best man traditionally holds the rings, more and more frequently the best woman, or any best person (terms I prefer to Best Man, Maid or Matron of Honor) can hold a ring. If a woman doesn’t have pockets, just put it on the thumb!
  • A best man or woman should be there right from the start to assist with various responsibilities, especially researching accommodations, transportation, and getting information for the license – all traditional groomsmen jobs. Today most grooms are completely involved in the wedding process start to finish, so his best person might be helping with just about anything.
  • Other attendants can be asked to help leading up to and including the wedding day with chores like parking, ushering, and generally assisting wherever needed. Be sure to be recognize and thank them at the reception –  individually and publicly – explaining who they are, and what they mean to you.
  • A fun task for any attendant is to collect memorabilia from the wedding such as programs, favors, guest book, or cake topper, all great keepsakes.
  • Bridesmaids should check in frequently with the bride throughout the party, and help her with her dress, hair and makeup, changing her clothes later, and giving her all the support she needs.
  • Groomsmen can be sure the get-away car is ready, and possibly decorate it, transfer the couple’s luggage to the car, and keep track of things like airline tickets.
  • Attendants can also look after elderly guests who may need assistance.
  • And finally, everyone should keep an eye on each other and discourage too much drinking. Encourage each other and the couple to drink plenty of water, so the couple will feel good the following day and no one says or does anything embarrassing.

Your attendants are your support network – use them wisely.

Make it work for you!

 

Thank you Lisa Rhinehart for the gorgeous photos.

 

 

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  • Blog Author

    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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