First to Serve: Man of Honor

The idea of having a male attendant as the first attendant for the bride never occurred to me. With so many details centered around traditional etiquette, there are times when this lovely gesture is just fine. Such was the case when my nephew was asked by his cousin to be her honored attendant recently. It actually seemed appropriate as close cousins, growing up together and as close as brother and sister.

I wondered how this “tough Marine” would handle certain aspects, but he seemed honored and ready to serve. As I assisted with his preparations, I decided to come up with a list of duties for him. It at least provided a guideline of things to tend and helped him to ‘keep his eye on the ball.’

I told him that he would have to hold the bouquet for the bride there at the altar. Check! I gave him some ideas for a toast. Check! I told him he would have to dance with the single ladies. No problem!

The bride may choose to have her Man of Honor wear a white tux or a tux similar to the groomsmen, yet with differences. The color of the shirt might be different or he may wear a different color of boutonniere. He’ll need to be photographed as her first attendant, always standing next to her. Here’s a checklist of other duties to consider:

1. Get the couple a nice wedding gift
2. Be at the Rehearsal on time
3. Bring her flowers at the Rehearsal to practice with or the bows from her showers.
4. Help at the Rehearsal Dinner where needed, introducing yourself
5. Give a toast at rehearsal dinner, if appropriate
6. Help the bride decorate the reception and ceremony site, if needed
7. Help the bride remain calm prior to ceremony
8. Help the bride to laugh-she’ll probably be stressed, nervous, or anxious
9. Arrange the bride’s train and veil before the ceremony begins and just after she arrives at the altar
10. Hold the bouquet during the ceremony during the exchanging of the rings until after the kiss
11.Stand in the receiving line.
12. Play hostess along with the bridesmaids during the reception: greet guests, making them feel comfortable, ask guests if they are having a good time and if they need anything, show guests where to sit, direct them to restrooms, tell them to where to put presents, and, invite them to sign the guest book
13. Collect any gift envelopes brought to the reception and/or the money bag from the dollar dance and keep them in a safe place
14. Give a toast at the wedding reception, but after the Best Man
15. Dance with the bridal party
16. Assist with the bride’s luggage
17. Help the family get all the wedding gifts loaded
18. Help the family get the bridal gown packed and loaded
19. Help gather keepsake souvenirs of the wedding for the bride, such as toasting glasses, flowers, favors, and gather up the guest book once all guests have signed in
20. Ask if there is any rental items that might need loading
21. Do your best to be calm, cheery and  gracious

And, most of all: Be her Best Friend!

Article submitted by: Valerie Tillery of

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