Can You Have Two (or More) Maids Of Honor? A Wedding Expert Says Yes.
Once the initial excitement of getting engaged wears off, people usually switch into planning mode. One of the items on the agenda may be choosing a maid of honor. If you have multiple people in mind, can you have two maids of honor? Technically, it's your wedding and you can do whatever you want. However, it's often helpful to understand unspoken rules and etiquette for weddings before making a decision.
For this reason, we spoke to Mariama Delph, CEO of MDC Event Design, to hear her thoughts on whether you can have two maids of honor and how to go about it.
In this article:
Can You Have Two Maids of Honor?
You can absolutely have two maids of honor at your wedding if that's what you want, Delph says. You don't have to choose between your mom and best friend.
"There are no rules to follow and brides should customize their day to have their own unique experiences. However, ensure that you're choosing two maids of honor because it's what you truly want and not because managing expectations of others due to guilt," she adds.
That said, if you have two people who are close to you and both want them to perform maid of honor duties on your special day, there's no harm in choosing both. Delph says in her Guyanese culture, it isn't abnormal to have more than one.
"It was customary for brides to have both a maid of honor and a matron of honor. While traditionally reserved for sisters, these spots have evolved to include close friends," she says.
The difference between a maid of honor and a matron of honor is the former usually describes unmarried individuals, while the latter usually isn't married.
How Many Maids of Honor Can You Have?
You aren't limited to one or two maids of honor–if you wanted you could have even more, or none at all. Before choosing multiple people, think about the reason behind it. You may want to ask questions like why you think the people you have in mind should be a maid of honor, whether it's a title they'll be happy to have. Also, consider how you're going to divide the role and who will be responsible for what.
Pros of Having Two Maids of Honor
There are benefits of having two or more maids of honor such as having more hands on deck. Here are a few others for you to consider before deciding.
Dividing Duties Fairly
Maid of honor duties aren't always glamorous and can entail lots of work. Truth be told, when the tasks are divided by more than one person it can be an easier job to do.
"It's important to share responsibilities in the lead up to and on the big day," says Delph. "Consider having one person give a toast at the rehearsal dinner, while the other can give a speech at the reception. This way both parties will feel included and valued, making your special day even more memorable."
Extra Love and Support
"Having the love and support of multiple people could never be wrong," Delph says. Extra maids of honor could mean twice the love during the planning phases of your wedding and on your big day.
Cons of Having Two Maids of Honor
Everything with a pro usually has a con including having multiple maids of honor. Clashing personalities and jealousy between the maids of honor are two possibilities.
If your maids of honor have different personalities, it could result in conflict, says Delph.
"Select people who mean the world to you and can support you through the entire experience. You should not have to be a constant referee between your two maids of honors," she advises.
As the celebrant, you can minimize the likelihood of conflict by setting clear expectations and choosing personalities that you think will mesh well together.
Jealousy is a common emotion when sharing a role, and those feelings could show up between your maids of honor.
"Conflicting ideas? Spending more time with one person over the other? Not involving everyone, equally? These are all normal but tension can easily arise and then spiral," Delph says.
While you may have enough on your plate, try to be mindful about including everyone. Also, keep lines of communication open by sharing why you may have one person doing certain duties versus another where possible.
How to Handle Having Two Maids of Honor
Having two maids of honor will come with unique hurdles, but nothing that should be impossible.
Below are a few tips on how to navigate having multiple maids of honor.
Plan a hangout before appointing your bridal party.
If you have two or more potential maids of honor who have never met one another, consider having them meet up in a casual get together before making a final decision. Observe how they interact with one another as that may give you a hunch about how well they'll get along.
Invite everyone to core events.
Some core events that happen throughout the wedding planning process include selecting wedding attire, make-up trials, cake tasting and venue scouting. Delph suggests inviting all maids of honor to all the events. They may not be able to make every event, but at least it gives them a chance to feel included.
Show appreciation for each maid of honor.
Delph suggests showing each maid of honor love and appreciation so each person understands why they were chosen and the role they play in your life.
"Take the time to show how much you value both individuals by writing a heartfelt letter, having a thoughtful conversation, or giving a meaningful gift," she says.
Throughout the process, remember to affirm and thank each maid of honor for their contribution. You may also have regular check-ins to communicate and grievances and make sure everyone is on the same page.
As mentioned earlier, be clear about your expectations and who's doing what to reduce friction and conflict. Tasks to divide may include who will give a toast (but note that both maids of honor can give their own separate toast, or make a joint speech), be there to get you any food or drinks you need on the day, or sign the marriage license. By communicating who's responsible for what, you can avoid people stepping on each other's toes or someone taking the lead and others feeling left out or undermined.