Brides in straight weddings struggle over wedding party attire all the time. Should the bride let the girls choose their own dresses? Maybe all the same color but not the same style?
Does it have to flatter everybody? What length and fabric? So many choices. The guys suffer silently realizing that unless the groom wants to go to war with the bride, they’ll likely be wearing something in a coordinating color. But gay and lesbian weddings have opened up an entirely new door of opportunity (or a new closet maybe) of how to dress the bridal party at your wedding or commitment ceremony.

Let me begin by saying that just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you have to do anything non-traditional with your wedding party attire. Even if you’re mixing up which gender is standing where, you can dress the women alike and the men alike if you want. And we’ve had wedding couples that chose to do that, although I’ve noticed gay men tend to permit their female attendants to choose a flattering dress in a designated color more frequently than straight or lesbian brides. Girls are girls and most of us like to tell the ladies standing up for us what to wear. Bridal privilege. Grooms, not so much. They’re more concerned with comfort.

We had one gay couple with an entirely female wedding party who planned to dress them all like Robert Palmer girls – you know the video – black low cut suits with nothing under them. Hair slicked back and bright red lipstick. Would have made for incredible pictures. But apparently the girls chickened out – or rebelled. Either way, it didn’t happen. I thought it was a fun idea though. So the grooms let them create their own interpretations of black and white bridal attire and this picture shows how totally fun that turned out.

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A lesbian couple who both wore wedding gowns assigned the members of their wedding party different colors of the rainbow and let them put together their own outfits. Although the entire wedding party was female, some of the “bridesmaids” rocked very cute suits and ties and from a distance, looked like very fresh-faced cute boys.

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But it’s not just the gay weddings that are choosing attire for the comfort level of their gay wedding party members. It’s just not fair to shove some people into a traditional bridesmaid dress and heels. This video shows a really amazing wedding a couple weeks ago where the MoH was the bride’s lesbian cousin. She wore half of the same suit as the Best Man (I think she got the vest – too tiny for the pants). The MoH looked absolutely beautiful, wore a boutonniere in lieu of carrying a bouquet, and processed down the aisle just ahead of the bride in traditional fashion. It might not be what you see at every wedding, but it didn’t seem unusual at all in the context of what was otherwise a fairly traditional wedding, and the pictures are gorgeous. We even made a silly video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49kv9J5rAOc) of our experience battling the wind during that wedding you can watch here – the lovely MoH is featured prominently and you can see the way her outfit worked. It was great.

The upshot – there aren’t real rules any more about what bridesmaids and groomsmen have to wear. Especially for a destination wedding. There is good taste – but again, that’s up to my clients and not me to dictate when it comes to planning their weddings. If you want to tell your bridesmaids to “Hoe it up” like one of our gay couples did, you’ll get some pretty entertaining results. It makes for hilarious pictures but you might want to really think through whether you want those wedding pictures to be your memorial 50 years from now. Probably, you do. But give it some thought. Wedding photos are forever.

I’ve gotta admit that we’ve had more “white party” gay weddings than straight, but that’s just a fad from 30 years ago that’s making its way back across the board. Kinda like fondue. With that said, it’s a lot of fun to do everything white with rainbow touches. Watch out for glitter bombs!

Please take a minute and check out my new Sandy Malone website (www.sandymalone.com) – the “Ask Sandy” section might come in handy while you’re planning.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques (www.weddingsinvieques.com) and Weddings in Culebra (www.weddingsinculebra.com)!