Why we chose to have an "adventuring party" instead of bridesmaids and groomsmen

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Geoff

It's about time we heard from another offbeat groom! Here's Tribesmaid Fiddledragon's future husband with his insights into why they're having an "adventuring party" instead of a "wedding party."

These dudes DEFINITELY look ready for adventuring together. Thanks to MrsSteel for uploading this to our Flickr pool.
These dudes DEFINITELY look ready for adventuring together. Thanks to MrsSteel for uploading this to our Flickr pool.

There were a wide variety of thoughts that played into our decision to have an "adventuring party" rather than the traditional set of bridesmaids and groomsmen. First, that particular paradigm didn't shout FUN in the way that an Adventuring Party did. We certainly didn't want to have to pair people off and balance gender count or sides anyway. That could easily become boring, or even *shudder* routine.

In addition, one of the themes of Steampunk is "life as adventure." This is one sentiment we have a great deal of enthusiasm for and it informed our choice. We want to enjoy and risk and push ourselves in as many directions towards fun as possible and there is no better way to do it than in the company of those we love and care about. As such, the adventuring party is particularly symbolic of everyone we share our lives with — both family and friends.

Once we made the decision to name it that, we suddenly began finding other ways that the choice was appropriate…

Both of us played Roleplaying Games, from Live Action to Tabletop to Online, where grouping for better enjoyment and mutual support was a given. Groups of "heroes" abound in literature: from the Knights of the Round Table to the Avengers to Doc Savage's group of assistants. It also sparked the idea that led to the rather unique narrative style of our wedding ceremony.

One of the dictionary definitions of adventure is "to participate in exciting undertakings or enterprises."

Choosing to eschew the conventional was a debated and measured choice on our part. We do feel strongly about some traditions and wanted to make sure that we changed things around intelligently, being very picky about the way and manner in which we adjusted the traditional format of a wedding. Changing to an adventuring party was one we felt strongly about. Social connections are crucially important to both of us, with our extended web of family and friends forming a bulwark against the vicissitudes of fortune.

All of the members of our adventuring party have helped us prepare for and/or are participating in the ceremony in different ways, as they (and all of our friends) do from day to day in life. From planning to coordinating; from errands to creative projects; from escorts to speakers to ringbearers. As in the rest of our lives, no contribution is unimportant; no moment of love or concern or company unnecessary.

The members of our adventuring party have, in many cases, known one or both of us for years (in the case of our children, their entire lives). Even those younger friendships involved are strong ones and will certainly stand well to the test of time. They are all very emblematic of the type of person we enjoy spending time with, representative of different stages and moods in our lives and having shared with us many exciting times over these years.

One of the dictionary definitions of adventure is "to participate in exciting undertakings or enterprises." Sounds like living to you, doesn't it? It most certainly does to the two of us. We invite all of you, as a larger adventuring party, to join us in the great adventure of life.

  1. I'm curious, how do you figure out your adventuring party? One of the biggest challenges I'm finding is figuring out a wedding party size, because I either feel like it will have to just be my stepsister, or it'll be 50 of my friends because I'm that close to all of them! I know that's not really a bad thing, but how do you keep your adventuring party from turning into your entire guest list standing next to you during the ceremony?

    • Jaya, the entire adventuring party doesn't have to stand next to you during the ceremony. That's not the defining characteristic of these folks, imo. The point is they all hold a place of honor in your lives, and in your event. Some of them may stand with you, others may do a reading, or serve as day of coordinators, or mother in law wranglers or cake servers or some other such important function. They're all important, and they are all equal, but they're all different. At least that's how I envision it. The OP might mean something altogether different, but there's my spin.

      • I would agree with this.

        While there were a number of people who are important in our lives that we could have chosen, narrowing it down to a few for specific reasons was really key, but then we didn't limit help with the ceremony/reception to just those in the party.

  2. We didn't have ushers, we had sheepdogs/welcome wierdos. A couple of people who weren't shy of telling people to get a move on and herd them into the room.

  3. Wow! I love this! Especially since I very often say of anything new I do or try "it'll be an adventure!" ๐Ÿ˜€ Do you mind if I use the Adventuring Party concept, too?

    • We certainly don't own the concept ๐Ÿ˜€ Please do!

      (We would have responded sooner, but we just got back from our honeymoon :D)

  4. this is totally awesome and I wish we'd thought of it (our wedding is in less than a month)! it would be cool to incorporate other geek/adventuring themes into this concept as well (i feel like there has to be table top rpg/d&d element about rolling dice or +5 charisma joke that could be added). we're getting married on a ship (for our sailpunk wedding), so the wedding party standing next to us (or going down the aisle together) thing is kind of moot anyway. maybe it's not too late to rename our wedding party to our adventuring party XD

    • We were making modifications and updates to our ceremony up to the last minute (*cough* my vows were written the night before *cough*) the important thing is that your wedding contains elements that are true to the two of you.

  5. Love the idea of the "adventuring party." We've decided to forgo the traditional bridal party, too, but are calling them our "entourage." Some of them will help us out with wedding prep, but mostly they are there to hang out with us and keep us sane and laughing in the months, days, and hours leading up to the wedding. We figure that this keeps the costs low and the fun level high for everyone involved.

  6. My husband and I went with Team Bride and Team Groom. The male on my side was my bridesman, and the female on his side was his groomswoman. This could work with a same-sex wedding by simply using Team [bride name] or Team [groom name]. And if the couple is particularly into one or more sports, you could use titles like forward, point guard, striker, fullback – whatever the positions are in your sport of choice – rather than bridesmaid, etc. In fact, now that I've thought of this, I'm a bit peeved I didn't do this myself.

  7. I had my posse. I told them to wear "anything that made them feel fabulous". And each had their own role. One was my "stage manager" and made a toast, another held a chuppah pole, and a third was my "shomeret" or gaurd before the wedding. Each was special to me and each did a role that fit their personality.

    The kids were a "kids parade" with ribbon wands, announcing the beginning of the ceremony. They also were told to "wear what makes you feel fabulous." The 5 year old boy wanted to wear a cape. I said that was fine!

    I was the "best sister" in my brother's wedding, and that was perfect too!

  8. Between my partner-to-be (PTB) and I, we have 7 siblings that we couldn't imagine not including in the wedding, but we didn't want to leave out our close friends either. We decided to have two acknowledged groups: Siblings and Sidekicks.

  9. We have 1 bridesmaid and 1 groomsmaid so its easier for me to refer them collectively as 'our girls'. We also have a mate who is going to be marrying us, MC at the reception and will be heavily involved in driving the day along. Skipper will LOVE the term 'our entourage' which I am seriously considering adopting for our group of friends that I am planning on asking to be his (friend marrying us) support crew on the day, doing things like setting up the ceremony site, packing it up, decorating the reception room, etc!

  10. My husband had a Best Man and a "groomslady" and I had a Best Dame (because IMO the Maid of Honor thing is super wack).

    We referred to them collectively as our minions.

  11. Beginning of a wedding theme that's going to catch on, simply because the new generation's always looking for something different. I like "pewcrew", because there's a little bit of tradition left in that one.

  12. Of the 6 girls I've asked, 4 of them are married, and I hate the word "matron." So I'm calling all of them Bridesladies.

  13. We just got married on 10/19, and had an Uh-mazing Game of Thrones/Bibliophile themed wedding. In keeping with the theme, my hubby's party was his King's Guard, and mine was the Queen's Guard. We also took it a step further, with the Best Man being the Hand of the King and MOH being the Mother of Dragons!

  14. We have traditional wedding parties in that all my attendants are female and all his are male, but I am not doing the whole maid of honor thing and wanted a collective term. Originally I was going to call the girls my handmaidens of awesome, and he wanted to call the guys valets of badassery. This would have been fine except my grandmother is coming and as this is going to be a weird enough wedding as it is I'd rather not have cursing in front of her on top of it. So now I'm thinking of calling them all minions of matrimony. Or matrimony minions.

  15. For us we didn't want some members of our wedding party to out rank others, so he has a Possee, and I have a League of Extraordinary Red Heads! I didn't realize until after I chose all of them that they and I are all redheads by nature or choice.

  16. All of these suggestions are so wonderful. My FH and I had a lot of fun browsing OBB when we were choosing what to call our "people."

    We are having a sci-fi geek wedding. I am a huge Trekkie so my people are called my "Bridge Crew" (complete with aliases from the shows, e.g. one of my best friends from college is going to be Riker, a.k.a. "Number One"). He grew up addicted to Star Wars, so his people are his "Jedi Council." We also have a shared best man (the guy who got us together 11 years ago!) and we are considering "Mr. Universe" or "Pilot" (among other things). Additional suggestions are welcome!

  17. This is terrific! We're still using the term Wedding party, so they're the Partiers for now. We're letting them suggest their titles, so that everyone can be a 'bestie' if they want to be. We already have votes for a "Best Berserker," a "Cheese of Honor," and a "Most Righteous Bestie." These might change over time, but we're loving the thought going into it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I would never be able put put a hierarchy on my closest friends. So I am calling them Agents of Awesome. My partner isn't so sure about this yet so she is still thinking. These are great ideas I can run by her. Thanks!

  19. I see my bridesmaids as being more my counsel and muscle than my maids. I'm in the National Guard, and in the Army, every commander has an executive officer (XO), who takes the commander's ideas and makes them feasible, and a first sergeant (1SG), who makes them happen. So my sister is my XO and my sister-in-law-to-be is my 1SG. ๐Ÿ˜€

    "Brain Trust" was a close second.

  20. We are having "Best Supporting Ladies" and "Best Supporting Men" as our Oscar nod in our cinema wedding ๐Ÿ™‚

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