The Ultimate Maid of Honor’s Guide

An exciting part of getting married is getting to choose your wedding party. They’ll be by your side the whole time, undoubtedly offering many words of advice, drying tears, and supplying you with much-needed support along the way. Choosing a maid of honor can be stressful, though. Perhaps your best friend isn’t your most responsible friend, or there’s a sister in the running. And if you’ve been selected as a maid of honor, you may not be prepared for some of the duties that come along with the job. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to a maid of honor’s responsibilities. Look it over to see who’s truly up for the job!

The Ultimate Support System

As maid of honor, it’s her job to make sure the bride enjoys every second of her engagement. That means she’s always there to take over when things go south - like the cake being the wrong height or the dream dress being out of budget - and help the bride focus on what’s really important: marrying the love of her life. That means the MOH is often the first person the bride turns to when she needs an extra pair of hands - but she’s also the bride’s best friend and needs to take that seriously.

Shop Til You Drop

And we do mean that seriously. Many brides find themselves trying on way more wedding dresses than they even thought was possible. The maid of honor should be there for every single one, willing to give her honest (yet gentle!) opinion.

Leader of the Pack

Thankfully, the MOH can delegate some tasks to the other bridesmaids. But she also has to lead them, too. As a rule, bridesmaids should bother the MOH with questions or concerns - not the bride.

Style Guru

The maid of honor not only keeps the peace between bridesmaids, she should also help select their bridesmaids dresses, gather measurements, and organize and attend fittings. Not only that - she should also take charge of things like hair and makeup appointment confirmations as well as any travel and accommodations that may be needed for the vendors.

Be a point of contact for guests.

Wedding guests tend to have a lot of questions, and the last thing a bride wants is an overflowing inbox. Whether they want to know about a registry, gifts, addresses or a post-wedding celebration, the maid of honor is responsible for answering these questions (or gently directing the guests to the wedding website.)

Plan the bridal shower.

One of the MOH’s most well-known responsibilities is throwing the bridal shower. Although it’s not quite the same scale as planning a wedding, it still involves invitations, guest lists, and gifts, so don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to the rest of the bridesmaids.

And keep the records.

At the bridal shower, the MOH should keep records of which gifts came from who so that the bride can easily write thank you notes.

And plan the bachelorette party.

The MOH’s biggest responsibility is planning the bachelorette party. SHe should work with the bridesmaids to plan an event the bride will never forget!

Pre-wedding support.

Although the planning for these events generally falls to someone else, the maid of honor should generally attend the engagement party, wedding rehearsal, and rehearsal dinner.

On the wedding day:

Be there through all the preparations.

On wedding morning preparations, keep the bride and bridesmaids happy by getting dressed together and making sure everybody looks their best. Wipe off any tears that may fall!

Be a go-between.

If the couple is sticking to tradition and doesn’t want to see each other before the wedding, the MOH should act as the messenger between the couple.

Be a contact for vendors.

On the wedding day, the bride shouldn’t be bothered with vendors who need to know where to set up or park. If there’s no day-of wedding planner, that becomes the maid-of-honor’s responsibility. And if there is a wedding planner, she should still have the vendor’s contact information handy in the case of any last-minute emergencies.

Help keep things on schedule.

The maid of honor should make sure all the bridal party looks good - but also that they’re on time! Nobody wants to be late to their own wedding.

During the Ceremony

Hold the bouquet.

When the couple joins hands to say their vows, the maid of honor should hold both her own and the bride’s bouquet. If it’s heavy, enlist another bridesmaid to share it.

Act as witness when signing the marriage license.

Generally, the best man and maid of honor will act as witnesses while the newlyweds sign the marriage license with the officiant. This usually happens right after the ceremony, but might be several days before or after the wedding.

At the Reception

Play host

Wedding guests may have even more questions during the ceremony than before it (Where can I sit? Put my gift?). The Maid of Honor becomes responsible for answering these questions and making sure the bride is left to enjoy her post-wedded bliss in peace!

Bathroom duty

At the wedding dress fitting, the maid of honor may want to ask one of the attendants to show her how to bustle the bride’s train. Gowns can be cumbersome, and make going to the bathroom a challenge. Especially if the bride is indulging in champagne, she may need help lifting up her dress to use the restroom - or to dance!

Crisis management

If anything happens during the reception, the maid of honor and best man should be the first ones in action. Don’t let the newlyweds know that anything is wrong - they should be enjoying every minute of the ceremony.

Collect wedding gifts.

This is particularly true of cash gifts anybody may bring to the wedding. Before the ceremony, find out where the couple wants their gifts taken after the wedding and arrange to have them transported.

Get down on the dance floor.

A maid of honor has a lot of responsibilities, but the main one is making sure the bride has fun! She should kick off the celebrating by being one of the first people to start the dancing - and keeping it going throughout the reception. It’s the bride’s day, but that doesn’t mean she can’t have a little fun too!

December 2019

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