Confusion around roles of matron of honour, maid of honor and who can be a witness with the best man

I have a Maid of Honor who is unmarried and a Matron of Honor who is married. I want my Matron to be a witness along with the Best Man. Even though she is married, can I have her as the Maid instead?

Question Asked: 12/03/2021 Wedding Date: 9/08/2018

Most Helpful Response

Chris White Celebrant

Canberra and surrounding Region

(5) Posted: 4/06/2022

No rules about who can sign beyond the requirement for the witness to be over 18 years of age, and able to listen and acknowledge to Monitum and the Legal vows.

Matron, Maid etc.. really none of that is important.  Its moot.  You dont have to have a member of the bridal party to be a witness.  It can be anyone (in line with the aforementioned comments).   Nowadays bridal parties are such a mix of gender and identities - couples no longer feeling obliged to have women to the left and men to the right.  We have many exampes of mixed gender bridal parties on both sides.  The celebrant can help you with this but really none of this is a concern for you on the day.  

Nik Reeds Celebrations

Gold Coast / Tweed Heads

(6) Posted: 5/04/2022

Technically and traditionally, if the lady you are having as your Maid / Matron of honour is married, she is supposed to be referred to as "Matron of Honour".  However, not many couples I have experienced have really liked that term. 

Almost every couple I have worked with have chosen to just go with "Maid of Honour".

Which is fine.  There isn't any legal requirement to call them "Matron".

As far as who can be a witness, anyone of sound mind over the age of 18!

I hope this helps.

(6) Posted: 15/12/2021

The difference between a Matron and a Maid of Honour is that the appellation of 'Maid' simply indicates the person is unmarried whereas a Matron is Married but having said that, many, married or not, prefer to the title of 'Maid' rather than Matron and that is perfectly fine. Their role is exactly the same.

I've performed ceremonies where the couple has an entourage of either sex or who were non-binary. Some choose to avoid terms such as Best man or Maid of Honour, entirely. It is completely your choice.

As for witnesses, anyone over the age of 18 who is able to understand the proceedings can be a witness. The witnesses don't have to be in the official Wedding Party (note the term, Wedding Party as it is more inclusive than the 'Bridal' Party). 

I've also had couples walk-in together without a Wedding party at all. Again, It is completely your choice.

If you don't like a tradition, just make your own.

I've often had parents, grandparents, mentors, or other relatives/loved ones as the two official witnesses even when not in the Wedding Party. In a couple of recent weddings, Dad walked the Bride down the aisle but one Mum read a poem and then both Mums were the witnesses.  They were very excited.

(3) Posted: 17/08/2021

  1. As long as  your witnesses are over 18 years of age you can have anyone.



Fiona Winwood Marriage Celebrant

Adelaide metro, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Kuitpo, Barossa Valley

(24) Posted: 25/05/2021

Hi there bride to be :) 

Anyone over the age of 18 can be your wittnesses.

This is old terminolgy these days couples mix it up and have some fun with it all besides it's your day so have it your way.

It all goes so quickly, make sure you enjoy every moment.

All the best 


Mary Odgers

South Australia

(26) Posted: 7/05/2021

Witnesses at wedding ceremonies must be 18 and over and present during the entire ceremony.

Traditionally couples may ask their bestman, maid of hour, or matron of honour to do this job however many will ivolve others, for example siblings, parents or grandparents.   

Entirely the couple's choice.

Treasured Ceremonies

Melbourne, All Suburbs, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, Yarra Valley

(17) Posted: 7/05/2021

It is your wedding and you can choose who you want to be any part of the ceremony,
Witnesses requirements is that they are over the age of 18 , that is all.
Your bridal party make up is your own choice, There can be people of any gender on either side of the couple providing support.
Look on them as Groom's person or Bride's person or Couple's persons or even use the term fellow.
And why not mix up the genders, yo will have greater memories and more photo opportunities than the traditional line up.

Vanessa Ord

Perth, Surrounding Suburbs and Margaret River, Bunbury

(9) Posted: 30/04/2021

yes, of course you can.  The terms 'Maid' and Matron are very traditional and a bit old school and nobody really knows what they are - the term 'bridemaid' really now applies to them all.

Paul Watts Celebrant

Perth Mandurah and Southwest

(31) Posted: 21/03/2021

Anyone can witness provided they are over the age of 18 years

Jeandanielle Evans Civil Celebrant

Daylesford / Macedon Ranges

(28) Posted: 17/03/2021

Anyone over the age of 18yrs can be a legal witness for your marriage.    I am finding more and more couples who are choosing a wedding party, and choosing separate witnesses for the paperwork, so that more of their friends and family can be involved in the actual ceremony.   

Traditionally the Matron of Honour is a married person, and the Maid of Honour is an unmarried person.   I'm finding that many couples have let go of the old terminology, and are now embracing wedding parties with all genders accompanying either of the couple down the aisle.

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