Wedding Party

Having Groomsmen Instead of Bridesmaids?

Hey everyone!  I searched a bit for an answer to this question, but came up empty handed.  My question is:  Is it alright for me as a bride to have groomsmen instead of bridesmaids?  How about a mixed party of groomsmen and bridesmaids?  I figure that the answer will be that I should, of course, have whoever I choose in my bridal party because it is about who really matters and not some other criteria.  I just wanted to hear some ideas or words of wisdom to steel me against the inevitable blowout I'm going to experience from my very conservative, traditional FMIL.  All I know is that I have a handful of life-long male friends that I would rather have standing beside me than my sweet, but less-close female friends.

And yes, I know my wedding is a little over a year and a half out, and trust me, I haven't dared to ask ANYONE to be in my bridal party yet, but this is something I have been thinking on for a bit, and I figured why not ask now while I can ponder over it than when it is actually time for me to make the decision officially.  :)

Thanks in advance!

Re: Having Groomsmen Instead of Bridesmaids?

  • Pick whomever is closest to you, regardless of gender.  If that's all men, or a mixture of men and women, that's fine.  Men standing on your side would be called "bridesmen", "bridal attendants," or something similar.
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  • Your idea sounds great!

    It's none of FMIL's business. Do you even have to tell her that you'll have male attendants? Can you just say "I have some awesome friends in my wedding party" and change the subject? If it comes up and she biitches about it, just say "Sorry you feel that way" and ignore her. Don't even fuel the fire.

    Is she paying for any of the wedding? If she's really stubborn and threatens to pull her money if you don't have all female bridesmaids, be prepared to pay for that portion of the wedding yourselves.
  • Aerinpegadrak, who knew that they would be called bridesmen!  You learn something new every day!  Thanks for the fun fact!

    Mbcdefg, at this time, my family is paying for the traditional bride expenses, and his family is paying for traditional groom expenses.  That, of course, could change as we really get into the meat of our planning, but as of now, my family would be covering this part of the wedding.  We'd just like for her not to be out of line come the home stretch when she realizes that there is a bridal party full of men and that all of her dreams of traditional wedding glory for her "golden child" son have gone up in smoke.  Granted, I know we can't control her reaction and that is one of those things we just have to take a deep breath and let go, but if we could minimize this in any way, it would just be nice, y'know?
  • Would photos help persuade her that this isn't an awful or uncommon thing? I know a lot of girls here had male attendants and I'm sure they'll happily share photos with you. probably has a ton, and Google Image Search will probably pull up a bunch as well.
  • I actually have one "Bridesman" (is what I am calling him) with four Bridesmaids so I obviously see no problem with it.  :)
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  • Oh my gosh!  I'm so glad I'm not the only one having a hard time with this!  My best friend is a guy and I feel like it would be a slap in his face to have a bunch of girls stand up for me just because it's more traditional. 

    My FI and my families are both pretty conservative (mine being from the deep south and his is from Orange Co.), but he agrees that it should be who means the most to me, not what looks more conventional.  So I decided that I'm going to have three girls and two guys, and I'll have them alternate down the aisle, so it's not just a bunch of guys (mine and my FI's).  Would something like that work for you?  And good luck with the rest of your planning!
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  • Go for it, ladies. I had my best friend (a guy) stand with me, and it worked out fabulously. Your wedding day is about you, and the people you love, so if your best friends happen to be guys, it's completely acceptable to have them stand with you.

    It's really becoming quite common to have mixed sides.
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  • Yep. I agree with everyone! I am doing it as well. Your best friend is your best friend. It doesn't matter what the gender is.
  • Forget "tradition", forget what you're "supposed" to do. Have who you want on your side. If it rattles somebody's cage, that's their problem. There were always people telling me "it's your day" all the time, and still giving me an odd look when I said my brother was my best man (man of honor just sounds so made-up). Don't worry about matching up genders on sides either. Your bridal party consists of adults, they can walk down the aisle however your guys want.
    For now, I wouldn't worry about what people "expect" your WP to be. Ask who you want to be on your side. It will mean more to you and your friends.
    Night swimming in the ocean= pretty sweet reception!
  • Technically you can't have groomsmen if you're not the groom, but all or some of your attendants can absolutely be men.
  • Thanks everyone for the wonderful opinions, support and fun facts!  There is the possibility that I could have a mixed party because my FI and I want to include his sister in the WP.  He knew that I might have bridesmen instead of bridesmaids, however when we talked about it this weekend he said, "Well, I could always have groomsmaids and ask my best girl friends to stand with me!"!  It was a funny moment to say the least!  Although, I wouldn't suggest for him to have groomsmaids solely because he IS closer to his guy friends than his girl friends, and the guys would be very hurt if they weren't asked to be a part of our big day, whereas the girls wouldn't expect it.  If he were closer to his female friends then I'd totally be encouraging it.  But, I'm getting a little OT now.

    Either way, thanks again!  Keep the great thoughts, opinions and personal stories coming!  I really enjoy hearing them!
  • My brothers stood on my side, and it really wasn't a big deal.  It was partly due to the fact that my FI has just too many friends that had to be up there, and it would been probably 7 guys to 4 girls.  Still, it was fine.  No one said a word about it to me, and really we didn't even mention it until a couple days before the ceremony.  By then, there were much bigger things to worry about than who was standing where. 

    I have a pic in my married bio with my bros standing with the girls, if you want an idea of how it looks.
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  • I think it's a great idea. I just went to a wedding this summer where the bride had a guy on her side and the groom had a girl on his side (in addition to other bridesmaids and groomsmen). Since it was balanced it worked perfectly.
  • Its so comforting to know that people are going through the same thing! I'm having 4 "bridesmen" and 2 bridesmaids and my grooms family is not so accepting of the idea. They are very traditional, and I pretty much had to tell them its our wedding and our day and we are going to do it how we want. We told them if they didnt like it, they didnt have to pay for anything! Go for it!!!
  • My pal Roger is one of my bridesmen; my other one is going through a painful divorce and had to drop out.  The woman who would have been a groomswoman is too ill to attend, so we're going to visit and bring the wedding to her. 

    FMIL can throw herself another wedding and have all girls anytime she wants; it's a free country!
  • Is it alright for me as a bride to have groomsmen instead of bridesmaids?  How about a mixed party of groomsmen and bridesmaids?

    Absolutely! Choose whoever you want in your party, it doesn't have to be gender-specific. :)

    If it helps, I'm having my brother and sister on my side, and until recently, FH was going to have his female cousin and step-sister on his. (Step-sister can't come, unfortunately, so it's just his cousin for now.) We both pulled a switcheroo, with a bridesman and a groomswoman. ;)
  • For what it's worth, I have 6 people in my bridal party, and one of them is a man.  I chose him because he's one of my closest friends and was even there on the day I met my fiance.  It seemed wrong to exclude him.  So, I didn't. 

    So, I say, go for it!

  • I say go for it! All my closest friends are male, so I have 4 Bridesmen and a Best Man. My dear sister would have added some estrogen, but she's officiating! I see no problem with it - I wanted the people that I'm closest to with me, and that just happened to mean all guys.
  • I have bridesmen in my wedding party as well.  I chose to have three closest girlfriends and then my 2 closest guy friends and my brother on my side of the wedding party.  My fiance has his 2 brothers and 4 best friends.  So in total we have 9 guys and 3 girls.  I think it's awesome and I couldn't agree more with you about picking a girl just to have a girl when in reality you have guy friends you are closer with 
  • I am getting married on September 18th and we are having two guys and a girl on each side. At first this caused little strife between me and my fiance because he wanted the sides to be symetrical with all girls on one side and all guys on the other (he's more traditional than me) and I refused to not have my three best friends on my side. But everything has worked out. He asked his other guy friends to be ushers. We're having all the guys stand at the front on either side and the two girls will walk down the aisle like bridesmaids and then split off to their sides.

    About our wedding:
  • I think as long as your husband is okay with it then thats all that matters. If your best friends are male, then so be it and they should be the ones standing beside you on your special day! 

    - T
  • I was a bridesmaid in a wedding a few months ago in which my friend had 2 bridesmaids and 1 bridesman stand up with her. Her groom had 3 groomsmen also, and the funniest part was watching the bridesman and one of the groomsman walk down the aisle next to each other (they didn't hook arms, although that would have been hilarious! They did threaten to pose at the end of the aisle lol). It was an untraditional service in many ways... The priest almost forgot about the ring exchange after the vows! At any rate, it worked out beautifully and no one thought twice about having a man stand next to the bride. His attire was a great match between our bridesmaid dresses and the groomsmen's suits, also. I agree completely with PPs... your closests friends - gals or guys - should be sharing that day with you!
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  • My brother will be a bridesman along with my two closest female friends.  My fiance will have his brother and our two closest mutual friends as groomsmen.  We were both okay with having my brother as a bridesman, as long as he was comfortable doing it. We offered him the choice to stand by my side, or on my fiance's side, since they are good friends.  We didn't care if the wedding party looked lop-sided.  He chose to stand with me and my ladies!  Also we promised he will get a special hat or something to distinguish him as bridesman, and he really liked that idea.
  • Okay, yes, you should have whomever you feel closest to.  Its your special day and hopefully it only happens once in a lifetime.  You are marrying the GROOM, not his family.  If he is okay with you having bridesmen, you shouldn't worry about his parents, they will get over it.  If your groom is uncomfortable with it, that is a little more difficult situation.

    But, an easy way to solve that problem is to do what you said and just mix them up.  I have several friends who had a mix and you just walk down the aisle a little differently but it turns out beautifully. 

    I have a bridesman on my side, along with five girls.  Everyone picked on me in the beginning and voiced concerns, but after standing my ground and through the planning process, every single one of them has begun to support me...even the in-laws.  Just go with what you and your groom feel are best because you never want to look back and wish you had done it differently.  This is your marriage, you can't let anyone else dictate it, especially not before it even begins.  I hope this helps :)
  • Darn right you can!

    I'm a whopping 95 days out from my big day.  Besides me and the flowergirl there is only one other female in the wedding party...TOTAL.  My brother is my Man of Honor, my dear friend Maria and her husband (who is my co-worker) are in my wedding party, and my bestfriend/ex college roommate Khan, total out my wedding party.  I don't care for one second what anyone thinks of it, because the ONLY thing that matters is that the people who are standing next to me the day I get to marry my most wonderful fiance are those people I know love and support me the most.

    And anyone who thinks anyone different can keep their trap shut.

    ~Brandy :-)

    ps:  Cheers and best wishes for your big day!  Don't stress...the only people you need to worry about making happy are you and your future husband.  Repeat that mantra daily, and you'll stress a lot less.
  • I'm having one of my best guy friends on my side and my Fiance is having 2 girls on his side! 

    It's all about who is closest to you!! 
  • Go for it!  My fiance is having a groomsmaid.
  • My three brothers are my BRIDESMEN and my fiance will have two GROOMSMAIDS standing up on his side along with his best man.
  • Oh, and I almost forgot to mention.

    I have also been a "groomsmaid" (stood with the groom) before.  The looks on people's faces were HILARIOUS....but it worked out really great!!
  • I have a lot of guy friends too, but I do have my close girl friends and family memebers that I wanted. So I actually have 7 bridesmaid (people just seem to pop out of nowhere!) and for my close guy friends I am giving them the option of being an usher or reading in the wedding. This is my way of still including those who are close to me.
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