Throughout their entire relationship, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have played by their own rules, so it's no surprise the two broke with tradition when they said "I do" this past weekend! The newly-minted Mr. and Mrs. reportedly gave their daughter Shiloh the honor of ringbearer, alongside brother Pax, while daughters Vivienne and Zahara served as flower girls.
But as novel as the famous pair's move may seem, switching up gender roles in your bridal party has been a widespread trend for a while now.
"Weddings today are more gender-neutral than they have ever been in the past," explains wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss the Planner in Delray Beach, Florida. "Certainly girls can carry in the ring, and boys can sprinkle petals if that’s what suits the bride and groom. And if a bride's best friend is a guy or the groom's best friend is a girl, so be it."
We got brides, grooms, guests, planners, and members of bridal parties to reveal what gender role reversal is like in "real life" (aka not Hollywood).
1. "I was a ring bearer for two college friends, a (male) maid of honor, and will be maid of honor again in March. As the ring bearer, I'm not sure if it was because they couldn't pick what side for me to be on or if they just ran out of children! But it was a great way to be able to jump from bride to groom without causing a kerfuffle. For the MOH gig, everyone asked me if I was wearing a dress (half of them sincerely), so I had a lot of opportunities to joke, 'Depends if it's strapless' or 'Yeah, it's a mermaid cut!' The bride said she wanted her best friend standing next to her, so that's what she got!" -Andrew, 30
2."My male maid of honor was the best part of my wedding. End of story." -Lauren, 29
3. "When my wife and I got married 10 years ago, she had a maid of honor, and I had a best man. But we each had opposite sex good friends in place of a groomsman and bridesmaid standing up for us. We learned to call them "honor attendants." When we lined up at the rehearsal, the priest was highly confused and diplomatically suggested that the women were to stand at my wife's side and the men at mine. We politely explained that they were our BFFs. The priest paused, looked back and forth at them, narrowed her eyes, and then, shrugged, 'Whatever ... I guess.'" -Mic, 71
4. "We had a wedding in May in which the groom's two female honor attendants wore dresses that were the exact opposite color of the bridesmaids. The honor attendants carried bouquets, but they were also different from the bridesmaids. The differences highlighted them and set them apart from the bridesmaids." -Kawania Wooten, Howerton+Wooten Events in Bowie, Maryland
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5. "Our whole wedding party was just our sisters. So, my husband had his sister as his best man. No one batted an eye. We both have giant groups of close girl/boy friends, but neither of us wanted a big party. And my absolute best friend, other than my husband, is a guy. So, why bother with making people wear matching clothes?" -Erica, 32
6. "My cousin's wife had her male best friend as a bridesman. He wore the same thing as the groomsmen, but walked into the church with the bridesmaids and stood on her side." -Briana, 30
7. "In 2010, I stood as my brother's best man, and just last month, he stood for me as my 'matron of honor.' We decided that as siblings and best friends, we wanted to stand next to and for each other regardless of the traditional gender roles. We also loved toasting each other during the receptions. Our families and friends loved it too!" -Lyndsey, 30
8. "My brothers were my only attendants. We called them my man of honor and bridesman. My husband had his sister as his groomswoman. I was very happy with our choice. It meant our most important people were right beside us that day! A friend even told me that they were jealous, but would never have the guts to do it for their upcoming wedding." -Brekke, 30
9. "I went to a straight wedding in '07 with a man of honor and have seen it done a lot over the years!" -Catherine, 43
10. "I had a little girl ring bearer! We called her the Presenter of the Rings." -Jenny, 31
11. "My cousin was the man of honor for his sister. It was awesome and everyone loved the idea. He gave a wonderful speech!" -Jen, 32
12. "We were married this past June. I had a man of honor and a bridesmaid. Husband had a groomswoman and a best man. We also had a ring-dog! We picked our wedding party by who has always been there and will always be there." -Crystal, 31
13. "My mom was an usher in my uncle's wedding because he wanted her to be on his side. She wore the same tux as the guys and walked the men to their seats. She loved it!" -Tricia, 30
14. "Twenty years ago, my brother has his best friend at the time, a woman, stand up for him in his wedding. No one seemed to mind except my grandfather! But more because she was a strong, opinionated woman than a woman, I think." -Sheri, 43
15. "I was my sister's maid of honor, but because I'm more masculine than feminine and wouldn't be caught dead in a dress, she called me her man of honor, and I wore the same outfits as the groomsmen." -Kelly, 30
The bottom line: When it comes to bridal parties these days, it's perfectly acceptable to make your own rules. Those in the know, like Samuels, agree. As she puts it, "Wedding trends now lean towards love and acceptance and new definitions for the rules."
What examples of gender role reversal have you seen at a wedding -- or incoporated into your own?
Image via Splash News