Maid of Honor Advice
Maid of Honor FAQ
Does the maid of honor usually have a different dress than the other bridesmaids? What about her bouquet?
Whether the maid of honor is designed to physically stand out from the other bridesmaids through her dress or flowers is up to the bride. I've attended weddings where the maid of honor looked completely different, and others where she was dressed exactly the same. If you have a preference, you could certainly let the bride know.
Which title should you use if you're married, maid of honor or matron of honor?
A maid of honor is traditionally (and by definition) unmarried, while a matron of honor is married. However, if you're married but feel like matron of honor sounds too old, it's commonly accepted to call yourself maid of honor anyway. After all, the bridesmaids can be married!
What if the bride chooses a horrible orange and pink polka dot bridesmaid dress with fuchsia feathers on each shoulder? Does the maid of honor have any say?
Well, yes and no. The best thing you can do to avoid this unfortunate situation is to be proactive, to be involved with the bridesmaid dress selection from the beginning. Volunteer to go dress shopping with the bride. She'll appreciate your enthusiasm and likely take your sage maid of honor advice.
If it's too late and the bride has already chosen the bridesmaid dress from hell, you could try to suggest other possibilities, but if the bride insists there's not much else you can do. Perhaps you could find a nice tasteful wrap to wear over that, um, "unique" maid of honor dress (during the reception at least).
What if you're a long-distance maid of honor? How can you be a good friend and supporter of the bride even though you can't be present for every cake tasting?
I was actually a long-distance maid of honor and had a long-distance maid of honor when I was a bride (not a coincidence!) and it can be done. First, make sure you have plenty of cell phone minutes so that you can still share all that fantastic advice. Second, realize that local bridesmaids will need to fill in for you, but that you can still fulfill the most important maid of honor responsibility, moral support for the bride.
Finally, you'll need to coordinate closely with the bride and other bridesmaids, and be willing to fly/drive/take the train out to the bride's home at least two or three times (bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding, etc.). If you absolutely cannot afford this, you might want to express your concerns to the bride.
What if the bride's best friend is male? Can he be her maid of honor?
Friendship may know no gender, but your average guy may not want to wear a bridesmaid dress! There are a couple of possibilities for a male maid of honor. First, he could technically be a groomsman instead and the bride could have a female attendant stand in for him (or be co-maid of honor). Alternatively, I've heard of a male maid of honor dressing in a suit or tuxedo (which could match the best man...or not) and standing with the bridesmaids. It mostly comes down to what both the man in question and the bride are comfortable and happy with. For more detailed advice, read our advice for male maids of honor.