The Dos and Don'ts of Picking a Maid of Honor

What you should and should not consider when making the choice.

Some brides have had their maid of honor picked out since kindergarten – and actually remained friends long enough for this selection to come to fruition. Other women have a hard enough time narrowing down who should be a bridesmaid, much less choosing one person to stand above the rest as maid of honor. With so many expectations and personal feelings involved, there’s a lot of pressure to make sure you pick the right person – someone with whom you will always remain close. With that in mind, we have some dos and don’ts to consider while you contemplate who should stand by your side on the big day. 
how to choose your maid of honor, what not to do when picking a maid of honor
Photo by Jose Villa Photography; Floral Design by HMR Designs; Planning & Design by Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

- Do choose your sister. If you have a one, an easy way to avoid any drama is by selecting her as your maid of honor. Friends will generally assume this was an automatic choice and won’t bear any resentment towards you because of it. If you have multiple sisters, the one closest in age is usually an acceptable option, or perhaps the eldest. 

- Don’t pick anybody out of obligation. Despite the previous advice, if you don’t have a great relationship with your sister – or simply have a best friend you’re closer to – there is no rule that says you must make her your maid of honor. If you don’t have strong feelings either way, it may not be worth potential family strife, but ultimately you should do what makes you happy. The same goes for feeling like you have to pick someone to be a maid of honor because you were hers. 

- Do select someone you are closest to. Maybe you weren’t that close when a friend got married but the bond has strengthened over time. That’s okay! You don’t have to feel embarrassed or like you’re overstepping by asking her to be your maid of honor. Not everyone is still BFFs with their elementary school group. 

- Don’t choose someone for practical reasons. Yes, a perfectly planned bachelorette party and bridal shower can be a wonderful thing, but you shouldn’t make someone your maid of honor just because she’s a wonderful party planner. However, if there are two friends who you could see taking the role, it’s not unreasonable for responsibility over flakiness to be a tiebreaker.

- Do think outside the box. You can have more than one maid of honor, if you’d prefer. Or even none at all! And if you have a close relationship with your brother or your best friend is a guy, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a man of honor instead. 

Fill out the rest of your bridal party by learning how to decide on your bridesmaids, or find out why some couples skip having a wedding party altogether!

Authored by: Emily Lasnier