Bridal Party Q&As

Guidelines about the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved, from maid of honor on down.

Q: I want both my maid of honor and matron of honor to feel special at my wedding. What is the difference between maid of honor and the matron of honor and what are the responsibilities for each? 

A: The only difference is that the matron of honor is a married sister, friend or relative while the maid of honor is a single woman. There are no set responsibilities for each—basically, the matron of honor and maid of honor should share in the activities usually designated for the maid of honor. These include planning the bridal shower, helping to address wedding invitations, dress shopping, organizing fittings for the other bridesmaids, and any other pre-wedding tasks where assistance is needed.

On your wedding day, both can feel special by sharing some of the rituals. Before the ceremony, they can help you dress. For the processional, consider having them walk down the aisle together. During the ceremony one can hold your bouquet while the other takes charge of the ring and both can certainly give readings. At the reception, why not ask each to give a toast following the best man's? I am sure that they will appreciate your concern and thoughtfulness and feel honored to be such an important part of your wedding.

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Wedding etiquette is a popular subject because they are so many horror stories. It's expensive to be in a bridal party, and it's expensive and stressful to have a large one. One budget line item that often gets overlooked by the future Mr. and Mrs. is the THANK YOU gift for each bridal party member. You should plan to spend at least half the amount of the cost of the bridesmaid dress/suit rental for each person. So if the dress they bought is $300, then be prepared to thank each one with ~$150 worth of gratitude. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, flights/hotels, hair/shoes/makeup/hair styling -- all these things add up, and some bridesmaids spend over $1000 just to be in your wedding party. These are your most important witnesses to your wedding. And chances are they supported you before, during, and after the big day. Thank you gifts are not the area to skimp. Good luck! Lisa |

I've selected my matron of honor (and asked her) who is engaged and was supposed to get married before me but then had to postpone her wedding. Can she still be my matron of honor??