Should a boy be a bridesmaid? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am single mom with a 10 year old son. He's a great kid and I'm very proud of him. My younger sister and my son are great buddies. She has been sort of surrogate dad for him since he was a baby. She takes him to ball games, goes fishing with him and attends all his Little League and soccer games. My sis is getting married during the Christmas holidays. She wants my son to a part of the wedding and so does he. I suggested that he be a junior groomsman (he's too old to be a ringbearer). My sis wants him to be in her wedding party, not the groom's. I can sort of understand that since they are so close and he doesn't know her future husband that well. I'm to be the Matron of Honor and While a little out of the ordinary, it isn't written in stone anywhere that all the bride's attendants have to be female. I supposed that she had in mind for him to wear a shirt & pants in the same colors or even fabric as the bridesmaid's dresses. We were discussing it today and she dropped the bomb on me that she wanted my son to be a junior bridesmaid complete with dress to match the rest of us. I was flabbergasted and told her it was the craziest idea that I had ever heard.

She said that she had come upon the idea from a bridal website that she had visited. In it there was a discussion about boys being bridesmaids and flowergirls. She took me to her computer and showed it to me. To my amazement, this actually happens. I asked her if she had mentioned it to my son and she said that she hadn't because she wanted to talk to me about it first.

I could hardly believe that she was really serious. Now I must admit, I think my son would make a really beautiful bridesmaid. He has very fine features and with his longish hair is often mistaken for a girl. She also reminded me of the times she had fixed him up as a girl for Halloween trick or treating and for a costume party. We both agreed that he was darling in his girlish costumes and he seemed to enjoy it all at the time.

I'm torn between just telling her to forget it and letting her ask my son if he would do this. Since he absolutely adores his auntie, I'm afraid that he might agree. Then what would I do? I know how much he wants to be a part of her wedding.

I'm going to have to make a decision pretty soon, so I would appreciate any feedback I might get any of the moms reading this. I have read a number of threads here about boys being dressed as girls and feel that there are many out there who could give me some valuable insights from their experiences.

Thanks
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#2 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 02:55 AM
 
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Ask him - but also make sure he is aware that *some* people may take issue or cast aspersions on a boy wearing a dress. If he's prepared to weather a few bigotted comments -then I absolutely think he should be allowed to do it.

Is your sister willing to compromise if he refuses to wear a dress?

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#3 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 03:15 AM
 
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I know someone who had a "bridesman" - a male friend as a member of the bride's party, but in matching shirt and pants, not in a dress. That seems OK to me, but making him wear a dress is a little weird. I wouldn't say there was anything wrong with it if he preferred to cross-dress normally, but this is different. Maybe you could ask him his opinion first. If she asks him directly, he might not be willing to tell her no.
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#4 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 06:40 AM
 
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2 out of the 3 attendants on my side of the bridal party were male, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. It is her wedding, and it is important for her to do what she would like (without being bridezilla) and not worry about "social norms". In fact, the 2 male friends are 2 of my close friends (I met them way prior to DH).

Edited to add: they wore tuxes!
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#5 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 08:46 AM
 
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As others said before I agree that the key here is to ask him. Maybe you should ask if he would like to be in the wedding first, and then agree on the outfit later?

Maybe you should prepare yourself for what other may ask you. Even narrow-minded people are usually nice to the kids - but not always to other adults... maybe some will think that you have forced him or that you are using him as a "doll"?

I hope you will find this out -and if he agrees I hope you all will have a nice wedding.
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#6 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 08:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel
I know someone who had a "bridesman" - a male friend as a member of the bride's party, but in matching shirt and pants, not in a dress. That seems OK to me, but making him wear a dress is a little weird. I wouldn't say there was anything wrong with it if he preferred to cross-dress normally, but this is different. Maybe you could ask him his opinion first. If she asks him directly, he might not be willing to tell her no.
:

Bolding emphasis mine.

I think it would be great for him to stand up on her side, but unless he's already into wearing dresses, I'd highly suggest just getting him a matching color shirt and pants, or go with a tux with a matching color vest/tie.

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#7 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 08:56 AM
 
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I agree with the PP's. Ask him if he wants to be a part of her wedding party. I would have him wear matching shirt/pants or tux.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#8 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 09:19 AM
 
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I think that your son being in the wedding is great. Being on the bride's party is wonderful.

Having someone else (the bride) ask him to wear a dress (if he doesn't usually cross dress) is just plain weird.

Does your son crossdress under other circumstances? Publically? If not, no, I would NOT ask that he wear a dress!

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#9 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 09:24 AM
 
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After thinking it over, I just wanted to come back here and post a bit more.

You mentioned that your son has dressed up like a girl before, in costume (not for everyday wear).

I think your sister, in asking a young male (who does NOT normally crossdress) to wear a dress.....That's kinda the definition of bridezilla!

(If the idea came from your son, that would be different. But it didn't.)

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#10 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 09:46 AM
 
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If for some reason I feel the need to get married again I will definatly have my brother be my *maid of honor*, it would be very important to me that he be standing up for me...but I never considered for him to wear a dress!

When one of my brothers got married, his wifes sister was in the wedding (on the groom's side) and wore a tux jacket and a long skirt (and this was 30+ years ago).

I think it would be great for your son to be in the wedding, if he chooses to do so. I think that asking him to wear a dress if that is not something he would normally do is a bit much. I also worry that he may feel pressured into doing so because of his close bond with your sister.
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#11 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 11:34 AM
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Even so, it's kind of an interesting question.

Couldn't he just be a ring bearer, or a page boy though?
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#12 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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Sure - attendants these days for either side can be either male or female. Men still wear suits or tuxes and ladies still wear dress or pants as appropriate (according to Miss Manners!) It's quite the trend since many people are marrying later and have developed strong bonds with member of the opposite sex. Bridesemaids and groomsmen are holdovers from a time when people married younger and had less opportunity to associate with the opposite sex.

It isn't written in stone that everyone who stands next to the bride wears the same dress and everyone who stands next to the groom wears the same black tux. You just have mixed people on either side wearing what is appropriate for their sex.

While i have no problems with cross-dressing, what purpose will be served by having a 10 year boy dress up as a girl? It seems he'd be quite the spectacle and take away from having attention on the couple and the affair itself.

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#13 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 11:42 AM
 
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I have removed some posts from this thread. If you have an issue with the op, please contact a mod. But not me, I'm gone for two days.
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#14 of 59 Old 06-23-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonO
She also reminded me of the times she had fixed him up as a girl for Halloween trick or treating and for a costume party. We both agreed that he was darling in his girlish costumes and he seemed to enjoy it all at the time.
I've worn lots of things for costume parties or Halloween that I wouldn't consider wearing to a "serious" event like a wedding. Unless everyone is coming in costume I don't see what his past Halloween costumes have to do with anything.

If all of the bridesmaids were wearing strapless dresses and she wanted your 10 year old daughter as a jr. bridesmaid would she insist on putting her in the same dress? I hope she'd choose something that coordinated but was in a style appropriate for a 10 year old.

If your son does not normally wear dresses then IMO she shouldn't ask her to do so. She can have him as a "bridesman" (love that term!) and honor their relationship without asking him to do something that could be uncomfortable now or in the future. (wedding pictures are around for a long time!)

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#15 of 59 Old 06-24-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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One important thing to remember... There will always be pictures of this event and you and your son need to remember this in case he might be mortified later on in life or if he isn't super comfortable with the whole idea but does it anyway (re: the dress part)

Always remember the pictures.....
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#16 of 59 Old 06-24-2006, 08:06 PM
 
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Sharon, if your son wanted to cross-dress I would be all for supporting him in his choices, although at 10 I would encourage him to be private about it.

I do not think this is the case. He should not be put in the position of having to choose between pleasing a beloved aunt and dressing as a boy. Really, I think you should tell your sister no.

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#17 of 59 Old 06-24-2006, 08:17 PM
 
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a 10 yr old boy shouldn't have to make the choice between pleasing someone he loves by cross dressing or being true to himself. Like PP's said - ask him if he wants to be in the wedding and then I'd tell your sis that since your son is NOT a cross dresser that it is not up for question. That is just wierd to ask that of him.
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#18 of 59 Old 06-24-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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my thoughts...for what they're worth, are to let him be a bridesmaid wearing a color co-ordinating tux as the bridesmaid dresses, or to ask you sister to ask him to be a groomsman. nothing says the groomsmen have to be only friends of the groom. at my wedding, my step father was one of my husbands groomsmen, and my dh's sister was one of my bridesmaids.

it can work, but certainly ask your son what he wants to do.
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#19 of 59 Old 06-24-2006, 10:51 PM
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No way should any pressure be put on this boy to wear cross-gendered clothes to an event so public and so important to a person he cares about. I second the "bridezilla" assessment. Just because someone can "pass" for female does not mean they should be put into such a situation to please someone else.
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#20 of 59 Old 06-25-2006, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your input. It has really helped me make up my mind. I am going to tell my sister that its okay for her to ask my son to be in her wedding party since evryone seems quite supportive of the idea. If he agrees, which I'm sure he will, I'm going to warn her not to ask him to wear a dress. That seems to be the general concensus with which I totally agree. As someone suggested, we can work out the details of what he will be wearing later. I sort of lean toward having my mother, who is an excellent seamstress, make him a shirt and pants outfit to match the bridesmaid dresses. A tux like the groomsmen would be okay, but wouldn't blend in as nicely. Its my sister's wedding however and we definitely need my son's input on this as well.

My sister is coming over for dinner tomorrow and she will ask him to be in the wedding at that time with the conditions that I have set. We'll see where we go from there.
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#21 of 59 Old 06-25-2006, 01:01 AM
 
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Sharon- I think that is a nice idea. I would have to say though that I think a matching shirt should suffice as a shirt and pants that match might be strange looking, especially if your sister chooses pink or something. My Brother was the "Man of Honor" at his best friend's wedding (yes, his friend is a girl) He wore the same Tuxedo as the groom's men, except the groom's men had cumberbuns and bow ties that were a print that coordinated with the girls dresses and Zach wore a vest and bow tie that was made of the same material as the dresses
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#22 of 59 Old 06-25-2006, 02:33 AM
 
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I had a "Man of Honor" at my wedding, and JOKED about him wearing a dress, but would never EVER seriously suggest it. I don't see a problem with him standing on the bride's side as a male bridesmaid (bridesboy???), but wearing a dress seems WAY too much to ask (unless he was a serious crossdresser already). It's different if it's a costume party and whatnot, but a serious occassion? No way
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#23 of 59 Old 06-25-2006, 10:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls
He wore the same Tuxedo as the groom's men, except the groom's men had cumberbuns and bow ties that were a print that coordinated with the girls dresses and Zach wore a vest and bow tie that was made of the same material as the dresses
: - great idea!

OP, let us know how it goes...I'm very curious!!

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#24 of 59 Old 06-25-2006, 10:55 AM
 
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I personally think once he agreed i would let him make that choice on his own. I dont think it should factor in to whether or not he is in the wedding. That needs to come next. I think if she makes it a requirment for him to be on her side and he was not into it i would have him pass ... I think having your son wear a dress for someone elses sake could cause him some confusion in the future.... even possibly ill feelings towards someone or some people...
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#25 of 59 Old 06-25-2006, 11:02 AM
 
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[QUOTE=SharonO] I sort of lean toward having my mother, who is an excellent seamstress, make him a shirt and pants outfit to match the bridesmaid dresses. A tux like the groomsmen would be okay, but wouldn't blend in as nicely.QUOTE]

I would go with the tux with the tie and vest in the same fabric or color as the dresses. He will blend in very nicely that way. He doesn't need to match the bridesmaids exactly anyway. A shirt and pants outfit would not be dressy enough anyway. I had a "bridesman" in my wedding party. He wore the same tux as the groomen. But his tie and cummerbund was the same fabric as the bridesmaid dresses. The pictures looked fantastic.

Good luck with your sister.

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#26 of 59 Old 06-25-2006, 11:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry
nothing says the groomsmen have to be only friends of the groom. at my wedding, my step father was one of my husbands groomsmen, and my dh's sister was one of my bridesmaids.
i have never heard of only having the groom pick the male attendants and the bride pick the female attendants. i'm in NC and it's common here for the bride's brother to be a groomsman and the groom's sister to be a bridesmaid. i think it would be perfectly fine to have her ask him to be a groomsman. in fact i think it's a little weird to have the whole "groom's side" and "bride's side". yick. ideally people would be friends with both the bride and the groom! i definitely vote no on the dress-wearing. people who don't know him will just think he's a girl (esp given your description of him) and people will talk about that wedding for a long long time and they won't be talking about the bride and groom. it will definitely take the focus off of the couple.

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#27 of 59 Old 06-25-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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OK, I don't really care if the groom picks a female attendent or the bride picks a male attendent. And I don't think it matters what side they stand on, or how they make their way down the isle. BUT can we please, if we're going to be mixing genders all over the place, at least use gender-neutral terms for the attendents? Like "bride's attendents" and "groom's attendents" instead of bridesmaids and groomsmen? That's my best idea. But please don't call a boy a "bridesmaid." No matter what he wears.

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#28 of 59 Old 06-26-2006, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday was the day my sister came over for dinner and asked my son to be in her wedding party. Like so many instances in life, the problems you anticipate usually never happen or are easily dealt with. Its the ones you don't foresee that get you.

My sister explained how much she wanted my son to take part of her wedding. He was very enthusiastic about doing so, As I thought he would be. She explained that the groom usually has his close friends and relatives as his attendants and the bride did likewise. Since I am to be the Matron of Honor, she said that since he was almost like a son to her, it would be nice if he was one of her attendants as well. She gave him the option of being in the groom's party if he would rather, but he didn't quickly agreed that he wanted to be with her. She gave him a big hug and told him how much having him with her meant. Nothing further was mentioned about what he would wear and we then had a nice dinner.

After dinner my sister and I were talking about how easily and satisfactorily all of this had worked out. She said we could sort out what he would wear after she decided on colors, styles etc for the rest of her attendants. About that time my son came down from his room and asked if he could see the pictures from my wedding. I dug out my album and gave it to him and he took it back to his room.

When he came down to return my wedding album and to say goodnight a bit later. He had a very concerned look on his face. I asked what was the matter and he hummed and hawed around a bit and finally said that after looking at my wedding pictures he was worried about what he would have to wear to the wedding. Before anyone could respond he went on with words to the effect that he hoped that he could wear a dress like one I and the other attendants would would be wearing rather than one like the flowergirl was wearing in my wedding.

After a moment of stunned silence while we picked our jaws up off the floor, my sister assured him that she hadn't even started to plan what everyone would be wearing, but assured him that he would definitely not have to wear a flowergirl dress. She quickly went on to mention some of the various options that have been discussed on this thread, but ended with the option of wearing a dress like he had originally requested. She told him to think about it and that there was no big hurry for a decision. He seemed greatly relieved and went happily off to bed.

I was a little put out with my sister for adding the dress option, but she countered that he had originally been willing to wear one and maybe secretly wanted to do so. That thought had entered my mind also and didn't give me much comfort. We left it at that and I spent a very sleepless night wondering about my son, his sexuality, his future and what I would do if he asked to wear a dress at the wedding. Nothing was mentioned at breakfast this morning and he was his usual happy self as he went off to school. Here I am still stewing about it. Had to write this and get it off my chest.
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#29 of 59 Old 06-26-2006, 12:41 PM
 
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Why can't he be a bridesmaid and just wear a tuxedo?? I guess I'm lost on that one. I wouldn't allow my 10 yr old son to be in a wedding in front of everyone in girl's clothing, sorry, but I wouldn't and he wouldn't want to do it either. Is it not possible for him to be on the grooms side? I know of couples that have done that in the past as well. Either way he is in the wedding party. :

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#30 of 59 Old 06-26-2006, 03:34 PM
 
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Great to hear how it went Sharon. As I understood it's a while until the wedding and you will hopefully have some opportunities to talk to both your sister and your son until the final arrangements are made.

It was nice to se that he didn't have any protest against wearing a dress and that he brought this up himself.

-But this raises another dilemma as I see it: In case he's got crossdressing tendencies (and he might) - will it be right to deny him to wear a dress? What might he be feeling if you said that boys must wear tuxedos and he is really starting to "come out" to you?

I would at least let the dress be an option, -maybe let him try on some and find time to talk to him and see if he want to "be a girl".

During the planning you can have a lot of opportunities to show pictures of both dresses, tuxes and other things. It's a great opprotunity to talk normally about this and not make it a problem (and make him think that beeing a boy is a problem..)

oki... I may be rambling away here and it may not be so serious as I said... but what if?

Anyway it's supposed to be a fun time - and I hope you all have a great time planning and preparing the wedding!

And if he want to to wear a dress - Let him do it! (Don't let other ppl's opinions be the only one that counts)


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