By: Mark Kingsdorf 

Seems that not a month goes by without someone asking me questions about how to deal with this particular situation… it’s happening more and more, in all kinds of weddings.

I can remember the first time we had honor attendants {yes, that’s actually the more PC term} – it was over 5 years ago and I knew of no one who would dare cross the gender lines in a bridal party.

Her brother was her best friend and her only attendant and his sister likewise – it was BEAUTIFUL! No fuss, she wore a gown and carried a bouquet; he wore a tux, a boutonniere and lined up next to his sister.

Since that time, we’ve done much bigger bridal parties, ceremonies of all faiths and have had men and women on both sides of the aisle…

Here are some great tips on how to make this work:

  • Don’t sweat making the pairing of couples work, there are lots of times we’ve had two ladies with one guy and one lady with two guys…
  • You eliminate some issues with processionals if you have the groom and his honor attendants enter from the side or have them in place before the processional starts and have the brides attendants enter single file.
  • When dressing ladies on the groom’s side you have several options – a) wear gowns in a complimentary style and color to the ladies on the bride’s side, b) wear black gowns to match the gentleman’s tuxedo in the same style the ladies are wearing or c) wear tuxedos to match the gentleman (they actually make long skirts to go with a tuxedo).
  •  The ladies will generally carry a bouquet similar in style and color to the ladies on the bride’s side – the wrap can be the same as the other or black to coordinate with the tuxedo or you could give them a boutonniere to coordinate with the men.
  • When dressing the gentleman on the bride’s side a tuxedo is appropriate – boutonnieres would match the other gentleman in the wedding. Their ties, vests or cummerbunds can either match the gentleman on the bride’s side or if the grooms attendants are wearing basic black, the brides attendants can choose a color to compliment the gowns of the ladies in the bridal party

All in all there are no hard, fast rules when it comes to attire or what they carry – merely suggestions on what has worked in the past and what will slightly set them apart without looking out of place…

The basic rule of good etiquette comes into play here – whatever makes people the most comfortable!

So don’t sweat having your brother or male best friend in your bridal party or the groom’s sister or best friend in his bridal party… it’ll all work out!