Being a maid of honor for your best friend is—like the name implies—an honor. It’s a chance to celebrate friendship, while also supporting the love of the happy couple. But before you make it to your big day, you have to actually choose your maid of honor.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A MAID OF HONOR
Many brides struggle with choosing their maid of honor because they’re afraid of playing favorites. Unless you have one best friend you’ve known your entire life, you might be worried your friends who are “just” bridesmaids will feel left out. But this is exactly why we recommend the entire bridal party help in planning the wedding—and not just the maid of honor.
Having a maid of honor is a huge help to you, so it’s important to choose your maid of honor wisely. They’ll be your confidant—and often your sanity—during the stressful and exciting process of planning your wedding. To help make the decision process easier, we’ve compiled some important factors to consider as you choose your maid of honor.
CONSIDER WHO YOU’VE KNOWN THE LONGEST
Weddings are stressful. Outside of planning and all the moving pieces, there’s also the potential for family drama. You may have cousins who don’t get along, or siblings who are never on time. A BFF who’s known you for a long time will also know the ins and outs of your family dynamic. They can help diffuse potentially stressful situations, or they can keep key family members on track.
Of course, just because you’ve known someone the longest doesn’t automatically mean they’re the right maid of honor. But if they know how to help you without needing to be told—they should be a strong candidate.
CONSIDER WHO’S GOOD AT PLANNING
Traditionally, the maid of honor plans the bachelorette party, and is often involved in the bridal shower as well. This means a maid of honor with strong logistical skills is going to benefit your wedding. Other bridesmaids won’t need to step in to help, and you can have a worry-free celebration.
Keep in mind that they don’t need to have wedding planning experience to plan an awesome bachelorette party. Maybe they plan a lot of work functions, or they’re the family go-to for the annual reunion. It doesn’t matter! The important part is that they know how to successfully plan special events.
Bonus Tip: If your maid of honor isn’t a logistics queen, connect her with a bridesmaid who can help.
CONSIDER WHO IS NEARBY
What do you envision doing with your maid of honor? Maybe you want to go dress shopping, or need help choosing your hairstyle. You may even want her help narrowing down venues. Most of those things require someone there in person. This, of course, doesn’t mean you can’t have an out-of-town maid of honor. But as you choose your maid of honor, make sure that your expectations can still be met.
Bonus Tip: If you do choose an out-of-towner, see if she can visit for a long weekend. You can fit some of these in-person activities during that time—and save the others for video calls.
CONSIDER WHO WOULD WANT TO
Like we mentioned earlier, it’s a huge honor to be someone’s maid of honor. But also like we mentioned earlier—it’s a lot of work, too. And not everyone is going to want the responsibility of such an important part of your big day. This isn’t something you should take personally, nor is it something your friends should feel like they have to do.
Overall, it’s best for the both of you to be honest about what you want, so your special day is the best it can be. If they don’t want to be a maid of honor, ask them to be a bridesmaid or help out in some other way so they can still be involved without the pressure.
CONSIDER WHAT ELSE THEY HAVE GOING ON
The last thing you want to do is stress out your maid of honor. It’s your job to stress out! Not only are weddings a big commitment—they’re a long commitment, too. For most weddings, you’re planning 12 months in advance, and you choose your maid of honor early on in the process. That means they’re involved with wedding things for a long time. Make sure that whoever you choose has the time for it. If they’re traveling a lot for work, finishing up a degree, or in another wedding or two—you may want to choose someone else.
Again, this isn’t something either of you should take personally. No matter when you plan your wedding, it’s going to conflict with someone. So stick to what you want and choose a maid of honor who fits into that plan.
No single one of these factors will determine the best maid of honor. But when you consider all of them, they will help make that decision easier. Over all, ask yourself, “What kind of wedding do I envision?” If there are specific things you want to do with your maid of honor—or certain things you want them to do—that could help you choose.
If all of this is too overwhelming and just another thing to plan, you can opt for no maid of honor. After all, it’s your wedding! But carefully consider the support she will provide before choosing not to have one. It might seem easier to not choose, but in the end, you won’t have her help, either.