Life & Love

Can I Choose My Best Friend to Be My Maid of Honor Over My Sister?


Dear E. Jean: My twin sister is rude, obnoxious, condescending, and uses any opportunity (public or private) to vent about how I’ve “let her down,” never buy her presents, etc. It’s embarrassing and hurtful. She now includes my fiancé in her barrage of cruelties. When I’m around her, I am generally anxious and upset. So, is it totally breaking all rules of etiquette to pass over my twin and ask my lifelong best friend to stand as maid of honor in my wedding?

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I’m a professional woman with a wonderful husband-to-be and lots of close, amazing friends. To say the least, my twin and I do not have a good relationship. Am I to be subjected to her unkind behavior on such a happy day because it is the “proper” thing to do? What scene would be worse: the one my twin will inevitably cause or the one that I cause by passing her over? —Social Convention

Miss Social: Now, now, my giblet, let’s not totally snap our garters. Ask your friend to be your maid of honor and name your sister to be Mistress of the Rings (Shield Maiden, Queen of Vows, or any other gleaming, ego-pumping honorific. Unearth some Tolkien for inspiration).

But I caution you: The title may go to her head, so be sure to let her misbehave the night before by “begging” her to give a speech at the rehearsal dinner. This will allow her to get any idiocies out of her system before the ceremony, and she’ll be too mortified to let out a peep at the wedding.

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P.S. Of course, if your husband-to-be agrees, you could ask your evil twin to be your maid of honor and appoint your friend to officiate at your wedding. This will cause a scene, naturally, but the old-fashioned kind. There won’t be a dry eye in the place when the person who loves you most (or, if not the most, only second to your groom) pronounces you the happiest woman in the world.

Your friend can become an ordained minister at the Universal Life Church (free, online, and absolutely nondenominational) by going to Once ordained, your friend can officially perform the ceremony in any state and be at leisure to “join together” any other acquaintances with evil twins.

I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.—Jane Austen

This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2017. Send questions to E. Jean at


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