A True Story of a Male Maid of Honor

Traditionally, a bride marries a groom, the bride has a female best friend serve as "Maid of Honor" and the groom has a male "Best Man." Wow! How many of these scenarios are no longer the norm of marriage?!

Although gay marriages in California warrants discussion, that is a topic for another time. In this column, I will address the non-traditional male Maid of Honor. After all, there are far fewer male Maid's of Honor (I suspect) than gay marriages.

The topic of a male Maid of Honor has been in the media the past few months because of the film Made of Honor starring Patrick Dempsey as Tom Bailey and Michelle Monaghan as Hannah. In this movie, Tom plays the happy-go-lucky male who has delayed growing up so that he can hang out with buddies and date a string of women.

Tom also has a close friend, Hannah. Tom takes Hannah's friendship for granted and fails to capitalize on opportunities to advance his relationship with her. Frustrated by Tom's inattention, Hannah goes to Scotland for six weeks. While she is gone, Tom realizes how much he really misses Hannah. Before long, Tom finally realizes that he has real feelings for Hannah. Tom decides that upon her return from overseas, he will let Hannah know about his true feelings toward her.

In a rather obvious movie "twist," Hannah returns and she is engaged to another man. Tom is unpleasantly surprised. He is even more astonished by Hannah's request that he be her Maid of Honor because they are best friends. Tom agrees.

Why would Tom agree to be Hannah's Maid of Honor? Well, because he is in love with her. Plus, his friends tell him that it will be easier to stop the wedding from the inside because he will be her confidant. (See of movie trailer of this movie at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGVpvkMmjK4.)

My niece Patti was married last week. She was a beautiful bride and the wedding and reception went off without a glitch. The only non-traditional aspect of the wedding was Patti's Maid of Honor. Yes, you guessed it the duties went to a male. But not some would-be lover of a best friend; instead, it was her cousin, Mike.

Mike and Patti were born a couple of months a part and grew up together. They are as close as brother and sister and spend a lot of time together. For Patti, the decision to ask her cousin to be the Maid of Honor was a logical choice as he is her "best friend."

Just as the movie character Tom Bailey had to learn to perform certain duties associated with being a "Maid of Honor" for his friend, Hannah, so too did cousin Mike for my niece. And, there are a lot of duties! I looked it up online and among the requirements of a Maid of Honor:

...Assist the bride with ideas on where to have the wedding; volunteer to address some of the invitations; help with decisions on decorations; go shopping for the wedding dress; help plan the Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party; (the following occur on the wedding day) assist the bride in getting into her dress and makeup; assist the other bridesmaids; look for the unexpected; if single, it is mandatory to catch the bridal bouquet (!); and, provide moral support.

Wow, that's a lot of duties! I don't think Mike performed all of these (as I know he did not catch the bouquet)! Although, I must admit, I saw him straighten out the bride's gown while she was saying her vows.

All in all, Mike did a great job as a male Maid of Honor. It worked for Patti and her new husband "J.J." and the entire family was pleased. I think the lesson here is-there is nothing wrong with wanting many of the traditional aspects of a wedding; just as there is nothing wrong with nontraditional aspects.

About the Author

Tim Delaney

Tim Delaney teaches sociology at SUNY Oswego. Author of such books as Simpsonology: There's A Little Bit of Springfield in all of Us! and Seinology: The Sociology of Seinfeld.

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