I found putting together a “bridal party” really difficult. We knew we didn’t want the normal trappings of a bridal party (i.e. matching outfits, a bridal shower, a formal procession, etc.). Yet, we had tons of people that we felt strongly about involving in our ceremony. At first, I felt betwixt and between. My idea of a gay wedding party is a mixed gender group of gay and straight friends. But my four straight girl friends and one straight guy friend didn’t fit this mold exactly.
And my idea of a DIY wedding party is a bunch of friends that all have amazing talents (like baking professional looking wedding cakes) and a willingness to spend hours decorating. I didn’t have this either. My friends have talents, but some of those talents don’t lend themselves to wedding at all. Yet, in my mind, every bride had a best friend with a letterpress, except me. Almost all of my friends would be traveling in for the weekend, so I couldn’t ask them to take off more work so that they could help with last minute DIY projects. I had to let go of the idea of what I thought a gay or DIY wedding party was supposed to look and act like.
Instead I grouped Ginger and I’s friends and family into two groups: those who did have wedding related talents, and those we just want to include somehow. Then I made a list of all of the things bridal party people do. For example, holding my bouquet and giving a toast are two separate potential roles. My shy friend could hold my bouquet, and my outgoing, storyteller friend could do the toast. This is how the pieces ended up falling into place:
Roles for those with wedding related talents: singing, playing the guitar, giving toasts, giving a reading, helping with makeup and videotaping
Roles for the rest of our loved ones: four people to hold the huppah poles (Jewish wedding canopy), walking us down the aisle, holding my bouquet, presenting the rings, sharing a ceremonial glass of wine with us, and getting ready with the brides
I came to terms with the idea that this mix of people didn’t fit any of my preconceived notions about a bridal party. Yet, once I found a place for everyone, it didn’t matter. No one person is doing everything that a Maid of Honor would typically do, but who cares? Everyone has a place to be included, and I think they will be happy with what I came up with.
We asked many of these people in person to be in our wedding. But for the rest of my far flung girlfriends and some of Ginger’s girls, we are sending them little cards (pictured above). They say “Look how far we’ve come. Will you be in our wedding? Ginger and Wasabi are getting married on Saturday May 21, 2011 in a Jewish ceremony after sunset at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. You choose the dress. Invitation to follow.” I made them with a free template from Ruffled Blog, a free download from DaFont, and my gocco.