Who says that you can only have your gal pals by your side when you tie the knot? Keep your best guy friend where he belongs on your big day by making him a “bridesman” or even the “man of honor.” Your fiancé can do the same by including a “groomsgal” on his side of the altar.

More couples today are bucking tradition and mixing it up with their attendants according to Leanne Valdes, founder of Chicago-area You Name It Events. She says it’s silly to think all couples have only same-gender friends or family members they would want to include in their wedding parties.

“Let go of the idea that your wedding party needs to be balanced or equal. Instead, focus on the reason why you are choosing those people to stand with you on your wedding day,” she says.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you opt for a co-ed bridal party:

1. The Pre-Wedding Festivities

A lingerie-filled bridal shower? Might not be his cup of tea. Visiting a male strip club for the bachelorette party? Again, ask before assuming he’s down. Ultimately, you want to make sure your whole bridal party is comfortable participating in the events leading up to your big day – it’s supposed to be fun for everyone.

2. His Wedding Wardrobe

Since he probably won’t want to rock a matching dress, you need decide what your bridesman will wear. Roles can really be adjusted to what makes sense to you and your crew.

You could simply have your bridesman wear the same suit and tie as the groomsmen. Or you can coordinate his attire with the bridesmaids’ dresses. Another option: wedding parties choose different colored clothing to signify bride’s side or groom’s side.

Also consider the flowers. Will his boutonniere match that of the groomsmen, or will it reflect the bridesmaid’s bouquet instead? Some brides have even had their bridesmen carry their own bouquet like the rest of the bridal party.

3. Getting Ready on the Big Day

Think about the bridesman’s personality with regard to when he should join the group to begin getting ready on the big day.

Some men would be more than happy to join bridesmaids during hair and makeup time and may be beneficial in helping the bride prepare. Others are more comfortable either getting ready solo or with the groomsmen. Consult your bridesman and offer up a few options.

Photo courtesy of Roberto Falck Photography

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