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The Significance of The Maid of Honor

If you have been asked to be a maid of honor (or a matron of honor) for someone’s wedding, you have been given an extraordinary role. This position is often given to the bride’s sister, best friend, or close friend. As a maid of honor, there are many additional roles one may also play- event planner, assistant, support staff, encourager, bridesmaid organizer, and wardrobe assistant are just a few of the jobs a maid of honor may find themselves doing.

While being asked to be the maid of honor is an exciting recognition, the work associated with this role starts long before it's time to walk down the aisle. The first, and most important duty will be to support the bride, but aside from that, everything else lies in the details.

You may be wondering what you need to do to make your friend’s wedding day all they have imagined. After all, it’s a big job, and you want to do it well.

Get Ready To Jot Some Notes Down!


Discuss Your Level of Involvement

The maid of honor should walk a fine line of being supportive, not overwhelming. As the maid of honor, you know your friend or sister, the bride, better than anyone else.

After being asked, the maid of honor should initiate a conversation with the bride to discuss how best she can support her during the wedding-planning process.

Be open about personalities and decide if the bride will delegate and ask for help, or if [you] should periodically check in and offer support without being prompted.

Key Takeaway:

Discuss the level of involvement and support upfront, and be mindful of relationships the bride may need to navigate with family. Lucidity is key!

Check-In With the Bridal Party

Once the bridal party has been established, the maid of honor should connect the group by email or via text! That way, everyone can get a taste of who's who before any wedding activities begin.

Additionally, the maid of honor should check in to see how much each bridesmaid can afford before planning the bachelorette party or bridal shower.

Key Takeaway: Don't assume they'll be able to cover the costs after you already have a big getaway to Cancun scheduled in the books.

Go Wedding Dress Shopping

Wedding dress shopping is perhaps the most anticipated event aside from the ceremony itself, especially for the bride and her closest friends. Am I right?

As the maid of honor, it's your job to help the bride say "yes" to the dress by attending the dress fitting appointments and providing your honest (but respectful) opinion.

Stay on Top of Important Tasks

With so much going on before the wedding, it can be easy to forget about certain tasks while helping your best friend prepare for this special day.

Key Takeaway: That's why it's highly important to stay organized when handling your maid of honor duties and to not let anything slip through the cracks.

EXAMPLE: The last thing you want is to find out your dress won't arrive by the wedding day, so be sure to order it as soon as you can so that it arrives early enough for any possible alterations.

Serve as the Point of Contact

I can't stress this one enough.

Key Takeaway: ABSORB as much wedding information as you can, and let the other bridesmaids, the bride's family members, and even guests turn to you with any questions they may have.

This will save the bride a lot of time and will minimize the stress of responding to text messages and emails about where and when events are taking place.

Mediate Conflict Among the Bridal Party & Keep The Peace

As the maid of honor, you'll be in charge of maintaining peace among the bridal party.

On top of that, you'll be assigning tasks concerning any pre-wedding events and answering any questions the bridesmaids may have regarding the wedding-day itinerary.

As maid of honor, it is your job to see that the other bridesmaids follow through with their responsibilities. This involves being certain they are getting their dresses, being sure the dresses fit, having the jewelry in a timely fashion, and seeing that the bridal party is ready on the wedding day.

Key Takeaway: It's crucial to let everyone know they can come to you directly with any questions, comments, or concerns, and only involve the bride if you don't have a solution to their requests.

Plan the Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party

Get ready to lead the charge when it comes to planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party!

From reaching out to family members and bridesmaids to helping with the nitty-gritty of planning and keeping everyone's budgets in mind, you'll quickly become a bonafide expert party planner during the wedding process.

Plan a bachelorette party that you know the bride will love and enjoy. Don't feel pressure to create an event just to be social media worthy.

Key Takeaway: Before deciding when and where the bridal shower and bachelorette party will take place, ask the bride for a list of dates they're available. Then, send out an online survey to the bridal party so you can gauge when the most people will be available to attend.

Keep Track of Gifts Received

Not many people know this!

If the bride decides to open gifts at the bridal shower, you'll want to be sure to keep track of who gave what. It will be immensely helpful for the bride to have a list to look back at when she goes to create thank-you notes.

Key Takeaway: From picking a venue to choosing décor, sending invitations to ordering food, planning a bridal shower can be a big job, so don’t be afraid to delegate some of the responsibility to the rest of the bridal party. At the actual bridal party, the maid of honor writes down all of the gifts received so that the bride can easily write thank-you notes.

Prepare a Wedding Survival Kit

For every wedding event you attend, bring along a pack of bridesmaid essentials like Advil, Band-Aids, hair ties, safety pins, and other last-minute, mini-emergency items that are frequently needed (more than you think).

Key Takeaway: Trust me, this may not seem like a big deal now, but it will certainly come in handy should any emergencies arise (straps breaks, veil tears, blisters, etc.)

Lend a Hand With DIY Projects

Bride & grooms who DIY are to be mad respected! First, there is so much going on for the bride and groom as it is. & on top of that, they've decided to dedicate hour and hours to create their wedding, from the perfect gift favor or the most unique seating chart. It's a lot of work, and any help you can offer is appreciated.

Key Takeaway: Check-in to see if the bride needs help addressing wedding invitations or making centerpieces or favors. Be attentive and helpful! If so, volunteer to help by a fun planning a wedding craft night, complete with the bride's favorite bubbly.

Prepare a Speech for the Reception

As the maid of honor, you'll likely be asked to give a speech at the reception, and it's your job to not embarrass the couple. LOL.

Key Takeaway I: Start jotting down ideas months before the wedding, and then spend a few weeks before the big day finessing it and putting everything together.

Key Takeaway II: If you're rather shy and experience stage fright, take some time to sift through some articles online regarding the subject. Find some tips to improve. You can do this!

Help With the Reception Playlist

One of the final things the bride will have on her to-do list is coming up with a reception playlist.

Tip: Make a fun girls' night out of the task, where you blast some tunes, drink wine, eat pizza and de-stress.

Offer to Pack for the Honeymoon

If the bride is overwhelmed the week before the wedding, offer to help out with any last-minute items on their to-do list, such as packing their honeymoon suitcase or running to the store for an extra bikini or bottle of sunscreen.

Perhaps you can check in on their house once in a while, dog sit, or bring over groceries before they head home.

Key Takeaway: By helping the newlyweds out after the wedding, you're showing that you'll be there for them for life.

It’s time to celebrate the nuptials with the trip of a lifetime, whether it’s a South African safari or a balmy beach getaway.

“The honeymoon symbolizes a new beginning of life together filled with intimacy, adventure, and new experiences,” travel expert Dr. Terika L. Haynes says. “This can serve as a catalyst to a lifetime of romance.”

Keep Everything Moving

While there's a planner or coordinator to take the helm when it comes to the wedding-day timeline—including all the events leading up to the wedding

—you should still make an effort to pencil everything in.

Key Takeaway: It may be hard to swallow, but however the maid of honor organizes her personal life, she should integrate reminders for her maid-of-honor duties. For example, if you use a Google calendar, add check-in dates for bachelorette planning, checking in with the bride, and sending reminders to the bridal party.

Have Fun

While your primary responsibility to the bride is to lend an extra set of hands, don't forget to pencil in some fun, too.

From an afternoon spent getting mani-pedis to a full-blown girls' night out, the bride is first and foremost your best friend, and that's the role you should take most seriously during the planning process.


Maid of Honor Duties on the Wedding Day

You've reached the wedding day!

Once you've completed all your pre-wedding tasks, your role as maid of honor will be put to the test for the main event. LUCKILY, the duties aren't too labor-intensive and will only require you to be highly attentive on the big day.

The Go-To Person

The wedding day is usually a busy one with lots of moving pieces and many times a ton of questions. It is the job of the MOH to make sure the bride does not get overwhelmed or inundated with questions.

Tip: It is best if the MOH can be the point person for any questions or concern on the big day so the bride stays happy and calm.

Keep The Wedding Party Fed

It can often be a long day of getting ready with hair and makeup and the last thing anyone wants is to have a bridal party that is hungry. The MOH should coordinate with the bride about what sort of snacks or food she can have ordered in so everyone is well nourished as they get ready.

Tip: No one loves a hangry bridal crew!

Provide Emotional Support

First and foremost, your role should be to keep the bride as calm as possible by providing emotional support.

Weddings are an emotional time. A bride designates her maid or maid of honor as her most cherished confidant to share in all the emotions of planning and celebrating a wedding.

Tip: Alternatively, you'll also want to help the bride relish in all the excitement. Keep the energy up by popping a bottle of Champagne and appetizers while getting ready and having a toast with the entire bride squad before the ceremony.

Make Sure the Bride Remembers to Eat

Throughout the day—and before they leave the bridal suite—you should check in periodically to see if the bride needs something to nibble on. While she may be too excited to think about food, a protein-rich snack will help fend off hunger pains.

The bride might not have a proper meal until the reception later, so a little morning sustenance will go a long way on this marathon day.

Tip: Ask them to share some of their go-to snacks (be it croissants, potato chips, or granola bars) so that you can have the bridal suite fully stocked.

Be on Drink Patrol

If the bridesmaids plan on sipping some bubbly with the bride while they get glam, it's the maid of honor's duty to ensure everyone enjoys the moment but doesn't overindulge. Make sure there's water and snacks readily available, too.

Tip: Remember, you still have very important duties ahead, so make sure to watch yourself too!

Assist the Mother of the Bride

Don't forget about the mother of the bride!

From lending a hand with her hair and makeup to shuttling her water, snacks, and sips of Champagne, the mom of the bride has needs, too.

Tip: If you or the bride suspect that she may get in the way of things, be sure to also have a list of backup plans to keep her busy. Activities may include greeting arriving guests, relaxing with her friends for a pre-ceremony cocktail, or doing a final walk-through to ensure all the décor is set.

Deliver The Wedding Day Gift

The Bride & Groom will have one more present to buy! & it will be your job to deliver the gifts while keeping the Bride & Groom from seeing each other.

Not only do they need to promise to love them for better or worse, but they should get each other a special wedding day gift. After all, it’s tradition for newlyweds to exchange gifts on the big day. While it doesn't have to be expensive, it must come from the heart.

Tip: Keep in mind, as the MOH you will need to keep the both of them from seeing each other before the ceremony! Touch base with the wedding planner or coordinator to make sure the two don't cross paths before the dedicated moment. If the couple opts to exchange gifts ahead of the wedding, do them a favor by making the exchange swift and smooth.

Help the Bride Get Dressed

It's no small task to assist the bride as they get into possibly the most expensive and elaborate gown they'll ever wear in their life. Thus, you'll want to be certain everything is laid out in advance, from undergarments to shoes to jewelry, so there's no last-minute scrambling to find those heirloom earrings or an extra pair of pantyhose.

Tip: Before the wedding, it’s a good idea to learn how to bustle the bride’s gown—her bridal salon or seamstress can give a quick tutorial if you’re able to attend a dress fitting. Bustling the bride’s gown will help keep her dress’ train clean and make her dress more comfortable to dance in.

Provide Assistance in the Restroom

This isn't the most glamorous task, but the bride will appreciate it. They'll likely need a little help getting their dress, heels, and hair into the restroom for a final go before the ceremony begins.

Tip: Be silly! It'll be a moment full of laughter and surely some tricky maneuvers, but it sure gives new meaning to the term BFF.

Keep the Wedding Rings Safe

During the ceremony, typically it's one of the best man's duties to hold onto the wedding bands until it comes time for vows to be exchanged. But there's a good chance you'll be in charge of safekeeping one of those precious rings at some point on the big day.

Tip: Be sure to guard them with your life.

Take Care of the Bouquet

The maid of honor should be responsible for holding both her own and the bride’s bouquets during the ceremony—particularly during the exchange of the rings. The bridal bouquet can be pretty heavy, so enlist a fellow bridesmaid if you need to take a break from holding the bouquet during the ceremony.

Tip: Once the bride walks down the aisle, help them out by volunteering to hold their bundle of blooms. After they say "I do," you can give the bouquet back once it's time to walk up the aisle.

Be The witnesses for the signing of marriage license.

Right after the ceremony, the officiant and the newlyweds will sign the marriage license. Remember, you're a huge part of this!

Tip: Not all states require a witness for the marriage license but many do. It is very common for the MOH and the Best Man to be the witnesses for when the couple signs the marriage license.

Round Up Family & Friends for Photo Sessions

Once the happy couple has all of their portraits done it is time to get the family and friends photos taken. Often times this will take place during the cocktail part of the evening so it is the MOH’s job to work with the photographer and round up the important people for the pictures.

Tip: If the bride had provided the photographer with a shot list for the day the MOH can ask for a copy which will allow her to stay one step ahead of who is needed for pictures

Keep the Bride Hydrated

The last thing anyone wants to encounter is a hangry bride. Make sure that the bride eats and be sure to refresh her water glass throughout the night to keep her hydrated.

Full of excitement and big-day jitters, the bride truly might forget to drink water or eat some breakfast. Remind her to hydrate throughout the day to keep her energy up (and hopefully avoid a hangover at brunch the next day).

Tip: Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated, too!

Dance With the Bride

You've made it to the reception when hopefully all the planning stress has melted away, so now it's time to celebrate on the ballroom floor. Grab the bride, your OG dance partner, for plenty of boogying to your favorite jams.

KEY TIP: Have fun!

This is a special day for you too, so don’t forget to have fun with your best friend or sister on her wedding day! So dance the night away in celebration of an amazing day and a job well done!


In Conclusion

The most important duty as maid of honor is being a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, or comedic relief to the bride throughout this exciting (and sometimes stressful) journey.

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