More and More, modern couples are getting rid of the traditional wedding party altogether. Instead, they just invite their favorite people to attend as guests, avoiding a wedding party entirely. If you aren’t a fan of dividing your friends along gender lines, then there is no hard and fast rule that you must have a wedding party. However, you may want to consider a mixed gender, or gender blind wedding party which is becoming trendier with time. Doing something because it’s trendy isn’t the sole reason to do something, rather this trend reflects the progressive notion that gender is on a spectrum and these gendered traditions are on the way out for more couples. Emily Monus of Emily Monus Events, said, “Let’s refocus the conversation on releasing incredibly outdated expectations on what a wedding party should look like and encourage people to choose people that are important to them.”
In this post, we will discuss why you should have a mixed gender wedding party, and how to invite LGBTQ+ loved ones to participate in your groom’s club. We will explore language, colors, and honorifics and ways to make these invites more inclusive to guarantee a yes from your favs. We have discussed gifts for your gender neutral wedding party in another post, so be sure to check that out as well. But first, let’s discuss the benefits of a mixed gender wedding party, and why you should consider having one.
First and most importantly, it is 2022 and you should have the people you love standing next to you on your big day, regardless of gender. Maybe you’re a straight guy with a lesbian best friend, or you have a lot of sisters. Maybe you and your fiancé are LGBTQ+ and you want your wedding to reflect your chosen family. It is your wedding, and you should personalize it as such. If you and your partner have a close overlapping group of friends, you may also have versatility in how they enter and where they stand as an illustration of long lasting friendship.
You will also gain a variety of perspectives that maybe will catch something you did not think of from big picture to details. It is also trendy, as aforementioned, so it is reasonable that people will be more open to this kind of nontraditional wedding. If they are not, then it is up to you to invite them to the reception or not at all. Nobody should be upset on their wedding day. It is a day to celebrate love, and what better way to honor that than by having your besties by your side.
Perhaps this is more important for the LGBTQ+ community as a declaration of love, in front of friends, family, and community, that this is how you want to spend your lives together. In a lifestyle so fraught with conflict and hate, shift the paradigm back to love. Now, let us take a closer look at how exactly to invite your LGBTQ+ loved ones to be a part of your groom club.
Language is funny sometimes, in that words can have power or evoke emotions. They can mean different things regionally or even culturally. So, this is a good place to start with invitations for inclusivity. In general, you want to avoid traditional honorifics like “Mr. and “Ms.” Instead, just use their preferred name to add a caring and personal touch.
In addition, you may want to avoid gendered names like best man, in favor of something like, “Person of Honor” or even “groomswoman.” Think about what works for your configuration on both sides, and even ask your wedding party for help in this aspect. That is one of the benefits of a wedding party, after all. You may also list these invitations as “Honor Attendants” as a “group of wedding party” is too traditional. It is gender neutral, and elevates the status of your wedding party as VIPs.
You do not necessarily need to include this information on the actual invitation to join your groom’s club, but it is worth noting that attire is versatile too. If it would make sense to ease some anxiety for gender fluid friends, you may want to include something about attire, like wear whatever you like in burgundy. Or one side is one color dress and suits, while the other side is a different color dress and suits, for a more traditional two sided look. You can also just leave a note that attire will be to comfort level to acknowledge that you and your partner are aware this is a point to be addressed. Then, you can confer with your wedding party about what that will actually look like once they say yes.
Another point to consider when inviting LGBTQ+ guests to be in your groom’s club is accessibility. Make sure to be clear that any accommodations will be provided, such as wheelchairs, interpreters, or that support animals are allowed. Make your friends as comfortable as possible by removing any barriers that would prevent them from participating. Lastly, be willing and open to answering any questions they may have before committing to participating in your groom’s club. You can prepare a FAQ sheet if you wish, but it is not necessary. More likely, your honored invitees will be overjoyed to celebrate in this way with you and your partner.
Also consider the color of the invitations to avoid blue and pink, specifically. Instead, consider pastel yellow or mint green, or even gray. The key here in all aspects is making the invitations gender neutral, and that includes presentation, not just words. This Something like this still honors the love that is present and being celebrated, without the feminine frills, or masculine overtones.
Now, that said, maybe your specific crowd is all about the glitter bombs and pop up rainbows. If so, then go for it! You are the expert here. Maybe a Pride Wedding is exactly what you’re going for and your friends will appreciate that more. You have the ability to be as reserved or stylish as you wish. Like every aspect of wedding planning, it has your name on it whether it is visible or not. This is your time to show personality, how well you know your potential wedding party, and encourage them to agree to be part of your groom’s club. This should be seen as fun, and an honor, not as work.
Lastly, you can choose to personalize each invitation with a short message about why you are choosing this person to be in your groom’s club. You can address your friendship, your favorite thing about them, or even just a handwritten “say yes to the groom’s club!” With all of these tips and ideas, we are sure you will knock it out of the park with your LGBTQ+ loved ones. Just remember, the financial and time commitment it takes to be in a wedding party, so even if you make the best requests in the world, some still might not be able to commit. Do your best not to take it personally, and maybe find another honorable role for that person with less stress.
Now, you have the people, you have the ideas, and you have the plan. So, it is time to get to work. Just remember to be inclusive, be mindful and be respectful of everyone involved. If this is not in your wheelhouse, you may want to consider consulting a professional with a specialty in inclusive weddings. And, once you get those highly desired Yeses from your people, it’s time to think about thank you gifts for the Honor Attendants. Again, we have a separate article dedicated to gender-neutral gifts that would be a great place to start looking for ideas. Functional gifts may be the ticket here, but definitely let the creativity come to you.
Also, don’t forget to use Google Calendar to prioritize and schedule wedding-related events, meetings, or outings so that you can coordinate with your groom’s club or wedding party. Tell Jennifer it starts at 3 so she will be on time at 4. With virtual meetings becoming more popular, it can save a lot of frustration to do certain things online. While you can’t try on attire over Zoom, it will cut back on much of the additional time and money that goes into planning a successful wedding. These would be good for discussing the processional, the ceremony, and where everyone will stand, or even sit. You have your work cut out for you, and once you have the support of your clan, you can really start the fun parts of planning your dream wedding.
Best of luck!