Being a maid of honor for the first time can be intimidating. Even if you have been the bride’s right-hand woman in the past, we know that the unique share of responsibilities the maid of honor has can bring a lot of pressure. To make the big day easier for you, and for your bride, we made a checklist of all you need to know about the maid of honor roles, duties and responsibilities. Stay tuned!
What is a Maid or Matron of Honor?
Let’s begin with a quick definition: a maid of honor is the bride’s right-hand woman throughout the wedding planning as well as the wedding day and is in charge of the bachelorette party and bridal shower. Since she is the one leading the rest of the bridesmaids in their own duties, you can think of her as the chief bridesmaid. The bride usually asks a sister, female relative or best friend to be her maid of honor.
Along with bridal shower and bachelorette party planning, your role also requires you to be the bride’s shoulder to cry on, helping hand and the voice of reason. These three roles are particularly important during the coronavirus pandemic – there’s no doubt that these are stressful times for future newlyweds, especially if they had to postpone or downsize their wedding. You might even be asked to communicate with guests and notify them about the postponement or any other updates or just be a support system for the bride as she navigates through the wedding planning in the mid of pandemic.
Maid VS Matron
The role and responsibilities of a maid or matron of honor are exactly the same. It simply depends on whether the bridesmaid is married!
Matron = Married
Maid = Unmarried
Maid of Honor Responsibilities
So, maid of honor duties start long before the big day, practically since the moment you agreed to take this role. Your role will also vary a bit depending on your bride and how they want you to be involved. Some brides may want you there each step of the way, while others may prepare more independently.
We suggest asking the bride how she wants you to be involved. Here’s some common roles and responsibilities you can
Before the Wedding
Be There For the Bride
The essential maid of honor duty is to be there for the bride. From lending a helping hand when creating wedding invitations to choosing cake flavors and wedding color schemes, make sure you are there to assist the bride when she needs you. She may want to make the big planning decisions but she’ll still want to hear your opinion. Listen to her ideas and plans and propose suggestions and advice.
Review the Budget
Before planning anything related to the bachelorette party and bridal shower make sure you are aware of everyone’s budget. Talk with other bridesmaids about how much they can afford to spend on these events and then get going with organization and plans.
Host the Bridal Shower
Once the budget has been reviewed, you can start planning the bridal shower. This includes contacting the family members and the bridal party, choosing decorations and ordering food. Planning a bridal shower can be a time-consuming duty so feel free to delegate some of these tasks to the rest of the bridal party. At the actual bridal shower, you will likely be the main ‘host’. Help keep the flow of the shower going, introduce guests, and facilitate any games or activities you might have planned.
In many cases, brides will open gifts at their shower. As MOH you should assist with this process. Most importantly, help to keep track of the gifts received so she can write thank-you notes.
Plan the Bachelorette Party
When it comes to bachelorette party planning, you absolutely need to listen to the bride’s wishes. Whether she wants a relaxing spa trip or a girl’s wild night out, the bachelorette party should certainly fit the bride and her unique personality. We have put up 7 creative ideas for the bachelorette party that will make the bridesmaids bond before the big day.
Lead the Bridesmaids
While some maid of honor duties can be a piece of cake, this one can be a hard nut to crack. Navigating a group of bridesmaids is where true leadership skills show. You should be directing bridesmaids through their duties, dress shopping and fittings and providing them with details for pre-wedding events. You’ll also be the one assigning the tasks to bridesmaids and maintaining the peace between them. As a pro tip, we recommend starting an email thread or a group chat with the bridesmaids so everyone is always up to date with information, details and tasks.
Wedding Dress Shopping
This is probably the most exciting pre-wedding activity. As the maid of honor, you do not want to miss wedding dress shopping. Help the bride and give her your honest opinion on dresses. Do not forget to take some pictures along the way.
Order Your Dress (On Time!)
Weddings bring a lot of stress and the last thing you want to worry about is your dress not arriving on time. Make sure you order your bridesmaid dress as soon as possible so you have just enough time for alterations and shopping for extras and essentials. Your bride may also want your assistance in researching and selecting the bridesmaid dresses!
Serve As the Point of Contact
As the maid of honor, you should soak up as much wedding information as possible and be the contact person for bridesmaids, wedding guests and even the bride and groom’s parents. So, instead of overwhelming the bride with questions about the wedding whereabouts, let the guests contact you and answer any questions they may have.
Prepare the Speech
The speech should be short and light-hearted but also fun and with just a hint of sentiment. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to give thanks to the couple for asking you to play such an important role on their big day. You can include some fun memories with the bride, but you shouldn’t embarrass her during the speech. Start writing an outline for the speech months before the wedding and then connect the pieces and put everything together weeks before the big day.
Help With Packing For Honeymoon
In the last days before the wedding, the bride might be swamped with tasks and chores. One thing you could do to help her is offer to take care of some last-minute items on her checklist. Packing a honeymoon suitcase for her would save her a ton of time and she will surely appreciate it.
On The Wedding Day
Get Dressed With The Bride and The Bridal Party (and Help The Bride Get Dressed)
The maid of honor usually gets dressed with the bride and the rest of the bridal party. You will be playing a big role in making sure everyone’s outfits, makeup and hairstyles are on point. When it comes to helping the bride get dressed, assist her while she gets into her wedding dress. Prior to the wedding day, make sure the bride’s outfit and everything that goes with it (including undergarments, shoes and jewelry) is laid out and ready for use. One thing you absolutely do not want to worry about on the wedding day is a missing earring or the bride’s bouquet.
Make Sure The Bride Eats Something Before The Ceremony & Keep Her Hydrated
Wedding day jitters may make the bride forgot to eat. She may be too excited (or nervous) to eat but make sure to check in with her while getting ready and throughout the day and offer her a snack. Just remember that she might not have a proper meal until the reception and a granola bar or chocolate candy would be greatly appreciated. The same goes with water, remind her to take a few sips of water (still or sparkling) every once in a while to keep up her energy.
Help the Mother of the Bride
Some brides decide to have their moms get ready with them. If this is the case with your bride, help the mother of the bride with her hair or makeup. This is an emotional day for her and she and the bride will cherish the memory of them getting ready together forever.
Help the Bride in the Ladies Room
Alright, we agree that this is not the most appealing thing on the list of maid of honor duties but the bride will probably need some assistance in the ladies room. Surely, laughs will follow as you two try to maneuver her wedding gown, veil, and hairstyle.
The wedding reception is the time when the planning-related stress goes away. Use this time to celebrate with the newlyweds, and what is the better way of celebrating than being on the dance-floor with the bride, your OG dance partner and a phone camera to take some selfies. Not just that, but you can help keep the party going throughout the night! Brides typically don’t want to see an empty dance floor, so help pump up the crowd when necessary.
Have Fun & Enjoy!
While this is the last thing on our list, it’s most definitely not the least. The maid of honor should be the bride’s right-hand woman during the planning process but your ultimate task should be supporting and loving your friend unconditionally. Don’t forget to schedule some fun time as well – whether it’s you two sipping on the bubbly or getting a mani-pedi, it’s a perfect opportunity to strengthen your friendship and create the most amazing memories.