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Categories: Wedding Advice For Men
Whether you grew up with the girl or met at a party five years ago, there are plenty of us who have a female best mate, which makes it slightly awkward and confusing when it comes around to getting married. Can she be the best man? Sure, but what are the protocols? Does it have a different name? Can she come on the stag do? I’ve tried to answer all your questions below.
Most people call them your Best Woman, but she would be considered as part of the groomsmen. The equivalent exists in the opposite direction, called the Man of Honour.
Yes, we’re in the 21st century and anyone that gives you hard time is stuck in the stone age. Several things brought around this acceptance. For example, it is now commonplace for there to be more than one best man. I plan on having three at mine, as I find it too hard to pick one mate over another.
In fact, when we surveyed 1,000 of our past customers, asking them who they asked to be their best man, the brother was by far the biggest response (48%), however the sister was surprisingly high with 6%. I can only imagine this number is increasing with each year that goes by.
Yes 100%, it is now very common for girls to be present on a stag do or guys present on a hen do. This has gained the nickname hag do, or sten do (which ever way you want to call it). It is worth telling the other lads beforehand, but if they are all close to you, they are probably unsurprised to see her present.
With mixed gender stag groups, you may need to consider some extra things before booking, such as whether all rooms are twin rooms and whether she has someone she feels comfortable sharing with, but in general it shouldn’t make any difference at all to your booking.
Something you might not have considered (but your soon to be wife might have) is the photo of the bride and groom with the groomsmen and bridesmaids looking completely symmetrical from a gender perspective. This will be a call for you both to make, but I don’t see the issue with a female being on the male side, it’s an old tradition and a bit ridiculous, but it is worth discussing beforehand, so there isn’t an issue at the time, or any confusion. If this is a difficult topic, then there is no issue sending her to the other side with the other ladies.
You may also want to give a heads-up to the photographer so they know beforehand and don’t leave her out of key pictures or direct her in the wrong way.
This is subject in which you will want to discuss with her and I’d recommend mentioning it as early as possible. There is seriously no reason why she should have a negative response, especially as you will know the bride-to-be very closely and she will no doubt already know you are very close to this other person. Jealousy can play a factor with a friend from the opposite gender, however having them as the best woman surely highlights their status as a close mate rather than a threat.
The only exception to this rule is if the mate is your ex, then it’s time to move on and pick someone else! Golden rule, no ex’s at the wedding (according to How I Met Your Mother).
Getting married is more than just a simple gesture, it is the merging of your two lives, and this means every aspect, so not being able to have a female best man just because of gender is ludicrous.
This is very much dependent on what she feels comfortable in. Most of the time they will opt for a females tuxedo or suit. This will normally match the style and colouring of the other groomsmen. Alternatively, she could wear similar clothes to the other bridesmaids, if she is close to the bride-to-be.
The third option is for her to wear a dress that matches the colour code of the groomsmen.
While it is a common tradition to buy something for the best man such as cufflinks, a bottle of whisky or some cigars, these might not match her (well, you know her better than me). The other choice in gift which might be better is getting something personalised. What you get is completely down to you, but put some thought into it and think of something you have both shared. For example, I run a travel blog and have travelled a lot with a female mate of mine, therefore I’d get something like a compass necklace with a message engraved on it.