I love hearing that brides and grooms having members of the opposite sex as their ‘Best Woman’ or ‘Bridesman’ is radically alternative. Really? Don’t we think it’s a little archaic to think that men and women in 2016 only ever have friends of the same sex?
It does make me laugh when I see all these flow charts on Pinterest giving guidance on: ‘How to Choose Your Bridesmaid’. To be honest I find this whole concept bizarre for many reasons. Maybe I’m odd but I’ve never needed a flowchart to know who my closest mates are? ANYWAY – I’ve noticed these charts and lists of worldly advice always just assume your bridesmaids will always be female and that the best ‘person’ for the groom will always be blokes, lads, MEN.
I must say I agree with this recent article in The Guardian which questions why women in 2016 would even want to be called ‘maids’. So I’ve decided to have a ‘squad’ rather than ‘bridesmaids’. I am probably being hypocritical by agreeing with the article above but still adopting some of the ‘traditions’ that are challenged within it for my squad, but I kind of think stuff it – I’m making up my own rules, finding the elements that seem to fit right for me.
One of my squad mates is a guy, one of my dearest friends, and I simply refuse to not include him purely because he is a man and that this apparently ‘defies tradition’. Call it a Bridesman, call it your Bridal Squad, Bridal Crew, or just your Mates, whatever – but don’t miss out just because it’s not ‘tradition’.
The whole concept of even having bridesmaids and best men can be seen a little as a high school popularity contest. On one end of the spectrum we have the ‘three times a bridesmaid never a bride’ load of crap, and on the other end people think that if you’ve never been a bridesmaid there is something slightly wrong with you and that you don’t have enough close friends. Please…..
The most amazing most down-to-earth bride I’ve heard of is more of a friend of a friend who I’ve had the pleasure to meet once or twice. Along with her fiancé, as a couple they are saying no to singling out particular friends as bridesmaids/ best men and also, rather touchingly, both the bride’s mother and father are walking her down the aisle.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that if you have bridesmaids then you’re not doing it right. If you want everyone to wear the same thing, to have Maids of Honour and bridesmaids and every piece of tradition under the sun then good for you – if that’s what you’re happy with. However, if the concept of bridesmaids, of wearing the same dress, of letting all the men around you make speeches rather than thanking your guests yourselves, leaves an odd taste in your mouth, then I hope you are able to speak up and have the wedding you want.
There are a whole bunch of depressing things about living in 2016, but oh so many positive things about the society in which we live today. I really hope most of us have enough freedom to feel empowered to go ‘off piste’ without being labelled as a radical and alternative bride. Sing to your own tune bridelings. In the words of our lovely friend Mother Pukka, show all your friends and family just what it was that attracted your life lobster to you in the first place.
You amazing, feel empowered YO!