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.

What is a maid of honor (and do you need one)?

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.

What does a maid of honor do?

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.

What To Ask Yourself When Choosing Your Maid of Honor

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:

  1. Is there anyone who has party or wedding planning experience?
  2. Is there anyone who will be hurt if they aren’t chosen?
  3. Is there anyone that would be burdened financially?
  4. Who has the best leadership skills?
  5. Who is organized and punctual?
  6. Who understands and knows me best?
  7. Who is least likely to cause drama?
  8. Who is has great taste?
  9. Who is great at offering advice without being pushy?
  10. Who is best at delegating tasks?
  11. Who can commit extra time to maid of honor duties?
  12. Who can financially afford to cover the maid of honor duties?
  13. Who is great at staying calm under pressure?
  14. Who is my go-to person when I need to talk?
  15. Who is okay not being the center of attention?

Tips For Avoiding Drama

1. Don’t use titles. 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.

2. Make sure everyone feels included. 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.

3. Don’t make it a big deal. 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.