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Matron of honor vs. maid of honor: What's the difference?

on June 21, 2024
Matron of Honor vs Maid of Honor: Can I Have Both?


The key difference between a "Maid of Honor" and a "Matron of Honor" lies in their marital status. Typically, the "Maid of Honor" is an unmarried woman, while the "Matron of Honor" is a married one. This distinction is reflected in the prefix of their titles, with "Maid" denoting an unmarried woman and "Matron" indicating a married one.

However, despite this clear difference, their roles and responsibilities towards the bride and in the wedding are essentially the same. Both serve as the bride's closest aides and confidants, providing support with wedding planning, organizing pre-wedding events like the bachelorette party, offering emotional support, and being there for any emergencies. The "Maid" and "Matron of Honor" may also be tasked with ring-bearing duties and sign the marriage certificate as witnesses.

Understanding that every detail of this guide is only a cultural reference and not an imposition of any kind. Only you choose what your wedding should be.


Origin of the Maids of Honor tradition

The honor attendants (the Maid, Matron of Honor and the best men) were figures that were born in ancient Rome. By then, it was believed that the bride and groom were prone to be kidnapped on their wedding day by evil spirits (and rejected suitors).

To avoid this, bridesmaids were female figures who dressed just like the bride (sometimes more extravagantly) to frighten and confuse evil spirits.

In a more practical sense, maids of honor served the bride and groom during the evening, helping them with any activities that might distract them from the gala and ensure that undesirable suitors would not approach them.


What is the difference between a maid and matron of honor?

What is really the difference between a Maid and a Matron of Honor? In a cultural sense the Maid of Honor refers to a woman who has not yet married, while the Matron of Honor is a woman who has already married.

In reality, there is no difference in the obligations, activities or commitments of the two. Only the name (and probably the experience) differentiates them.


Can I have both?

Absolutely. You can choose to have a Maid of Honor and a Matron of Honor at the same time accompanying you down the aisle at the time of your wedding, after all, they are both representative figures in your life and for that reason hold that honorary position.

If it is a solution that fits your vision of the ideal wedding, you can do so without fear of breaking any written rules.

Usually, this happens when the bride chooses her best friend (or sister) and her mother for this position. Others may prefer a close sibling, in this case she would have a bridesmaid and a Matron of Honor.


Maid of honor Vs. Matron of honor: Who is more important?

There is no one figure more important than another when it comes to bridal procession companions, the only ones that really matter are the bride and groom.

Now, if we are very concerned about complying with all the traditional protocols, and it makes you somewhat nervous that one of these typical Maid vs Matron of honor disputes and their relevance during the ceremony might arise, remember what we talked about before: the two figures are exactly the same, even if their title is different, so neither is more important than the other.

Both figures have a privileged position, but there is no real difference in rank between them. They are exactly equal in valuation and in roles during the ceremony.


How many Maids/Matrons can I choose?

There is no limit on the number of Maids of Honor other than what the bride deems appropriate and there should be no limit. Having more than one attendant allows the couple to concentrate on the really important things and greatly decreases the stress level associated with preparing the wedding details.

Midwives have all the knowledge they have learned from their own weddings, so their wisdom will be invaluable to you. While the Ladies or younger attendants can help with preparations such as the bridal shower and assisting guests.

In conclusion, although this is a role that should not be taken lightly or given to just anyone, the bride can choose as many as she wishes. A popular number is between 2 and 6 escorts.


How does this change the wedding protocol?

The wedding protocol does not change at all. The responsibilities and involvement of the Matrinas or Matrons are exactly the same. Their main tasks are to help the bride to have everything in order and to lessen the burdens of the event.

The presence of both is key, so delegating functions to each one according to their field of expertise is ideal.

At the time of the walk, you can match the entrance of the bridesmaids with that of the groomsmen, if the number does not match, both figures can go on either side of the best man, or groomsmen as the case may be.

Another option is to assign an assistant whose role is to accompany each lady to her place during the ceremony, or simply have each one walk on her own.


Distinctive jewelry and attire for the Matron and Bridesmaid

When it comes to distinction and attire you are likely to be faced with the scenario of wanting to highlight the look of the Maid and Matron of Honor, but without them looking uniformed or the same.

A good solution may be to include similar details in the attire such as a belt, brooch or special pendant. Combining the colors of the bouquet and the pattern of the dress, making them match without being identical is also an excellent option.


Maid and matron of honor speeches

A Maid and Matron of Honor have a symbolic role within the wedding ceremony as they are the "guardians" of the bride according to tradition. This implies that they have a special bond with the couple or with one of the spouses, so they deserve a special moment at the toast.

As there is no difference between a Maid of Honor and a Matron of Honor, both deserve the opportunity to give a beautiful speech, if they wish, during the dinner.

If you are preparing a speech as a Maid of Honor, you can't miss the guide we prepared for you to prepare the best Maid of Honor speech ever.



  • Is a maid of honor higher than a matron of honor?

    No, the "Maid of Honor" and the "Matron of Honor" are equals in terms of their importance and role in the wedding. The only difference is their marital status; "Maid" indicates unmarried, while "Matron" indicates married. Both are the bride's closest honorary attendants and share similar responsibilities.

  • Who goes first, maid or matron of honor?

    There is no set order. The bride can choose either one to be her chief attendant, depending on their relationship and personal preference. Either one can walk down the aisle before or after the bride, depending on the tradition followed.

  • Can there be a maid of honor and a matron of honor?

    Absolutely! There's no rule saying you can only pick one. In fact, having both can add a wonderful dynamic to your wedding party. You could have a sister or cousin as your "Maid of Honor" and a close married friend as your "Matron of Honor", or vice versa.

  • Can a matron of honor be unmarried?

    Technically, the title "Matron of Honor" is given to a married woman. However, at the end of the day, it's your wedding and your choice. If you feel more comfortable choosing an unmarried friend as your "Matron of Honor," that's totally fine. The most important thing is to choose someone you trust and who is excited to support you.

  • Is there a male equivalent to a Matron of Honor?

    Yes! The male equivalent of the "Matron of Honor" is the "Man of Honor." If the groom wants to honor a close friend or brother, he can choose to have a "Man of Honor" by his side during the wedding. This role is similar to that of the "Maid" or "Matron," but adapted for a male attendant.

  • Can a bride have two matrons of honor?

    Sure thing. If you have two very close married friends that you'd like to honor, you can absolutely have two "Matrons of Honor." There's no rule limiting the number of honorary attendants. You can have a wedding party that reflects your most important relationships.

  • Is it okay to have a Matron of Honor and no maid of honor?

    Definitely. Choosing your wedding party is a personal decision. If you feel more connected to a married friend and want her to be your "Matron of Honor," there's no need to also have a "Maid of Honor." The "Matron of Honor" can perform all the traditional duties and be your primary attendant and confidant.


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