Wedding attendants is the catch-all term for ushers, best men, matrons of honour, bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys. For something less formal, bridesmaids are sometimes referred to as ‘the girls’ ‘my girls’ or ‘gal pals’ particularly in the US. This term ‘girls’ is used whether the bridesmaids are in their twenties or their fifties! There are lots of other words and customs associated with weddings that have fallen out of popular use, and we love the word ‘bridallers’ which is another term for wedding guests. You could even change that to ‘bridaleers’ something altogether more elaborate; a sort of cross between a guest and a musketeer. If you are having a period themed wedding you could invite your family and friends to join your ‘band of bridaleers’ and add a touch of theatre to the proceedings.
Revive another old wedding custom and ask your florist to make up a ‘tossing bouquet’ for you. Bridal bouquets can be quite heavy and expensive, especially with the current trend to incorporate pearls or crystal decorations, so you may not want to injure your wedding guests when it is thrown, or damage it if you want to have it preserved. A tossing bouquet is like a smaller ‘stunt version’ of your actual bouquet, made up with the same colours and blooms, but on a much smaller scale and without any heavy decorations; it would also make a lovely keepsake for the person who catches it if you have it made up in lightweight faux flowers.
Our favourite term though (which we would love to see making a comeback) has to be ‘paranymph’ which comes from ancient Greece. It is a gender neutral term that was used for someone who escorted the bridegroom when he went to bring his bride home, or a bridesmaid who escorted the bride to the bridegroom. It also refers to someone who is a friend, ally or spokesman and sounds like just the sort of person, male or female, who you would want by your side on your wedding day. Quite aside from all of this, imagine a wedding in a woodland with lots of greenery and flowers and a whole row of forest paranymphs waiting to greet you – amazing!