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Gender Neutral Wedding Terms for Inclusive Officiants

Published Friday, Apr. 28th, 2023

Photo by Trần Long (cropped) / Pexels

Try these gender-free alternatives to describe the wedding couple and wedding party



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AMM Audio Articles · Gender Neutral Wedding Terms for Inclusive Officiants




Inclusive wedding officiants make a BIG difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ couples! The words you use – and avoid using – when preparing and performing a wedding ceremony help make your couples feel seen, respected, accepted, and welcome. 


Embracing gender neutral language is a simple way to demonstrate your support for the LGBTQ+ community and their families. 


The gender-free terms below are a great addition to any inclusive officiant’s toolbox. Use gender-neutral terms when you don’t yet know the gender of someone you’ll be marrying; when performing a wedding for a nonbinary or agender person (or couple); and on your officiant website, contract, questionnaire, and marketing materials. 


If you’re brand new to working with the LGBTQ+ community – and the ideas of gender-neutral language, gender identities, or using different pronouns – check out this simple introduction written specifically for wedding officiants to help you get started: 




Close up photo of the happy couple showing their wedding rings



Gender neutral terms for the person getting married (or just married)...


These terms make great alternatives to gendered options like ‘bride,’ ‘groom,’ ‘wife,’ and ‘husband.’

  • Marrier
  • Nearlywed
  • Soon-to-be-Wed (or To-be-Wed)
  • Spouse-to-Be
  • Spouse
  • Partner
  • Newlywed
  • The Couple (When referring to both parties)
  • Their Name

Gender neutral terms for the wedding party…


These terms make great alternatives to gendered options like ‘bridesmaid,’ ‘groomsman,’ ‘maid of honor,’ ‘best man,’ ‘mother of the bride,’ or ‘father of the bride.’


  • Attendant
  • Person of Honor
  • Attendant of Honor
  • Flower Child
  • Ring Bearer
  • Parent or Elder
  • Wedding Party or Wedding Crew (For the group)

A note on ‘bridal’...


In places where using ‘bridal’ is common, substitute ‘wedding.’ 


This works for most cases – for example, ‘bridal shower’ or ‘bridal suite’ becomes ‘wedding shower’ or ‘wedding suite.’ Instead of a ‘bridal gown,’ or ‘bridal show,’  it’s a ‘wedding gown’ and a ‘wedding show.’


See how easy it is to ditch gendered wedding words? 




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Gender Neutral Wedding Ceremony Script 

This gender neutral wedding ceremony script was written by American Marriage Ministries to serve as a starting point for your own wedding ceremony. This script was written for couple's that don't want to include gender specific pronouns or language in their ceremony. We encourage you to use this script as is or build on this script for a more personalized ceremony for the couple.

Click here to read the full ceremony script


A young couple kisses




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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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