Here's How to Seamlessly Pull Off Having Two Maids of Honor

For when playing favorites just isn't an option.

Photo: Sylvie Gil Photography

Maids, matrons, or men of honor are a cherished nuptial tradition, giving brides the chance to celebrate the women or men they love and trust the most. But sometimes, choosing a single person to honor is challenging. What if you have two best friends or two close sisters? What if you want to tribute both a sibling and best friend? Turns out, the rules aren't set in stone, and nothing's stopping you from appointing more than one. If having two maids of honor feels like the natural choice for your celebration, read on. Wedding planner Melissa McNeeley of Events by Melissa McNeeley walks us through the process of acknowledging both of the people you treasure the most.

Consider why you're choosing two.

There's no set rule on when having two honor attendants is appropriate-a bride can choose two "anytime she wants!" says McNeeley. But the choice works especially well "if she only has two bridesmaids anyway. I am seeing smaller bridal parties across the board these days."

But selecting two freely is different from choosing based on outside pressures. "I don't believe that brides or grooms should choose out of obligation," shares McNeeley. So if a family member is pushing to be included or a friend is guilt-tripping your decision, reassess what you truly want. "I think that if you don't want someone standing there with you, now is the time to set that precedent for the future, [so think about the] relationships that are/are not important."

In the end, it comes down to what best fits the needs of your wedding. "I suggest that the bride asks herself to picture that big day and think about what will feel great to her," says McNeeley. So if you can't imagine celebrating without both of your besties by your side, having two may be for you.

Get both girls on the same page.

Person three of an inseparable best friend trio? Honoring your counterparts should be easy. What's tricky, however, is appointing people who aren't as well acquainted, which prompts the need to pay special attention to group dynamics. First things first: Get both MOHs familiar with one another. "Find things that they can bond over," suggests McNeeley, or "take them out for drinks." The closer they get, the smoother their partnership will be, and the more likely their communication will be clear and collaborative down the road.

Because McNeeley emphasizes taking into account "who will be supportive and not bring in any toxic energy," it's crucial to nip any jealousy, bad history, or pettiness bubbling between the two in the bud. If one of your honor attendants can't make the situation work, he or she may not be right for the shared role.

Make your expectations about their respective responsibilities clear.

Divvying up MOH tasks doesn't have to be complicated-just outline what you expect from the get-go. In general, some level of teamwork is recommended. "If there is a lot of help needed, then maybe they divide and conquer," explains McNeeley, "but with planning showers and creative help, I'd have it be a joint effort."

But don't forget to keep in mind the relationship between your maids of honor. Working together may be easier for some pairs than others. Logistics should also come into play, both in terms of location (do they live close to one another?) and how much time each MOH can commit. Make sure that they're aware of each other's roles, too-you don't want any oversteps or confusion concerning workload.

Help them each stand out.

There are plenty of ways to make both honor attendants feel special. "Let them weigh in on what they wear and help choose their bouquets," suggests McNeeley, which "celebrates their individuality" while keeping within the color palette.

Customized wedding party favors are another sweet touch. McNeeley likes the idea of "a personal gift that is specifically chosen for [each] friend," complete with a "handwritten note." Or, consider "a speech about each of them at the rehearsal dinner, or having the DJ or band play their favorite song[s] at the reception."

Adapt your ceremony and reception.

Certain wedding rituals call for specific MOH involvement, and these traditions may need some modifying to fit in both of your girls. During the traditional MOH speech, for example, "they should both stand together and give them back to back," says McNeeley.

As for the processional, McNeeley thinks that if there's only one best man, "it would be fantastic if he walked both maids of honor down the aisle." Alternatively, the pair could escort each other.

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