A common question asked when it comes to the bridal party is what exactly the difference between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid is. Well, we’ve got you completely covered. In this article we’ll break down the responsibilities between the two and help you figure out the best fit for your leading lady versus the rest of the crew.


Readers Ask: Could someone please tell me what the difference is between a Maid of Honor and a Bridesmaid?

Our Answer

Your maid of honor will become your right hand lady. She’s more of a personal helper and confidant – so it’s important that this is someone you trust completely and knows you well. She’s there to help you get through all of the major hurdles and guide you through your big day without any stress.

She’ll help you into your dress, hold your bouquet at the ceremony as well as make sure your dress is fluffed at the altar. She may even be the one to host your bridal shower. Basically, she is there for you throughout all of the ins and outs of the planning all the way to the actual event.

The bridesmaids should be helpful too but they’re not as involved. They may help with smaller chores and responsibilities like taste testing or helping with your DIY invitations. But the ringleader will continue to be the MOH, who oftentimes will delegate tasks to the rest of the bridal party.

Other “Expert” Opinions

“Basically, a maid of honour is the chief bridesmaid and a matron of honor is a married maid of honor. It’s usually the bride’s best friend or sister.  The maid or matron of honor has to take the lead when it comes to organizing things like the bridal shower etc. The maid of honor is formally responsible for throwing the bride the bridal shower, helping the bride with fittings and the selection of her gown, and serving in the capacity of formal witness to the vows. If the maid of honor is an elder, she is usually designated “matron of honor” instead.

The bridesmaids, while traditional part of the procession, do not have major duties and are mainly given the honor for purposes of appearance and to allow these individuals to have and enjoy the privileges that go with it, including participation in the bridal shower, if any; and in the rehearsal dinner, if any. Sometimes the bridesmaids are given certain responsibilities by either the bride or the maid/matron of honor that are for the general purpose of assisting the bride with things on or in preparation of the wedding day. As a practical matter, when the bridesmaids, escorted or unescorted, precede the bride and follow the maid/matron of honor in the procession before the nuptials, anticipation for the appearance and walking down of the bride builds.” – The Bride Next Door

“The Maid of Honour (or Man of Honour, where applicable) serves as the chief bridesmaid. She acts as the bride’s key personal attendant both during the engagement and on the big day, with an aim to reduce stress wherever possible and lend a hand or opinion whenever needed.

As the name suggests, a bridesmaid is a member of the bridal party. They tend to be a sister, cousin or close friend, although these days brides sometimes choose attendants of the opposite sex in reflection of the varied nature of modern friendships.

Numbers wise there’s no minimum or maximum limit imposed, although couples often choose to have an equal number of attendants. Where you have only one bridesmaid, they will serve as the Maid of Honour.

In the lead-up to the wedding, some of the tasks brides traditionally seek help with include addressing and stuffing envelopes, going dress shopping, or getting involved in DIY projects, whether it’s creating personalised ceremony programs or making decor elements for the reception. Bridesmaids can also help out with tasks such as recording details of gift givers during events such as the engagement party.

On the actual day, they will support the Maid of Honour in looking after the bride, can help look after junior attendants, will circulate at the wedding to ensure guests feel included, dance with their opposing groomsman, and also answer guest queries.” – Easy Weddings

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