The Groom is Getting Married Too!

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant ©©(26/05/2020) Categories: | Wedding Ceremony |
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Bridegroom wearing
                        blue suit smiling at out-of-focus brideOn your wedding day, two people will be getting married. But what's the widespread message about weddings? "It's the Bride's day." "Princess for the Day.", Bridal Party, a wedding press where magazines and websites are centred on the bride and focused on wedding dresses, accessories, and wedding styling far outnumber those directed at the groom. Bride-centric language everywhere.

Despite everything we have (or should have) learned from the way two-groom couples have reinvented the traditional wedding so that both people getting married have equal billing, where there is one bride and one groom, it is the bride that is still firmly in the spotlight for a large proportion of the ceremony. The bride gets the starring role (and the stress and pressure that comes with expectations of looking perfect), and the groom doesn't. Even his full title (bridegroom), means bride's man!

It's time we changed that! Here are some suggestions that are not difficult, not expensive, and won't leave your guests shaking their heads.

Have two processions - or a combined one

In the traditional wedding ceremony all eyes are on the bride, while the groom slips in from the side to stand at the front. In celebrant-led weddings we've got rid of the groom standing with his back to the bride (and the guests and the photographer) so most photographers will capture a photo or two of the groom's expression. However, there is no reason at all not to do change up the processional to include the groom and his attendants.
  • Groom's processional
    The groom and his attendants make a formal entrance, walking down the aisle before the bride and her attendants. Choose music that reflects the groom's interests and personality. When it is time for the bride's entrance, switch to music that reflects her interests and personality. It could be a simple as having brass instruments for the groom, strings for the bride, or you could go all the way with Heavy Metal followed by Country Pop (or vice versa!)
  • Combined processional v.1
    Groom's attendants and bride's attendants walk down the aisle together, followed by the groom, escorted by his parents and the bride, escorted by her parents. A medley often works well for the music.
  • Combined processional v.2
    Groom's attendants and bride's attendants walk down the aisle together, followed by the bride and groom, walking together. One tune for the attendants, another for the couple. Perhaps their "our song".

Who gives this man?

I am definitely not a fan of giving the bride away. Asking Who gives this woman to be married to this man, the traditional words, is a patriarchal leftover from the days when the bride, literally, was exchanged for strategic or political or economic benefit to the groom's family. Asking both sets of parents for their blessing and support is a much better way to go. It also gives the groom equal billing. And PS, no-one is giving the away groom either, so avoid the weasel word versions such as Who brings this ..." or "Who presents this ...."

The flowers

Traditionally, the groom pays for the bride's bouquet, and wears a boutonniere (buttonhole) that features one of the flowers in the bride's bouquet. Why not turn that on its head? Have the groom choose what he wants to wear as boutonniere or pocket flowers, and then use that to inform the choices and design of the bride's flowers. You'd be surprised at how that opens up possibilities. Your florist is your best friend on this one.

Bride-Centric weddings and the budget

Pressure to achieve the perfect wedding is very much about being seen to be the perfect bride having the perfect day. Think about it. No-one blinks an eye if the groom wears a hired suit on the day. It is almost the norm. Shock, horror if the bride wears a hired dress. And so it goes. One of the reasons that two-groom weddings are so fulfilling and so much fun is that ditching traditional expectations of bridal perfection to give both parties equal billing removes a lot of the stress. Giving both equal billing also encourages equal participation in planning the wedding, makes the budget easier to control, and, best of all, as a couple going into a marriage of equals, makes sure your wedding ceremony aligns with your values.

More information

Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you
                      can have the best ceremony ever
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