There are a couple of different ways to approach maid of honor duties. You’re either trying to decide who to pick that will actually make sure that these things happen, or you’re the person that has been chosen to fulfill this honor.
If you’re a bride trying to decide who to pick, it is going to be in your best interest to choose the person that you know can handle all of the duties and responsibilities that are part of being a maid of honor.
In other words, if your best friend is the sweetest person on the planet, but is super flaky, then she’s probably not going to be a good maid of honor.
If you have been chosen to be the maid of honor, congratulations!
It’s a huge honor to be selected as the maid of honor because that means that the bride trusts you implicitly. The bride is going to depend on you, so you need to be ready and aware of what your duties are going to include.
Maid of Honor Duties and Responsibilities Leading Up to the Wedding Day
There are a lot of things happening before the wedding day, and the maid of honor is going to be expected to help with as many of them as possible. That means that the maid of honor and the bride are going to spend a lot of time together either on the phone or in person to coordinate everything to the bride’s satisfaction.
Help Out the Bride
Depending on the bride, a maid of honor may have a lot of input throughout the entire process from planning the wedding to even choosing the catering menu for the reception. Other brides choose to do the work themselves, hire wedding planners, or ask the maid of honor for help with smaller tasks. Regardless of what is asked, bottom line is that the maid of honor has to be ready, willing, and able to do what the bride asks.
Take Charge of the Bridesmaids
Being in charge of the bridesmaids is quite possibly the absolutely most important thing the maid of honor will do for the bride. That means she’ll be responsible for letting the other bridesmaids know what they need to do including getting fitted for dresses and coordinating anything else that the bride needs from her bridesmaids.
Be Available for Guests
From the time the invitations are sent out to the day people arrive at the wedding, guests are going to have plenty of questions to ask. The maid of honor will be the point person that their questions need to go to in order to find answers. If that’s you, then you need to know where the couple is registered, the address for the festivities, and any other necessary information that someone might ask about.
Planning the Shower and Bachelorette Party
The bridal shower and bachelorette party are the most important activities that the maid of honor will have to organize. When it comes to the maid of honor duties, you can expect that the maid of honor will need to choose the venue, décor, invitations, food, and everything else associated with the bridal shower. When it comes to the bachelorette party, the maid of honor needs to work with the other bridesmaids to plan the event.
Unless the bride requests it, the maid of honor doesn’t have to help plan things like the engagement party or rehearsal dinner. Upon accepting the role of maid of honor, there is an expectation that the maid of honor will attend all events that the bride will be at in case she is needed.
Maid of Honor Duties on the Day of the Wedding
On the wedding day, the bride is going to need plenty of help because it’s the big day and she doesn’t want anything to go wrong. Make sure you are available to do whatever needs to be done.
Time to Get Ready
The maid of honor typically starts by getting ready alongside the bride and the rest of the bridal party. The reason for doing so is so that the maid of honor is there in case the bride needs help getting dressed. Everyone needs to be picture perfect, so it’s also the time where the maid of honor has the emergency wedding day kit set up and ready in case someone else needs it, too.
Be the Messenger
Traditionally, there is the belief that the groom shouldn’t see the bride before the wedding. That’s where the maid of honor comes in. The maid of honor is responsible for ferrying messages back and forth between the happy couple or working with the best man to make that happen.
Prepare for Any Emergency
Emergency preparedness means having that kit ready and full of everything you could possibly need in case someone has a run in their pantyhose or has a wardrobe emergency. It also means keeping the bride calm and put together on the day that she should be relaxed and excited. Lastly, being prepared also means keeping things on schedule for the bride and having everyone ready for the limo ride to the ceremony right on time.
At the Ceremony
Don’t forget that the maid of honor also needs to arrange the train and veil before the bride leaves for the altar. When the maid of honor walks down the aisle, it means walking proudly knowing that you did the best you could for the bride and for the wedding.
During the Wedding
The maid of honor will be responsible for holding the bouquet during the wedding ceremony. If the bouquet is unusually heavy, the maid of honor can share holding the bouquet with the bridesmaids to make life a little easier. The maid of honor will also need to hold onto the groom’s wedding ring until it is needed.
Once the Ceremony is Over
As soon as the ceremony is over, the maid of honor, along with the best man, are going to sign the marriage license acting as witnesses. There are usually two required, and the people most special to the couple are usually the ones that sign it.
Going to the Reception
If there is a receiving line, the maid of honor typically stands next to the best man to greet guests as they arrive. If there is no receiving line, then the maid of honor will wait until the wedding party is introduced to the rest of the guests.
Helping the Newlyweds
One of the sometimes less pleasant, but still necessary, things that the maid of honor will do at the reception is help the bride with her dress if needed so she can use the restroom. The maid of honor will also play hostess to the guests during the reception. Guests will approach to ask where the guestbook is, when the cake will be cut, where to go, and everything else they’ll ask. The maid of honor needs to have the answers.
Keeping Things Light and Fun
After all the work that goes into being a maid of honor, the reception is also the time to have fun. Spending time on the dance floor is a great way to encourage other people to get out there and dance. The maid of honor needs to be willing to spend time dancing and having fun.
Use Good Judgment
The maid of honor will be asked to give a speech after the best man’s toast. Keep it short and sweet, and use good judgment to decide what will be said. The maid of honor is also responsible for keeping issues from becoming real problems. The bride doesn’t need to know that some random family member almost caused a scene. The groom doesn’t need to know that his drunk cousin ended up sick. Let them enjoy their celebration by using good judgment.
The Wedding and Reception are Over
In the end, the maid of honor will need to collect the wedding gifts and take them wherever they need to go. She’ll also need to ensure that any other loose ends are taken care of like making sure rentals are returned, calling any vendors if necessary, and putting the wedding cake in the freezer.
The bottom line is that the maid of honor needs to be willing to take on all of these responsibilities.
Maid of honor duties are important and need to be treated like they are. It’s crucial for the bride to pick the right person for the job, and if that’s you, you need to be ready to put your best foot forward.