How to best include a butch lesbian bridesmaid: A guide for well-meaning straight brides

Now, what about the other wedding-related events, decisions, and festivities? Here’s a handy Q&A for your matrimonial reference and planning pleasure:

Q: Do I let her invite a guest?

A: Yes, if you’re letting everyone else in the wedding party invite a guest. This means that gay people might dance at your wedding. Everyone’s on their best behavior at weddings and no one will make a thing of it. 

Q: Bouquet or boutonniere for the butch bridesmaid?

A: Your choice.

Q: Is she supposed to walk down the aisle with a groomsman, or walk by herself, or what?

A: In my opinion, this one is your choice, too. You can ask her what she’s comfortable with, and you could always have her seat your groom-to-be’s grandmother or something, but I think you get to decide this based on what’s convenient for the ceremony. When I was a bridesmaid in a suit and tie, I walked down the aisle with a guy, and although it made us smile and probably made an uncle or two scratch his head in momentary confusion, it was completely fine and didn’t detract from the ceremony. The point is to get everyone up there in an orderly fashion. Don’t sweat this one too much.

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Q: Do I invite Butchy McB to the bachelorette party or will that be weird?
A: Yes, and yes. Invite her and give her a heads-up on any hyper-hetero carryings on.
 Some butches think it’s hilarious to sip Long Island iced teas through penis-shaped straws while pretending to ogle a male stripper. Others will be extremely uncomfortable. Make it clear that you’d love to have her, but that it’s 100% fine if she opts out.

Q: What about while we’re doing our hair, nails, and makeup?
A: Give her some non-gender-conforming options. If you’re going for manicures, tell her she can get a men’s pedicure or a foot massage. And during makeup time, ask her to be the official photographer (scientific fact: butches love having duties).

Q: I’m giving all my bridesmaids a gift. What do I give the butch one?
A: Nothing traditionally girly! Something that’s more “her” communicates that you see her as an individual. Failsafes include a unique pocket knife or watch, a modern laptop bag, a high-end wireless speaker, or something cool for her kitchen.

Q: What if my other bridesmaids are homophobic?

A: If they’re your buddies, you need a friend upgrade. If it’s a sister-in-law or someone else you’re obligated to include, you’ll have to deal with some discomfort. Lines you can use include, “This is my wedding and she’s my friend, and she’s going to be a part of it as she is,” and “Jesus didn’t teach us to judge each other by the clothes we wear.”

And that, my dear straight friends, is how to gracefully incorporate your masculine-of-center friend into your wedding with grace and style. If you have lingering questions, feel free to shoot me an email at butchwonders@yahoo.com. Happy wedding planning!