Tag Archives: wedding party

He’s My Man (of Honor)

The person standing next to you at the altar (aside from your fiancé) is meant to be the one who is closest, knows you best and whose friendship is most cherished above all others. No rule says it must be a woman and, while often expected by guests, if that person for you is a male, there’s nothing wrong with him taking on the role. However, typically, his duties will differ in some ways than that of a Maid of Honor.

While he likely won’t be at your floral appointments or help you pick out table runners, your Man of Honor can still help you decorate and his handyman skills may be an added bonus. While he may not share the enthusiasm a girlfriend would for every little detail, he certainly will provide the listening ear and offer assistance which is the most important part of anyone in the coveted position.

Additionally, gender is no issue when it comes to rehearsal roles. Man or woman, the duties are primarily to provide you with a practice bouquet, make sure everyone shows up on time, is paying attention and to give a toast (if appropriate).

The day of is where things typically get a little bit different. Because he won’t be cinching your corset or pinning on your veil doesn’t mean he has to be excluded from the festivities. Put him in charge of grabbing anything for emergencies that may arise and getting food and drinks that he can enjoy with you and the ladies as you all relax and prepare.

Ideally, your Man of Honor will wear something that matches your bridesmaids but, keep in mind that he will probably be in some photos with just the guys too. Electing for something that meets in the middle is the safest and best way to go.

No matter who you choose to stand directly next to you during your ceremony, the selection should be based upon your history, trust and value rather than be constrained by gender or the expectations of what is considered “normal” or “acceptable.”

Let’s be ReaLISTic

Creating your guest list is no different from many other projects as you will start with a monumental idea only to realize the need for a more practical outcome. Whether you are planning a small, intimate ceremony or one to which you invite hundreds, there are some that should NEVER be included and others whom there is no obligation to extend an invitation to.  Here are just a few of those….

Certainly, there are people you see often and seemingly know every detail of your life, whether your manicurist, co-worker, boss etc. Therefore, you have had conversations about your upcoming marriage and perhaps each aspect of the planning process. However, neither that knowledge nor the amount of time spent together necessitate an invite.

There is no need to include all members of your family as, most likely, you have relatives with whom you don’t keep in contact with unless via holiday cards or see every few years if you happen to pass through their town or attend a family reunion. A great way to include them in your celebration (while alleviating feelings of guilt) is to send them an announcement along with a photo and personalized note.

It goes without saying that you exes belong in the “should NEVER be invited” category even if you have been apart for years and remain friends. Perhaps he/they has moved on as well but there is no assurance that seemingly long gone emotions won’t be stirred up. However, you can likely guarantee that his/their attendance would create an uncomfortable situation for your fiancé.

Plus ones are often expected to be included as some feel more comfortable attending an event which is a celebration of love, happiness and unity with their significant other rather than going alone. Of course, you should encourage your close family and friends to bring a guest. However, if you are not including certain relatives or others with whom you spend much of your time, there is no requirement to surround yourself with people you have never met.

Friends from high school with whom you only exchange occasional hellos with on social media, neighbors and friends of friends also fall into the “should NEVER be invited” category as you would not expect them to attend, mind if they didn’t or notice if they did. Also, it may seem as if their inclusion is merely an attempt to get more gifts as many do feel obliged to respond to an invitation in such a manner.

Chances are that you have heard all about weddings that you were not invited to and probably didn’t even give a second of thought to it. It is your day to be surrounded by those who mean the most to you. Including many who are either strangers or acquaintances casts a shadow over the value of ones you hold nearest and dearest.

Join My Party???

When choosing who to include in your bridal party, issues must be considered other than who is closest to you or who you feel obliged to ask.  The position entails more than simply standing by your side at the altar and may be more than some are willing to/can take on.

There is a cost that comes along with the duty. While you select the dresses, shoes and accessories, it is typically expected they purchase them on their own. Additionally, each commonly split the charges for the bachelorette party and bridal shower. As much as some may love to fill the position, it is just not feasible for them and you should not be offended by that.

Time and availability must be contemplated too. Most arrangements can be made via email or phone but some should be done in person to ensure everything is just as you want. However, it is not inappropriate to include someone who is unable to participate in every activity (depending their significance) without offending those who can.

Because someone accepts an invitation from a mutual friend yet declines yours is not indicative of importance or lack thereof. Circumstances change, other obligations have arisen and so on. They should still be invited as a guest though.

No wedding is going to go off flawlessly and there will undoubtedly be disappointments. They should not be taken personally nor create a cloud over what should be the shiniest day of your life.

I’d Like to Place an Order

When it comes to your bridal party, you may not give much thought to who stands where although there can easily be insinuations made by those you have chosen to include which can either be flattering or hurtful. It goes without saying that your matron of honor is traditionally your sister (if you have one) or best friend. That should not be offensive to anyone.

However, there are many ways to select an order for the remaining participants and the following are just a few ideas. While it can be potentially construed as hurtful, you can assign positions based on the nature of your relationship. It should not be lost on anyone you ask to stand next to you that they hold a special place in your heart and mean a great deal or else they wouldn’t be there.

One idea is that those who are closest to you (while each one is) stands nearest. That may be based on the number of years you have known them, the nature of your relationship or many other factors. Another option is to create an alignment in congruence with age.

It is completely appropriate to delegate who stands where based upon maturity. If you choose to do so, there will be no hard feelings as it would be difficult to find fault with any bride with that preference. If photos are one of the most important elements to you, a great way to appoint positions is height based in descending order so as to maximize the pleasance of each picture while keeping the focus on you and your husband.

The list goes on in reference as to how to determine who will stand where. It is yet another thing that brides don’t typically think requires any sort of consideration but, in actuality, does. Your decision is your own and is made because of your own personal reasons which are of the utmost importance.

Stand By Me

As society changes and modernizes, what is and isn’t acceptable does as well, weddings and just about every detail that goes into them being no exception. It has become appropriate to wear virtually any color that suits your fancy, opt for tennis shoes or cowboy boots instead of heels or even have your dog act as your ring bearer. Something else that has become admissible is choosing a man of honor in lieu of a matron of honor. If you make that decision, there are some things that you should give some thought to and here are just a few….

It is imperative that you discuss making that selection prior to doing so to ensure that your fiancé is okay with the idea, doesn’t feel disrespected or caught off guard. You also don’t want him to get the sense that the attention is taken away either from how wedding parties usually appear or by distracting or offending your guests by having a man at your side.

It goes without saying that donning a dress is not an option but a connection with your side of the party is paramount so as not to appear as if he is just standing in the wrong place. He should wear the same suit as the groomsmen. However, if they have ties on, his should differ by matching the color of your bridesmaids’ dresses and if boutonnieres are selected instead, his should coordinate with your bouquet in a different way than that of the others. In the event that neither are incorporated, a shirt in a matching shade to your bridesmaids is appropriate.

Your man of honor (also referred to as a male attendant) often takes on the duties that a maid of honor would such as helping you in your dress selection, deciding even the smallest details and holding your bouquet as you say your vows. The sole difference is that he is not a female.

You should not feel tied to appointing someone to the position due to a sense of obligation as, if someone is closer to you and their being the one standing next to you on your most important day would be more meaningful, that’s exactly what you should do. After all, you never want to look back and wish you’d made a different choice and certainly not one that was solely based on the influence of others.

Reception Conception

It goes without saying that the most important part of your wedding day is the ceremony as it is what joins you with your future husband in the presence of your friends and family. Your reception is the time for everyone to just relax, have a good time and celebrate the beginning of your new life together. Because many receptions are similar in terms of food, music, the order of things etc., it is easy for it to fall down on the list of priorities in terms of planning. However, here are some interesting things to think about…

Sometimes, brides toy with the idea of changing outfits for the reception for a variety of reasons and, of course, the decision is an individual one and completely up to you. If your gown is heavy or cumbersome, you may be more comfortable in something that is lighter and easier to move and dance in. However, a second ensemble is obviously an additional expense and your wedding day is the one time in your life that you will wear your dress. Also, photos will be taken of you and your new husband at the reception and you have to consider, for example, whether you want the tangible memories of your first dance to be of you wearing something other than what you were married in. Also, most brides take photos after the ceremony which leaves the guests waiting for a period of time and you should consider that changing clothes and reworking your look will add to that.

Wedding toasts are typically done after the first course has been served, usually beginning with the best man followed by the maid of honor and then the parents as well as anyone else you choose. Speeches should be both funny and sincere yet they should not include information that your other guests will not understand references to nor should they be too long as, in conjunctions with the others, guests can sometimes lose interest. Keep in mind that you may choose not to have a sit-down dinner at your reception and just hors d’oeuvres instead in which case, toasts are usually done during the rehearsal dinner.

While music should be a personal preference based on your likes and that of your husband, food is an element of the reception that the guests should be factored in to as, on average, receptions last approximately four hours including the cocktail hour (if you choose to have one), first dance, meal, toasts and cake cutting so overall, ceremony and downtime in between included, your wedding will be about six hours. That timeframe will be extended if your wedding and ceremony are in different locations and, most likely, people will get hungry. While meat is the focus of most wedding courses, it is always nice to have vegetarian options as some of your guests or guests of your invitees may not eat meat and it’s possible that others may prefer something lighter at the moment. It is important that there are things that everyone can eat and/or finds appealing as you don’t want anyone to go hungry.

Additionally, something to remember is that the number of wedding guests does have an effect on the cost of the reception as it goes without saying that the cost increases with each person regardless of whether you just have appetizers or a sit-down meal or buffet. That is certainly not to insinuate that you should limit who you invite due to the cost of food but it is a factor to consider as typically, people are not invited to the ceremony and eliminated from the festivities afterwards. For some brides, in fact, the type of reception is determined by the number of guests and allowance in the budget and for others, the number of guests is a deciding factor in how many people are invited depending on the importance of the after party on the list of priorities.

Receptions signify a celebration in honor of your union with your fiancé but, because they are one of the few elements of your wedding that can easily be planned in accordance to an age-old schedule does not mean that they should lack in attention or consideration. After all, there are many elements that go into receptions that can and should be individualized based on your budget, who you invite as well as personal preferences and you don’t ever want to look back on your big day and wish you had given more time and consideration to any aspect or that you had done anything differently.

Will you….be my bridesmaid??

A lot of brides feel conflicted about who to include in their wedding party and end up asking people they would rather not and forget that it is meant to be a bonding experience between the friends that support and mean the most to them. When trying to decide who to have next to you during your ceremony, take time to make the decision. Here are some helpful hints…

Choose the people who mean the most to you and that you know you can rely on. Simply being a family member does not mean someone has to be included in your wedding party.

You don’t necessarily need to have the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Maybe your fiance has 5 guys that he is really close to and wants to have stand with him at the altar but you only have 3 people who you want to share your experience with. That’s fine. You don’t need to include someone who you aren’t crazy about just to keep the numbers balanced.

There is no need to ask someone to participate in your wedding because they included you in theirs. Choosing your wedding party is not something to be done out of a sense of obligation or to return a favor. It is a decision that should be done on an individual basis.

Have a back-up plan and don’t be offended if someone declines your invitation. Maybe financial or time constraints will keep someone from participating in your big day but you shouldn’t let that change your friendship. Just have one or two people in mind in case someone does say “No.”