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Are you having trouble deciding who to ask to be your maid of honour? Have you made your choice but it’s not quite working out the way you expected?
Here are some of the common dilemmas brides face when it comes to one of the most important people in their bridal party (after the groom of course!) and a few ideas on how to resolve them.
In large families where there are a lot of sisters it can be difficult to decide which one should be your maid of honour. At a push you could have two maids of honour but any more than that gets a little silly.
How you choose your maid of honour depends very much on your family’s circumstances. Are you the first sister to get married or perhaps the last? Have you been maid of honour for one of your other sisters? Your best bet is to sit down and talk with your sisters about how hard you are finding the situation, they’re sure to understand.
If you are the first to get married you could set out some ground rules stating that each bride should choose the next youngest sister to be their maid of honour, except the youngest, who should choose the eldest. If you have an even number of sisters you could pair up according to age and be maids of honour on a buddy system.
If any other sisters are already married see how they chose their maid of honour. You could simply choose the closest to you in age, or the one that hasn’t been a maid of honour before.
These days it’s becoming more common to have a male maid of honour; you just call him a ‘male of honour’ or a ‘bridesman’. He should wear the same outfit as the groomsmen or ushers, but make sure he has his photos taken with you and the bridesmaids as well as the male members of the bridal party.
If you have two sisters, or two equally close friends, it’s fine to ask them both to be your maid of honour. The issue you run into here is dividing up the maid of honour duties between the two of them. You want to be careful that one doesn’t feel excluded, or that the other doesn’t feel they are shouldering more than their fair share of the burden.
Again, sitting down and talking to the two maids of honour together can resolve this issue quite easily. Perhaps one really loves to shop and would be the perfect companion to take dress shopping. The other may hate shopping but be a whiz at event planning; she’s your girl for the hen party and bridal shower.
Try to balance the duties evenly in terms of significance. If you ask one maid of honour to sign the wedding register, the other should be the one to hold the groom’s ring and the bridal bouquet during the ceremony. Many of the fun duties, such as giving a toast and dancing with the best man can easily be performed by both of them!
With your mind full of wedding stuff it can come as quite a shock to find out that your maid of honour is occupied with something else entirely; she’s going to have a baby!
Before you start worrying about how a pregnant belly will look in your wedding photos, and whether her waters will break in the back of the expensive limousine, take a minute to think about the wonderful thing that is about to happen to your friend and give her your heartfelt congratulations.
Once the initial surprise and excitement is over, find a quite time to have a chat to your maid of honour, perhaps over a decaf coffee and a cake. Tell her how much you want her to be by your side when you get married and that you still really want her to be your maid of honour, but does she think she will be comfortable performing the maid of honour duties in the late stages of pregnancy? Offer to ask one of the bridesmaids to take on some of the maid of honour duties to relieve the pressure on her.
If your maid of honour decides to step down from her role because she needs to focus on her pregnancy, or she is struggling to keep up, don’t take it personally, and do everything you can to make sure it’s still possible for her to attend your wedding. If she does want to remain your maid of honour, make sure it’s possible for her to sit down and rest regularly during the rehearsal and ceremony, and make sure your other bridesmaids support her and take on as much of the donkey work as possible.