A Bride's Sister Offered Her $10,000 to Be the Maid of Honor (Instead of Their Other Sister)

We know it's an honor (why else would it be called a "maid of honor"?), but we've never seen an offer like this. Here's what Reddit users had to say about it.
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maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
by Maggie Seaver
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Maggie Seaver is an Associate Digital Editor at RealSimple.com.
  • Maggie writes about life, career, health, and more.
  • Maggie was an editor at The Knot from 2015 to 2019.

A soon-to-be bride shared an interesting, pretty provocative tidbit on Reddit the other day, writing, "My [23f] oldest sister [31f] offered me $10,000 to ask her to be my MOH instead of my younger sister [20f]. My older sister is a terrible person and we aren't close. It's a LOT of money for my fiancé and me, but it's also (hopefully) my only wedding day. I don't know what to do."

Whoa—that's a really serious (slightly crazy) offer, not to mention a tricky family situation. Reddit users didn't hesitate to weigh in with responses, and for the most part their opinions and advice fell into two categories on opposite ends of the spectrum: don't go there, or take the money and run.

On the one hand, some think this money is bad news. For example, user rtaisoaa cautioned against accepting the money because the wedding will no longer be the bride's special day, but turn into her older sister's day: "Don't do it. There [are] string[s] attached to this money and you'll be miserable."

Someone else, organicginger, followed up with similar thoughts: "Being [maid of honor] is more than just a title and standing next to the bride during the ceremony. The [maid of honor] plans the bridal shower, the bachelorette party...helps pick out the bridesmaid dresses, helps the bride get ready the day of, is the bride's main support for venting and bouncing ideas off for the wedding, gives a speech at the wedding…. [D]o you really want to entrust that much power and control over your wedding…. Do you really think she's just going to give you $10,000 and then let you do everything else you want the way you want it?"

Others interpreted the dilemma differently. Camilomilo says, "An opportunity like this does not come often. Tell her, 'Surely, anyone willing to pay $10,000 can afford $20,000.'"

Then another user, C1ayman_1, added, "If I were [the bride], I would ask my sister for $50,000 paid up front. I would even let her plan the wedding like she wanted...! Then after I finished acting the part, I'd have a private ceremony just with close family (sans my older sister) and include my real [maid of honor] little sister. A second, official wedding of sorts."

That's a lot of opinions to take in. Of course, it's always hard to refuse such a generous offer. But, at the same time, it's important to note the distinction between a generous offer and a big offer that's actually self-serving. Plus, would accepting the money really make the bride happy?

To the bride's older sister: Remember, being maid of honor is, as the name suggests, an honor, but it's not the be-all and end-all. And if you're concerned about being the bride's right-hand lady, work on building a positive, genuine relationship with her instead of laying down a bribe. Being chosen as the maid of honor is more meaningful it comes from a place of sincerity on both sides.

And our advice to the bride would be to have an honest chat with all parties involved—older sister, younger sister and fiancé. It's not always easy to initiate, but an open dialogue will bring more effective solutions to an issue than simply internalizing it and letting it cause personal stress and family tension. Prioritize your relationships over any dollar amounts. Maybe she'll be able to work things out with her older sister and have two maids of honor, while her older sister can gift a portion of her offer to the bride and groom as a generous wedding present. That would be the best of both worlds.

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