Difference Between Maid and Matron of Honor

Main Difference – Maid vs Matron of Honor

Maid of honor and matron of honor are two words we often hear at weddings. These two words refer to two titles or posistions in the wedding group. The difference between maid and matron of honor stems from the difference between the two words maid and matron. Maid is someone who is married whereas matron is someone who is unmarried. Thus, the key difference between maid and matron of honor is the marital status of an honor attendant. The maid of honor is someone who is unmarried whereas matron of honor is someone who is married. Some brides prefer to have either a matron of honor or maid of honor, but a wedding group can have both matrons of honor and maids of honor.

This article explains,

1. Who is a Maid of Honor
     – Requirements, Role, Responsibilities

2. Who is a Matron of Honor
     – Requirements, Role, Responsibilities

3. What is the difference between Maid and Matron of Honor

Difference Between Maid and Matron of Honor - Comparision Summary

Who is a Maid of Honor

Before looking at the meaning of the term maid of honor, it is important to know that the meaning discussed in this article mainly refers to American English. In British English, maid of honor refers to a young unmarried noblewoman who is attending a princess or a queen.

In American English, maid of honor refers to the chief bridesmaid when a wedding party has several bridesmaids. This title or position is often held by the sister or the closest friend of the bride. However, this person should be unmarried to be selected as the maid of honor. The maid of honor may have several duties at a wedding, such as helping with the wedding plans, dress shopping, helping the brides to dress, keeping track of the wedding gifts, making a toast to the couple, signing the marriage license as a witness, and holding the bride’s bouquet while the ceremony is taking place. Since maid of honor is the main wedding attendant, she may have more duties and responsibilities than the bridesmaids.

Let’s now look at some famous maids of honor in weddings. Pippa Middleton was the maid of honor in Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s wedding; Briteny Spears was the maid of honor in her friend Brett Miller’s wedding and Paris Hilton served as the maid of honor in her sister Nicky’s wedding. 

Difference Between Maid and Matron of Honor

Who is a Matron of Honor

When the bride’s principal wedding attendant is a married woman, she is called a matron of honor. The only practical difference between maid of honor and matron of honor is their marital status; a maid of honor is unmarried whereas a matron of honor is married.

Brides usually select matron of honor instead of a maid of honor, when their best friends or sisters are married. There is no difference between the duties and responsibilities of a maid of honor or a matron of honor. However, having a married woman can be an advantage as she has experience of planning weddings and having first-hand experience of what should be done. Some brides choose either a matron of honor or a maid of honor as their wedding attendants, but some also prefer one of each – a maid of honor and a matron of honor. 

It is also important to note that the word matron of honor is used in both British and American English, unlike maid of honor.

Main Difference - Maid vs Matron of Honor

Difference Between Maid and Matron of Honor


Maid of honor is the bride’s principal unmarried wedding attendant.

Matron of honor is the bride’s principal married wedding attendant.

Marital Status:

Maid of honor position is given to an unmarried woman.

Matron of honor position is given to a married woman.

Change of Meaning:

Maid of honor refers to an unmarried, noble lady attending a queen or princess.

Matron of honor has the same meaning in both British and American English.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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