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The Maid of Honor

Her Role, Duties, and Special


What's so special about a maid of honor? A lot of people think she's just the bossiest bridesmaid, or perhaps the person most likely to go home with a groomsman. But she (or he) actually does have some special duties, as well as some special benefits. Here's the role of a maid of honor explained.

What Does a Maid of Honor Really Do?

The maid of honor is the bride's chief support. Specifically:
  • She helps the bride with wedding planning, making decisions, and navigating family difficulties and other stresses.

  • She's also responsible for being the head of the bridesmaids, keeping them organized.

  • The maid of honor leads the bridesmaids in planning a bridal shower and often a bachelorette party.

  • On the day of the wedding, a maid of honor helps the bride get dressed and stay calm.
  • Often, she makes a toast or a speech at either the wedding or the rehearsal dinner.
  • Couples getting legally married in the United States frequently ask the maid of honor to be one of the signers of the marriage license.
  • Perhaps most importantly she's a good listener, and has a strong shoulder for the bride to lean on.

Who Should be Chosen for the Maid of Honor?

Typically, a bride asks her sister or her closest female friend.

Can a Man Be a Maid of Honor?

Of course! When a woman's closest friend is a man, it makes sense that he be the person she relies on for her wedding, and wants to honor. It does mean that any traditionally-gendered events, such as the bridal shower or bachelorette party, need to be inclusive of all genders.

Does This Person Have to Be Called a Maid of Honor?

Whether you've got a female or male best friend, sometimes the term "maid of honor" just feels strange. Instead this role can be called, "bride's honor attendant", or even whimsically, "the bride's sidekick." If a married woman is chosen, she's traditionally called "the matron of honor."