Best Man When The Best Man Is A Woman

Published on August 19th, 2009 | by Staggered


When The Best Man Is A Woman


A female best man is, of course, a contradiction in terms, but if your best friend is a woman, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask her to do the job. Well, OK, there are a few reasons why it might complicate things.

The first, not always the most obvious, is that women get jealous. It’s probable that, female psychology being what it is, the woman you’re marrying isn’t madly keen on you having a close relationship, even platonic, with another woman.

Whether or not she’s already made that clear, she might not be over the moon to find another woman in the spotlight on her big day. A female best man is still an unusual thing and she will be more of a talking point than if she had dangly bits. Some brides dislike this kind of thing.

Even if your bride is totally happy for you to have a best girl who isn’t her, and some will be, the relationship between them is still bound to be a bit weird. “I was asked to be a best man because I had introduced my friend to the bride,” says Patricia. “It went fine, but the bride did take me aside beforehand to ask me what I was planning to say in the speech, and censor any stories that she thought were too risqué for her family. I don’t know whether she’d have done that if I were a man.”

Another problem is the stag do, which is traditionally organised by the best man. You’ll need to decide whether to bring a woman on the stag-do. On the plus side, they’re much more detail-oriented than men, so you shouldn’t have the bother of getting to the airport and realising that the best man has booked the wrong flights (a horror story that Staggered once heard of). On the minus side, it may be controversial with your male friends who want to let their hair/pants down, and/or lead to complicated sexual encounters that create issues for the wedding, and are the whole reason these things were segregated in the first place.

One solution may be to ask a male friend to organise the stag instead. Many best women won’t actually be too disappointed not to be spending a weekend with 15 lairy, drunken, off-the-leash men.

As wedding rules and protocol fall away best women are becoming increasingly common and clearly couples are allowed to choose exactly the day they want. But Staggered does wonder – if your closest friend, the one you have the most fun with, the person you could tell anything to, the one who makes you laugh, who you trust to meet and charm your family, if that person is a woman… aren’t you marrying the wrong one?

Brownie Points

  • Think about whether your bride will be cool with a female best man, and if you’re not sure, ask her.
  • If she’s not keen to share the limelight, offer to put the best woman in a trouser suit that matches yours. Unless your best woman looks like Natalie Portman (in which case, MARRY THE PORTMAN-A-LIKE), this should make her look quite rough. A rough-looking best woman is more than fine with most brides.
  • If you’re rapidly going off the best woman idea, a nice way to recognise her significance in your life without it being such a big deal is to get her to be an usher. Female ushers happen too. Way.

What do you think? Can the best man be a woman? Have you had a female best man, if so why didn’t you marry her?


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About the Author


Staggered is the world’s leading publisher for grooms, best men and fathers of the bride. Across websites, emails and magazines we help over 73,000 men every month.

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