You’ll have to choose your maid of honour carefully–it’s a huge responsibility and there are quite a few qualities she needs to have to make her the perfect choice. She’ll need to be a good listener and advisor; she’ll need to be organised and willing to help; she’ll need to be able to take charge; and, most importantly, you’ll have to trust her. She’s going to be there for you every step of the way. Here are 10 roles and duties of the maid of honour!
1) Your maid of honour will be there to help you with the wedding planning. This may involve aiding your decisions on everything from your colour scheme, venue, and cake, to registering for wedding gifts, organising transport and accommodation, visiting wedding fairs, attending rehearsals, dress shopping, and beyond. Your maid of honour must be honest in her feedback—if a dress or hairstyle doesn’t suit you, or you’re being a tiny bit too excessive in your spending, she should tell you.
2) Similarly, your maid of honour may help you in writing your guest invitations. Then she’ll follow up with any guests who haven’t RSVPd. This is important, because you and your partner will need a final headcount ready for organising guest seating arrangements, catering, and wedding favours.
3) The maid of honour usually plans the hen party—this includes choosing the location and activities, creating the guest list, collecting any gifts, and organising money collection (because, usually, the cost of a hen do is split between the attendees). The maid of honour may also organise the bridal shower.
The Wedding Day
4) On the wedding day, the maid of honour will take care of you and lead the bridesmaids in their tasks. She should make sure you eat something for breakfast, and that you keep your fluids up. She’ll be there to keep you calm and in good spirits, and make sure you don’t have too much celebratory champagne. Of course you can have your celebratory drink while getting ready for the ceremony, perhaps to calm the nerves, but you don’t want to be stumbling down the aisle. Your maid of honour will be there to tell you when enough is enough, and will have lots of water on hand for you to drink. Aiding you in the bathroom might also come into play if you have difficulty with your dress.
5) One of your maid of honour’s largest roles will be helping you to get ready on the day of your wedding. And she should have emergency accessories with her just in case—a sewing kit, safety pins, mints, tissues…a shoulder to cry on. If things start to get a little overwhelming, she’ll make sure you get some quiet alone time if you need it.
6) Your maid of honour will ensure everything is as it should be—if possible, she should visit the ceremony and reception rooms to make sure all is well, and she should really take charge of everything. She’ll answer any questions from family, guests and suppliers (such as the photographer, the caterer, the band, etc); she’ll ferry messages back and forth between people; and she’ll give out any specifications (such as any particular photos the couple wants to have taken). Your maid of honour will then ensure everyone gets to where they’re needed on time and, before the ceremony, may even organise the “first look” between the bride and groom.
7) The maid of honour, as if this all wasn’t enough, has enormous responsibilities in the wedding ceremony too. She’ll sort your dress before you walk down the aisle, and then again when you’ve reached the end. Traditionally, she also takes care of the groom’s ring before the vows and then looks after the bride’s bouquet. Then, as an official witness, she’ll sign the marriage certificate with you.
8) It’s no rest for the weary come the wedding reception. With the bridesmaids, your maid of honour will be a hostess, showing guests to their seats, collecting any wedding gifts, etc, and it’s becoming more and more popular for her to make a toast as well!
9) Nowadays it’s traditional that the maid of honour will dance with the best man, and perhaps with the other groomsmen too.
10) Your maid of honour will help you change out of your dress, and if you’re to head off immediately for your honeymoon she’ll assist you in preparing to leave too. E.g. ensuring you have everything packed, including your all-important passport (do you know everything you need to about how to honeymoon in your married name?). Then, it might also be left up to her to arrange dress storage (see some of the best wedding dress storage solutions and travel cases here), as well as organise wedding gifts from throughout the day.
Whew! I’m tired just thinking about all the duties your maid of honour will have to shoulder! But you can read on with 9 Things to Ask Your Chief Bridesmaid to Do and 9 Things to Ask Your Chief Bridesmaid NOT to Do! Also, although being asked to be a bridesmaid is an enormous honour for many people, the hen party, gifts, and any shopping sprees (etc) can end up costing bridesmaids-to-be quite a bit of money; see out Cost Saving Tips for Bridesmaids for some great money-saving tips.
Furthermore, if you haven’t asked your sister or best friend to be your maid of honour yet (or you just need some ideas for the perfect gift) check out our collection of 20 of the Best Bridesmaid Proposal Ideas to ask “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?”