Ask A Woman: Do you want to be a bridesman? I do!
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My very good friend and sister-from-another-mister completely surprised me this weekend by asking me to be her bridesman. I’m excited and very honored to stand next to my friend as she gets married. I have an idea as to what is expected of me; I’ve been in bridal parties before, just always on the other side of the altar.
So… what do I do? What sort of things would you expect of a man that you asked to be your bridesman?
Your help is greatly appreciated.
How fun! I think this arrangement is becoming more common, which is nice to see. I love the marriage (ha!) of tradition and modernity.
First, are you a bridesman or are you the man of honor? Traditionally, the maid/man of honor takes the lead in things like planning for and throwing the bridal shower, as well as the bachelorette party (much like the best man might). The maid/man of honor might also have responsibilities on the day of the wedding like picking up the flowers from the florist or making sure Aunt Sandy doesn’t get into the vodka. A bridesmaid/man might help with these things, too, but it’s usually in a supportive role. If you are indeed a bridesman, then the first thing you can do once wedding planning kicks into gear is to contact the maid of honor and find out how you can help with the bride-celebrating events.
Attending these events may make you feel a bit like a fish out of water. You’ll probably be the only dude at the bridal shower. Get ready for a lot of pink napkins, mimosas, and glittery bridal-themed underwear. You may also be the only dude at the bachelorette party. Same idea, just sassier. And with penis straws. I’m so sorry but you’ll have to drink your cocktail (heyo!) with a penis straw. Here’s your motto when you feel a little weird about sipping a cosmopolitan while discussing the virtues of serving cupcakes versus traditional wedding cake: I’m up for anything. Be open and enthusiastic about this glimpse into girl-world.
The day of the wedding, make sure you know what the bride needs from you. If she hasn’t assigned you any specific tasks, be ready to deal with last minute necessities, like running back to her apartment to get the flower girl’s forgotten dress or picking up food for the gals. Your main job is to do what you can to make the bride’s day fun, light, joyful and less stressful (a stress-free bride is nearly impossible). If she freaks out about the ring bearer not wanting to walk down the aisle, remind her that he’s not a critical part of the ceremony. At the end of the evening if she needs help loading a car with wedding gifts, pitch in (and be sober enough to do so effectively).
The morning of my sister’s wedding, she started crying after she’d had her makeup done, and my cousin, who was a bridesmaid, began belting out, “When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle!” from Monty Python. It was hilarious and sweet and it made everyone take a breath and laugh. Another good motto for the big day.
Got something brewing in your life? Send me an email–style, etiquette, relationships–I answer it all: firstname.lastname@example.org