More and more brides are breaking tradition, from delivering a speech on the big day, to wearing trousers, jumpsuits or colour. Don't get us wrong, we love princess gowns and classic wedding etiquette, but we also want brides to be themselves, to do what they want and to feel free to act according to what they believe in on one of the biggest days of their lives.
One of our favourite non-trad new trends has got to be bridesmen. Why wouldn't you have your bestie with you while you get ready, enter your ceremony or sit at your reception? Just because he's a dude? As writer Lotte Jeffs put it to us when we asked, "My wife and I both had 'bridesmen', mainly because our closest friends are guys. Our friends John and Clive had a best man and a best woman at their wedding, too. There's no 'normal'!"
Let's shine a light on how simple it can be to break such traditions. Brides asked some lovely ladies to share why they had or will have bridesmen - and to celebrate their male friendships while they were at it! Here's what they said:
Mrija, Chris, Kitan and Zach
"All three of these men are some of my very best friends - right up there with my husband, Hamish (who's wearing the kilt!). Kitan, Zach and I met at university, while Chris and I experienced our first jobs together. We've grown up so much together and I trust them unwaveringly, which is why I wanted them to be a significant part of the wedding day. I knew that throughout the planning process, I could ask them for absolutely anything and be my truest self without any judgements or consequences."
Laura & Nathan
"I didn't think twice about having a bridesman when I got married two years ago - Nathan is one of my oldest and best friends. We were on the same course at uni but didn't really know each other until we spent a bonkers six months studying (and laughing hysterically) together in France - an experience that made us pretty inseparable. These days, he lives in America, so we don't see each other often, but I couldn't have imagined not having him in my squad. So once I knew he was able to fly in for our day, it was a done deal. My only worry was what to ask him to wear, but that turned out to be a no-brainer, too: he already had a monochrome ensemble that went perfectly with my bridesmaids' black dresses. On the day, I was incredibly touched that he had flown across the world to be there for me. And as I watched him head off down the aisle ahead of me, arm-in-arm with my best school friend, Claire, I couldn't have been more proud."
Sarah, Mike & Andy
"After my wife and I got engaged, the only thing I was certain about was that I'd have my two closest friends, Mike and Andy, as best men. We've been friends for more than twenty years and I could not imagine starting the wedding day without them by my side (and I definitely couldn't have chosen one best man from the two of them!). They kept me calm when Sarah was late down the aisle and their joint speech at the reception was a real highlight."
Sophie & Matthew
"When the day comes for me to tie the knot (at my gorgeous ceremony at Blenheim Palace, followed by helicopters onto the Babington House grounds for our reception... JOKING!), I couldn't imagine doing it without my oldest, wisest and bestest friend, Matthew. We grew up together, went to school together, moved to London together and lived here together when we did. It just wouldn't feel right without him involved in every aspect of my big day, from organising the most over-the-top soiree of a hen do, to getting ready with me in the morning. Of course, I'll also have bridesmaids, but Matt will be Head Bridesman, making sure everyone and everything is in order!"