How to Pull Off a Mixed Gender Bridal Party

When it comes to your bridal party, the old rules no longer apply. You can have more bridesmaids than groomsmen, and — surprise! — your "maids" can include a few men too. As weddings get less traditional and more personal, having mixed gender bridal parties just makes sense. If you're considering having a mixed-gender bridal party and aren't sure how to make it work for you, read on for our tips.

1. Attire
When it comes to formal wear, we recommend you style each side of the aisle. Traditionally, a couple might put bridesmaids in pink dresses and groomsmen in navy suits and pink ties. In this situation, the guys on the bride's side could wear grey suits with the same pink tie as those on your partner's side, while a woman on your partner's side could wear a navy blue dress that matches the men's suits and a pink scarf or corsage.

Having one color represent each side and choosing slightly different suits or gowns across the aisle will signify which side each person is on, and help your guests identify who's who. In the photo below, bridesmaids are in white dresses and the groomsmaids are wearing chambray.

mixed gender bridal party
Photo Credit: Sasithon Photography via Lover.ly

2. Getting Down the Aisle
If you and your partner have equal numbers of men and women on each side (i.e. you each have two gals and two guys), you could still have opposite-sex couples walk down the aisle together. Otherwise, you can have each person walk alone, or just have a few same-sex pairs (which is so not a big deal). They can simply walk without linking arms, just like ushers (a role typically fulfilled by two men) do.

Another creative idea? One recent groom who had guys and girls standing up for him had all his pals walk down the aisle in groups of two and three; then all of the bride's friends entered in groups of two and three.

mixed gender bridal party
 Photo Credit: Brett Arthur Weddings on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly

3. The Pre-Wedding Parties
When it comes to a bachelorette party or a pre-wedding brunch, we think there's always room for one more! If you want to cater to a mixed-gender crowd, opt for a non-traditional bachelor or bachelorette party. Or just make it a co-ed affair! You could also give your friends the option just to come to one portion of your party (hello, dinner and cocktails) but skip the rowdier antics later (see ya later, half-naked fireman).

And if and your partner are close with each other's people, consider inviting them to your more gender-specific events. For example, your man of honor could skip the pre-wedding mani and go get an old-fashioned shave with the groomsmen, and the groomsmaids might love to stop by your ladies-only bridal shower.

pre-wedding party
Photo Credit Studio 222 Photography on Glamour and Grace via Lover.ly

4. The Bridal Party Gifts
If you were thinking of giving your bridesmaids necklaces but are worried about what to give your bridesman, don't stress! There's no rule that says the gifts have to match perfectly. We suggest giving him a nice gift that's slightly similar (e.g. a watch if you give the girls necklaces, or nice PJs if you give the girls matching rompers).

You could also give everyone standing up for you and your partner the same gender-neutral gift; both men and women will appreciate a bottle of bubbly and a cool set of drinking glasses, a cozy blanket, a foodie-friendly gift basket, or a hip art print.

kate spade glasses
Photo Credit: Kate Spade via Lover.ly

5. What to Call Them
Groomsmaids, bridesmen, man of honor, best woman...or something else entirely! Choose a term you (and they) are comfortable with and don't overthink it.

bride with groomsmen
Photo Credit: Emilia Jane Photography on Heart Love Always via Lover.ly

Tell Us: Would you have a mixed gender bridal party?

— Rachel W. Miller

 


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