How to “Maid of Honor”: a Gentleman’s Guide

Glaring light beams from the iPhone on my nightstand.

Another text message.

My eyes adjust to find messages from women spread across multiple states, and they’re all ready to party. Twenty-one-year-old Caleb would be both jealous and proud.

But he doesn’t have all the information.

I’m in a serious relationship, these aren’t Tinder matches, and the messages are the furthest thing from, “you up?” The party referred to above is a bachelorette trip, the bridal party is having difficulty finding a weekend that works, and I’m the one responsible for coordinating this circus.

My sister asked me to be her Maid of Honor -er, Man of Honor (MoH).

Now, I’ve been a Best Man before… but I was also in my early 20’s. So even that experience isn’t totally relevant. This was about 10 years ago. Back then, it was fine that I didn’t know how to be a Best Man. I mean, to prepare, I packed our best buds into a couple of cars and we went to Dallas to see a concert/go to Six Flags, I looked up some a Men’s Health article about how to write a Best Man’s toast, and that was it.

I didn’t even do a good job. The toast that I totally prepared for, went out the window when I was presented with the microphone. During the rehearsal, I was to walk down the aisle with the priest, everyone before us (all female/male pairs) linked arms. I thought it would be funny to put out my arm as if to suggest we should link arms too. I don’t think there are Catholic curses, but the look I got was definitely “silent curse-esque.”

So when I agreed to be my sister’s Man of Honor, my thoughts were:

1. A chance for redemption!
2. I’m totally gonna nail this thing!
3. Maid of Honor is basically the same as Best Man… Right?

The short answer to my last thought is no. No they are not.

The longer answer, I’ll explore as I go along. Already, the circumstances from this experience are very different than my previous stint as Best Man.

Let’s take a look at the details:

Location – This is not a crazy, far-off destination wedding, but it is a good, 3 hour drive from where I live. A big part of a MoH’s job is to help the bride in many stages of the planning process. being far away makes that difficult.

Bridesmaids – I’ve not met most of them in person, and they’re scattered across 3 states. I’ve often heard of overbearing MoH’s, now imagine you’re a bridesmaid getting hassled by a male MoH that you’re unfamiliar with and no has no experience with this sort of thing. I feel like I will be the source of many disgruntled Whisper posts.

I’m a Dude – I definitely don’t want to get into the, “you know how guys are totally this way, and women are totally that way,” thing. However, whether I’m contributing ideas along the way or getting the brides maids together for the bachelorette party, my guy-ness will be a factor.

Preliminary Research – For men, Best Man advice equates to, “How to Nail the Reception Toast… and then the Maid of Honor” *pause for obnoxious bro high five* — For women, Maid of Honor advice could be a dense novella, as you are now the honored right hand to the female adventurer, destined to take the ring. It is a tale full of joy and peril, lattes and catalogs, save-the-dates and fittings.

I don’t know if I’m prepared.

That all being said, the preparation has already begun. I’m in the middle of planning the bachelorette trip. I’ve set up a group text message and a Facebook page dedicated to it. Also, the women in the party are all great. Whether it’s advice offered, quick responses, or scheduling flexibility, I can tell we’ve got a really awesome group.

That’s way more than I can say for the bachelorette party guys from back in the day… (I’m looking at you, Grant. You know what you did.)

I’ll let you all go for now, but when you hear from me next, I’ll talk more about the best part of any wedding, the bachelorette party – See you in San Antonio!

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Editor’s Note: I want to hear your thoughts about weddings, being an MoH, and all that entails. I don’t want this to be a one-way thing! Please reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter with any comments or suggestions you may have! Thanks – Caleb

Caleb K. Wilson

Caleb K. Wilson

Caleb Wilson serves as the Digital Content Marketing Manager for the Media Resources Center at Wichita State University where he maintains the online presence for the Media Resources Center, Wichita State TV, and the Instructional Design & Technology teams. Previously, he worked as the Social Media and Marketing Coordinator for KWCH-TV and Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc., managing social media accounts for the company's many brands, training journalists and staff in digital best practices, and contributing on-air as the weekly "Tech Talk" segment digital expert.