Inclusive Wedding Titles and Terminology

A wedding is a ceremony of love, and love is something many people experience regardless of their gender. Weddings are for all who want to have one and the titles associated with weddings aren’t suitable for everyone. What titles are used for a wedding should be decided by those each wedding is for, and gender neutral titles are requested by more couples. Inclusive wedding titles and terminology make everyone feel welcomed and wanted.

As celebrants and Celebrant Trainers, we understand the importance of language to make all feel included and relevant. More people are finally understanding the importance of asking and using the correct pronouns of people rather than just assume.

Alternative Wedding Titles to Bride and Groom

An incorrect assumption is all females want to be known as brides on their wedding day and all males want to be labelled as grooms. What you decide to be known as on your wedding day should be reflective of what you want to be known as every other day. Gender shouldn’t generate an installed title just because it has been used by many. Choice is everything.

If the titles of Bride and Groom do not fit with you as a person there are alternatives. Some websites suggest ‘Person 1’ and Person 2’,’ Partner A, Partner B’, ‘Marrier’, ‘Newly Wed to Be’, ‘Nearly Wed’ and ‘Spouse to Be’. The most common request is to simply use the names of those the ceremony making it a truly personal, less generic ceremony.

Alternative Wedding Party Titles

Tradition dictated the gendered titles of Brides Maids, Best Man and Matron of Honour, but as tradition is another way to say outdated habitual following, the titles below can be used. The uses of Bride and groom can be replaced with the names of those the ceremony is for.

Brides Mates
Grooms Mates
Brides Folk
Grooms Folk
Brides Crew
Grooms Crew
Brides Squad
Grooms Squad
Brides Men
Grooms Girls
Flower Dude

Non – Binary Wedding Party Titles:
Petal Person
Paranymph (Google it)
Best Person
Person of Honour
Wedding Attendants
Wedding Squad
Wedding Crew

Why Inclusive Wedding Terminology is Important

Inclusive wedding terminology has been around for years. Wedding attire, wedding dress, wedding veil, wedding rings and the wedding party (in reference to all involved in the ceremony).

Inclusive wedding terminology makes everyone feel wanted, accepted and equal. Those attending weddings do so as they are important people to those the ceremony is for. As important people, they must be accepted as individuals, not expected to fit in with a majority.

Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.

Verna Myers

Why Celebrant Weddings are Inclusive

As celebrant weddings do not currently have the same legalities in England and Wales as a marriage ceremony, there is so much more freedom to be inclusive and expressive. Marriage is a legally recognised union between two agreeing people. A wedding is a ceremony of love and unity. You do not need to love the person you are marrying; you just need to both agree to it.

Celebrant weddings are free from rules, social, religious, and legal expectations. Celebrant weddings give those unable or unwilling to marry legally a ceremony of celebration marking the love and union of those seeking these things. Those who have a wedding with a celebrant choose this service because celebrant weddings are all about love. Love is love and love is genderless as previously stated.

It is essential we see individual people, not gender labels. During our Funeral and Wedding Celebrant Training Courses here at Choice Celebrant Training, we make sure every trainee celebrant understands the importance of diversity and inclusive terminology. These must be demonstrated throughout the duration of their training. 

Stop Saying Ladies and Gentlemen!

There are still those (including plenty of celebrants), who use the addressing titles of ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen’ in a wedding ceremony, why? These titles of address may have their place for some in certain social settings of formality, but they are generally now considered to be non-inclusive and irrelevant to many. Children, teens, young adults, non-binary, trans, bi-gender and gender fluid people won’t identify as a Lady or a Gentleman. This address could exclude many of the guests.

Alternative addresses:
Important people
Our people
Our guests
Our family, friends, and colleagues
All of you who share our special day
Love and liked people
Invited people

Learn How to Write Inclusive Wedding Ceremonies

Would you like to become a wedding celebrant to create inclusive and meaningful wedding ceremonies for all?

Have you been asked by a family member or a friend to write and lead their wedding ceremony for them?

Our Wedding Celebrant Training Course will teach you how to create and narrate fully inclusive, memorable, personal, and creative inclusive wedding ceremonies.

Are you a celebrant who wants to learn how to write ceremonies without the need for gender titles? Our Celebrant Refresh Course will teach you how to write ceremonies without the need of traditional gendered titles and with inclusive content ensuring all present feel involved and important.

Weddings are for everyone, however they identify.

Blog by Choice Celebrant Training

Photo Credit:s Alternative Images UK