Maid of Honor Expectations
Being asked to be the maid of honor is a wonderful, well, honor! You have been entrusted with the best tasks when helping one of your best friends on the biggest day of her life. It’s time to celebrate!
But there are a lot of responsibilities that come with being the maid of honor. Think of it like this…the bride is the owner, the maid of honor is the manager and the bridesmaids are the employees. The bride calls all the shots and makes all the decisions for the wedding. Your job is to make those decisions happen. You can choose to do the jobs yourself or delegate to the bridesmaids, but you are ultimately responsible for the outcome, so don’t do this job lightly.
Plan the bachelorette party
This is one of the really exciting things that you get to do all on your own. You can choose to have input from the bride or not. It’s really up to you. Make is a weekend event or just an evening out with the girls. The possibilities are endless.
One of your duties as maid of honor is to go shopping with the bride and assist her in her decisions. Even the little things will make a big difference to the bride. The shoes, veil, jewelry, vow books…everything she’ll need for the big day will need to be decided. Help her choose colors that compliment each other and stick to the theme of the wedding.
Host a bridal shower
Before the wedding day, you’ll be in charge of hosting the bridal shower. Work with the bride for an invite list and make sure all the bridesmaids know about the shower as well as the mother of the bride and groom. Be sure to keep track of any gifts received so the bride can send out thank you cards after the shower.
Wedding Dress Selection
One of the most fun things to do when preparing for a wedding is trying on dresses. Not only will the bride need to find that perfect wedding gown, but she will also need to decide what color and style the bridesmaids will be wearing. Focus on the bridal gown first and help her find THE dress. She may try on one dress and know it’s the right one. She may try on twenty or thirty and still not feel like she’s found the perfect dress. Be there to encourage her and be sure to let her know when something isn’t working. If you see a part of the dress that you KNOW she won’t like, speak up and let her know about it. After she’s found her perfect dress, you get to try on bridesmaid dresses and model them for her. Be sure to keep in mind the cost as not every bridesmaid will be thrilled about the cost, no matter what it may be.
As I mentioned above, you are playing the role of the manager of the wedding. Part of that is to make sure the bridesmaids know what they need to do. It’s your job to communicate with the bridesmaids before the wedding and the day of the wedding. You’ll need to direct them to the right dress to purchase as well as any other requirements such as jewelry, shoes, hair styles, etc.
Prepare emergency kit
Every bride needs a wedding day emergency kit. It’s your job to prepare this kit and make sure it is brought wherever the bride goes on the wedding day. Talk to the bride and be sure to include these items at a bare minimum. They have saved the day at almost every wedding I have ever photographed.
Help the bride get dressed
Unless the bride wants her mom to help her dress, it’s your job. You’ll want to practice with the bride prior to the wedding day to make sure you know how it all works. It may seem like something simple, but the buttons on wedding dresses can get quite complex and the ribbons for corset gowns can be tricky to get just right. You’ll also want to practice bustling the dress. After the formal pictures are done and before the reception, the bride will need her dress to be bustled. If you don’t know how to bustle the dress (every dress is different) you might spend a lot of time during the reception searching through the layers of the dress looing for a way to bustle it.
Keep things tidy
Another duty of the maid of honor is to keep the bridal suite clean and tidy. This serves several purposes. First of all, the bride will want the area clean for pictures. She might not notice the Aquafina bottles in the background on the wedding day, but when she gets the pictures back, she’ll see them all. Secondly, the bride and groom should come to a clean area after the long wedding day without having to worry about tidying up. This also extends into the following day when they are preparing to depart for the honeymoon. They shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning up the mess that the bridal party left the day before.
Assist the bride
On the wedding day, you are the bride’s personal assistant. Your job is to make sure she has food and water and anything else she needs. You can enlist the bridesmaids to help you with this, but you need to make sure she has what she needs before she even knows she needs it.
Be the messenger
If the bride and groom are not seeing each other before the ceremony, you are to be the go-between for them. It’s your job to pass messages between them and make sure they are still able to communicate with each other as needed.
“A good friend is like a four leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.”
Be the contact person
You are the official contact person for the wedding. Be sure you know who the vendors are…catering, photography, video, officiant, florist, venue contact, rentals, etc. The bride won’t be able to help you on the wedding day and you want to make the day as stress-free as possible for her. It’s a good idea to reach out to the vendors a week or so before the wedding to let them know you are the contact person. You’ll also be the contact person for guests. It’s rare that guests need to contact someone about the wedding, but if they do, you’re it!
Fluff the train
During the ceremony, you’ll be in charge of making sure the bride’s dress looks as amazing as possible. When she gets to the alter, you’ll be in charge of spreading out the train and holding the bouquet. Just don’t forget to give the bouquet back at the end of the ceremony!
Assist the bride’s mom
Your job is also to assist the bride’s mom on the wedding day. Doing little things for her like making sure she has water and snacks will make her day, I promise. She wants to feel a little pampered too.
Sign the marriage license
You and the best man will likely serve as witnesses for the wedding and will need to sign the marriage license. Listen carefully to the officiant’s instructions as the marriage license is an official document and can easily be rejected by the county if done incorrectly.
Give a speech
This is the most daunting of all the tasks. Traditionally, the maid of honor gives a speech right after the best man. Be ready to share a funny story and some heartwarming words for the bride and groom. Keep your speech short and be sure to practice with family and friends.