Not all of us are blessed with just the perfect girl friend or female family member to stand by our side on one of the most important days of our lives. Some brides are lucky enough to have two men to stand with her at the altar; but old traditions can sometimes be hard to break. If you’re considering a man of honor, be bold and brave in your decision. You may be faced with hesitance, and maybe even downright disapproval, but it’s your day and you deserve to celebrate in a way that is distinctly you.
Before the big day, there are some considerations you should take into account. Proper planning will make for a much easier and far more graceful transition.
To the people closest to you, your decision should come as no surprise. Whether you’re enlisting your brother, your cousin, or your best friend, your choice should be an obvious one in the eyes of close friends and family. To others, including your officiant, announcing that you’ll have a man of honor instead of a maid of honor may come as a bit of a shock, so be prepared to deal with a little puzzlement.
After all, you’re breaking tradition in a big way. Remember that, not too long ago, matrons of honor were seen as a huge departure from the old ways, so don’t be surprised if your officiant asks your man of honor to “stop messing around” and stand beside your spouse-to-be instead of remaining rightfully by your side.
To avoid any confusion, make sure to let everyone involved in the planning stages know about your decision. This will ensure that your officiant knows who’s who in the wedding party, who your planner can go to with questions or last-minute concerns, and who the DJ’s going to be announcing when he or she makes the bridal party introductions.
Before making your decision—for maid, matron, or man of honor—you’ll need to consider who will be your perfect fit. There are a lot of things the maid of honor will be responsible for that a man of honor may or may not be ready for. If you don’t think your man of honor will be up to helping you go from bridal shop to bridal shop helping you pick out the perfect wedding dress, or dresses for other members of the bridal party; or don’t think he’d be comfortable planning and attending a risqué bachelorette party for you, you may want to consider a female counterpart to your bridal party.
A maid of honor/man of honor combination could be a perfect fit if you have your heart set on a gentleman not quite ready to see every aspect of the female psyche, and could be the perfect solution if the females in your life are getting restless over your decision.
However, feel free to invite your man of honor to any and all pre-wedding events you think he’ll be comfortable attending—from the bridal shower to the fittings, and on through the bachelorette party. The important thing is comfort. If you’re not quite ready to let him see you at your wild at craziest, or you think your friends would torture him by making him the model in The TP Wedding Dress Challenge, better to keep him on the sidelines until the ceremony.
You will, however, need your man of honor to take an active role in the planning stages of your wedding as well as your sanity maintenance. If you’re planning on showing off your DIY skills at your wedding, you’ll need a healthy backup roster to help you create your masterpieces, man of honor included. Or, if you’re having trouble choosing from the “Blissful” and the “Nirvana” party invitation packages, you’ll need someone to play the voice of reason when you have so many other things on your mind. Your man of honor needs to be up to the task, or, at the very least, provide you with words of sound logic or support when needed.
While the thought of your man of honor squeezing into a slightly different hue of your bridesmaid dresses may be enough to make you snicker a little, unless he’s up to it and you’ve got a more liberal crowd, it’s probably best to put him in a tuxedo or suit that mirrors your betrothed’s groomsmen. A beautiful satin trim, tie, or cufflinks in a complementary color to your dress, or one matching your bridesmaids’ dresses will set him apart without requiring him to hike up his skirt and march down the aisle.
Speaking of walking down the aisle; while your maid of honor often walks down the aisle with the best man, your man of honor can escort the maid of honor (if you’re going the dual route), a bridesmaid (if you and your soon-to-be spouse have an uneven number of attendants), can stroll solo towards the altar, or can even walk you down the aisle if you’d like.
While you may feel the added weight of all eyes on you, your wedding should be a representation of you and your soon-to-be. As long as you’re both in agreement on out-of-the-norm choices, don’t feel pressured by the expectations of others to make your wedding anything but your own. Be proud that you have two men beside you to usher you into this new chapter in life, and enjoy every minute of it!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.