It’s tradition that the groom is supported by a best man and the bride supported by her favourite girls on the big day. But in recent years we’ve seen traditions change and have had lots of couples being accompanied by opposite members of sex.

man of honour emmapollardphotography

Best people

We turned to the Wedding Ideas Forum and Facebook page to see what our readers had to say about it all. A surprising number had banished this tradition to make way for something that suited their day.

It seems that many grooms chose to have best women when they married, with the top choice being their sister sister. Real brides Vicki and Jo said that their fiancés had asked their sisters to be their best lady.

As ever, it’s often celebrities who are the first to kick start a trend, which the rest of us may well pick up on. When musician Jamie Hince got hitched to supermodel Kate Moss, he chose his bandmate Alison Mosshart as his best woman instead of having a best man.

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Mind you having a best woman could cause a but of controversy. One bride didn’t want to use the term best woman for obvious reasons! “My husband asked his sister to be his best person,” says Emma. “She couldn’t be his best woman because that’s obviously me!”

However, real bride Kerry had completely embraced this new tradition. “My husband-to-be has two best women planned and I have a man of honour in addition to my bridesmaids.”

Maybe this trend  was originally inspired by the Julia Roberts and Rupert Everett movie My Best Friend’s Wedding. Although on the other hand, in the film Made of Honour, where the bride’s male best friend ends up stealing her away from the altar. Just make sure that doesn’t happen to you on your big day!

Hen and stag parties

Some difficulties that might arise could be the stag and hen parties. If you’re having a hen party or bridal shower, it’s normally the chief bridesmaids job to organise this and do you want a man to be doing it? Lingerie bridal shower parties are sometimes popular and if you have an event like this it might cause a bit of embarrassment for you and your man of honour!

We’re wondering what the stag party would be like if there’s a best woman instead of a best man. What sort of entertainment would a woman think would be amusing?

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If you do go this route, you need to make sure that your photographer is fully briefed so that the man of honour or the best woman gets included in the right groups in the wedding pictures and doesn’t end up getting left out. A traditionally minded photographer may easily overlook this, so you need to point it out.

Photographer Erika said that lots of her clients had a man as the bride’s maid of honour, so it’s not as uncommon as you might think.