If your sister, or best friend, has recently gotten engaged, it will most likely not be long until you are asked to be the maid of honor. Or, maybe you have already accepted the position. Either way, if you are excited to hold this title, but are unsure of what all it entails, this blog is for you! Keep reading for a checklist of important maid of honor duties that will help ease your mind, and break down the duties you will be expected fulfill before, during and after the wedding.
Are you confused by maid of honor vs. matron of honor titles? Don’t sweat it! Traditionally, a Matron of Honor was a married woman and maid of honor signified an unmarried woman. Nowadays, the difference is not as big of a deal, and some even have both in their wedding party!
Maid of Honor Duties: Before the Wedding
1. The Venue Search
The bride may need some help narrowing down wedding venues. As her maid of honor, help her envision herself getting married at each of the venues. Paint a picture in her head and if need be, go visit the venues together to narrow down the options.
2. Wedding Shows
The maid of honor may be asked by the bride to attend a bridal show. Here, you all may find some new ideas to incorporate in the wedding. Find the perfect cake flavor, the best flowers and make connections with a few different wedding vendors. If the groom cannot attend, you are the next person in line to help the bride and give her advice.
3. Saying Yes to the Dress
You will most likely be asked to come along on the wedding dress hunt. This is one of the most important maid of honor duties. In this situation, it is your job to help the bride find a dress that is true to her. Her mom may want to see her in something that reminds her of her little girl. Her grandmother may want to see her in something very modest. However, despite their options, it is your job to give her the freedom to be herself.
Continually remind the bride to stay true to her personal style. You will, most likely, also be asked to help make decisions about bridesmaid dresses. You might even be asked to oversee the dress orders, and make sure the other bridesmaids dresses are fitted and altered, if needed.
4. Rallying the Bride Tribe
As the maid of honor, you will be the liaison between the bride and her bridesmaids. You will delegate responsibilities to the bridesmaids, as needed, attend bridesmaid dress fittings and receive all dress and jewelry orders. It will be your job to make sure the bridesmaids are aware of all important dates before the wedding. Last, but certainly not least, you will be expected to make sure that all bridesmaids are at the rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony on time.
5. Mediate Conflict Among the Bridal Party
As a maid of honor, you’ll want to maintain the peace within the bridal party. Make sure that you are assigning tasks to the bridesmaids concerning any pre-wedding events and answering questions they may have about the itinerary before the wedding day. You should reiterate to the bridesmaids that they can come to you with any questions or concerns, and as you write them down, filter the ones you can answer out, and bring the rest to the bride’s attention when she isn’t as busy.
6. Bridal Shower
While it is largely your responsibility, as the maid of honor, to plan the bridal shower, you can also extend the planning jobs to the Mother of the Bride. If she is not involved in ceremony planning, she will appreciate the chance to participate in some aspect of wedding planning. The bridal shower is the perfect opportunity to give the Mother of the Bride a leadership role. At the bridal shower, you will need to keep track of all the presents the bride receives, so she can send out thank you notes afterwards.
7. Bachelorette Party
Perhaps when the Bride gave you this honor, the first thoughts running through your mind were all the things you want to do at her bachelorette party. As a part of your maid of honor duties, you will be responsible for sending out invites, setting aside funds (from yourself and the bridesmaids) and making a guest list for the party. Be sure to discuss with the bride what kind of bachelorette party she would like.
Some brides prefer a quiet bachelorette party weekend, others would rather a wild night on the town and still others prefer a destination bachelorette party. Although you have the freedom to plan, the goal is to celebrate the bride. For this reason, it is extremely important to honor her wishes for this party.
8. Rehearsal Dinner
This is a very important event that will require much of your attention. That way, if something is not going correctly the next day, you will be able to take care of it. The bride is going to have a million other things on her mind the week of the wedding, All she should have on her mind is the person waiting for her at the altar.
9. Be There for the Bride
A wedding is a very emotional time, especially for the bride. It is your job, as her maid of honor, to be there for her. Assure her that all the hard work and attention she put into the planning will pay off. You can also remind her of how loved she is by all those attending. If something is going wrong, be right next to the bride as she handles it, or better yet, beat her to it.
10. Prepare a Bridal Emergency Kit
The bride will have so much on her plate already, so preparing an emergency kit for the big day is something that will turn out to be very useful! It needs to contain various items that can help with different scenarios, including practical items like tissues, deodorant, mints, snacks, pain relief, and bobby pins. This needs to be stashed somewhere safe on the day but also within reach.
Maid of Honor Duties: At the Ceremony
11. Preparing the Bride
On the wedding day, the maid of honor’s job is something of a glorified personal assistant. On the day of the wedding, make sure that the bride arrives where she needs to be on time, and not a moment later. Help do her hair and makeup and help her get dressed, if necessary. Your opinion is obviously very valuable to her, so it is up to you to convince her that everything looks perfect! When the night is over, see if she needs you to store her dress somewhere safe until she gets back from her honeymoon.
12. The Messenger
It is tradition that the groom must not see the bride before she walks down the aisle. If they wish to communicate with one another before that takes place, you may need to serve as the messenger. If the bride has any messages for her family, you will most likely be the one to relay those as well. This allows her to relax while she gets ready, because she will not have to worry about those messages getting delivered.
13. The Altar
It will be your responsibility to set the bride’s veil and train after she reaches the altar. To set the train, hold the hem of the dress with both hands. Around two feet of fabric in between your hands will work best. Then, gently shake the train before setting it smoothly to the ground. The same applies to the veil if it is long. After you fix her train and veil, you will hold her bouquet through the rest of the ceremony.
Maid of Honor Duties: At the Reception
At the reception, some guests may give the newlyweds monetary gifts. If that is the case, it is the duty of the Maid of Honor to place the gifted money in a secure place. This way, nothing gets lost, or heaven forbid, stolen. The rest of the gifts can be placed on a specified gift table.
15. Looking After the Bride
During the reception the bride will be very busy. She will typically go around to every table and greet her guests. Be sure that the bride is drinking enough fluids and eating something during the night. She may forget to sit down and eat because she’ll get caught up in so many other things. Remind her to take care of herself, and not just her guests.
16. Dancing Queen
Traditionally, the maid of honor dances with the best man during the first dance. Part of your maid of honor duties is to make it a point to dance with the groom and other groomsmen. Again, this is very traditional, but be sure to do whatever newlyweds prefer. They may prefer if you dance with everyone, or they may be more laid back when it comes to dancing duties.
17. Maid of Honor Toast
This is the second most important of your maid of honor duties. You will be expected to give a maid of honor speech during the wedding reception. You can choose the theme of this toast. It can be funny, sweet, heartfelt, nostalgic or anything in between. You may toast solely to the bride or to both the newlyweds. It is sweet to highlight the bride in the toast, as she chose you as her maid of honor. One idea for the speech is to tell her how happy you are that she’s found her life long partner, and maybe share the memory of the first time you met her future spouse.
Hopefully this guide calmed some of your nerves and helped explain all of your maid of honor duties that will make you a good maid of honor. Although it may seem like a lot of work, it will all be worth it in the end. Seeing the bride enjoying her special day is more than enough reward. For more blogs such as this one, check out easyeventplanning.com.
Written by Katherine Frabotta and Mackenzie Tolrud