Here’s When (and Why) You Should Consider an Honorary Bridesmaid

For example, if your teenage sister is your Maid of Honor, you might want a little extra help

Updated 06/17/17

Photo by The Hons

While you want to choose bridesmaids who will be a great source of support and assistance through your planning process, selecting your bridal party can often become more political than practical. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t turn to those friends who didn’t make the cut just because you didn’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings. That’s where the honorary bridesmaid comes in. So what, exactly, is an honorary bridesmaid, and why do you need one? Our experts break it down.

An honorary bridesmaid is just what it sounds like: a friend who can step in to help with bridesmaids’ duties, minus the matching dress. So why invite someone outside of your bridal party to help with wedding duties? If you’ve chosen to skip the drama by choosing only sisters and sisters-in-law as your ‘maids or have appointed your teenaged sister as Maid of Honor, there’s a good chance the skills you would want to have covered in your bridal party might not all be accounted for. And if you have a friend who really should have made the cut (but didn’t so you wouldn’t cause a stir in your friend group), giving her an honorary position helps acknowledge how important she is to you, even without a title. There’s a good chance you’ve got a friend who is great with logistics, knows your style better than you do, and maybe has even planned a wedding of her own before. She’s the one you’ll want to turn to if the ‘maids you have are more symbolic than actually helpful.

Of course, you’ll want to run the situation by her. Let her know why she didn’t get that coveted title, as well as why you really would love to have her help. Find out how much time and effort they can donate to the cause, and play to their strengths: Bring your fashionable friend dress shopping, or invite your crafty pal over to help assemble invitations or work on a DIY project. Don't forget: on your wedding day, give her a shout-out. You might give her an honorable mention in your program, or thank her in your toast. Let her know how much you appreciate her effort!

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