How to Choose the Perfect Maid of Honor and Best Man (Without Hurting Anyone’s Feelings)

A bride standing next to her maid of honor who's wearing a purple floral dress.

Weddings are beautiful—but they’re also stressful, which is why as the bride and groom, you need to have the perfect maid of honor and best man to have your back. However, choosing who will fill those VIP roles is tricky. Essentially, you’re playing favorites among your friends and family, and that’s not an easy position to be in. You want the right people for the job, but you also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. If you’re stuck on how to select the right maid of honor and best man for your special day as tactfully and kindly as possible, then you’ll want to follow these tips.

Who Are You Closest To?

A best man helping a groom get ready on his wedding day.

Most of us have a friend or family member to whom are we closest. You probably thought of that person as soon as you read the question above. If so, then he or she is probably the best candidate for maid of honor and/or best man. In fact, the rest of your inner circle probably knows this already, and therefore will understand that you would select this person because it’s the most obvious decision.

Who Is up to the Job?

If you don’t have one particular “best” friend, but have a number of really close friends, then it’s time to get honest with them about what these positions in your bridal party involve. Performing the roles of maid of honor and best man will take up a lot of time and energy. If you’re having a hard time deciding between your squad, you should have an honest heart-to-heart with each of them and ask them if their respective schedules and abilities will permit them to be there for you. Some of your friends and family likely have families and spouses of their own and/or demanding careers, to which they will need to tend. Being upfront with the demands will help not only determine who is the best candidate, but will also offer the the opportunity for your loved ones to back out if that’s best for them.

Who Lives Closest?

A woman greeting her friend at the door with a bottle of wine.

This is actually a great and practical qualifier. Even if your best friend from college might make a good maid of honor or best man, if they live across the country from you, then they won’t be accessible to help out with the details and support surrounding the festivities. While it’s disappointing that geography might be a deciding factor, especially if you’re close with someone who lives far away, logistically it makes the most sense. (And, most people can’t argue with logic!)

Can Your Friends Take Turns in the Role?

Remember the episode of Friends when Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe decided they would take turns being each other’s maids of honor because by doing so then each of them would get the chance to do it? Well, they were definitely onto something. Proposing that you take turns is an ideal solution to those who find themselves in a similar spot with their best friends. If you can promise to take turns with the VIP duties, then there will be a far less chance of someone getting upset because they weren’t asked or didn’t get the opportunity to do it.

Are There Family Members to Consider?

While you might be super tight with your friends, your in-laws have a better chance of being in your life forever. Choosing a family member not only gives you some solid brownie points with your future in-laws, but it also saves you the hassle of choosing among your best friends. Plus, your friends will understand that you would want members of your new family standing up for you at your wedding ceremony.

Can You Have More Than One?

Three bridesmaids wearing stylish neutral dresses at a wedding.

In some cases, some people might choose to have both a Matron of Honor and a Maid of Honor, or even two Maids or Matrons of Honor. There’s no rule limiting the bride to choose just one MOH just as there isn’t a rule saying a groom must only have one best man. If you have two really close friends and family that you would love to have as part of your special day, then consider having more than one maid of honor and best man. That way, they will be able to split responsibilities, and will keep everyone busy and happy.

Do You Even Need a Maid of Honor or Best Man?

This is your wedding day. While there have been certain wedding traditions passed along for generations, you don’t have to follow each and every one of them. If you think that selecting a maid of honor and best man is too difficult a decision, or will cause a rift among your friends and family, then don’t choose one! Instead, you can have only bridesmaids and groomsmen and task each one with a specific detail or responsibility that will be theirs to take care of. This way, everyone gets to be apart of your special day without a special title. (Or, completely forgo having a bridal party entirely!)

Choosing your maid of honor and best man is an important decision, but it shouldn’t cause you too much stress. By asking yourself the above questions, choosing your VIPs will be a piece of (wedding) cake.

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