Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
Bridal Party

Bridesman Duties: Everything Your Man of Honor Needs to Know

How to include a dude in the bridal party without feeling like one of the girls

Jon Upchurch

Long gone are the days when bridesmaids had to be just that: maids. Today, having a best guy friend, brother, or even a business partner standing by your side at the altar is becoming more common. After all, if they’re your support system and close confidant, who cares how they define their gender? If you’re adding a bridesman or man of honor to your bridal party, there are still a few logistics you’ll need to consider. Here are five ways brides having a best man can do to include your favorite dude in all those wedding traditions.

Choose guy-friendly themes for your pre-wedding festivities.

While the bridal shower and bachelorette party are traditionally women-only events, that doesn’t mean your bridesman has to get the boot. Instead, make sure the event is something where he’ll feel welcome. That means skipping the lingerie shower in favor of an indulgent cooking class or an afternoon of wine tasting, and probably going easy on the genitalia paraphernalia at your bachelorette party. If there are both bridesmen and groomswomen in the mix, consider skipping the separate parties altogether, and have a co-ed shower and a joint bachelor and bachelorette outing.

Take advantage of his skills.

Just like you would with your bridesmaids, make use of any abilities your bridesman might have. If he’s crafty or a whiz in the kitchen, include him while you make and package homemade cookies or bottles of limoncello for your favors. If he’s more of a handyman, he could be just the person you needed to construct your altar or photo booth backdrop.

Be sartorially savvy.

If you’re going to have a guy join your bridal party, he needs to dress like it! Of course, that doesn’t mean a pink suit to match the pink dresses you’ve chosen. Instead, find more subtle ways to tie him in with the girls. Have him wear a suit that matches the groomsmen, then top it off with a tie or pocket square that matches the bridesmaids’ dresses. Want him to stand out as part of your crew and not your partner's? If you’ve got multiple colors in your wedding palette, choose one for the bridesmaids and bridesman and another for the groomsmen.

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Everything will tie together nicely, without having your man of honor confused with your groom’s frat brothers. If you’re having a black tie wedding, your bridesman should be in a tuxedo like the rest of the gentlemen. Top the lapel with a boutonniere featuring a bloom that matches your bouquet. Choose a flower or palette for your bridesmaids and bridesman only, then have the groom and groomsmen wear boutonnieres of a different variety.

Include him on your wedding day.

He may or may not be comfortable hanging out in the bridal suite all day (especially when it’s time to get dressed!) depending on the guy, but make sure your bridesman is present for key moments. Invite him to join the group for brunch or lunch, and make sure he’s around when the photographer arrives to take a photo of you and your ‘maids in your matching robes. Then he can head to the door while you all change and meet up with you in the hotel lobby to board the shuttle to the chapel. And if you need anything during the day, like a sewing kit from the local drug store or another bottle of champagne? Well, he’s not in hair and makeup, so he’s your go-to guy!

See more: Is It Ever Okay to Email Wedding Thank-You Notes?

Encourage him to be the friend he’s always been.

Just like your bridesmaids, you’ve chosen your bridesman because of the friendship the two of you share. The fact that you’re getting married doesn’t change that in the slightest! Encourage him to do exactly what you’d ask of your bridesmaids: Offer to help, be supportive, and pitch in if you need him. His biggest job is to be a great friend, a perfect gentleman, and an extension of the host and hostess for your guests. Any guy friend who can do that definitely deserves the honor, traditional or not.

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