vendors
features
wedding planner
marketplace
about us
affiliations
site map
contact
home
Byrecommendationonly.com 


BRO Features
Feature Story
Featured Events
Picture of the Month
Great Ideas
Wedding Topics
Latest Trends
Your First Home
Cooking for Couples
Romance & Money
Fit & Beautiful
Relationship Guide
Love Stories
Ask the Experts
Fun Stuff


The Green Corner
 Organic and  Sustainable Weddings

Travel
Honeymoons
Destination Weddings

Marketplace
BRO Store
Bookstore
Favors & More

Partners

 


Photography:
Laura Hunt


Ask the Experts

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen


See also:
Responsibilities of a Bridesmaid

 
Question: I have been asked by my sister-in-law to be her Matron of Honor and although I am honored, this presents a host of logistical problems. I live 2000 miles and 3 time zones away and have a fairly time-consuming job. As I read the lists (and there are many) of duties to be managed by the Honor attendant, I am concerned that I will be unable to fill these duties to the bride's expectation. Additionally, the bride has selected all out-of-town attendants so we are all in the same predicament. The bride has participated in several weddings for "local" friends and has filled many duties but has asked none of those friends to participate at the same level in her activities so we do not feel it is appropriate to call upon her local friends for support. Although the bride is older and I do not expect her to want a "typical" bachelorette party she is very traditional so I do expect that she anticipates a shower, participation in many pre-wedding festivities, some type of "bachelorette" event as well as a substantial amount of time immediately preceding the wedding. As she is my sister-in-law, I am concerned about wounding her feelings and family relations by suggesting anything other than the traditional list of duties but I am concerned about time, money and ability to support her needs. The planning for her wedding is taking more and expense than it took to plan my own wedding (10 people only) and no one was asked to do any of the "traditional" duties including my sister-in-law.

My questions: 1) What am I expected to do given the logistical circumstances? and 2) Is it appropriate for immediate family to be expected to host showers? Thanks.
 

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Jubilee Lau Events
It does sound like the distance and your workload would be a problem in fulfilling all the duties of a Matron of Honor. It certainly is an honor to be asked to take on this role, but I think you need to be true to yourself and to the bride in how much you can actually take on. Otherwise, resentment and frustration may build, and I am sure that’s definitely not what you want before the wedding! I have several suggestions for you at this time.
1. Find out of the bride has hired a Wedding Coordinator. If so, you can contact the Wedding Coordinator directly to see if she can offer you guidance and advice on planning a shower from so many miles away.
2. There’s nothing wrong with asking immediate family members to help with the planning of the bridal shower and other pre-wedding activities! More than likely, they will jump at the opportunity to be involved.
3. Ask the bride for a list of names of local friends that she would like to invite to the festivities. Again, there’s nothing wrong in calling upon others to assist you! Her local friends will probably know a lot of great places and have lots of great ideas to help you out.
If none of the above works for you, I would strongly recommend that you have a heart to heart talk with the bride about your concerns. It is evident that she chose you to take on this honored role because she feels closest to you, and the two of you must have a wonderful relationship. Therefore, you should feel comfortable being open with her. Let her know how honored you are to be the Matron of Honor, and how much you want to fulfill the duties as best as possible, but that you are concerned the distance will make it hard for all of the planning involved. Ask her if she has some close friends locally that can assist you with the planning. I think she will very much appreciate your honesty and would not want to burden you in any way.
Good luck to you!
Jubilee Lau, JWIC
Certified Wedding Consultant

Question: I am having difficulty with one of my fiance's choices for a groomsman. The friend in question has been rude to me on several different occasions and I feel he has shown little support for our relationship. Unfortunately, he has been a longtime friend of my fiance, although they have not had much contact recently. Would it be rude of me to mention my hesitation to my fiance? I realize that it is his day too, but should I be expected to grin and bear it?

Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.


Answer from Jubilee Lau
Jubilee Lau Events
Dear Dear Carol,
Planning a wedding together can often be a great preview to what a marriage is like, because the two of you will have to communicate a lot, compromise, and learn to make decisions together. Therefore, it is important that you keep an open communication with your fiance, even if it means telling him that you do not appreciate the way that you are being treated by his longtime friend. When you communicate your feelings to your fiance, make sure you do not sound blaming at all. Instead, you should convey the message that as much as you respect his choice of groomsmen for the wedding, you felt the need to share your honest feelings at this time. Your fiance will appreciate your openness, and perhaps he can shed some light for you on a different side to this friend that you don’t know about!

The wedding planning can be an overwhelming and stressful time for both of you, so make sure you take some time out for yourselves to relax and enjoy one another’s company outside of the wedding details! Find a day to have a nice dinner together and approach this topic casually. Never try to bottle up your anger and resentment to the point where you will blurt out accusations and start a fight. Remember that the two of you have made the decision to get married because you love one another and want to spend your lives together—don’t lose sight of this in midst of all the wedding details!
Good luck to you!
Jubilee Lau, JWIC
Certified Wedding Consultant

Question: I have a question. We are renewing our wedding vows and I'm not sure whether to have my daughter as the matron of honor or the bridesmaid. My best friend wants to be the Matron of honor as well. So if you could help I would appreciate it. Thanks, Vicky

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Jubilee Lau Events
Dear Vicky,
The Matron of Honor is certainly a very important role, and the difficulty for you to choose between your daughter and best friend is certainly understandable. The good news is, who says there can’t be more than one Matron of Honor? Since both your daughter and best friend are significant and dear to you, there’s no reason why you cannot ask both of them to be your most honored attendants on the wedding day.
Good luck to you!
Jubilee Lau, JWIC
Certified Wedding Consultant

 

Question: I have two very close friends, one that I went to college with and she chose me to be the godmother of her two children, and the other is my best friend
through high school-my fiance's sister who introduced us. I asked my college
friend to be my maid of honor not knowing what to do and feeling like she
was more dependable, but now the other is hurt because she's not my maid of
honor and we always planned for her to be. I really don't know what to do,
she is in the wedding but I don't know how to make her feel equally important.
Do you do two maid of honor? Any suggestions?? Thanks.

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Jubilee Lau Events
I understand how difficult it must be to choose between two really close friends to be the Maid of Honor for your wedding. There is nothing wrong with having two Maids of Honor, but the titles don’t really mean as much as what roles they will actually play at the wedding. Even if both become the Maids of Honor, you can only select one to stand closest to you at the ceremony. What I would suggest is to name them both Maids of Honor if it does mean all that much to them and then divide up the roles. For example, one can stand closer to you at the ceremony while the other can sign the marriage license as a witness or sit next to you at the reception. Both can give toasts and throw the bridal shower together. As long as you involve them throughout the planning process and on the wedding day, I think they will both be honored to be such a big part in your wedding.
Good luck! Jubilee Lau
 

Question:  I haven't chosen my bridesmaids officially at all, but my first inclination is to choose my best friend to be my maid of honor. I really would like my older sister
to be in the wedding party, too, but I don't want--or the guests or families--to make her feel self-conscious that she is still single and that her baby sister got married first. I say this only because most of my friends are my age--27--and she is 7 years older. Also, I have another older sister between us who is married, but has already indicated she does not want to be a bridesmaid.
Therefore, is it usual to have a single older sister in a wedding party? Or would it be wiser to have her play a different, yet important, role in the wedding?

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Jubilee Lau Events
It is perfectly okay to have your older sister be a bridesmaid instead of the maid of honor. The maid of honor should certainly be the person whom you are closest to, and in this case it sounds like that would be your best friend. I am sure your sister will still be very happy to be your bridesmaid because that shows she is very special and dear to you. I do not think it will make her self-conscious of her marital status because that will not be the focus of your guests on the wedding day. Also, bridesmaids can very well be married, so just because your single sister is your bridesmaid does not indicate to guests that she is still unmarried.
Good luck and congratulations!
Jubilee
 

Question:  My son is getting married in August. I have a 16 year old daughter who is going to be a junior bridesmaid. My son's fiancee has not included her in anything thus far, but mainly in the shopping for her bridesmaid dresses. I don't think this is right, which I told my son but he said I am making a big deal of nothing. What do you think?
The bride also does not want her at the head table. I also think this is wrong. What is your opinion of that? Thank you for a prompt response.


Answer from Jubilee Lau

Jubilee Lau Events
The wedding day is a very special and important day for the bride and groom, and selecting their attendants is quite a task in itself. I think it is wonderful that your 16 year old daughter was asked to be a junior bridesmaid because that certainly puts her in a special role already. I am sure that many close families and friends are excited to be a part of the wedding, and it is not easy for the bride and groom to
make sure all of them are involved with the wedding planning. If your 16 year old daughter would really like to be more involved, then have her offer her helping hands to the bride and let the bride and groom decide how much they need her involvement. Regarding the head table, the bride and groom may have their reasons for not including the junior bridesmaid there. Perhaps they wanted a sweetheart table to themselves, or perhaps they felt that she should be seated with the family. In any case, please don't feel that if your daughter was not asked to be seated at the head table that she is not an important part of the wedding. Every attendant and every guest is important, or they would not be there to share the
special day. There is no right or wrong answer to your question, because each couple is different as they make the decisions for their wedding. If something is
bothering you, it should be addressed to the couple at a good time, and compromises can always be reached.
Good luck!
 

Question: My daughter and her fiance had asked my youngest daughter's boyfriend to be an usher in their bridal party. Since that time, they have "reconsidered". My future son-in-law thinks the young man is "too quiet". I advised them that I thought this was a mistake, as I am very concerned that this young man's feelings will be terribly hurt. (he's 18 years old!) Any advise?
Mother-in-law to be

Answer from Jubilee Lau

Jubilee Lau Events
Dear Mother-to-be:
When someone is asked to take on a special role in the wedding, it is often regarded as an honor. Therefore, it would be an extremely sensitive issue to take the role away after it has been accepted. I would recommend that your daughter and her fiance talk to the sister's boyfriend about the details of an usher's role. Be honest about what the roles entails and ask
him if it is a role that he would be comfortable with. If he admits that he would be uncomfortable, then perhaps there would be a more suitable role for him, such as helping to set the programs or place cards out if there wasn't a coordinator.

Another possible solution is to have more ushers so that the sister's boyfriend will not be too overwhelmed with the task.
Good Luck! Jubilee Lau


Question:
I have a 12 yr old son (he will be 13 at wedding time) and a 10 yr old daughter who will be junior bridesmaid and junior groomsman. However, we wanted to do a special dedication to them in our wedding ceremony. My daughter is afraid of fire so candle lighting will be left to the mothers. Can the groom and I write a commitment vow (to be good parents) and say it to them together during the ceremony? Or present them with a gift of jewelry along with a family prayer? Need ideas please!!!

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
The commitment vow is a very good idea. Why don't you include in this vow that you also need your children's help and that you will listen to them as well. Friends of ours, who only had a 4-year-old son at that time, had him standing between each other and included him in their vows to each other. I thought that was a very good idea.
As for the present, you also can give your daughter a piece of jewelry and your son a watch.
Good luck to the four of you! Johanna


Question:
I have two older brothers to whom I am very very very close with. My fiance does not want them to stand on his side because he says it is important to him to have his closest friends up there with him. He has 2 half brothers and he isn’t asking them. He says he just can’t ask my brothers because he knows it would hurt the feelings of his 2 half brothers, but it is his choice not to have his brothers in the wedding. I still wish to have my brothers in the wedding. I don’t want them to just be ushers… I want them to stand up there with me in my wedding. What is your suggestion?

Answer from Jubilee Lau

Jubilee Lau Events
Selecting your attendants can often be one of the most difficult tasks of the wedding planning, especially when you have many close siblings and friends. However, there are no such thing as "wedding laws"-- as nothing is set in stone! Who says that the bride cannot have male attendants? If you really want to honor your brothers by including them in the wedding party, make them your attendants and have them stand next to you. They should wear matching formalwear to the groomsmen. Attendants really represent both the bride and the groom, so there is absolutely nothing wrong in breaking away from tradition and having male attendants. This is a wedding about you and your fiance; it does not need to follow the footsteps of other people's weddings. Do what feels right to you. Best of luck!


Question:
I am desperately looking for the answer to a previously asked question that was not clearly answered on your website:
"If the maid of honor has been married before, but is now divorced and single....should her name be listed as "Maid of Honor" or as "Matron of Honor"? -- Thanks so much,

Answer from Elysia Heller
Elysia Heller Events

It is Matron of Honor!

Question:
My husband is in a wedding in a couple of weeks as a groomsmen. Where should I be included in this? The Groom is saying that he "has" to ride in the limo everywhere, "sit" at the head table and then "dance" with the bridesmaids. At our wedding if they had a date we included them. Could you just please tell me the proper way to do this? Thanks!

Answer from Elysia Heller
Elysia Heller Events

I can understand that only your husband is included in the limo ride as it is tradition for the groom to have his groomsmen with him prior to the wedding, however it would be polite and correct for your husband’s friend to seat you at the head table with your husband. It is also a tradition to have the groomsmen dance with the bridesmaids after the first dance and father/daughter dance, but the groomsmen should invite their spouses or significant others on the dance floor after that initial dance. You should be made to feel welcome and an integral part of this wedding, however at this point the only thing you can do is lead by example by being gracious and attending the wedding as your husband’s spouse. You can rest assured just in knowing you would handle this in a more polite and tactful manner. good luck!


Question:
How does the bride tell the overly assertive friend that she is not going to be asked to be in the wedding party and still avoid a broken friendship. The bride does not want to have to deal with this issue for all the months leading up to the wedding and would prefer to handle the issue now. The bride does want the friend to be involved in her wedding, but not to the extent the friend so desires. Please help?

Answer from Claire Hatch
Our Relationship Councelor

Dear Dawn,
Your friend is far from the only bride who has had a friend try to take over her wedding! I call this "Lightning Rod Effect." A wedding becomes a lightning rod for someone's dreams and disappointments, whether it's the desire to be married or just to be the center of attention. There is no way around it: The bride is going to have to sit down and talk frankly with her friend. If she can come up with some concrete reasons why she is asking others to be in the party, such as wanting to invite the groom's sister, that will ease the conversation a bit. As long as she is telling the truth.

Here is the main thing your friend can do to set her limits and keep her friend at same time: Make her feel important. This is the drive behind her push to be a bridesmaid. She wants to feel important--at the event and perhaps in the bride's life. The bride needs to help her meet this need in another way besides being a bridesmaid.

How can the bride make her feel important? First, by giving her lots of attention in this conversation. Then, by telling her that her friendship and presence at the wedding is important. Lastly, by thinking of another role or task she can ask this friend to perform. She may already know of just the thing. Or, she may want to talk to the friend about it. Often, it's a good idea for a bride to decide on several areas she is willing to delegate. For example, one bride decided the exact design of her invitations was not important, as long as they were in good taste. She delegated that task to a friend with impeccable taste and etiquette. The
friend felt valued and the bride felt liberated from a significant task!

Sometimes, it can be helpful to talk directly about Lightning Rod
Effect. If the two women are willing to be frank, it can help for the friend to talk about the dreams and disappointments the wedding is igniting in her. Of course, she may not be willing to reveal this, or even really be aware of it herself. But it can give the bride more peace of mind to realize that the friend is dealing with her own sensitivities. I discuss Lightning Rod Effect in more detail in my ebook, The Bridal Sanity Workbook.
 

Question: I am having both a maid and matron of honor in my wedding. Who should enter first in the processional, the maid or the matron? Who should stand closest to the bride?

Answer from Marcia Coleman--Joyner
A Joyous Occasion

The one who stands closest to you should be the one you like best, no matter if it is the maid or matron. She also should enter right in front of you, because the one who enters first, stands away the farthest from you.
 

Question: I was in a good friend's wedding. Is it proper protocol to put her in my wedding because I was in hers? Currently she is not in my wedding party. How do I tell her she is not in my wedding party if she were to ask?

Answer from Marcia Coleman--Joyner
A Joyous Occasion

Instead of being in the wedding party, you could ask her to do a reading in church or be the guest book hostess.
I hope this helps!


Question:
My college friend is getting married. She and her husband to be decided they wanted to get married in the Caribbean. At the time of her planning she said that her parents [or his] would probably be paying for our airline tickets. A couple of the bridesmaids have been able to get a "friends and family" rate for the hotel which will help with the bridal couple's expense since they said they would pay for the hotel, food, and beverage. Now there is no sure commitment from the bridal couple that they will pay for the flight. My acceptance for braid's maid for her wedding was contingent on them paying for the flight. Otherwise I would not have accepted since I will not be able to financially afford this trip. I have already paid for the gown $250.00 plus alterations, and shoes. My question being...since this wedding is out of the country and she has chosen to have a full wedding with a full bridal party is she or he or they obligated to pay for travel arrangements. I have asked my friend several times about this matter and she keeps telling me not to panic.
Thank you for your response.

Answer from Marcia Coleman--Joyner
A Joyous Occasion

Dear Bridesmaid:
You indicated: "At the time of her planning she said that her parents [or his] would PROBABLY be paying for our airline tickets. "Probably" does not sound like a firm commitment to me. However, if it was your understanding that all of your expenses (other than your dress, alterations and shoes) would be covered by the bride's or groom's family, and you accepted the role of bridesmaid based on this oral agreement, I would simply advise the Bride NOW that you are not financially able to bear the extra costs of travel, accommodations and food; and that if they are not covered, unfortunately you will have no recourse but to withdraw from the bridal party.

If you do, in fact, withdraw, I would also request that the Bride reimburse you for the cost of your dress, alterations and shoes.
Good luck!


Question:
Hello! If the maid of honor has been married before, but is now divorced and single....should her name be listed as "Maid of Honor" or as "Matron of Honor"?
Thank you in advance for your time!
Karen

Answer from Cay Lemon
Zest Production

Yes, a married Maid of Honor should be called "Matron of Honor."


Question:
I have just been asked to be a bridesmaid (not the maid of honor) in my brother's wedding. I am honored, but here is my problem. My husband was asked to be the best man which means we will not be standing up together. The rest of the wedding party are single people. I do not wish to be the maid of honor but shouldn't the bride and groom have arranged it so that married couple gets to stand up with each other? Thanks for you help.

Answer from Marcia Coleman--Joyner
A Joyous Occasion

As you indicated, you are honored to have been asked to participate in your brother's wedding as a Bridesmaid. I am sure that your husband is likewise honored to have been chosen as the Best Man. The Bride and Groom are not obligated to "match" couples. Their Honor Attendants stand closest to them and are their major support system during the planning and on the wedding day itself. Although you will not be standing across from your husband or recessing with him after the ceremony, you should not feel slighted.

You might ask your future sister-in-law if she would allow the wedding party to sit at rounds with significant others vs. the traditional rectangular head table, so that you may dine together. Even if she wants the members of the wedding party to dance together, it is for a very brief time and you will have the opportunity to celebrate with your husband during the remainder of the evening.

Finally, the Bride and Groom select the members of their wedding party because they are all special. Keeping this in mind, respecting their wishes and supporting your brother and his bride-to-be will be a healthy start to your new relationship with your sister-in-law.


Question:
I have two people who I would like to have as my best man, although I can only choose one. My brother, who lives out of town, has been a big inspiration and has helped me out with lots of things in the past. I was his best man at his wedding. I also have my best friend here in the city who, for one thing, introduced me to my future wife, and is closer to me on an everyday basis.

Answer from Tosca Clark, Wedding Planner
Tosca Productions
As a wedding planner, I always advise my clients to personalized their wedding. There is no fast rule or etiquette reason why you cannot have more than one best man. Many couples today, are personalizing their wedding. Some have uneven number of attendants, some have groom's sisters stand on the groom side and bride's brothers stand on the bride side, others are having their parents as the honor attendants. The only time I would not have 2 best men is if you had 3 groomsmen total. The third person would certainly feel left out. In this case, I would not title anyone "Best Man" but have them equally share the title of groomsmen.
So go ahead and honor your two best friends.


Question:
I am honored but yet baffled at being at being asked to be a maid of honor for a far away friend. We were very closing growing up through high school, but after that we drifted apart, becoming acquaintances. Now it is 10 years later and I feel awkward. She didn't even call to tell me she got engaged a year ago, heard through the grapevine. I also don't have the money to fulfill the responsibilities of this position as I too will be getting married a few months after her...How do I decline her without hurting her feelings and sounding too general?

Answer from Tosca Clark, Wedding Planner
Tosca Productions
I believe you did a good job of answering your own question. Be honest - let her know that you are honored but the responsibilities of maid of honor are far too great for you to uphold with your distance and upcoming wedding. I am sure she will be disappointed but hopefully value your honesty when the
days get closer and she needs someone to help her with last minute details - someone close who can focus on just her.
You're getting married - just put yourself in her shoes if your maid of honor declined what would you like to hear?


Questions:
I asked a dear friend of mine to be a bridesmaid in my wedding. When she finally responded to my question (by e-mail, one month later) she said she was happy, yet upset that she was not asked to be the maid of honor. What would be the best way to tell her that I am not going to change my mind?

Answer from Marcia Coleman--Joyner
A Joyous Occasion

Being asked to participate in the role of a "Bridesmaid" is an honor in itself. If this "friend" is questioning your decision from the start, you are probably setting yourself up for disappointments throughout the planning process. Rather than question you, her job is to "support" you. If you feel that you owe her an explanation, you could let her know your reason(s) for choosing your maid of honor. Should she maintain her attitude, you might be wise to retract the invitation to participate in your wedding. Throughout all of your planning, remember that it is your wedding and you should do it your way. People who cause you grief are not true friends. I wish you all the best.


Question:
I asked a dear friend of mine to be a bridesmaid in my wedding. When she finally responded to my question (by e-mail, one month later) she said she was happy, yet upset that she was not asked to be the maid of honor. What would be the best way to tell her that I am not going to change my mind?

Answer from Marcia Coleman--Joyner
A Joyous Occasion

Being asked to participate in the role of a "Bridesmaid" is an honor in itself. If this "friend" is questioning your decision from the start, you are probably setting yourself up for disappointments throughout the planning process. Rather than question you, her job is to "support" you. 

If you feel that you owe her an explanation, you could let her know your reason(s) for choosing your maid of honor. Should she maintain her attitude, you might be wise to retract the invitation to participate in your wedding.

Throughout all of your planning, remember that it is your wedding and you should do it your way. People who cause you grief are not true friends.


Question:
What is the origin of the phrase "Best Man"? Isn't the groom the "Best Man"

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
Best Man to the groom is like best friend to the groom.


Question:
I am trying to find out if the best man holds the wedding rings. Someone told us that the best man gets one and the maid of honor gets one. I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me.

Answer from Tosca J. Clark
Tosca's Productions

Anyone can hold the wedding rings. Traditionally, the ring bearer holds both rings tied onto a pillow. Afterwards, the best man and maid of honor remove them to give to the officiant. If you do not have a ring bearer, then the best man holds the bride's ring and the maid of honor holds the groom's ring.
 

Question: Hello, I am trying to find out if the Best Man holds the wedding rings .Someone told us the Best Man gets one and the maid of honor gets one. Our wedding is tomorrow and we don't know what to do. I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me

Answer from Tosca Clark, Wedding Planner
Tosca Productions
Anyone can hold the wedding rings. Traditionally, the ring bearer holds both rings tied onto a pillow. Afterwards, the best man and maid of honor remove them to give to the officiant. If you do not have a ring bearer, then the Best Man holds the bride's ring and the maid of honor holds the groom's ring.


Question:
I have 2 people I would like to have as my best man, but I understand I may choose only one. My brother has been a big inspiration to me, and I was his best man. My best friend, with whom I have daily contact, also introduced me to my future wife. Any tips?

Answer from Tosca Clark, Wedding Planner
Tosca's Productions
I advise my clients to personalize their weddings. There is no fast rule or etiquette reason why you cannot have more than one best man. Today, some couples have uneven numbers of attendants; some have the groom's sisters stand on the groom side and the bride's brothers stand on the bride's side.  Others have their parents as the honor attendants. The only time I would not have 2 best men is if you had a total of 3 groomsmen. The third person certainly would feel left out. In this case, I would not designate anyone "best man," but would have them equally share the title of groomsmen.

So go ahead and honor your brother and your best friend!


Send us your questions!


© 1995 - 2012  ByRecommendationOnly.com