The Wedding Party

Generally speaking, Sylvia and I don’t hold to tradition much. We’re not flat out against all traditions per se, but we often times ask why something should continue being a tradition if it doesn’t make sense to us. If we can’t find a good reason to keep it up, we just drop it entirely or at least temporarily until we can maybe get some more information that might change our minds. For example, we were temporarily against the idea of having Jordan almonds at the wedding until we got some back story/history on what they were about and now we really like the idea of having them. However, one of the traditions we couldn’t find a reason to keep was the idea of having our wedding party segregated by gender.

I believe Sylvia’s rough sentiment was, “they’re my guys, you can’t have them!” When we actually started talking about it more, we really really wanted our attendants to be with the person whom they had the stronger connection to, regardless of gender. Why should her oldest friend be on my side and my oldest friend be on hers? After doing some research, we determined that not only is it increasingly common to have mixed gender wedding parties, but that the general attitude leaning toward same gender parties really largely boils down to generation or societal background. Since “it’s just the traditional thing to do”, it didn’t pass our test of why we should do it in the first place. It’s really interesting too because it seems like opinions seem to still be pretty divided over whether it is more important to have the traditional bridesmaids/groomsmen or if it doesn’t matter and that those closest to you should stand with you regardless of their bits and pieces. It’s as though it’s a hot and current topic, but I haven’t really seen too many stories or articles making a big deal about it or even really pointing out that it’s a newer trend. It’s also interesting to me that I haven’t really heard much in the way of any basis for the tradition other than, “that’s how it’s always been done.” I can’t seem to find any stories or history as to why it’s a tradition other than it’s a tradition. It’s kind of weird really, but then again, maybe my research just isn’t good enough.

Also, since we weren’t going the way of bridesmaids or groomsmen, we wanted some way to distinguish each side. We could have gone with bridesmaids/bridesmen and groomsmen/groomsmaids, but the titles just sounded weird and cumbersome in that context. It made sense to us that we have just one title for either everyone or for each side. Also, ‘attendants’ sounded kind of stale, so we spent more time than I care to admit trying to come up with fun names for each side. And yes, it is a big deal getting married and we want it to be important and significant, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun with it, especially considering the kind of people that Sylvia and I are. That said, it was maybe a month or so ago that we were throwing out ideas for titles that could also work in place of “attendant” when we hit on some really good ideas. Sylvia decided she liked the idea of her side being “bodyguards” because then they’d be in a protective role and it’s all so very alliterative when you put together as “bride’s bodyguards.” I on the other hand, had a bit more trouble. I couldn’t find anything that just clicked or was as alliteratively as hers, but I liked the idea that I could attempt to boss my friends around for just one day even though they’d already know better than to actually do what I say. What encapsulates that idea more than a “minion”? It was more fun than I can truly relay in words to ask our closest friends to be our bodyguards and minions, especially since they all really loved the idea of not being separated from their close friend (us) and the titles were like the icing on top of everything else.

The other thing we discussed and figured out was that we wanted to keep the party small. We talked about having just one attendant for all of about 30 seconds and eventually settled on four each. Thankfully there wasn’t any sort of imbalance of the number of people that we wanted to have as attendants as that could have been particularly awkward or difficult to work with. Amusingly enough, both Sylvia and I each picked two girls and two boys for our parties, so everything is going to be very much divided down the middle as far as gender is concerned, it’ll just be divided across the aisle as well.

All in all, it was a pretty easy decision for us and thankfully everything just worked out and we didn’t have any serious drama. It very easily could have been a strange situation where one or more of our friends could have been not okay with the idea of being on the “wrong” side during the ceremony or they could have taken offence over the titles that we ended up wanting. Thankfully we’ve got such great friends with fantastic senses of humor. It’s almost as though they really like us!

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