Alternative and gender-neutral wedding party names: adventure party, bridesmates, henchmen, and TONS more!

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alternative names for bridal parties
What the hell do we call all these awesome people!? (Photo by Poprock Photography)

With the rising popularity of gender-neutral wedding parties, and weddings without bridal parties, we need new terms for to the people who are helping you with all your wedding duties. We need alternative names for our wedding party  folks and attendants, because bridesmaids and groomsmen are just too limited! What happens when there's women on in a groom's party, or male bridal attendants? What about same sex weddings where neither spouse identifies as a bride? What about gender-neutral wedding attendant names for non-binary folks? We loves us some gender-blind wedding parties and nonbinary wedding attendants!

Here are a few of the creative alternative names for bridal parties that our readers and Tribesmaids have come up with:

We are having “I Do Crews” instead of bridesmaids/groomsmen/etc. We decided to be totally gender-neutral and focus on them as a collective group that has helped each of us as individuals. –Mo

There were a wide variety of thoughts that played into our decision to have an “adventuring party” rather than the traditional set of bridesmaids and groomsmen. First, that particular paradigm didn't shout FUN in the way that an Adventuring Party did. -Geoff

“We had a “Pew Crew” since our wedding was in a church.” -Donteatmenooo

We're having a Groom Squad and Bridespeeps, with men and women on both sides. –Gilly

My “maid of honor” is being called my “handmaiden.” The bridal party are “Friends of Honor.” –befuddledlife

I have a Brother of Honor and a Best Sister in the “stand up with us” roles, but I'm definitely think “Henchman” needs to be applied, perhaps liberally, to as many other “helpers” as possible. So awesome! –annarhoswen
Harbingers of wedding cheer.” –librobot

Because we are having a gender blind wedding party and one in which no one person is more or less important than the next one, we've been calling the group our “honor guard” and done away with the best titles. –daffogirl

My flowergirls are throwing leaves. I titled them “Ladies of the Leaf.” –elleluvsj

I've heard people use the collective terms “entourage” and “attendants.” Also, “Posse” and “bride's gang.” –ocelot
Bridesminions. It makes me feel like an evil villain. –bethany

While [our bridal party] were the traditional sexes for the roles, we didn't really think of them as matron of honour and best man, we really thought of them as co-conspirators. –lynn

Because my partner and I share our friends group so equally and aren't really significantly closer to some people more than others it would be weird to have friends pick sides. Instead we have “crew-mates.” (We asked them to be our crew mates with bottles of rum and personalized labels.) They'll be standing in a semi-circle around us instead of being on one side or the other. –Beth

Bridesmates and Groomsmates. – @bethany__claire

My male bridal party is called my Marital Squires. –bemyrecords

We went with “bridesbutler” for my male bridesmaid. –genevieve

We have an absolute shitload of people (20 total but they won't be standing up with us) and we're calling them The Committment Crew. –mcmullek

We have “bridesfolk” and “groomsfolk.”polkadotpeony

The Nuptial Cabinet? (Assign each an office, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, etc.)
Parliament? (House of Lords, House of… er… Ladies, each with a Speaker)
Wu-Tang Clan? (Ruff Ryders, G-Unit, etc.) –hungrygrad

My fiance came up with the brilliant idea of calling our crew our “Matrimony Homies.” I was delighted by this and immediately requested ridiculous things like Matrimony Baloney, a Matrimony Pony, Matrimony Footlong Coney, etc. Anyway! This was a good way for us to incorporate both our bridesmaids/groomsmen as well as our officiant, who is a friend. -Anonymous

I knew someone who had all “Maid/Matrons of [Name]” because she didn't want her two besties fighting over who was the Maid of Honor. – Maribeth

I am stoked to be calling my pals the Bride’s Coven. – Jessica

Maid of Awesome (she really is). Best Band (we had several bands, but only one was there to stand up with the groom). Best Bouncer (he greeted guests and directed them to their tables). – Ragani

Queen's Guard and King's Court. – @pucksaplenty

We had our “best people”…Simple & also true. – @janecarnall

“Hitchin crew” or “support tribe”. – @deborahlilleycelebrant

At our wedding, we used “VIPs” and had mixed gender wedding parties! And the “person of honor” was VVIP – @me_hoy_minoyyy

What gender neutral (or alternative) titles did you use for your wedding party?

photography: Poprock Photography

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Comments on Alternative and gender-neutral wedding party names: adventure party, bridesmates, henchmen, and TONS more!

  1. Because our wedding is Steampunk themed (squeee!) we’re going with “Airship Crew” for all those who we’re asking to stand and “Airstrip Landing Squad” for those who are significantly pitching in with decor, detail, and baking help. Yay!

    • I totally love the matrimony homies idea but what would your name the flower girls and ushers ?

  2. Since ours is heavy on the Norse mythology and practice, I have sheildmaidens/man. Literally. Like, carrying shields. Also calling the girl members valkyries because they’ll have feathers in their hair.

    Overall, our party is our “Guards,” but I /really/ like the Adventuring Party. STEALING.

  3. I called mine my “crew” or my “crazy filters” to help offset any irritating relatives.

  4. I’m using the term “Best Woman” for the female friend who will be standing right next to me. I think Maid/Matron of Honor are outdated terms anyway since they are based on the woman’s marital status, which I really don’t give a damn about at all.

    I have another friend who had her youngest brother stand with her in her first wedding. He was simply called her “Honor Attendant.”

    BTW, I love the word “entourage” for the wedding party!

  5. I had too many awesome girlfriends to make a reasonably sized wedding party, so they became my Bridal Brain Trust. Mine are all girls, but it would work for bridal parties of any gender!

  6. I had too many awesome girlfriends to make a reasonably sized wedding party, so they became my Bridal Brain Trust. Mine are all girls, but it would work for bridal parties of any gender!

  7. We’re calling our group the Honor Guard. Everyone IN it though seems a little confused. Although they are offbeat too they haven’t experienced that in regards to weddings, so they aren’t quite sure what to think. They keep asking what are the girls called and the guys called? I think I’ll incorporate offbeat titles for each gender, but I can’t think of what. They are friends to both me and FH so I don’t want to separate them like Bridesminions. I do like Henchman though for the guys.

  8. My partner and I are organizers in a revolutionary socialist group, so of course, we ended up with “The People’s Wedding Battalion”

    I’m also Jewish, so we will have Chuppah holders, who will be the literal foundation upon which our relationship was built

    • that is awesome! my partner and i have been trying to think of something similar, though the naming job may go to my slightly more creative best man.

      ever since we were kids though my chief bridesmaid and i decided we would be each others “maids of horror” – probably because we know the most embarrassing, horrific stories about each other 😉

  9. I didn’t want to choose between my two best friends, so I’m having a Maid of Honour and a Maid of Awesome!

  10. We called our folks the Awesome-teers. My maid of honor and his best man were “C0-Captains Awesome.” We referred to them as “Susan’s Captain Awesome” and “Jerry’s Captain Awesome.” This was especially groovy since we had mixed gender parties and gender queer folks. 🙂

  11. My brother is my ‘dude of honor’ in my wedding, and my fiancé’s sister is his ‘best woman’!

  12. I went to a wedding this weekend, and instead of a maid of honour, the bride had a bridesman and some bridesmaids. The groom had groomsmen and a groomsmaid. It was cute.

  13. I used the term attendants but then during our pictures, my photographer called my guy attendant my “bro-maid” and I fell in love with the term!

  14. Our “bridal party” consists of just 1. My best mate, and I have dubbed her my Bridal SideKick. Because everyone knows its the side kick that really saves the day 🙂

  15. Throughout the process of planning and throwing the wedding, the terms varied day to day, but most commonly, my husband and I referred to our people as our honour party or honour attendants, owing both to the fact that I had a guy friend standing on my side and the fact that I detest the heteronormative implications that are so embedded in wedding culture. Just because my husband and I happen to be in a heterosexual relationship (note: I did not even say we happen to be heterosexual) does not mean that it’s the only kind of relationship there is. We scrapped the tradition of creating artificial couples from each side of the isle, opting instead to have our small party process single file. The way it worked out, my husband’s attendants were all dudes, but one of mine was, as well. He was alternately titled my bridesdude or male bridesmaid when I was pressed about it, but in general, as I said, we just had an honour party. We didn’t have bests, though we obviously had to arrange where the parties stood, there was no rank intended.

  16. We are calling ours a Wedding Party or Wedding Squad, since I am still in the process of picking my attendants, and I have some good male friends. I love the Henchmen idea!

  17. For my initial wedding being held in our backyard in America, I’m going with the standard Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids (although I think of them all as my Maids of Horror, thank you Freaky Friday!). In a year or so when we have our second wedding in England–with more pomp and circumstance–I’m going to use the term the Fellowship of the Rings, which I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned here yet. I’ve been obsessed with Tolkien since I was ten years old. Hopefully we’ll have nine total in the Fellowship, or maybe there will be nine for me and nine for my groom. Haven’t got that sorted yet.

  18. We’ve been calling them our “Superfriends”, mostly because the bridal party thing is happening because of my fella’s Stand By Me-style guy friends have been doing the groomsman thing for about 7 years. It would crush them to not do it. So I’m having friends be involved too, but I really don’t like the term “bridesmaids”. And because calling them Superfriends makes me giggle with how goofy it is.

  19. Love this site I came across we aren’t having Maid of Honours/Best man, just 3 attendants each, love the new ideas of calling them something funky, need some creativity help…We are having our whole ceremony and reception at one place called the Eagles Perch…a group of eagles is called a convocation…boring!! But the resort is also in the Humber Valley, 400ft…Ideas???

  20. I’m in love with this idea. My fiance and I are having an all female wedding party. Really it just kind of happened like that because we are having the wedding so far from her family and my family is all girls anyways. My cousin will be her “best maid” my sister is my maid of honor and my other two cousins are the flower girl and the ring bearer.

  21. They titled themselves “The League of Awesome Ladies”… there are even LAL t-shirts. 🙂

    • I’m in UK, and we’re both in our 50’s divorced with adult kids and grandchildren and we really don’t want trad’.
      In my search I found this site, with some great ideas… and found this! Which made me think: The League of Extraordinary Gentlefolk… I’m so going to work with that!

  22. We tried to keep our wedding party name gender-neutral since we have a co-ed wedding party. We settled on our “Fellowship” (From Lord of the Rings). 🙂

  23. Hi all! I’m seeing some awesome ideas for a bridal party, but I am really stumped on what I could use instead of Maid of Honor. My BFF is my MOH, but they identify as demigirl/agender, so I wanted to come up with a non-feminine title to reflect their identity. I was thinking of going the “awesome” ect route, but I am having bridesmaids, and I dont want my BFF’s title to overshadow theirs, if that makes sense. Any ideas? I’m trying to sort this out now before I do little gifts to ask them officially, etc. 🙂

  24. Loved so many of these. I’m planning to toss the maid of honor/bridesmaids titles completely and instead give each attendant a title specific to my relationship with them: Sister of the Bride, Best Bra (like a bro, but she’s a chick….so Bra….long inside joke with us), “Daughter” of the Bride (my roommate from college — she called me Mom), and Best Friend of the Bride (my long-time childhood and still best friend). They are all so special to me in different ways, it was impossible to choose one as the maid of honor. They are also all travelling (with the exception of 1) to Alaska for the wedding, so I really want them to focus on just being there and enjoying themselves, and not being “maids”.

  25. Our close friends helping us out with the wedding have deemed themselves our ‘fellowship of the ring.” We actually chose not to do an engagement ring, but somehow this still feels just right.

  26. My husband had traditional groomsmen and a best man, but I wanted my brothers to stand up with me. I called them bridal attendants, and not even the most conservative grandparents in the crowd thought twice about it!

  27. Most of my bridal party will likely be men. My fiancé and I are really into Dungeons & Dragons, Legend of Zelda, and he’s into Game of Thrones so there will definitely be medieval/adventure themed accents to our wedding. Add these two points together and we’ll be having a bridesguard and groomsguard, with my maid of honor’s official title being Captain of the Bridesguard. In these early stages of planning (few of them have been invited into their roles yet) I’m also often just saying “attendants” or “bridal party” for less eclectic terms, and his side is mostly men except for his sister so I expect he’ll still say groomsmen too. But officially it’s our wedding guard!

  28. When I asked my friends to stand up with me, the phrasing I used was “will you be a bridespeople?” In the program I called them “The Fellowship of the Bride,” because I was the one writing the programs and I could. I think I went with “Groomsmates” in the programs for my husbands side. Casually talking about the wedding, I tend to use “bridespeople”, “bridesfolk”, “groomspeople”, and “groomsfolk” fairly interchangeably. I also make a lot of use of “attendants” as a collective for the whole wedding party.

  29. Don’t know if anyone’s said this already but because our wedding is hobbit-themed (we’re both huge LOTR fans), we are calling our wedding party our “fellowship of the rings!” individually though, my bridal party members (male and female) are my “bridesdudes” because I call everyone dude all the time, and we don’t have a name yet for the mixed gender groom’s party.

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