Ask the Experts: Nontraditional Attendants

Q: My future husband’s closest friend is his cousin, Jackie — who’s a woman. Can the best man be a woman? If so, what attire is appropriate?

A: Choosing attendants of the other sex is growing in acceptance, says Phyllis Jablonowski, president of Eventricity in Glenside. Most often, it’s the groom who will ask a female friend — referred to as a groomsperson or simply attendant — to stand up for him.

The attire should reflect the gender of the attendant, not the person he or she is attending. “For a groomsperson, it’s tasteful to take the bridesmaid’s dress and have it made in black, like a tuxedo,” she says. “A male friend of the bride could wear a suit, with a tie matching the bridemaids’ dresses.” —Eileen Smith