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The Bride's Guide Blog

Etiquette/Poll: Replace a Maid of Honor or Best Man?

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So your best friend from college got a new job and won’t be eligible for vacation. She (he?) won’t be able to be there -- do you get someone else?

A few things to consider: You could hurt someone’s feelings by making it clear they were “second best” if you ask them to substitute, and if you do get a substitute, will you hurt the original honor attendant’s feelings by making her/him feel replaceable?

Also, the MOH and the BM actually have some specific tasks. The maid of honor normally helps with the veil and bouquet, and the best man will often distribute payments on behalf of the groom while he’s busy in the receiving line. Both of them are expected to be right there, able to help at the drop of a hint. If you don’t specifically ask, the "substitute" attendants may not think they’re needed in that way.

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Comments (3)

  • OK, Here's one for you; what happens when your maid of honor and best man are husband and wife and they go and get pregnant a few months AFTER you ask them to be maid of honor and best man and they just HAPPEN to be due less than a week before your wedding??? Riddle me that... seriously, help me not freak out.

  • I don't think it's right to ask anyone to halt their life because of your marriage. Be happy for the friend(s) and work around the situation. Lighten up and talk it out. If your bridal party are all good friends, the other may step up and help out. The MoH herself may want to continue to participate, but simply can't make the big event. I can't think of a situation where I'd replace my MoH, but trust that it would all work out.

  • My husband was invited to be a long standing friends best man, hubby has known him for 20 years me 30. The night before the wedding he finds out another friend of the groom who already has other roles as usher, chauffeur etc has been asked to be a 2nd best man also.
    Come the speeches the groom introduces hubby as his oldest friend then with a comment that could be taken as jokey or belittling. By now as our feelings had been hurt it was easy for us to feel he had been humiliated in public. The 2nd best man was last to speak and introduced as the grooms best friend.
    The 2nd best man has since received lots of public thanks via his facebook page from the bride re how wonderful his speech was and for all his support etc. Husband has yet to receive any thanks from the bride or groom, we now feel very hurt by what has happened.
    Please think very carefully about who you want in the first place as it is hurtful to be treated in such away.

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