As weddings become less traditional, more women are opting for a co-ed bridal party. It's the perfect solution for a bride who wants her brother or best guy friend by her side on the big day. An "honor attendant," or a "man of honor," takes on the maid of honor role with differences in duties and dress. A male bridesmaid is usually called a "bridesman" or a "bride's attendant." Here, we break down how to flawlessly incorporate your man of honor into your bridal party.
Make Him Feel Comfortable
Even though you're close with your man of honor, he may feel awkward taking on the nontraditional duty at your wedding. Melissa McNeeley, an event planner at Events by Melissa McNeeley, suggests asking him how to make the experience more comfortable and fun. Listen to his insights about everything from the bachelorette party to the processional, and make sure to avoid placing him in any unpleasant situations.
McNeeley also recommends asking your bridesman what he can bring to the table, whether it's a game for the bridal shower or a wardrobe idea. The gesture will show your appreciation and make him feel included in the festivities.
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Reconsider Traditional Maid-of-Honor Duties
A man of honor should take on some traditional maid of honor duties, like planning the shower (make it co-ed, too!), keeping track of vendors, and toasting the couple. Other tasks depend on the comfort level of everyone involved. If he's handy with a toolset, assign him to construct pieces of furniture and décor for the big day. If he's into fashion, take him dress shopping to get a male's point of view on the gowns. You could also invite him into the bridal suite before the ceremony; just be mindful of the other bridesmaids dressing and getting ready. "Do what feels good to you," says McNeeley. When it comes to having a male in your bridal party, "the rulebook is thrown out the door!"
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Be Creative with Attire
Most bridesmen wear the same outfit as the groomsmen, with an added tie or pocket square that matches the bridesmaid dresses. He could also don shorter pants with long, colored socks. A boutonniere that complements the bridesmaid bouquets rounds out the look nicely.
Brides with modern tastes can take the opportunity to make an unexpected fashion statement. McNeeley suggests having everyone in your bridal party—both male and female—rock a tuxedo. "I would like to see the man of honor and the bridesmaids in tuxedos," she says. "The woman would be in feminine tailored tuxedos in the same color."
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Plan Out Ceremony Details
Having a man of honor won't change most aspects of your wedding ceremony, but you need to think about coupling up. Bridesmaids and groomsmen typically walk down the aisle in pairs, and having an extra male will upset the balance. As a solution, consider having the groomsmen walk down the aisle before the bridesmaids, either separately or as a group. You could also have the groomsmen stand at the altar before the processional begins.
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