In "Made of Honor," Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) asks Tom (Patrick Dempsey) to be her male maid of honor. Tom accepts, but only so he can woo the bride-to-be and attempt to stop the wedding.
"It's still very rare," says one wedding industry insider, but sometimes the perfect girl is a guy when it comes to helping the bride
The subhead for the new Sony Pictures film "Made of Honor" reads, "It takes a real man to become a maid of honor," and Tanna Dang of the Wedding Cafe agrees.
"I've been a maid of honor, so I know it's a full-time job," said Dang, who with her husband, Bryson, offers a one-stop resource for brides. "You plan the bridal shower, plan the bachelorette party, go to all the fittings, and on the day of, you're the go-to person for everything.
"It's still very rare to see a male maid of honor. It's great if the bride's best friend is a male, but I don't know if most men want the challenge.
"It's a big thing because you have to be her support. You have to be that shoulder to cry on, a comedian, the person getting the family together, making sure everyone is on time and OK. You have to be in charge of everyone so she can enjoy herself."
It really is an honor to be trusted with the task, and, as the title implies, "you really are a maid for a day," Dang said. "You're helping the bride go to the restroom when she's in her dress, you're her train bustler, you're helping her drink water out of a straw (so she won't mar her lipstick), you're following her and holding her bouquet, things you wouldn't normally do but you're willing to do because she's your best friend."
COURTESY DIANE AKO
Diane Ako had her man of honor Kym Miller by her side on her wedding day, Nov. 1, 2001. Her husband Claus Hansen wanted to pick a day he would remember.
Even so, the phenomenon is not merely the invention of a Hollywood scriptwriter. Kelly Sugano, wedding coordinator at A Perfect Day, said she's seen all kinds of combinations in the past five years, including best women, ring princesses and flower boys. Realizing that not everyone has a traditional family, or has all their friends and family here, she said, "Nowadays anything goes. Whatever they have in their families, we'll work with them."
When KHNL and KFVE weekend anchor Diane Ako married Claus Hansen in November 2001, she chose her best male buddy, Kym Miller, as man of honor.
"I don't feel I have to follow tradition, and didn't find it had to be gender-specific," she said. "We'd been friends since seventh grade, when we were classmates at Kamehameha."
The two kept in touch through her moves across the country, at TV stations in Pennsylvania, New Mexico and the Bay Area, and recently, his move to Tacoma, Wash.
"I have an equal number of male and female friends, but I wanted him there at my wedding," Ako said. "We had a really casual wedding anyway. We practically eloped. My dog served as flower dog."
Ako didn't wear a gown, but chose a lavender floral print dress, while Miller and best man Paul Lemcke wore aloha shirts.
For his part, Miller said he probably worried more about the wedding than she did. He planned her bachelorette party and, as a graphic designer, worked on her invitations. "I thought it was a little odd when she asked me, but I don't think I realized what an honor it was until we were planning it."
The one thing the two don't share is taste in film. Ako said she's looking forward to seeing Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey when "Made of Honor" opens tomorrow. But in Washington, Miller said he'll probably pass on the "chick flick."