Do I really need a maid of honor?

crazylawyerchickDecember 6, 2004

I just told my friends about my engagement about two weeks ago, and asked three of my friends to be bridesmaids, and one of my friends to be a maid of honor. At first she said she would be because she's my friend, but she's not supporting the idea of me marrying my fiancee because he's hurt me bad in the past. We have gotten through those issues and were apart for a year and a half (had been together for a year and a half prior) and are working towards a future together. Anyway, saturday she said she'd come visit me (from out of town) and have brunch and she wanted to tell me how she felt, face to face, about me marrying my fiancee. She didn't come, said she forgot and I should have called and reminded her. Anyway, we spoke on the phone for a little while, and she asked when the wedding was. I told her it's in four months because I want a spring wedding. She insists that we are rushing things, and she doesn't feel it in HER heart, and cannot do "it" which I assume means participate in the wedding. She said she'd attend but she couldn't do it (be a maid of honor). I don't know what to do now. First off I feel weird asking a bridesmaid to be a maid of honor because they're going to know they weren't my first choice. Secondly, I do not have many options because 1 bridesmaid is all the way across the country, another is in her last yr of school in a PhD program and I know she won't have time, and the other already said she didn't have money to be a maid of honor... throw parties and what not. I already know about her financial woes, and greatly appreciate her just being a bridesmaid. As far as throwing a bridal shower and a bachelorette party, I have friends who are not bridesmaids that have agreed to do it because it's fun for them. Nevertheless, I don't even care if I get all of those things. My fiancee and I are planning the wedding, as far as place, caterer, time, date, etc.... He's upset about me not having a maid of honor, but do I really need one???

Also, this situation w/ my friend not being a maid of honor... is this going to end up ruining our friendship. That would be unfortunate. We've been friends since freshman yr of college.

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Another option is to ask all three friends to be co-maids of honor. It is quite common today to have more than one maid/matron of honor. Your maid/matron of honor is not obligated to have a shower and/or bachelorette party if she is unable to do so, either because of distance, finances, or other circumstances. Since you have friends who want to do these things for you, that will solve the problem for your one friend.

If you decide to make all of the ladies maids of honor, just divide up the duties. One can stand next to you during the ceremony, one can sign the marriage license, and one can give a toast for all three of them.

Your fiance does not need to have three best men. Your guests really won't care what the ladies' titles are and whether they walk with a groomsman.

Your situation with your friend could end your friendship depending on how you handle the situation. Obviously, she cares about you, enough to tell you exactly how she feels. You can act on what she says or tell her that you appreciate her concerns, but the two of you have worked through your problems. If you have not had pre-marital counseling, it would be a very good idea to have some, should there be issues that the two of you have not confronted.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 6:23PM
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Sweet Pea has given some excellent suggestions concerning the "logistics" of having the 3 bridesmaids be co-maids of honor.

She has given even more excellent suggestions in regard to your other friend, and also concerning pre-marital counseling. I hope that you will give serious consideration to her advice.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 8:14PM
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We had already spoke about counseling before he proposed... that's a definite. Thanks for the advice... I am definitely considering the co-maid of honor thing.

I am glad I found this forum. As for my friend... I wrote her an email (in response to one she sent me yesterday) and told her how I felt... without trying to be a b!tch. That comes easy for me... being nice doesn't... ha!

I'm sure I will be posting more questions on here until my wedding... April 16, 2005.

tata for now!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 11:20PM
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If you decide to choose a maid of honor, reassure her that the only real duty of a MOH is to stand up for the bride at the wedding and be a moral support. All the rest that we foist on the maid of honor - throwing parties, being a general servant, etc., isn't required.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 9:29AM
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I'm w/ joanne23456.

Not only do you not need a MOH, but your MOH does not need to go w/ you to all the dress fittings, do chores for you to get ready for the wedding, or pay for anything other than her dress and shoes (and transportation).

Surely one of those bridesmaids is grown up enough to understand that it's not an insult to be an "also close" friend of the bride, and would be happy to serve as MOH (w/o getting all self-centered and insulted about the perceived slight to *her*) to make your life easier.

If they wouldn't, maybe you need SEVERAL new friends.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 5:29PM
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The real "duty" of a MOH is to be a witness to your marriage and to sign the marriage documents...a legal chore ( but then if you are a lawyer you knew that).
I can understand your friend formerly known as MOH ( LOL!) to be somewhat hesitant to sign such a document and yto be witness to your vows if she doesn't think the marriage should take place.
Do the counselling before you sign any contracts for renting a hall or buying a dress. My daughter spent some years as pre wedding councellor....and you would be amazed at the couples that postponed their weddings to "work things through".
Good luck.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 12:02PM
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There is no requirement that any legal document be signed by a maid of honor. In fact, at least in both the state I married in and in the state I live in now, there is no requirement of any signature other than the officiant's at all, let alone that it be by a maid of honor.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 11:38PM
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I did not have a MOH when I got married in October. There was no legal need for one in the state I live in.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2004 at 10:35AM
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In New Jersey, and Iowa it's the law that the document must be signed by 2 witnesses as well as the officiant....most usually the MOH and the best man....and of course in a Jewish ceremony the kituba must be signed by 2 witnesses as well as the officiant.
I didn't know it was different from state to state....
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 12, 2004 at 1:53PM
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In most states, two witnesses must sign the marriage license in addition to the officiant. However, any two people who attend the ceremony can sign; it doesn't have to be the MOH and BM, though it is tradition for them to sign. Some couples choose to have no wedding party and ask a parent or sibling who attends the wedding to sign as witnesses.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2004 at 4:20PM
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It's your wedding, have who you want. I agree with the other poster who said your friends should not be upset about being chosen "second." They don't even have to know why. Just say "she" cannot attend after all and I would like to ask you. It's not a lie, it's just no one's business. If she gets offended, then yes, consider making new friends.

When I got married we totally did it in an untraditional way. Like I said, it's MY wedding... I can do what I want. We just each had attendants, of both sexes, in both lines. One of my closest friends is male, should I exclude him from my wedding party? Of course not! So we each had both sexes in our wedding lines. We called the two signing our certificates "Attendants of Honor." We did not call any of them bridesmaids or groomsmen. Simply Attendants.

It's your wedding. Do what you want. If you don't want a MOH, don't have one.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 1:51PM
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