In the last few years, weddings have experienced a significant rise in alternatives to the traditional bridal party, meaning no longer must people conform to a strict set of traditions regarding which guests to invite (or even if those guests even have to attend the wedding at all).
The bridal party, also known as the gang of helpers, is often reinvented by couples. The key is to surround yourself with people you love, as many or as few as you wish, be they friends, family, or even pets. We have put together this list of alternative bridal parties to inspire you if you’re thinking of doing something different from the typical uniformed line-up at your aisle.
Mention essential people on your website, in your message, or your program
Make your friends, siblings, cousins, and loved ones feel special by acknowledging their importance to you.
Ask each of your closest friends to wear a specific color
Make your “special people” stand out at the wedding by requesting that they wear a particular color before arriving at the altar instead of matching attire.
Make your future bridal party feel special
You can do this by giving them corsages, boutonnieres, anklets, or other unique items. You should make sure everyone at your wedding wears something that makes them feel special and allows others to recognize them.
Make sure to invite your special someone to your wedding day dinner
The evening before your wedding, a rehearsal dinner is typically held for a traditional wedding party. Your closest friends and family members should attend the dinner and speeches instead of your bridesmaids and groomsmen participating in a walk-through.
Spend a special day with your friends
Make your closest friends feel special on the day of the wedding by taking them to a spa day or brunch.
On your big day, be sure to have your friends with you in your dressing room
Even if your bridal party isn’t getting into matching outfits, why not have them roosting with you in the bridal suite? Bridesmaids spend their wedding morning getting ready with the bride. If you would like to convey their presence at the ceremony to the rest of the guests, they can travel with you to the ceremony site.
You might consider having your friends read or speak
Have your friends give toasts or share readings at your wedding if they are comfortable giving speeches or readings.
Mixed bridal party
Recently, mixed-gender wedding parties have gained popularity, giving rise to new terms like the best woman, groomsman, groomswoman, groomswoman, the man of honor, etc. Bridal parties are no longer one-size-fits-all, allowing couples to spend their special day with their closest friends and family members.
Have a maid of honor
It’s often the case that big bridal parties of the past were more popular due to celebrity culture. Today, however, wedding parties are usually a lot more trouble than they are worth. Many brides today prefer to have just one person standing next to them on the aisle as they walk down the aisle to remove much of the stress that can come with having to deal with a large group of people.
Don’t have any formal bridal party
As the number of wedding parties continues to decline due to Covid restrictions and some couples simply wanting to rid themselves of the stress of traditions like these, a growing number of couples are choosing to forego bridal parties entirely. However, you can ask a group to contribute to the ceremony or cover specific duties on the day. Even if you don’t want to be surrounded by your wingmen, having a backup is always nice.
Make your bridal party children-only
Your bridal party does not have an age limit, nor is there a restriction on how old they must be. Would you like to include your nieces and nephews? Have you ever dreamed of having your kids in the spotlight? Wouldn’t it be nice if they were all part of your bridal party? With all those adorable outfits, the pictures are going to be so cute!
You and your partner might have differing opinions about the size of your bridal party as you read this. While they may want five friends by their side, you may prefer to walk down the aisle with your three closest friends. Nothing is stopping you from having precisely what you want if you both want it. It wasn’t always the case that bridesmaids and groomsmen would walk down the aisle together, and if that’s not your vision for your wedding, you can forgo that tradition.
Grandparents or your mother
Is there something you want to do with your grandparents or a special responsibility for your parents? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were right there when you said your vows? You can’t help but be reassured by a mother’s presence while at the same time allowing us to spend more time with our closest women.
Make sure your pets are included
A pet-friendly wedding could be a good option for those who don’t want to organize family and friends on their big day and who want a special place for their pets. By now, you’ve probably guessed that the rule book is out the window, leaving you and your furry friends free to spend the day together. Still not convinced? Imagine the pictures!