Selecting your bridesmaids is one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process. These are the people who will shower you with love during the bachelorette party, help you get ready for the big day, and stand next to you as you say "I do" to your loved one, so naturally, choosing the right group matters. And choosing the right maid of honor matters immensely—but what if you want more than one?
While traditionally, brides choose one friend or family member to fill the duties of the maid of honor, brides are oftentimes considering more than one loved one for this role. "When it comes to selecting who you want as part of your bridal party, there aren't any rules, except to do what will make your entire wedding experience less stressful and more enjoyable," says Jen Glantz, founder of Bridesmaid for Hire and creator of The Newlywed Card Game. "So if that means picking two maids of honor, you absolutely can do that."
Meet the Expert
Here, we speak with Glantz about the nuances of selecting more than one maid of honor—and why it's totally okay (even beneficial!) to do so. After all, this is the most important day of your life, so you make the rules.
Doing Things Your Way
Yes, sometimes having more than one maid of honor can get tricky in terms of divvying up the duties—but in the end, Glantz explains that it's just not that big of a deal if having multiple maids of honor is what will make you happiest on this special day. "I have seen weddings where the bride has even picked three and while it made for some headaches, since there was a lot of overlap when it came to decision-making and who was responsible for what, ultimately, the bride was happy that she could give the honor to three super important people in her life, and not just one," she says. Long story short: don't feel like you have to stick to any traditions if you feel pulled toward multiple loved ones to fill this special role. They'll be so happy and honored to support you!
Picking the Right People
After you decide that you want to have multiple maids of honor, it comes to the decision-making time. Glantz recommends that brides start by asking themselves why each person is important to them, and why they feel like the right choice for the maids of honor. What role has each person played in your life? And—just as importantly—what role will they play in your future? "Only pick the person, or people, who you want as your maids of honor because you adore them, they support you, and you know they will show up in endless ways for you during your wedding adventure," says Glantz.
In addition to selecting friends or family members who are supportive, you want to think about their personality, too. Glantz suggests picking someone who makes you feel calm and also knows how to juggle both big and small problems that may arise during the planning process or on the wedding day. "You'll want a sidekick for your wedding adventure who not only has your back but has solutions to all the things that can happen along the way," she advises.
Navigating Family and Friendship Dynamics
Glantz also stresses that when it comes to choosing a maid of honor or maids of honor, no matter what, you want to ensure that you're doing it for the right reasons. This might mean not choosing someone for the role, even if that feels difficult. "If there's any hesitation or you feel like you have to pick someone for a forced reason, such as they picked you or they will never forgive you, consider alternatives," she recommends. You can always ask them to be a bridesmaid, which is still an honor! After all, this is your day, and your true friends and close family members will respect this decision.
If you feel worried about hurting someone's feelings by not making them a maid of honor, Glantz says that it's best to communicate your decision early on and share why you decided to make them a bridesmaid, instead of the maid of honor. "You can say something like: 'You know how much I value our relationship and friendship. It was a hard decision figuring out who to have as my maid of honor and I want you to know how much it means to me that you'll be a part of this wedding adventure by my side and how much you mean to me as a friend.' Keep it simple," she says. "You don't have to dive into a long explanation."
The Benefits of Having Two Maids of Honor
When it comes down to it, if picking two or more maids of honor is going to make you feel happiest on your wedding day, that's what you should do—and feeling fulfilled is the biggest benefit! But aside from that, having multiple maids of honor to divide up that long list of duties—like planning and coordinating the bachelorette party, wedding dress shopping, and giving a toast—can be hugely helpful, especially if your friends or family members are busy in their daily lives. "You also have two people who can split coming with you to appointments or helping you with DIY decor," says Glantz.
If you're worried about things getting confusing, Glantz emphasizes that it's best to be very clear and specific with duties from the get-go. "Try to give [each maid of honor] different roles and responsibilities so they don't step on each other's toes," says Glantz. "Perhaps one is in charge of the bachelorette party and the other can plan the bridal shower."