Airbrush Faces
Airbrush Faces

Before you can even start choosing your wedding party members, you’ll need to know what all the different roles mean. And one of most confusing questions is the difference between a maid of honor vs. a matron of honor. If you have lots of close friends and family members, you may want to consider incorporating both of these roles in your wedding party. But is that actually appropriate, etiquette-wise?

Here’s everything you need to know about the maid of honor vs. matron of honor roles so you can actually select your wedding party!

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

It’s really easy—a matron of honor is a head bridesmaid who happens to be married, while a maid of honor is unmarried. In both cases, these roles are considered leaders of the bridesmaids, meaning it’s an extra-special honor often bestowed upon the bride’s sister, other close relative, or best friend. And remember, a maid or matron of honor doesn’t have to be a woman—we’ve seen plenty of weddings with men of honor, too!

Can I have both a maid of honor and a matron of honor?

Yes, you totally can! Though it works particularly well if you’re having a larger wedding party, you can certainly have both a maid of honor and a matron of honor in your crew. In fact, if you want to have more than one maid of honor and/or matron of honor, that’s fine, too. Your wedding party should reflect your relationships with your loved ones—don’t be afraid to break with tradition and do what makes you happy!

What are their responsibilities?

A maid of honor and matron of honor have a lot of duties to handle—and there’s no difference between the jobs of a maid of honor and those of a matron of honor. Not only do they serve as leader of the bridesmaids, they also have to plan and host the bachelorette party and shower, help the bride with pre-wedding projects and tasks, give a speech during the reception, and much more!  

If you have two (or more!) “head bridesmaids” you’ll need to divvy up these jobs. It all depends on the strengths and availability of your maid of honor and matron of honor. Maybe your maid of honor can plan the bachelorette party, while your matron of honor plans the shower. Or perhaps your matron of honor handles the party planning while your maid of honor can be present for dress shopping or other wedding-related projects. Talk to your maid of honor and matron of honor to determine the tasks that each feels more comfortable tackling. Your head bridesmaids will likely be thrilled that they can divide up the responsibilities—less pressure for everyone!

Do my maid of honor and matron of honor wear the same thing?

They definitely can, but some couples prefer to have their maid of honor and/or matron of honor stand out from the rest of the bridesmaids. Your maid of honor and matron of honor can wear different dresses (or dresses in different colors or patterns) than the rest of the crew, carry different bouquets, or even wear a unique accessory, like a headband or sash.

When do my maid of honor and matron of honor walk down the aisle?

Traditionally, the maid of honor or matron of honor is the last person to walk down the aisle before the bride. Sometimes she walks in a pair with the best man, or sometimes by herself. If you’re having both a maid of honor and a matron of honor, you can have them walk down the aisle together, in a trio with the best man, or separately. You’ll also need to decide who stands closest to the bride at the altar—there’s no rules about this, so base your decision on your relationships with your maid and matron of honor.