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How to Plan Your Wedding Party for Your Gay Wedding?

A traditional wedding party is pretty typical in the fact that the bride’s side would consist of all her female friends and relatives acting as bridesmaids or maid of honor and the groom’s side would consist of his brothers or male friends. That is what custom dictates and a traditional wedding does try to follow all the customs as much as possible.

But what is one supposed to do when it is a gay wedding? Obviously, a gay wedding party is as far from traditional as it can possibly be for a wedding to be. Since gay marriage was not even legal until a few years back, there are not a lot of customs or practices to fall back on for a gay wedding party.

We know that it can get pretty difficult to navigate the wedding party when two people of the same sex are getting married. A gay wedding party cannot follow all the customs of a traditional wedding. But you can always choose not to restrict yourself by rules and customs so that your special day becomes the most memorable day of your life.

lesbian couple holding hands in bridal gowns | How to Plan Your Wedding Party for Your Gay Wedding

MRD Photography

Choosing Members of Your Wedding Party in a Gay Wedding is Tricky…

One of the trickiest situations in a gay wedding arises when you are choosing the members of your wedding party. There are many traditions surrounding wedding parties and it can be confusing when you are torn between choosing to follow the rules and or break them for the sake of your own happiness.

We know that this kind of stressful decision-making can give rise to a lot of unwanted tension building up on the day of the wedding. One of the biggest decisions that a couple has to make is about who they should include in their wedding party. It is always the closest friends and relatives who make the cut for this honor that the bride or groom can bestow on them.

Being a part of the wedding party is also a kind of proof of the closeness you share with the couple getting married. But unlike a traditional wedding, choosing the members of a gay wedding party can be a lot more complicated. To help you out, we have put together a guide comprising of some commonly asked questions associated with gay wedding parties.

Question #1: Can you have bridesmen and groomswomen?

It may sound and look quite untraditional to have male members as a part of the bride’s wedding party or female members as part of the groom’s wedding party. However, for a gay wedding, this is one conservative tradition that can certainly be overlooked!

bridal party walking together | How to Plan Your Wedding Party for Your Gay Wedding

MRD Photography

There ought to be no gender disparity in choosing the members of the wedding party. You should be free to include anyone you want in your wedding party, be it men or women. The bottom line is to ensure that the couple is happy about having their close friends near to them so that they can share some special moments together.

Question #2: Do the parties have to be even?

This commonly asked question can be relevant for traditional weddings as well as gay weddings. It certainly looks better if there are an equal number of wedding party members on both sides. However, it may not always work for the best as one person may have a closer number of friends that he or she wants to include in his/her wedding party as compared to his/her partner.

In our view, this is one rule that does not hold a lot of importance even in a normal traditional wedding. To put it simply, it is not necessary for wedding parties to be even. It depends almost entirely on the couples’ preference as to who they want as part of their wedding party.

For example, it is fine if one of the partners has two groomsmen on his side and the other partner has three or four groomsmen on his. None of the partners should restrict the number of wedding party members they choose just because their partner does not have as many close friends or relatives that he or she wants to include as his wedding party members.

Question #3: Who walks with who down the aisle?

A gay wedding is different from a traditional wedding in many aspects of which the combinations of who walks down the aisle with who is one of the biggest ones. Traditionally, one member each from the bride and groom’s wedding party walk down the aisle together at a time.

However, at a gay wedding, it can be difficult to navigate this walk of the wedding party if there are mixed-sex parties. Any easy solution to this problem is to simply have each member of the wedding party walk down the aisle on their own. 

bridesmaids standing together | How to Plan Your Wedding Party for Your Gay Wedding

Question #4: Can you have mixed-sex parties?

It is not uncommon for a gay couple to feel restricted about inviting members of the opposite sex to become a part of their wedding party. However, there is really no need to restrain yourself as it is perfectly okay to have mixed-sex parties.

For example, if the couple getting married is male, they can very well include their sisters or close female friends as part of the wedding party along with their male friends and relatives. After all, what matters most is that nobody should feel left out simply because the couple decides to differentiate between their friends on the basis of their sex.

The entire idea of having a wedding party is to ensure that the couple is able to have his closest friends around him when he needs them the most.

Question #5: What do groomswomen or bridesmen wear?

In a traditional wedding, the choice of dress for the bridesmaid is entirely up to the bride. Similarly, in a gay wedding too, it is up to the couple to decide what the groomswomen or bridesmen should wear.

bridesman | How to Plan Your Wedding Party for Your Gay Wedding

MRD Photography

You can choose to coordinate the dresses/suits for everyone in both parties or you choose to have them wear different dresses/suits that also complement each other.

Our suggestion is to go for the latter option as that would look much more elegant rather than having all the women and men in both the wedding parties wearing the same thing.

What It All Boils Down to is What YOU Want

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is your wedding. You and your partner have been waiting for your big day for which you have probably planned for at least a year! Therefore, this is one day when you should not compel yourself to do anything that does not make you happy. Your wedding day is about what you want and what makes you happy.

two brides kissing | How to Plan Your Wedding Party for Your Gay Wedding

MRD Photography

It should not matter what the guests want or what tradition dictates. The members of the wedding party are the closest friends and relatives for the couple. It would not be fair to leave out anyone because of some age-old tradition that is irrelevant in today’s modern world. Just follow your heart and do what you want to do. It is your life to lead as you want.


We hope that our guide answers most of your questions regarding what is proper for a gay wedding. Even if there is something that we have missed out, just remember that what matters at the end of the day is that you should be happy on your wedding day.

Just do what you think is right and don’t bother about traditions and customs if you don’t feel they are right for you.

Do leave us a comment to let us know if you liked our ideas!

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Leave a comment

Mya Murphy
June 14, 2020 08:44

It’s 2020.. The sky’s the limit.. It’s time to let go of what used to be.. A wedding should be whatever the couple wants it to be.. Gay or heterosexual.

Alisha Dan
April 16, 2020 13:43

There’s honestly so many ways to do it and they all feel totally seamless from the audience. I recently went to a wedding with 2 brides and their bridal parties each consisted of 2 men and 2 women, so they alternated it that a man would walk a woman down the aisle traditionally, but they each got to keep their own friends on their side. It worked out wonderfully and no one paid the change too much thought.

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