A bride, a bridegroom, the parents, a smattering of aunties and uncles, lots of friends, bridesmaids – and a best man; all are core ingredients of the traditional wedding. However, there is a growing trend for would-be grooms to throw out the rule book and opt for best women instead.
On Saturday, a famed comedian Edwin Mukalazi said ‘I do’ to his partner, Ritah Nagaddya and choose to have a female best man, mywedding.co.ug reports.
While some people simply congratulated the couple, others were not amused by this growing drift in the wedding culture.
‘’What is happening to the so-called world?? So now women are becoming men, and men women??? No doubt sign of judgement day. Whatever it is that you men are looking for, you will get it. How can one have a lady bestman?!!! Do these weddings take place in churches? What do their pastors advise them? I hope we won’t soon start to see men as matrons!,” Martin Muhangi commented.
The tabloid reports that Mukalazi’s wedding is not the first to defy the conventional fashion of weddings.
A fortnight ago, media platforms in the East African region buzzed with all kinds of opinions about men having female aides after Edwin Musiime, a host on NTV/Kenya opted to have a female ‘best man’, Anitah Beryl while making it official with co-host Christabel Nansubuga.
Edwin Musiime’s wedding was officiated at Serena Hotel while Mukalazi’s wedding took place at St Augustine’s Chapel Makerere, a traditional Catholic Church.
Fr Josephat Ddungu, the Chaplain of St Augustine’s Chapel Makerere, explained that the church requires the best man to be a man. He enlightened that Mukalazi’s wedding had a male best man during the wedding officiation, however, after the church had done its part, he could choose a ceremonial best man, and in this case, it was a female friend.
Many people questioned whether it’s viable for a man to have a female aide.
“I thought Best man is supposed to guide the groom in men issues, and maid of honour helps the bride in women issues. Naturally, men will be men, women will be women as the genes dedicate in this case. How does a woman come to help with men issues? Won’t it end up in a love affair???” Beata A. Asymue commented on one of the posts from Musiime’s wedding.
Another, Simon Kirabo wrote,
“The best man exists to guide and help you through marriage, that’s why it’s advisable to have a married man. This is mainly because married men have experience and will help. Let me hope the Best Lady will perform her role when called on cause MARRIAGE IS NOT ABOUT TRENDS. It’s real life and it’s not for the faint-hearted sir! Congratulations.”
Others have even made allegations that the grooms might be in love with their female ‘best men’, a pinch Musiime felt the most.
“The way how that woman rocked in suits, very soon u will hear news he has gone for her(sic),” one person commented among many others.
In a Facebook post relating the comment, Musiime explained relating his friendship with Beryl to that of David and Jonathan’s in the Bible. He called upon people to stop being judgemental and avoid misinterpretation.
“Am sure with man’s new role of Judgement today David and Jonathan must be Gay! Right? 2 Samuel 18:1 “After that, Jonathan became David’s closest friend. He loved David as much as he loved himself.”
Friends at times things are simply what they are and no deep interpretation needed. Best Lady or Best man it’s all Phileo- A Possible Innocent genuine Love for another.“
Nevertheless, some people have seen no fault in being gender blind in picking a wedding best man.
Patricia Ekeesit says,
“I am a married woman and my husband has a female bestie. She is the most amazing person I know and I support their friendship, actually, I know that when she gets married, he will probably be her best woman (matron), and that is okay.”
One, Namugema Julia wrote,
“Best man is someone’s best friend. Not necessarily a male. Some of you saying how do you trust a man whose best friend is a woman, what is wrong with that? Are you saying a woman and a man can’t be together without having intercourse/relationship? Seriously, I don’t expect this kind of thinking in this generation.”
Jahan jay wrote;
“I don’t know why people hate what they don’t understand. His wedding, his choice.”
Why Do Grooms Want A Girl For Best Man?
In 2008, Kelly Chandler, director of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and co-founder of the Bespoke Wedding company told The Guardian in an interview;
“The first thing that happened, three or four years ago, was that people realised they could have more than one best man. Now half the weddings I organise have two or three best men. More recently, people started asking, “Why a best man? Why not a woman?” Some think that their best and closest friend is female, so why should they choose a guy?”
Chandler said that when couples realised that ‘everything and anything’ goes at a modern wedding, they had begun ‘messing around with males in female roles and vice versa’.
She had one client who had a man as chief bridesmaid.
‘It may only be one in 50 weddings, but people are always looking for ways to make things different,’ she said.
Deborah Joseph, the editor of Brides magazine, agrees, arguing that the key for many people is to break with convention.
“People are keen to have an individual, bespoke wedding,” she said.
“They hope people will remember the day by the fact that they have done something different. I have seen mums walking brides up the aisle. Another growing trend is a hag do – the stag and hen combined.”
Jeremy Skidmore, a journalist, chose a female friend, Emma Wilkinson as his chief lieutenant to organise the stag do, carry the rings and make the speech.
“She was the only woman – an honorary bloke,” said Skidmore.
He said it was ‘just logical’ to choose Emma as his best woman. The pair went out together in the early Nineties and have been close friends ever since.
“I chose Emma because she is my best friend, but for all kinds of reasons it was a good thing,” says Skidmore.
“I knew that everyone would love her. I knew she would do a brilliant job and it was something different. I also think women are more reliable.”
Skidmore said he had ‘groups’ of male friends he had gathered while growing up, at university and through work, making it harder to single out a male friend.
On the day itself, Wilkinson dressed in a fitted tuxedo.
“She decided to dress as a man,’ says Skidmore. “It was a bit of a joke and added to the comedy value.”
Lisa, 31, from Walthamstow, east London, acted as the best woman to her friend and former boyfriend, Trev.
“I was really chuffed and I did not think it was particularly odd as I’ve been good friends with him for years, but I did ask whether Cathy, his wife, was OK with it. I felt much better when he said that it was partly her idea. Maybe she just thought I would be a reliable bet for getting him there on time and not losing the rings,’ she said.
Lisa admitted that people were surprised.
“When I told people, the reactions ranged from the odd raised eyebrow to someone asking me if it was a lesbian wedding. His male friends were most taken aback, I think, especially when they realised I was organising the stag do. Some of them were not too happy about that.”
Luckily for Lisa, she got out of one of the most daunting of best man — or woman — tasks: the speech.
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