Groomsgirl rules you HAVE to live by
Lauren rocking her suit and oxfords as a groomsgirl | Photo by Robyn Von Swank

These are the official rules that all groomsgirls, best women, and any ladies standing by their favorite dudes: oh wait, there are NO rules. We recently spied Orange is the New Black's Lauren Lapkus at this super gorgeous vegan and pink wedding as one of the groom's attendants. She ROCKED a feminine suit that matched the groomsmen and even walked one of the bridemaids into the reception. Hell yes! After that, we knew we needed another reminder of how awesome groomsgirls and best women can be. (Oh, and spoiler: these tips totally work for bridesdudes, too!)

Here are the things you totally do not have to do as a groomsgirl:

You don't have to match the bridesmaids

If mismatched bridesmaids are a super common thing, why should you have to match them? Unless the couple is super insistent, you're not bound to wearing a matching dress if you don't want to. Ask if you can match the groomsmen or just wear something that fits the theme. Since the couple is already choosing a mixed-gender wedding party, they're likely to be cool with your ideas.

Groomsgirl rules you HAVE to live by
Rocking a dress AND a tie!

You don't have to match the groomsmen

On the flip side, if you DO want to match the bridesmaids, feel free to ask if you can snag one of the matching dresses. You never know where you'll be standing, so see what the plan is to see if matching the bridesmaids makes more sense.

Groomsgirl rules you HAVE to live by
Werk it. Photo by Robyn Von Swank

You don't have to walk in with anyone

If you'd rather not walk in with a bridesmaid or groomsman, see if you can rock your own entrance. Again, no real rules here as long as your wedded pals are cool with it.

You don't have to attend the associated parties

This is where things can get really hazy. If you're friends with the groom but are invited to all the “ladies-only” soirees, you can totally say no if you prefer. See what your friend suggests in terms of which to attend. We talked a bit about this over here on this post from the couple's point of view:

Our advice is pretty simple: if they'd enjoy helping and being a part of the celebrations, invite them. Trust us, nobody should be balking at bridesdudes crashing the traditionally lady-filled parties.

If they're not interested in (or would feel awkward at) the pre-wedding parties, you can absolutely tell them they don't have to attend with no hard feelings. Sometimes wedding party members are more ceremonial than practical in their roles, and that's totally cool.

You don't have to plan with the bride

Just because you're a lady, doesn't mean you have to be in on the bride's side of planning. Here's a great list of groomsman/groomlady duties that we love.

You don't even have to say yes to doing it

The big thing that folks forget is that you actually don't HAVE to even be in the wedding party. You can say no if you prefer. We even have a whole post from our editor Megan on what to do when someone in your wedding party declines the invitation. Here's a snippet:

Sometimes your wedding and/or engagement happens at really shitty times for others. It could be that they're going through a rough break-up, and not really feeling like celebrating love. It could be that their ex just got engaged, and they're having feels.

Are YOU a groomsgirl or bridesdude? What advice would you share?

More offbeat-approved advice for the wedding party:

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Comments on Groomsgirl rules you HAVE to live by

  1. We had mixed gender bridal party on both sides, and the groom’s side had an extra person. Here’s how we did everything:
    -I asked my side to be my bridespeople, he asked his side to be his groomspeople.
    -I had a waterpark getaway for my bachelorette party, and invited the whole wedding party including significant others and kids. My whole side came, and one groomsman from his side came. Even my fiancé came! (We did this for about $200/adult for the entire weekend including lodging for 2 nights, water park access, and breakfasts and dinners!)
    -He had a guys day out for his bachelor party and invited my bridesman, who couldn’t make it due to being 1000 miles away.
    -I had 3 showers, all optional for everyone.
    -We dressed girls alike and boys alike, my girls wore pink sashes, and his wore gold sashes. My boy had a pink pocket square, his had gold. This was my decision, ultimately. I wouldn’t have minded girls in pantsuits, but my bridesman wasn’t about wearing dresses. The dresses were under $50 from Amazon so I didn’t feel bad about forcing the issue.
    -Picture-wise we did some of my “side” and his “side”, some all girls, some all boys, and some altogether. We did pictures pre-ceremony so had time to get all these shots.
    -Figuring out the order of walking down the aisle was the hardest part. I didn’t want anyone walking solo (because to me, that’s a maid of honor thing if not all the bridesmaids, and my maid of honor has CP so would prefer a steadying arm). Even though his side had more people, we actually had a surplus of women. We also had 6 honor attendants (out of 11 total!) and didn’t want any of them going down 3 abreast. Here’s how we did it:
    –Bridesmaid accompanied by 2 groomsmen
    –Best Matron with Bridesman
    –Best Maid with Groomsman
    –2 Matrons of honor together (both my sisters)
    –Maid of honor with Best Man
    -In the program we pulled inspiration from the labeled silhouette idea, but did people pegs from the game of life. Pink for girls and blue for boys lined up in the order they were placed up front with their names and titles underneath their peg.
    -Entering the Reception, we just had everyone enter in the same pairs they used in the ceremony.

    It was really a non issue. No one, even his traditional extended family, ever questioned it. We also didn’t open the door to questioning, just stated we were doing this as a fact.

  2. My partner and I had an enormous, totally gender-blind wedding party. I had four men and four women on my side, and he had six men and three women plus his best man (who was actually not a man but a femininely-dressed genderqueer person). We gave everyone, regardless of gender, the option of wearing either a blue dress or a dark suit with blue tie. Everyone pretty much ended up choosing the option that aligned with their usual gender presentation, but they all had the choice.

    My partner’s party walked down the aisle before him and mine walked before me, so there was no need to pair up people from the two sides. Instead we paired people based on where we knew them from and on their relationships to each other (people in romantic partnerships walked together, my two friends from college walked together, etc.), without regard to gender. His friends attended his bachelor party and my friends attended my pre-wedding picnic thing, because it just made the most sense that way.

    Tl;dr: Wedding parties don’t actually have to be gendered at all if you don’t want them to be.

  3. GAHHHH I love celebrity wedding party people. I remember when I was planning, I picked up a Martha Stewart Real Weddings issue and found out that in one of the weddings featured, the groom was Jennifer Lawrence’s brother. There she was, lowkey one of the bridesmaids. 🙂

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