Bridesmen and groomswomen are gaining popularity, and with good reason.

Bridesmen and groomswomen are gaining popularity, and with good reason.

"So, I have a question for you."

"Shoot," I said. My friend Will had called me to talk about his upcoming wedding, and he paused, uncertain how to begin. "Will you be the maid of honor but, like, for the groom?" he asked.

"Are you kidding me?" I responded. "Of course I will!"

When the big day rolled around, I stood proudly next to one of my closest friends while he said his wedding vows to the girl of his dreams and wondered to myself, "How come more people don't do this?"

It's something I still wonder about. As someone with dear friends of both genders, I'm a huge proponent of mixed-gender wedding parties. But many couples seem reluctant to break tradition by bringing a dude over to the bride's side or a lady over to the groom's.

"I think sometimes people don't know what to call it, and part of it is pure tradition," says Emilie Duncan of Emilie Duncan Event Planning. She says couples often stumble over how to dress non-traditional wedding party members. And, as my conversation with Will illustrated, it can be hard to figure out what titles to use. But if you're willing to think outside the box and get creative with your wedding party, it can be rewarding, as two of Duncan's clients have discovered.

Jeff Rhodebeck and Kellie Szczerbacki are getting married in October, and initially Kellie wanted to include Jeff's twin sister, Abby, among her bridesmaids. "But as I was talking it through with Emilie, I realized how silly that was," she says. "I was hung up on the convention of it and how it would look." After talking it over, it became clear to the couple that Abby belongs next to her brother when they get married later this year. "For me, it was pretty obvious," Jeff says. "Growing up as twins, we were best friends. I have a lot of guy friends that were possible candidates, but it was nothing comparable."

Kellie, Jeff and Abby all agreed it makes sense for Abby to wear a dress that matched the color of the groomsmen's suits. She's chosen to pass on the bachelor party, but that means she'll also get to spend some quality time with Kellie and her friends at the bachelorette. And as for her title? "We've been calling her the 'Best Abby,' " Kellie says, laughing.

"People are more willing to break to the so-called rules nowadays, and in the grand scheme it's a small rule to break," Duncan observes. "If someone is special to you, gender shouldn't matter." For Jeff, it's all about honoring and recognizing the people who are most important to you. "It's not so much about gender symmetry, but relationship symmetry," he says.