If you know anything about the Infinite Wedding Co, you’ll know that we love to fly the flag for inclusivity in the wedding industry. For too long, we’ve been told that weddings have to look a certain way. A bride in a white dress, a groom in a smart suit. The father of the bride walks her down the aisle. There are bridesmaids on one side and groomsmen on the other. The bride tosses her bouquet. We all enjoy a slice of cake.
But modern life doesn’t look like this, and it’s about time that the wedding industry catches up. One of the first things that we think should be dropped from the wedding industry is gendered terminology for the roles in a wedding. In this blog, we’re going to explore why gendered terms are problematic, and what you can do to eliminate them from your wedding.
Why are gendered terms problematic for the wedding industry?
Gendered terms are problematic and outdated for so many reasons, but our biggest concern is that they are so limiting. A person shouldn’t feel restricted to only having individuals who identify with a particular gender in their wedding party. For starters, not all weddings involve a man and a woman. So by getting rid of gendered language, you’re already including far more people in the wedding template.
Gendered language also makes people feel that they don’t belong, which can be hard to overcome. It can lead individuals to feel they have to shape their wedding in a particular way just to meet the expectations of those attending. But when you dig a little deeper, you’ll soon realise that no one really cares. The people in attendance on your wedding day are the people who care about you the most.
It’s also important for those in the wedding industry to learn to adapt to these gender-neutral terms. If wedding vendors fall back on the default of assuming there is always a bride and a groom, then they will instantly alienate a large percentage of their potential audience. We can’t ignore the fact that language matters. Instead, those in the wedding industry should learn to default to gender-neutral language to ensure that everyone feels included.
What terms can we use instead?
If you want to banish gendered language from your big day, try these words instead.
Did you know you don’t have to use gendered terms to refer to your other half? So forget about stressing over whether you’re a fiance or a fiancee and stick to the gender-neutral term going forward. Other excellent choices include partner, significant other and couple. When you’re married, referring to them as your spouse is also perfectly gender-neutral.
First up, let’s get rid of the “bride and groom”, “bride and bride”, “groom and groom” awkwardness and simply enjoy a simplified term. Nearlyweds is a cute play on newlyweds and doesn’t refer to the gender identity of either partner.
Best person/ person of honour
No, you don’t have to be called the “best man” or “maid of honour”. Yes, you will still be expected to be the first on the dance floor and embarrass the couple with your after-dinner speech.
Planning a bachelor or bachelorette party? Why not keep things neutral with a bachelorx party? Pronounced “Bachelor-ex”, this is a gender-neutral term that will ensure no one feels excluded from the celebrations.
When you don’t want to split up the hen and the stag party, you’re going to want to celebrate your “sten party”. This is the perfect gender-neutral term for a big party before the wedding that everyone is invited to.
Ring bearer/ flower person
Younger relatives are often given the prestigious role of flower girl and ring bearer. But why not switch things up and let a boy carry the flower petals and let a girl carry the ring? Better yet, let them share the job. You could also choose an adult friend or family member to carry out this task. By removing the gendered language, you open this job up to everyone.
The “I Do” Crew
Drop the bridal party and groomsmen labels and instead adopt the more gender-neutral term The “I Do” Crew. At the end of the day, their job is to get you down the aisle and make sure you say “I do” (or the equivalent) so it’s far more descriptive than anything else.
The words we choose matter. And if you don’t think it matters very much, then it’s likely that you have never felt excluded by language. Using gender-neutral terms as the default will make a huge difference to the LQBTQ+ community and ensure that everyone feels welcome and included in the wedding industry.
Ready to start planning your LQBTQ+ friendly wedding? We’re here to help in any way we can. From connecting you with LQBTQ+ friendly suppliers that will support your dreams, to helping you to define your wedding aesthetic. Get in touch today to learn more.
Debbie and Becca x