Names for wedding party members who are friends of both bride and groom?
March 1, 2013 2:56 PM   Subscribe

So a female friend of the bride is typically called a bridesmaid or bridesmatron (or maid of honor or matron of honor). I guess you could also use brideswoman (or woman of honor) if you want to avoid the whole does-maid-mean-unmarried? issue. I've heard the term a bridesman (or man of honor) for a male friend of the bride. And if you don't want to specify the gender of the person in question, you could use bridesperson (or person of honor). A male friend of the groom is typically a groomsman (or best man). A female friend is sometimes called a groomswoman (or best woman), although I guess you could also go with groomsmaid or groomsmatron (or best maid or best matron). And again, avoiding the gender of the friend, you can have a groomsperson (or best person). But what if there's a member of the wedding party who is a friend of both the bride and groom? What do you call that person?

In our upcoming wedding, we (my fiancée and I) have taken to referring to the whole group as the wedding entourage or the wedding posse. And I guess you could refer to the individuals as wedding entourage members or wedding posse members, but that's kind of boring. The best I've been able to come up with is weddingsman and weddingswoman (or weddingsperson), but that's kind of meh, and my fiancée doesn't like it at all.

Any other suggestions?
posted by ErWenn to Writing & Language (22 answers total)
"Attendant" is a pretty common term that is gender-neutral.
posted by something something at 2:57 PM on March 1, 2013 [12 favorites]

Seconding Attendant. It doesn't matter who they are friends with, it matters which side they stand on when you are listing them in the program. If they aren't standing on either side, just have one list of attendants. If you have cross gender attendants, I suggest the sections be called "bride's attendants" and "groom's attendants" instead of groomspeople.
posted by soelo at 3:05 PM on March 1, 2013

"Attendant" or "wedding party member"
posted by jaguar at 3:05 PM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, we called our mixed-gender, mixed friendship wedding posse "Attendants" when we had to specify a single attendant.
posted by muddgirl at 3:06 PM on March 1, 2013

I once went to a wedding where the person doing the best man duties was a woman. The program/bulletin thingy referred to her as the Best Susan. The bride's attendant (a woman) was called the Best Johanna. I thought it was sweet and wonderfully personal.
posted by OrangeDisk at 3:19 PM on March 1, 2013 [9 favorites]

I went to a wedding where they were called "seconds," kind of like in a duel?
posted by exceptinsects at 3:22 PM on March 1, 2013 [5 favorites]

Not for everyone but when some close friends from college got married the program into diced us collectively as 'the posse'.

One of my brothers was his best friend's Dud of Honour.

It's not that any of us are particularly informal, but in both cases there was (I think) an element of "worrying about social conformity is silly, have a drink".
posted by mce at 3:26 PM on March 1, 2013

One of the actual functions of attendants is to serve as the legal witnesses to the marriage (and the best/whatevers are often asked to sign the marriage certificate). So "witness" would be one way to go.

(I had friends who did this; they had three happily-together couples march in with them, in order of the amount of time they'd been married (IIRC one of the couples was a long-time friend of the bride's family who had been married for 40+ years). They stood up with the bride and groom but weren't "with" either of them specifically.
posted by anastasiav at 3:29 PM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

People in a "wedding posse" are obviously "wedding possums".
posted by supercres at 3:46 PM on March 1, 2013 [15 favorites]

Honor attendant.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:58 PM on March 1, 2013

Honor guard, and rank the individuals with shiny star stickers, the kind given to kids for good home work in elementary school. If they're not big enough to show up for the size of the event, make your own larger shiny stars.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:03 PM on March 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Wedding Partiers.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 4:04 PM on March 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

How about "honor attendant"?
posted by jaimystery at 4:16 PM on March 1, 2013

Attendant is good, if a bit dull.

And I should specify that the problem isn't finding names for attendees that are gender-neutral with respect to the person in question, but which don't refer to specifically the bride or groom.
posted by ErWenn at 4:22 PM on March 1, 2013

We used the term "witnesses" for all of the people in our wedding party except for the maid of honor and best man.
posted by number9dream at 4:25 PM on March 1, 2013

posted by two lights above the sea at 4:33 PM on March 1, 2013

Or groupies?
posted by two lights above the sea at 4:33 PM on March 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

My friends have mutual friends in their wedding party and just split them up so the women were all bridesmaids and the men were groomsmen. I've never considered that wording to indicate which person they were 'associated' with - at my sister's wedding, our brother was a groomsman for her fiance.
posted by jacalata at 5:08 PM on March 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Our mutual best friend served at our wedding. She stood with the groomsman (my husband's brother) to be symmetrical, because I already had two (other) bridesmaids. So we called her the "best woman". Although "best man" is associated with the groom, it doesn't have the word "groom" or "bride" in the title, so I think it is pretty neutral.
posted by lollusc at 9:03 PM on March 1, 2013

posted by plonkee at 3:35 AM on March 2, 2013


posted by miss patrish at 5:15 PM on March 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

We ended up listing them as "Entourage" on the program, and usually, we were calling them "attendants" while we were talking about individuals.

After the fact, we realized that since both of our sisters were in the entourage, we should have listed them each as "Best Sister".
posted by ErWenn at 8:24 PM on March 17, 2013

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