Wedding party CONTROVERSY: We’re having a groomswoman!

People keep asking me for specifics about my wedding. Seriously, is it going to be like this until I walk down the aisle? For the next two years, will nobody ask me what I’m doing this weekend or what book I’m reading and instead keep asking me what my wedding colors are and whether we’re having open bar?

As of now I don’t know the answers to most of these questions, so I was thrilled when I could finally provide a concrete answer to one:

That question was this:

Are you going to ask your fiance’s sister to be a bridesmaid?

My answer was this:

Actually, she’s going to stand up with [fiance].

This person blinked quickly and said:

“Wait … noooo. That’ll look so weird! She should stand up with you.”

I figured this person (a family friend) was a fluke. So I brought up our conversation to various other family members and friends in an “OMG you won’t believe what this person said to me!” kind of way.

And it turns out, having a groomswoman in our wedding is freaking a lot of people out. Close family members. Friends. Reactions stem from skeptical to shocked to disturbed. What will this groomswoman wear? Who will she walk down the aisle with? Where will she stand in pictures? The pictures are going to look so weird! Won’t people think she got confused and stood on the wrong side during the ceremony?

These are smart people! Too smart to be making arguments that basically boil down to, “She has a vagina! Not a penis! Penises stand with the groom, and vaginas stand with the bride! And when everyone walks down the aisle, it must be boy-girl-boy-girl-boy-girl-BOY-GIRL!!”

And before you start making assumptions about the kinds of people I hang out with, these are, for the most part, open-minded people! Several of them self identify as feminists. Through their careers, activism and Facebook posts, they campaign for the rights of women to fill roles dominated by men … but not the role of groomsman, apparently. Most of them are proud to say they support same-sex marriage … but not opposite-sex wedding attendants, apparently.

My future sister-in-law is lovely, but I’ve only met her a couple times. The way I see it, wedding attendants are supposed to be your closest friends. Having her stand up with me would feel like casting her to fit a role in a performance, rather than honoring her.

Oh, and when she walks down the aisle, it’ll be arm in arm with my boyfriend’s brothers and my sister!

Have you ever been to a wedding with groomswomen or bridesmen? Did the earth open up and swallow everyone? Or, worse yet, OMG did the pictures look weird?

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