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Simplified: The Difference Between Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor

Difference Between Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor
One of the most important members at a wedding are the maid of honor or matron of honor, or sometimes both. They are the closest friends of the bride, who take care of each and everything that a bride needs during the wedding. So, what are they exactly? We shall explain the difference between the two. Take a look!
Tanaya Navalkar
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Did You Know?
The tradition of bridesmaid is believed to have originated from Roman Law that required 10 witnesses at a wedding dressed up identically as the groom and the bride to trick and confuse the evil spirits.
The bridesmaids are one of the important and special members of the bridal party. They are often the closest friends and confidant of the bride. The head or chief of the bridesmaids is the maid of honor or the matron of honor. It is a matter of privilege for the maid of honor as it shows that the bride trusts her the most amongst others at the wedding. The bride usually chooses her best friend, most trusted friend, or sister to be the chief bridesmaid, who helps the bride in each and everything that she needs before and even after the wedding. Both maid of honor and matron of honor are different titles, but share similar duties.

In many weddings, you might notice just one maid of honor or sometimes both helping out the bride. Both help in planning out and organizing the wedding and pre-wedding events, and are a great support for the bride, especially in keeping her calm when she gets those pre-wedding jitters. So, what is it that makes them different? Read further below to find out.
Maid of Honor Vs. Matron of Honor
Who is a Maid of Honor?
The maid of honor, traditionally, is the 'unmarried' best friend or sister of the bride. She is someone whom the bride can count on during all the events and ceremonies to handle all the responsibilities. She is an emotional support for the bride, and even organizes the pre-wedding activities like bridal shower, bachelorette party, engagement, etc. She has to make sure that everything goes perfectly as planned on the D-day. The maid of honor usually stands closest to the bride with the 'matron of honor' on her left side. She is the one who holds the bride's bouquet throughout the wedding.
Who is a Matron of Honor?
The matron of honor is the 'married' best friend, trusted close relative, or sister of the bride. Her responsibilities are same as the 'maid of honor'. A divorced woman will also be referred to as the matron of honor. She will prove to be a big support for the bride because of her marriage experience. It is not necessary that a bride has to choose only one amongst the two (maid and matron). She can opt to have both a maid of honor as well as a matron of honor at her wedding. The tasks and duties will be assigned according to the bride.
Duties of the Maid and Matron of Honor
Both share the same duties, and are involved and responsible for looking after all the wedding events. However, they have some special duties compared to other bridesmaids. More than anything else, they are the biggest moral support that the bride can count on. Their duties start much before the wedding day. So, if you are chosen to be the maid or matron of honor, you are supposed to do the following.

Make a to-do list of all the possible tasks
Start with talking to the couple about the arrangements and make a to-do list of all the tasks that you'll be required to look after.

Go on a wedding shopping spree
You are supposed to assist the bride in all the shopping for her wedding gown, jewelry, veil, shoes, and other accessories. It requires great deal of patience picking out that perfect wedding dress. Assist with the alterations in the wedding gown if there's a need to.

Arrange for your own dress
Make sure you don't forget to choose a nice dress and accessories for yourself.

Help in whichever way you can
This includes coordinating with the vendors, florists, photographers, proofreading and checking on invitations, etc.

Scout the location
You are supposed to visit and scout all the potential locations of the wedding, and analyze and help in deciding upon a place, especially if it's a destination wedding.

Communicate with rest of the gang
You will need to meet up with other bridesmaids and ensure that their dresses have been arranged for. Plan together for the bridal shower and other events.

Plan a bridal shower and bachelorette party
A bridal shower and bachelorette party is an event that has to be completely taken care and hosted by the maid or matron of honor. Arrange for a perfect venue, theme, and gift for the bride.

Plan and arrange a rehearsal dinner
Plan and organize a rehearsal dinner for the wedding and reception. Also, make sure that the ring-bearer and the flower girl know their work beforehand.

Help the bride at all times
You will have to help the bride get dressed, take care of her makeup, help her feel relaxed and happy, make sure she eats something, hold her bouquet, take control of her cell phone, handle the gown's train, and assist her at all times. Also, ensure that the wedding rings are safe and secured.

Plan on a maid/matron of honor speech
You are expected to deliver a speech during the reception. Make sure you make it worth remembering for the couple on their big day.

Be a good host at the wedding
Look after and be attentive to all the guests, especially the lonely ones who need company. Ensure that they are having fun and not getting left out in the celebrations.

Be the legal witness
You will be required to sign the marriage license.

Post-wedding tasks
You will also have to participate in the bouquet toss if you are single. Help the bride get ready to leave for her honeymoon, handle her wedding dress till she is back, and ensure that all the wedding gifts reach the bride.
So, that's it ladies. Now, you know that the main difference between the two is just the marital status of the bridesmaid, and nothing else. There can be many more small things that would need your attention. If you've had the experience of being one, and think that we've missed out on something, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.
Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Toss