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Does My Sister Have to be My ONLY Maid of Honor?

Dear Sugar--

I asked my sister, who's 15 months younger, to be my maid of honor. We are best friends but I also have a best non-sister friend, who I asked to be my matron of honor. I was Jen's maid of honor- but she only has a brother.

My sister is so upset with me. She says when you have a sister, everyone else is just a bridesmaid. Did I do the wrong thing? How do I fix this and fast!

--Bride in a Bind

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Bride in a Bind--

You are in a really tough spot. Just so you know, there are no specific "rules" about choosing your wedding party. Some brides choose family members, and some choose best friends, and when you can't choose - you choose both, which is what you did. I have to say that I think your sister is acting a little selfish here. This is your wedding, and your bridal party is supposed to offer you help and support. It sounds like your sister is jealous of your best friend, and she needs to realize that your wedding isn't about her and that there is room for both of your best friends to stand by your side.

Explain that a maid of honor and a matron of honor are of equal importance to you, and you want both your sister and your best friend to perform all the duties associated with those titles. She can still help you pick out your dress, plan your bachelorette party, and toast you on your wedding day, but you may want to think of a significant job just for your sister so she feels like she has a unique role on your special day. Maybe she can plan your bridal shower with your mom, or help you pick out the flowers.

You did nothing wrong here -- it's totally up to the bride who she chooses for her wedding party and you should feel incredibly lucky to have two women so close to you who want to stand by your side to offer support. Good luck and congrats!


Join The Conversation
likethedirection likethedirection 10 years
I totally agree with cgmaetc. It's your wedding. You can do WHATEVER you want.
aplock85 aplock85 10 years
I haven't read any of the previous posts but I know when it comes to my wedding that my cousin will be my maid of honor, as I am hers. We promised each other since we were 5 and I am not going to change that because of my sister. We're 4 years apart and I know she won't take it personally that she's in the wedding party but not the maid of honor. She's not really into all that stuff anyway. In addressing your situation, I'd say to do whatever makes you happy. There's no rule that says you can only have 1 maid/matron of honor. Tell your sister to stop whining, when its her wedding she can do whatever she wants. I can understand why she would be upset, but in the end, the day belongs to your and your hubby.
Designgirl Designgirl 10 years
That exact situation actually just happened to me. My sister had a best friend who is already married, so she was the matron of honor, and I was the maid of honor. It was a little weird at first (bc she stood before me), but I've learned when it comes to other people's weddings, they're going to do what they want, regardless of what other people say. And besides, when you're not the "first" maid/matron of honor, you have FAR less responsibility, and more time to enjoy the champagne! :)
jaxon jaxon 10 years
No worries! YOu were totally in the right here. It's YOUR day and you can have whomever you choose in you bridal party. There is no rule except "Do what the bride wants" lol! My sister was the maid of honor to her friend who has TWO sisters and there was no animosity.
Marci Marci 10 years
I agree with everyone that it's your day and there are no rules to how things are done. Have the wedding YOU want. I'm sure your sister felt extremely flattered and honored and very grown up to the your Maid of Honor. I can understand her disappointment because she had visions of being THE Maid of Honor. Maybe you can put her in a dress that's different, have her participate in another way? Just a thought. But again I say do it your way.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Dear is totally right, you didn't do anything wrong.
nessabum nessabum 10 years
you could maybe even scrub out the whole term maid/matron-of-honour. they're all still your bridesmaids.
katie225 katie225 10 years
hahaha, someone should have explained to MY sister that rule about sisters being the maid of honor, and everyone else is just a bridesmaid! i wasn't my sister's maid of honor, and i didn't dwell on it. i don't even think i was upset or anything.
summer-roberts summer-roberts 10 years
Funny you say that brokenbracelet. That is exactly how my husband chose his best man from his 5 best friends. Those friends who have gotten married since have came up with crazy games to find the 'winner' of the title. BTW my sister was not in my wedding party either.
NadiaPotter NadiaPotter 10 years
My best friend told me I was maid of honor, then told me that his mother-in-law said that the boyfriend sister should be the maid of honor... then she said "well in that case I want my sister to be the maid of honor", so I was never ask again. Any-who, I felt like another guest of the bride, I didn't have a special job. Sad. I did tell her that she choose the made of honor and bridesmaid, but she didn't want problems. I hope I do better!
brokenbracelet brokenbracelet 10 years
I think when I get married, everyone will just draw straws and whoever gets the shortest straw gets to be Maid of honor! LOL too much stress on the poor bride, I hate when people get all crazy over the titles
tinyspark tinyspark 10 years
How freaking petty. Obviously you're trying to include everybody. This is your day and it is all about you and your honey. Your rules. If my sister asked me to be the flower girl or to wash the dishes after the reception I would do it. Sheesh. Good luck! :)
katiedid0985 katiedid0985 10 years
What if you had more than one sister? According to your sister's logic then how would you choose just one? Anyway, like everyone else said it is YOUR wedding and you can do whatever you want. But I do agree w/ the others who said you might want to give you sister some special task (not sure what, but I'm sure you can come up with something) just to calm her down a bit so she doesn't pout on your wedding day. Congrats on getting married and good luck!
fab4 fab4 10 years
My boyfriend's sister just got married and she had 2 maids of honor and 1 maitron of honor. No one said anything! Do what you want, its your wedding.
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
Sit her down and talk to her about it. She's fifteen so I can see why she would be a little immature about the whole thing. Tell her that you are so close to both and you want to include them both. I would even pull the "you're the only MAID of Honor" thing on her. :) I would also explain to her that since she is still a minor you are going to need a witness that is of legal age....that is your MATRON of Honor. I am sure she feels like she isn't good enough so you asked someone else. She is probably also reeling a little since it may feel like she is losing you in same way and she may feel the only way to control the situation is to be the only person in the "honor" position. Like pinup, I am a wedding planner/coordinator and there are no rules about the wedding party. You did the right thing and now you just have to explain it to your sister. Oh, and make sure you spend a lot of quality time with her right now to help her through the transition.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
it's your wedding.. do what you want... you could have picked 50 maids of honor and it would still be ok.
bookgirl bookgirl 10 years
I agree, as well. If I were to get married, I wouldn't ask either of my sisters to even be in my wedding, not because I don't love them, but because I'm closer to my friends than my sisters (they live five states away and are over 10 years older than me). It is your choice as to who is in your wedding party. Your sister should be honored with the fact that she's even in your wedding and understanding in that you have a very close friend who you'd like to share the honor with her. Having your sister do something special is a great idea to make her feel better!
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
I agree with DearSugar. You could have a male friend be your 'maid of honor' if you want. As a wedding planner, there is no rule. I was in my mothers wedding as a maid of honor and her best friend of 15+ It is really sad to hear your sister get so upset. A maid of honor is someone who is unmarried and a matron is for someone who is married. Same title. Wait! Why should anyone focus on a title? You are the BRIDE! You are the center of attention. I don't see anyone walking around on your wedding day asking who the maid of honor and who the matron of honor is. Sorry, that was my little grr moments. I really hate to see people stress out a bride with childish things. Ok - now to some real advice. Include them on everything leading up to the wedding like Dear Sugar suggests. Now when you get to the ceremony assign them duties. One will hold the flowers; the other will hold the rings and so on and so forth. This will keep your sister from bickering about who gets what. Maybe try to have a one on one day with her before you get married. Go have lunch and spend time with her so she feels ‘special.’
ALSW ALSW 10 years
I agree with Dear. I considered asking my best friend (who I have known just as long as my sister) to be my Maid of Honor, but I knew my sister would pitch a fit and be difficult, so I gave in on that. But I would recommend having your sister do something special for you or for your wedding as well - my sister sang at my wedding as well and I think she was just so proud that I asked!
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