Man Code: Managing the Bridal Party

Man Code: Managing the Bridal Party

Man code dictates that you support your bride (and all her friends), no matter what… “at least for the six weeks before and after the wedding. Once you’ve passed this buffer zone, all bets are off. “

But what happens when bridesmaids break bad? A few quick tips from the man code library (a secret vault located in the catacombs below the Playboy Mansion) will keep you sane and might just save the wedding from bridesmaids gone wild.

Don’t Talk Back

First, you need to identify the alpha bridesmaid. She’s probably the maid of honor, but in some social structures, she could just be the one with the strongest opinions and personality. She’s your potential nightmare, and she’s got your woman’s ear, so you need to kiss her ass (just a little). Just let it slide when she comes up with a doozy like “I really love your future wife, she’s so down to earth. It doesn’t even seem to bother her that you don’t make very much money.” She might interchange this last part with something along the lines of “you’re bald, you’re short, you’re too tall, you’re just not her type.” Man code tells us very clearly in paragraph 59-subsection-3-A in “the how to deal with jelling frenemies chapter,” to just let it go. Yogis can take three deep belly breaths, hot fuses can deflect and redirect by changing to the topic to “Doesn’t my best man look smoking in his tux. You guys should dance. You’d be cute together.” If all else fails, look toward a fast escape. Telling her you want to just quickly check in with your mother-in-law most often does the trick.

Remember the Emotions

Always a bridesmaid and never a bride. These girls are all giggles and whispers and pink chiffon on the outside, but on the inside they are jealous, just a little angry, and really pissed that your future wife picked out some of the ugliest bridesmaid dresses known to man.

So how does a man code subscriber handle all these emotions? Simple… you don’t. Give the group a wide berth. Check in occasionally with a quick joke (not too raunchy, but not Mr. Rogers either) then get away fast. And if your best man is willing to jump on a grenade, ask him to dance with the one girl in the pack that just always seems a little awkward and out of place.

Remember your Bride

This is her day… and like her pack of ladies, she’s bound to be a hot bundle of emotions. How can you make your bride feel really special? Of course, you must tell her that she looks beautiful at least 10 times over the day – that’s man code brother. But be specific. Your eyes are just sparkling today. I love the way your shoulders look in that dress.

While your fiancée is probably in charge of getting her friends a gift, consider doing something special just for her (or for her friends). This means matching your tie with her dress, adding a few extra touches to your tux combo like a rose lapel that’s her favorite color or a cupid’s arrow tie bar. Man Code Rule 53-Section-A-Annex-C1 also states that “on the wedding day it’s the groom's duty to make everything go smoothly.” You don’t want her to see it, but hopefully, the bridesmaids will notice your effort, making your life about one million times easier.

The Bachelorette Party

Unless you are a really progressive new-age kind of guy, don’t interfere. Talk with the bridesmaids before the party to give some tips on what your bride might like, and then step back. You might offer to meet up halfway through the night for a quick drink together with both the Bachelors and the Brides. This is a great opportunity to show your generosity by buying the entire bridesmaid crew a shot. You are a class act, but you know when the time and place is right to insert a little playfulness into your night.

Use your Allies

Your uncles, groomsmen, and pals are your first line of defense. You have your big offensive line that protect you from too many close encounters. You have wide receivers and big-play makers that are willing to separate the leaders and pounce on any loose cannons. Your best man is the coach – and quite possibly your blind side tackle. Get his advice and use him as your personal go-between, errand boy, and fall guy. If all works well, who knows, you might just score tonight. 


The tuxedo featured in the main image is the Black Shawl Lapel Tuxedo.