Sister as Best Woman

Submit A Question

My son is being married in three weeks. He has chosen his sister as the best man.I am designing a program for the ceremony; what should she be listed as - best woman, best person or what?

- Jessica


These are times of evolving customs and making new, modern traditions. Opposite-sex attendants are becoming a regular change to wedding ceremonies these days as many men and women find that their closest family member or friend is a member of the opposite sex. When these same people get married, they want to include that person in the festivities, and then the attendant's title becomes a point for question.

You do not have to use traditional terms for your role-reversed attendants. The terms honor attendant, best friend, man of honor, best person and best woman are cropping up in weddings everywhere these days. Our article on role reversal - The Best Woman and the Man of Honor- Addressing the Role Reversal - will help you sort out your ceremony program concerns. Let us know what the Best Woman was wearing! Here at we're always interested in what the new traditions will be.

Maid and Matron of Honor

I have recently become engaged early this summer and though my fiancé and I have not yet set a date for our big day, we are already discussing our plans.My best friend of six years will be my maid of honor since she and I have always had a sisterly relationship.I would also like my future sister-in-law to be my matron of honor.She is married and my fiancé plans on giving her husband the title of best man, and since she and I are becoming close, I really would like her to have a title in my wedding party as well.I would like to know if it is possible to have a maid of honor and matron of honor at my wedding that can share in the responsibilities of their title and feel equally honorable at my wedding.

- Jenny


Times are evolving! Once upon a time brides felt obligated to only choose one of their closest friends to stand up for them on their wedding day. Modern brides have discovered that you really aren't limited to one person when choosing your maid or matron of honor. The fact that you have two women in your life that are this special to you makes you one lucky lady.

Yes! It is perfectly acceptable to have both a maid and matron of honor. Both your best friend and your future sister-in-law will be honored that you've chosen both of them to stand up with you. Having two close friends to divide the responsibilities will make their loads- and yours- lighter, too.

Bridal Party Processional

In what order does the bridal party walk down the aisle? I have bridesmaids, bible bearer, two flower girls, a maid of honor, and a best man. Also, the groom - where does he enter to be already at the altar?

- H.S


Depending on religion, family tradition or personal preference, there are several different ways that your bridal party can make its grand entrance. The wedding processional is different if you're Catholic, Protestant or non-denominational. In a Catholic ceremony, the processional starts with bridesmaids and groomsmen entering in pairs, starting with the pair that will stand farthest from the bride and groom and ending with the best man and maid of honor. Following the bridal party, the bible bearer, ring bearer and then flower girl, enter and take their places. The bride and her father or chosen escort come last with the bride on the left side.

For a Protestant ceremony, the mothers of the bride and groom are seated after other guests have been seated, and directly before the processional music begins. After they have taken their seats, the officiant, the groom and his best man enter by a side door and wait at the altar. Groomsmen may also enter by the side door at that time, or escort bridesmaids, not including the maid or matron of honor, up the aisle with the couple farthest from the bride and groom first. The ring bearer and flower girl then proceed, finishing with the maid or matron of honor, and finally, the bride herself. For a non-denominational or secular ceremony processional, you can choose which order best suits you. In any wedding processional, traditionally the groom, officiant, and best man wait at the altar with the groom standing on the right and the bride standing on the left.

Choosing Bridesmaids

How do you choose bridesmaids? By age, or if they are single or married?

- Marshelle


There are no rules about choosing who you wish to be your bridesmaids. Sisters, best friends, close family members, married or single, you can choose whoever you feel will be best suited to the honor and responsibility. Bridesmaids are the bride's support network; they assist her before and during the wedding day. They should be capable of supporting the bride and fulfilling their bridesmaid duties, regardless of age or marital status.

If your honor attendant is married, she is a matron of honor, not a maid of honor. You can even have a maid and a matron of honor as well as other bridesmaids, if you choose. If you have a young friend or family member you want to include, they can be a "junior" bridesmaid. If there are children in your immediate circle of family and friends, you may want to appoint a young loved-one as a flower girl or ring-bearer.

The point is neither age nor marital status matter when choosing your attendants. Choose your attendants based on your love for each other and your belief that they will be able to support you before, during, and after your wedding.

Master of Ceremonies Duties

I'm just wondering if you can help me with my friends wedding. I am the Master of Ceremonies for the night, and have no idea what it is that I should be saying and in what order. Basically I have no idea and was wondering if you could help me with everything that should be said and done by an MC at a catholic wedding with 175 people attending. The bride and groom are extremely open-minded, however there may be some up-tight guests on the groom's side. Also, is it appropriate to play some games and make jokes if kept short?

- Layne


It is certainly an honor and a big responsibility to be asked to perform as the Master of Ceremonies at a wedding! This honor means that you've got a good sense of humor, you're able to handle audiences and are comfortable in front of people, and you can think on your feet. The MC is the informal host, and the one who makes sure the reception events run smoothly. As the MC, your responsibilities are many! From making sure the audio equipment is in good working order to welcoming guests to the reception. You are the "voice" of the wedding, making sure that guests know what's going on. If you have questions, ask someone who has performed this duty to walk you through it, step by step before the event so you can get an idea of how your performance will flow.

A basic guideline for a wedding MC's duties looks like this:

  • Work closely with the bride, groom and location coordinators to ensure the evening is well-planned and flows smoothly.
  • Make sure audio and speakers are functioning properly.
  • Announce bride and groom's arrival at reception.
  • Announce yourself as MC.
  • Introduce wedding party to guests.
  • Oversee music coordination.
  • Announce the dinner service or buffet and announce who will be saying grace.
  • After the dinner and before dessert, prepare wedding party for speeches, call on and introduce the speakers.
  • Toast on behalf of people who could not attend.
  • Announce the first dances, throwing of the bouquet and garter.
  • Announce the departure of the bride and groom to guests and toast goodbye.

Communicating with the bride and groom about what they want is the key to being a great MC. But most of all, have fun, relax and make sure you go with the flow. This will ensure that everyone, including you, will have a great time.

Wedding Hostess Duties

What is the role or function of wedding hostesses at the wedding and at the reception?

- L.L


A wedding hostess can be an agent of the church or ceremony location, or a location coordinator that is paid to help your wedding day run smoothly. Or, she can be a close friend of the bride, the Master of Ceremonies or a bridesmaid - provided she will be able to perform her bridesmaid duties and be included in the wedding party events.

The wedding hostess is generally charged with coordinating certain elements of the wedding. She is in charge of distributing programs at the ceremony, guiding guests to their seats, and making sure the wedding party is organized for photos and speeches. The wedding hostess also makes sure that guests have directions to the reception, sign the guestbook, know where to put gifts, and can answer any questions guests may have.

It may be hard for bridesmaids to perform this task and be a part of the wedding party, too. Before asking a friend or family member to take on this role, make sure they understand what their duties will be and that they understand they may not get to enjoy the reception as much because they will be helping to make sure events run smoothly.

Advertiser Links for wedding party gifts [what's this?]