Do you have to have a maid of honour?

A Maid of Honor is traditionally the Brides ‘chief’ bridesmaid. Responsible for keeping the bride calm, assisting with wedding planning, bridal and bridesmaids robes or other dress shopping and coordinating the other bridesmaids. In our modern era, the tradition of the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids comes from socio-economic settings, wanting our close friends by our side to celebrate our wedding.

If we look even further back in history at the origin of the Maid of Honor, we find it actually dates back to medieval times, where a bride would turn up to her wedding with her ‘maid’. Not a friend in those days, a handmaiden or a slave, however, they performed the same role in helping to prepare the bride for her big day and to be by her side at the altar.

A Maid of Honor is traditionally an unmarried bridesmaid and the title changes to Matron of Honor if the woman is married.

So do you need to allocate this title to one of your bridesmaids, or can they just all be ‘bridesmaids’?


There is no rule book when it comes to weddings and traditions that you should or shouldn’t follow. It really comes down to your personal preference which will be influenced by your friends and family, what type of wedding you want and in many ways, your circle of friends. If you have a stand out a close girlfriend who is a best friend and been through many life events with you, then it might be nice to honour and acknowledge this special relationship by giving her the title that differentiates her from the other bridesmaids.

Even without the title, when you have a group do friends and organising to do, one person will naturally take on a leadership role, so if you have two close friends and you are worried of insulting one by not making then the Maid of Honour, then calling them all bridesmaids do avoid this confrontation.


You could, of course, have two Maid of Honors if you really wanted, after all, there is no rule book on what your wedding has to look like (unless of course, you have family or religious traditions you have to follow), so if you wanted two, go for it! However it is a more formal tradition of a wedding, so if you want to follow it, it might be unlikely that you want to break that tradition by naming two of this important title.

Whatever you decide to call your friends who will stand by you on your big day, make sure you select them for the right reasons, people who love and support you and will help you with the stress of planning and the nerves of getting ready and walking down the aisle on your big day. Having the right people by your side is more important than the title you allocate to them for the wedding day.

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