If you've landed on this page, chances are you're gearing up for your first rodeo as a Maid of Honor (MOH). Whether she's your cousin, sister, or closest friend, first of all, a big virtual high-five to you for taking on this special role! Being a maid of honor is like being the bride's right-hand superstar, and it’s a privilege that comes with a few responsibilities.
No shocker here, but being this role has evolved quite a bit from the good ol' days. But, even though the responsibilities have taken a modern twist, the heart of the matter remains the same: being there for the bride. So, what's that all about?
Sure, each wedding has its own unique flair, tailored to the bride's wishes, but there are some key tasks that come with the territory, no matter what kind of wedding is in the works.
"The maid of honor should do this, the maid of honor might do that..."
If it's your first time as the bride's right-hand woman, don't you worry, we’ve got your back! In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about being the maid of honor– from pre-wedding duties to the big day itself. So, let's dive right in and get you all set to rock that MOH role!
Who Is the Maid of Honor?
Pause for a moment and let's clear up who the maid of honor truly is. Way back when, being a bridesmaid wasn't open to just anyone. They had some strict criteria: they couldn't be a married woman, they had to be virgins and younger than the bride, and they had to be of a lower social standing.
However, the exception to this old-school setup was the maid of honor. Back in Roman times, this role wasn't just about ticking boxes. Nope, the maid of honor was all about being a shining example of piety and obedience, showing the bride how it's done. (However, these days, you can even be married and still be a maid of honor, and without having to be called a matron of honor).
Over the years though, all those requirements changed, and now maids of honor are more than just a symbol of obedience and devotion to religion.
These days, you're not just any bridesmaid: you're the bride's confidante, her partner in crime, and her all-around rock. Being the maid of honor means you're the bride's right-hand woman, accompanying her through every wedding planning twist and turn. It's like the head bridesmaids, but it's more than just a title – it's an honor (pun intended) that comes with a bouquet of responsibilities... and a bouquet of flowers, too!
Maid of Honor Responsibilities Before the Wedding
Hold onto your flower crown, because this is where the pre-wedding fun begins! Before the big day arrives, you're basically the bride's chief happiness officer and there are a couple maid of honor duties you'll need to deal with before the wedding ceremony and wedding reception.
So here are a couple of things on the maid of honor checklist you may be asked to do.
Rally the Bridal Party
The role of the maid of honor typically includes being the go-to person for any inquiries or worries from the fellow bridesmaids. This often involves initiating and guiding the communications, whether by email or text, and answering any questions the bridesmaids may have.
And the maid of honor should also help make sure everything goes smoothly within the bridal party. Here's a tip: Let everyone know that you're their main contact for any queries, thoughts, or even if they just need to chat. You're their friendly problem-solver! And remember, if things get a bit tricky and a solution seems like a unicorn, that's when you can loop in the bride for some assistance. Your knack for handling these situations with finesse will totally help make the whole event a wonderful success!
Craft the Perfect Bridal Shower
While sometimes the bridal shower is thrown by the bride's mom, the maid of honor might take it over, or be tasked to help. From brainstorming creative themes and selecting the ideal venue to curating activities that bring joy to the bride-to-be, your role is to ensure every detail reflects her personality and preferences.
Whether it's coordinating decorations, organizing games -- like the Newlywed Game (which is made more fun and easier thanks to Celebrate.buzz) -- or arranging delicious treats, your dedication will shine through in every aspect of the celebration. Get ready to bring smiles, laughter, and cherished memories to the bride as you plan a shower that truly captures the spirit of this special journey.
Manage the Lists of Who Gave What
In case the bride chooses to unwrap presents during the bridal shower, it's important to maintain a record of the givers and their bridal shower or even wedding gifts. This will prove incredibly valuable for the bride sets out on crafting her gratitude-filled thank-you notes, and having a well-organized list to refer to will be a great advantage.
Plan a Fun Bachelorette
Before her big day, it's expected that the maid of honor organizes the bachelorette! While bachelorette parties these days are often associated with wild fun and excitement, they're actually all about tailoring the experience to the bride's tastes. Contemporary bachelorette gatherings are about bringing together the bride's nearest and dearest, whether it involves a lively night out in her hometown or a laid-back destination bachelorette party in a place like Cabo.
Then, plan activities that the bride-to-be will adore, ensuring she has a blast before the big "I do." Whether you're crafting an agenda full of adventures, relaxation, or a mix of both, or you're setting the mood with games and heartwarming surprises, your dedication will turn the bachelorette party into a truly special moment for the bride and her besties. It really is just about making memories that match her style!
Did we mention you can play the Newlywed Game at a Bachelorette party too? Get ready to celebrate the exciting journey ahead.
Help with Wedding Dress Shopping
As the maid of honour, your role is pivotal in helping the bride find her wedding dress. During the wedding dress shopping appointments, you'll provide the necessary support as she explores various dress options and searches for that perfect wedding dress. Your input and encouragement will make this experience truly special for her.
Pay For Your Bridesmaid Dress
No special treatment here! The maid of honor, just like the rest of the bridesmaids, also joins in on the dress payment party. Being the leading lady in the bride's crew comes with the same dress-buying excitement and responsibility. It's all hands on deck to make sure everyone looks fabulous for the big day.
Assist with Any Wedding Details or Decor
While the bride may have hired a wedding planner, there may be some tasks she's chosen to take on for herself. Your extra set of hands and creative mind will be invaluable as you help turn the bride's vision into reality. In fact, when it comes to all things DIY (if that's her plan), the maid of honor should reach out to the bride and see if she could use some help with tasks (especially last-minute details) like addressing the wedding invitations, securing and liaising with wedding vendors, or crafting centerpieces and wedding favors.
If she's open to it, propose organizing a dedicated wedding planning and crafting night. Imagine an evening filled with creativity, laughter, and of course, her favorite bubbly – a surefire way to get things done with style!
Be a Source for Emotional Support
Above all, be her emotional anchor. As the bride navigates the sometimes choppy waters of the wedding-planning process, you're the one who'll be there with a life vest (read: a box of tissues) and a listening ear. Need to vent about seating arrangements at 2 AM? You're her gal!
Potential Maid of Honor Duties on the Wedding Day
Fast forward to the main event: the wedding day! Today's the day where the bride and groom take centre stage, and here's how you can help them on the big day:
Prep the Bride and Keep Her Calm
The bride might have some butterflies, and it's maid of honor's duty to help flutter them away. Assist her as she gets ready, ensuring her wedding gown is flawlessly draped, her makeup is camera-ready, and her nerves are (hopefully) at ease. A deep breath and a reassuring smile can work wonders!
Be on Drink Duty
If the bridesmaids are planning to enjoy some bubbly while getting all dolled up in the bridal suite with the bride, it's up to the maid of honor to make sure everyone has a blast without going overboard. And, don't forget to have plenty of water and snacks on hand – you know, just in case!
Sign the Marriage License
At some weddings, the happy couple may often sign their marriage license on the spot. As a the maid of honor, you may be tasked with signing the license as a witness of the union between the bride and groom.
Be the Emergency Kit Extraordinaire
You're about to become the MacGyver of the bridal party. Put together a trusty emergency kit with essentials like safety pins, blotting paper, fashion tape, and a dab of perfume. You'll be the go-to fixer-upper for any unexpected wedding day hiccups.
Keep the Train Running
During the ceremony and reception, you might be tasked with being the wedding coordinator extraordinaire (if the bride didn't hire one). You'll be liaising with the photographer, whispering cues to the DJ, and ensuring the wedding timeline flows seamlessly. You're like the invisible hand that keeps the wedding magic on track.
Act as a Hostess for the Reception
In addition, the maid of honor can also shine as a hostess during the reception - that way the bride and groom can focus on having fun and saying hi to all their wedding guest. Being a hostess, this might involve guiding guests to their seats, assisting them in finding the restrooms, offering direction for gift placement, and extending an invitation to participate in a video guestbook like Celebrate.buzz's so guests can leave heartfelt messages and well-wishes.
In fact, post-wedding you could even designate yourself as the Video Guestbook editor, by using Celebrate.buzz's easy to use editor to arrange clips, add music, GIFs, and export into a final video montage that the happy couple can treasure for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Being a Maid of Honor
- What is the first thing that needs to be done when it comes to maid of honor duties? The maid of honor should kick things off by having a heart-to-heart with the bride. Understand her vision, her preferences, and any specific tasks she wants your help with. Starting on the same page sets the tone for a smooth MOH journey.
- How Do You Introduce Yourself as the maid of honor? Keep it breezy and warm. At events, you can easily tell wedding guests, “Hi, I'm [Your Name], the maid of honor and [Bride’s Name]’s partner-in-wedding-crime!” It’s an easy icebreaker that helps people connect the dots.
- Why Is the maid of honor special? You're more than a bridesmaid – you're the bride's confidante and memory-maker. From the cake tasting giggles to the pre-wedding jitters, you're there for it all, making the journey even more beautiful.
- Does the maid of honor give a speech? Usually! At most wedding receptions the best man and maid of honor (and others who choose to) take centre stage. So, if you're afraid of public speaking, start prepping, writing, and practicing your speech ahead of time. And if you need ideas on what to say, use your maid of honor speech to share a personal story, sprinkle in some humor, and wish the newlyweds all the happiness in the world. It might be terrifying but if you speak from the heart, you can do no wrong!
So, dear future maid of honor, gear up for this thrilling adventure. You're about to take on a role that'll have you dancing, laughing, and maybe shedding a tear or two. Get ready to write your chapter in the bride's fairytale with grace, flair, and a dash of pure magic.