Made of Honor

Before you have a stroke, that spelling is intentional.

The maid/matron of honor has become a bit of a hot button issue as of late.  Traditionally, you could only have one (and you had to have one), and they had a very specific set of duties (including warding off evil spirits and protecting you from would-be kidnappers).  Traditionally your parents would also accept goats from your fiancé in exchange for your hand in marriage, so obviously we’re not exactly bound to some of these rules anymore.  If your engagement happened to involve the exchange of goats, I’m sorry.  Double sorry if evil spirits are a concern. 

In case you don’t know what the difference is, the title of “maid of honor” goes to an unmarried honor attendant and the title of “matron of honor” goes to an honor attendant who is married.  They both mean the same thing, it’s just a matter of which is the correct term (like the distinction between Ms. and Mrs.).

Firstly, if you don’t want to have one for whatever reason, you don’t have to.

Secondly, if you want to have more than one, there’s no reason you can’t.

Thirdly, if your best friend happens to be a guy, and you can’t imagine putting anyone else in the honor position, go for it!

That all being said, the subject can be kind of touchy…

No matter which route you choose, when you are standing at the altar with your bridesmaids, someone will be next to you, and title or not that is considered the honor position.  You can’t not name a MOH or name multiple ones just because you don’t want to have to make a choice, because you still have to decide who stands next to you.  You also have to choose someone to sign the marriage license as your witness.  The only real reason to choose to not give anyone the title of MOH is that you don’t want to offend anyone by making title distinctions between your friends (and you’re really close with all of them) or you don’t want to have more MOHs than bridesmaids.  If you have two really close friends and don’t want to look like you’re putting one above the other, by all means give them both the title (unless there are only 3 bridesmaids total; then you’re telling the third girl she really doesn’t matter that much).  In that case, you may want to consider splitting up the tasks that are associated with the honor attendants so they both get to be active honor attendants (like have one stand next to you at the ceremony, but the other signs the marriage license, something like that).  How you handle it is up to you, but realize that some people take the title (or lack thereof) very seriously.

Usually, any reasonable person is going to know that there’s only one spot next to you and one spot for a witness signature on the marriage license.  You may have a disappointed friend, but hopefully they realize that it doesn’t mean you love them any less.  Keep feelings in mind, and realize that if you may have a serious issue in choosing one, you may be better off going the untraditional route and not giving the title to anyone at all.

For me it was tricky because it felt like there was an obligation to name my sister the MOH, but we don’t exactly get along all the time and she can be a little…flaky.  It made absolute sense to me that really it should be my best friend Laura, but I didn’t want there to be any problems.  Lucky for me, while discussing bridesmaids with my sister I was able to make a crack about having to pick a MOH, and she volunteered “you know, it totally makes sense if you want to ask Laura.  I’m already a bridesmaid, so I won’t be offended as long as you won’t be offended if I don’t ask you to be my MOH.”  Problem solved!  I can only hope that if you find yourself in the same situation it’s that easy for you.  If it’s not, I’ll say the same thing I said about choosing bridesmaids: if you feel obligated to make a particular choice,  but aren’t really wanting to, weigh the consequences of your choices.  It may not be ideal, but if you are unfortunate enough that you have a diva in your group who will make more trouble than it’s worth, it may be worth just sucking it up and giving the title to them (or not picking one at all to completely side step the issue!).

The MOH is typically in charge of planning the bachelorette party, and in some social circles they’re in charge of the shower as well.  If you’re expecting this to be the case, make sure it’s someone you trust to do this!  If you’re expecting her to do anything else extra, be up front about it (just like you should have been with the bridesmaids!).  If in your mind the title means she is coming with you to dress fittings and florist appointments, mention it to her that you’d really like her to be able to help out with those things, but remember one key thing: this is your wedding, not hers, and while she may be completely happy for you she does have her own life that takes priority.  Too many friendships end over bridal parties that didn’t quite see eye to eye, and that is a real tragedy.

Remember to look at this from your girls’ (or guys’) point of view, and good luck!

On a side note, I get married in 6 months!


Posted on December 8, 2011, in Misc. Topics (Wedding), Wedding Planning Isn't For Sissies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. six months! woohoo!

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