As you plan your wedding, nothing will be more helpful than supportive people around you. One of the most important people among your crew of helpers will be your maid (or man) of honor, and that means choosing the person that will fill the role requires some careful consideration. To help you make your selection, see our guide for how to choose a maid of honor below.
In traditional wedding parties, a maid of honor (also known as a “matron of honor” if the woman is married, or a “man of honor” if your honorary person is male) is a specially chosen lead bridesmaid or wedding party member that serves as the bride’s right hand helper. She is appointed by the bride to help with additional tasks beyond the typical list of bridesmaid duties. In most cases, the maid of honor is a close friend or relative of the bride.
The decision to have a maid of honor is up to you and what feels right for your celebration. Whether you opt for no maid of honor, multiple maids of honor, or even decide a wedding party isn’t for you, there is no wrong answer. Consider your options, check in with yourself and your partner, and make the choice that work best for your circumstances.
Etiquette assigns the maid of honor a wide range of duties, from planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party to helping choose the wedding dress to holding the bridal bouquet during the ceremony—the list goes on. In general, she’s there to assist the bride with items on her checklist and support her emotionally before and during the wedding festivities.
When you begin thinking about your maid of honor, first ask yourself is there’s an obvious choice, such as a best friend or a close sibling. If there’s no clear pick, think about the individuals in your wedding party and how they might handle the long list of duties that go along with the title. A few things to consider:
An easy way to help alleviate the potential of hurt feelings is not to assign titles like “maid of honor” that set one person apart as your favorite. Instead, refer to everyone by the same honorific, even if you do have a dedicated person acting as your right hand.
To show all members of your wedding party that they are loved and appreciated, make sure everyone is included in some way, whether that’s by assigning each person a small task or just a offering a simple “thank you for being here” in a personally written card.
A quick way to make your other bridesmaids feel excluded is to make a big deal about the maid of honor selection. You don’t have to make everyone feel like they lost out to ensure your honorary pick feels special.