Maid of Honor vs Matron of Honor: Who Does What?

When it comes to the subject of maid of honor vs matron of honor, you may find yourself with more questions than answers…

  • What’s the difference between a maid of honor and a matron of honor?
  • Can there be both a maid AND matron of honor? If so, who does what?
  • Does one have more responsibility than the other?  

…so before you pull an Alice and go falling down the rabbit hole, let us break down the maid of honor vs matron of honor dynamic as it’s viewed today.

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What’s the difference between a maid of honor and a matron of honor?

Aside from the obvious discrepancy in title, the only difference between a maid and matron of honor is their marital status.

A maid of honor refers to a bridesmaid who is still single, while a matron of honor is a bridesmaid that is already married. That’s all folks!

Can there be both a maid and matron of honor?

Yes, there can definitely be both a maid and matron of honor in the same bridal party.

In fact, it’s becoming more and more popular for modern-day brides to have one of each. With the ever-growing emphasis put on pre-wedding festivities, having two HBICs (head bridesmaids in charge) equals double the planning power. 

Does one have more responsibility than the other?

No, just because there is both a maid of honor and matron of honor does not mean there are extra duties that need to be accomplished.

Ok great, two people sharing responsibilities is better than one person having to do them all, right? Yeah sure, if they can agree on who does what.

Ok, so who is responsible for what?

Now that’s where things get a bit tricky. Depending on the relationship between maid and matron of honor, things could fall anywhere on the spectrum of piece of cake to battle of the bridesmaids. Seriously, we’ve seen it happen before.

Lucky for you, we’ve been one half of a maid of honor and matron of honor duo (twice) before and have some insider tips on how to handle the split:

Always, always, always consult with the bride.

After all, everything you do is in anticipation of her big day, so it’s imperative that things are done with her consent. Start by seeing if there is any specific role she wants you each to take on (i.e. one plans the bridal shower and the other the bachelorette party) before you move forward.

Determine your individual strengths and interests then divvy up responsibilities accordingly.

For example, if you’re super organized and like to host large gatherings, you can be in charge of coordinating the pre-wedding party details. If your co-MOH is creative and crafty, have them help with some DIY projects for the bridal shower and bachelorette party (invitations, games, favors, gifts, etc.)

Elect a point person to handle communication with the rest of the bridal party.

Nowadays it’s easy for large bridal parties to get confused with everything that goes into being a bridesmaid, so it’s important that the maid or matron of honor is keeping them in line and up-to-date. Decide which of you is a better communicator (aka texter) and have that person be the go-to for any questions or concerns.

Decide on a budget and share ALL costs EVENLY.

This is a major sticking point between bridesmaids in general, but especially when it comes to maids and matrons of honor. The rule is simple: No MOH should be responsible for spending more than the other. While discussing finances may be a bit awkward, it’s absolutely necessary to decide on a budget that both of you (and the rest of the bridal party) are comfortable with.

Discuss your roles on wedding day beforehand to make sure you’re both comfortable and not feeling left out.

This is a big point of contention when it comes to the maid of honor vs matron of honor dynamic. The two biggest questions to answer are:

  1. Who will stand next to the bride during the ceremony?
  2. Who will be giving the maid of honor speech?

The answers may be as simple as the bride deciding who does what or as difficult as her leaving it to you two to choose. If it’s the latter, we suggest going back to our second piece of advice- determine your strengths and interests.

Also keep in mind that it’s perfectly acceptable for you both to give a short speech, or even a joint speech. And while you both cannot stand next to the bride during the ceremony, you can always walk down the aisle together.

Final thoughts…

Let us wrap it up by saying this: being a maid or matron of honor is exactly what the title implies, an honor. Your number one responsibility is to make this the best possible experience for your bride and to have fun while doing it.

So, whether you’re part of a maid and matron of honor tag team, or one of two maids or matrons, be you and allow the other person to do the same! 

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8 Comments

  1. does it make things confusing having both a maid of honor and matron of honor give a speech (first time bride wondering) would you say its easier to just have a maid of honor

    1. Hi Mikayla- great question! In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with having both the maid and matron of honor give a speech if they both want to. To eliminate any confusion, simply have your DJ introduce them separately before they each speak.

      Another option would be to discuss this with both your maid and matron of honor before making a decision. This is what my BFF did with me and my co-maid of honor… it turned out that I was hoping to be able to give a speech while my co-MOH was happy to avoid public speaking. In turn, she was the MOH to stand next to the bride at the altar so we both got to have something special!

  2. My Friend ask me to be her matron of honor and another to be her maid of honor however the maid of honors dress is short and the matron of honor and 3rd bridesmaid are to wear long dresses doesnt this just look like another bridesmaid?

    1. Hi Cam,

      Being the MOH does not always mean that you will wear a different dress from the other bridesmaids. I can’t answer why your friend would choose to dress the maid of honor differently than you as the matron of honor, but perhaps there is a personal reason behind the choice.

      If you are upset or offended by her decision, I would suggest asking her directly. I can assure you that she doesn’t want any hurt feelings within her bridal party.

  3. I have 4 best friends that I’ve known each of them for over 15 years. Is it too much to have 2 matron’s and 2 maids?

    1. Hi Marie,

      That’s a tough decision for you to have to make! I personally feel like having four MOHs is a bit too much for a few reasons.

      For starters, the role of maid/matron of honor is a special responsibility, so the more you have the less special the title becomes. Also, having that many HBICs can mean four different personalities all vying for control over your bridal party. This could lead to unnecessary drama and confusion.

      That being said, if you cannot make the decision on just one or two MOHs, there is no rule saying you can’t have 4! Just be prepared to delegate duties accordingly 🙂

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