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 or parent, you’ve hit the jackpot! Can one of your parents pull double-duty and also serve as the bridal party member of honor? You bet! In fact, feel free to buck tradition and pick the parent who isn't a woman for this role if you desire! Here’s how it works.

Which Duties Should They Delegate?

If one of your parents will be both the parent of the bride and the MOH, they’ll technically have two sets of responsibilities to handle, which can be a lot to put on someone's plate. Even as your maid of honor, the focus should be on serving as your wedding’s official host. Delegate some of the traditional MOH duties—like planning the bachelorette party—to your other bridal party members in order to ease the stress. Of course, whether you invite your parent to the festivities is totally up to you!

Bridal shower planning is also the responsibility of the bridal party member of honor. Basic etiquette states that the bridal party or a relative of the bride host this event and that the parent of the bride attends as solely a guest, so tap someone else to take on this task.

Since the hosts usually make a toast during the reception, as do the honorary wedding party members, use this as an opportunity to have your parents speak. You can have one parent give a welcome toast, the other to stand up and share a few words later in the reception when the one of the wedding party members speaks.

What Should They Wear?

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

How Should They Walk Down the Aisle?

This one’s a little tricky. Traditionally, the parent(s) of the bride are seated first, often escorted by an usher or one of another family member. However, the maid of honor is the last adult to process before the ring and flower bearers make their entrance. In this case, we recommend giving your parent the MOH’s spot in line, processing right before you do. They can either walk alone or, if you’re pairing up each partner's wedding party members, should be escorted by someone from your partner's wedding party.

Where Should They Stand?

This is totally up to you—and your parent, of course! We love the idea of having them stand in the MOH’s traditional spot, next to you at the altar. That way they can straighten your train and fix your veil, as well as hold your bouquet while you exchange rings. If you think your other parent will be lonely sitting in the front row by themselves, 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 a parent to be the maid of honor means that role isn’t available for a sibling or best friend. If you and your parent are super close, chances are your friends totally get it (and love when they are around!), and therefore won’t be offended by being overlooked. Just make sure you include them as bridal party members!

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