Maid of Honor Advice
Male Maid of Honor: What are the rules?
Where does a male maid of honor fit into the wedding? Where does he stand, and what does he wear? How are a male maid of honor's responsibilities different from his female counterpart?
Attire for the Male Maid of Honor
Usually he wears a tuxedo or suit similar to the groomsmen but different in some way. The groomsmen may have a white bow tie while the male maid of honor's bow tie matches the color of the bridesmaids' dresses. He may have a different color vest. Or he may simply have a different type and/or color of flower in his lapel than the other groomsmen. On the question of flowers, the male maid of honor does not generally carry a bouquet like the other bridesmaids.
Wedding Day Protocol
Beginning with the wedding ceremony, the male maid of honor walks down the aisle just like the other bridesmaids (whether or not the groomsmen and ushers are already waiting at the front). He may escort one of the bridesmaids, the mother of the bride, or walk down by himself (sans bouquet!). A male maid of honor is not expected to walk down the aisle with the best man. As an attendant for the bride, he will still stand on the bride's side and hold her bouquet when necessary.
During the wedding reception, the male maid of honor can give his maid of honor speech or toast as normal. If there's a head table, he can be seated either on the bride's side or groom's side, wherever he's more comfortable.
Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party
A male maid of honor should definitely attend the bridal shower, and ideally (if he's comfortable doing it) plan or help plan it, with bridesmaid help. Planning a jack and jill bridal shower (where both men and women are invited) might make his position easier. If the bride doesn't want a jack and jill shower, it's still a good idea for the male maid of honor to attend.
The bachelorette party is a different animal altogether as it often involves strippers and other female debauchery. Depending on the male maid of honor's comfort level and wishes, he can respectfully choose to participate in the bachelorette party (by just attending or by helping to plan) or to bow out completely. As with the jack and jill bridal shower, if the bride is okay with it, a co-ed bachelorette party can be a lot of fun!
All of the official duties and protocols aside, the male maid of honor was obviously chosen because he's a dear friend of the bride. As such, he should have no problem fulfilling the most important aspects of being maid of honor: a shared laugh to relieve the stress, a sympathetic ear, and just someone to be there to share this wonderful time in the bride's life. Male or female, he's there to do his part to make the bride's wedding a day to remember!