Being crowned as the “Maid of Honor” may feel like a privilege at first—but there is so much more to the title than being the bride’s best friend. It is fair to say that the title of being a maid (or matron) of honor comes with a price. That price is a list of common tasks you should expect to take part in leading up to and on the wedding day.
We’re gonna be honest here—it’s not an easy job in most cases, but definitely one worth taking on. However, with great respect comes great responsibility. Of course, no bride has the same requirements as another, so a maid of honor’s duties can be minimal (or quite the opposite). But, it will be helpful to get acquainted with your traditional expected roles and responsibilities ahead of time, so you can shine in your own spotlight.
Overall, you will be considered the bride’s right-hand person (and possibly an impromptu therapist). Whether it’s coordinating with the vendors, helping with the planning process, mailing invites, or helping with DIY projects, expect to lend a hand whenever possible. This is especially important on the wedding day, as you’ll also serve as the messenger between the bride and groom, and assist her with any tasks that she won’t be able to handle herself.
Oh, and don’t forget the bridesmaids, either. As the maid of honor, you are essentially the go-to person for them. Meaning, expect to take on a leadership role and direct them in their assigned duties.
This is arguably the fun part of the job and follows up on the point above. If nothing else, the maid of honor should expect to be the model guest at every event she attends, and is in charge of starting and keeping the party going, especially during the reception. Being a “model guest” means you should be setting an example for all other attendants, which includes exhibiting polite etiquette, mingling, and even going first to the dance floor if everyone’s hesitant. In addition, you should always keep an eye out for rowdy behavior and prepare to intervene should things get out of hand.
In most cases, the bride will want you to attend her wedding dress shopping appointments and fittings. However, you’re also expected to help out with choosing the bridesmaid dresses and ensuring everyone looks their best. In fact, you might want to offer to help find something for the mother of the bride as well.
In addition to shopping, you could be expected to take care of the gown ordering process for the bridesmaids, as well as booking and confirming the hair and makeup appointments for everyone. And lastly, you’ll want to double-down on the attention you give to the bride’s appearance on her wedding day. In other words, help her get dressed or changed, keep an eye on her makeup throughout the night, and touch up even the minor details when she arrives at the altar.
Come the wedding day (or any pre-wedding events), prepare to serve as a hostess somewhat. This means answering guests’ questions on where to sit, where to place their gifts, or what the schedule looks like. Considering modern times, you might also be assigned to help out with social media updates, which might include updating the wedding website and responding to RSVPs. Oh, and if you are in charge of gifts, keep track of who gives what so the bride can send out thank you notes.
Once the bride arrives at the altar, make sure her veil, gown, and everything else looks picture perfect. Then, during the ceremony, prepare to hold the bride’s bouquet as they exchange vows, and hold on to the groom’s ring until the bride is ready to seal the deal. And in certain states, you might also be expected to sign the marriage license as a witness to the wedding.
Everyone knows the maid of honor takes charge of the bachelorette party (and possibly the bridal shower). However, know that this is not a job you’re expected to handle alone. You are free to enlist all or any of the bridesmaids to help you plan the perfect night out. Yet at the end of the day, you are the person in charge. This means taking care of the invitations, RSVPs, venue booking, travel details, and budget. Note that the entire bridal team is expected to pitch in to some degree to the bachelorette party, so not everything has to come out of your own pocket.
A Woman of Words
The maid of honor is traditionally one of the few key guests that is expected to give a speech at the reception, so prepare accordingly. Don’t worry if you’re shy in front of the spotlight. A few heartfelt words expressing your happiness for the couple as well as a small thank you for being tasked the maid of honor will do just fine.
Last but Not Least
Many maids of honor lend a hand even after the couple ties the knot. This means helping out with mild post-wedding tasks such as the honeymoon. If it’s not too much for you, offer to help out with house-sitting while they’re away, or even assisting with writing thank-you notes for the attendants. It won’t require much work on your part, but it will be something that’ll leave an impression.