Can My Mom Be My Maid of Honor?

Melissa Marshall

As you’re planning your wedding, there’s nothing better than having a go-to pal by your side to help you with all of the details (and the emotions). If that bestie happens to also be your mom, you’ve hit the mother of the bride jackpot! For a bride-to-be and mother of the bride like this, can mom pull double-duty and also serve as the maid of honor? You bet! Here’s how it works.

Which Duties Should She Delegate?

If your mom will be both the MOB and the MOH, she’ll technically have two sets of responsibilities to handle, which can be a lot to put on her plate. Even as your maid of honor, her focus should be on serving as your wedding’s official hostess. Delegate some of the traditional MOH duties—like planning the bachelorette party—to your bridesmaids in order to ease the stress on your mom. Of course, whether you invite her to the festivities is totally up to you!

She should also delegate the bridal shower planning. Basic etiquette states that the bridesmaids or a relative of the bride (think aunt or grandmother) host this event and that the MOB attends as solely a guest, so tap someone else to take on this task.

Since the host and hostess usually make a toast during the reception, as do the maid of honor and best man, use this as an opportunity to have each of your parents speak. You can have your father give a welcome toast, then ask your mom to stand up and share a few words later in the reception when the best man speaks.

What Should She Wear?

The great news is, the trend toward having the maid of honor dressed differently than the rest of the bridesmaids is still going strong, which means your mom can still choose something that really shines. Most often, the mother of the bride will wear a color that coordinates with the wedding’s palette (and the same goes for bridesmaids!). If your wedding is in shades of burgundy and blush, consider putting your ‘maids in the lighter hue and your mother in something richer. The style (particularly length and formality of the fabric) should match the bridesmaids, but you and your mom can opt for a neckline and silhouette that she loves.

How Should She Walk Down the Aisle?

This one’s a little tricky. Traditionally, the mother of the bride is seated first, often escorted by an usher or one of her sons. However, the maid of honor is the last adult to process before the ring bearer and flower girl make their entrance. In this case, we recommend giving your mom the MOH’s spot in line, processing right before you do. She can either walk alone or, if you’re pairing up bridesmaids and groomsmen, should be escorted by the best man.

Where Should She Stand?

This is totally up to you—and your mom, of course! We love the idea of having her stand in the MOH’s traditional spot, next to you at the altar. That way she can straighten your train and fix your veil, as well as hold your bouquet while you exchange rings. If you think your dad will be lonely sitting in the front row all alone, take inspiration from traditional Jewish weddings and have both of your parents (as well as your partner’s) standing at the altar with you.

What About My BFF?

Asking your mom to be the maid of honor means that role isn’t available for your sister or best friend. If you and your mom are super close, chances are your friends totally get it (and love when your mom is around!), and therefore won’t be offended by being overlooked. Just make sure you include them as bridesmaids!

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