Honorable Origins: Where the terms “Maid/Matron of Honor” came from

Q: Where did the terms maid and matron of honor originate?

A: Wedding attendants are chosen as witnesses to a couple’s matrimonial union in a gesture of love, friendship, and respect. Therefore their position in the wedding is one of honor and so they are accorded that title. Traditionally a “maid” is an unmarried woman and a “matron” is a married woman, hence the terms “Maid of Honor” and “Matron of Honor.”


  1. gabrielle

    My little brother is getting married in Kauai , Hawaii in May 2014. They live there , but myself, and the rest of our family and her family live in Arizona. I have two sisters and we have 8 kids between us. My husband and I are just getting over a bankruptcy and our daughter has on going health issues. I love my brother so much , we are very close , and his finance is wonderful. I wish they would come to Arizona after the ceremony so we can have a party for them . Spend the money on a party .we would have spent on air fair .I just can’s see spending 6-7thousand dollars for all five of us to go. I feel guilty ,And the question is, should I just suck it up , save and go….???? I want to be there so badly . but it’s just so much money

    • Elizabeth

      Traveling for weddings is can be difficult, especially when the location is so far away. I can understand your wish that he would have the reception in a place more convenient for you, but it’s probably true that he has a lot of friends in Hawaii (and that perhaps his fiancee has friends/ family there as well) so no matter which location he picks it is going to be inconvenient for someone. You shouldn’t feel guilty about not being able to afford to attend the wedding. Life is priorities, and it is reasonable to decline to spend so much money when it is spoken for in a million other places. One compromise could be for just you and your husband to attend, or just you, even, as a representative of your family. If you end up not being able to go, you could float the idea of the couple returning home for a reception in Arizona, especially if you (and other family) are willing to host it. That would be a lovely gesture. However, if it really is the same amount of money, then why not just go and take the whole family, make a big vacation out of it? The kids would no doubt be thrilled, and there’s so much to see and do in Hawaii.

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