As the sister or the best friend of the bride, chances are you would take on the role of a maid of honor. As such, you know the bride pretty well and have witnessed her love story unfold from the time they first met right to the day they have decided to tie the knot. As her maid of honor, especially if it is your first time to have this role, it would be important to have a good understanding of what’s expected of you.
You know the bride inside and out and feel both the excitement and nervousness she’s experiencing in anticipation of an upcoming wedding. You will be the bride’s most trusted and go to person to help with the wedding preparations, on the day of the wedding and even after the wedding day. Make sure you go through these must know duties of a maid of honor to help guide you on your new role.
Give yourself a head start before embarking on your new role. There are a lot of ways you can get organized in terms of making the coordination easy between you and the bridal team. It is a must to set up a group chat with the bridesmaids for easy coordination whether that’s trying on dresses or organizing pre-wedding parties for the bride and groom.
- Lead the bridal party
Your role as maid of honor starts by the time the bride has finalized her bridesmaid list. This signals that it’s time to help the bride plan. You will be her go-to person in terms of wedding or bridesmaids dress shopping sessions or fittings. Your work includes organizing schedules, booking appointments on shops or even restaurants so everyone can eat and relax after a full day of shopping or fitting. The bride may also solicit your advice when deciding on the dresses for the bridesmaids.
You are the point person of the bridesmaids should they have wedding related concerns or questions. This may include who’s paying for bridesmaid dresses, professional hair and make-up, and their accessories. Communicate with the bride on these matters and make sure it is properly addressed and cascaded to the bridesmaids. You will have to ensure that the ordering of dresses and accessories are done on time and appointments have been set and confirmed for hair and make-up.
Days before the wedding, you have to be clear on the exact time your bridesmaids need to arrive, a checklist of what they need to bring and the place to gather before the wedding.
- Attend, plan or host pre-wedding parties
The bride expects you to be present, as much as possible to pre-wedding events like the engagement party and the rehearsal dinner.
There are two important parties you would need to get involved in planning or hosting:
- Bachelorette Party - this will involve your party planning skills but one you will have to work on together with the bridesmaids. Make sure the party fits the personality of the bride and make it a memorable time for her.
- Bridal Shower - you will have to host or co-host this event again with the help of the bridesmaids. It’s a lot of work having to set the date, choose the venue, send invitations, prepare or order food and design a fun and meaningful program for the party. Delegation is key in order to have a successful bridal shower. As maid of honor, you also get to keep track of the bride’s gifts so she can send them a note of thanks.
Note that you are also in charge of informing the bridal party of the details with regards to all the pre-wedding parties.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare
In all the wedding preparations, you will be the bride’s sounding board in almost everything - color schemes, cake flavor, the shade of lipstick, and many more.
Your help may be needed in preparing and sending the invitations, organize RSVP’s, help in making DIY wedding favors, sourcing and purchasing groomsmen and bridesmaid gifts or something for the bride and groom ’s parents.
For the bride, prepare a bridal emergency kit that contains her make-up re-touch items, facial tissue, bandaids, pain reliever, safety pins, needle and thread, stain remover and many more emergency essentials. Another thing you may need to prepare is the sleepover kit, whether you’re staying with the bride or not, she will appreciate this the night before the wedding as it contains her favorite treats, cozy PJ’s, beauty treatments and even classic wedding movies.
Should there be items that need to be picked up a day before their wedding? Offer your help to collect them for the bride and groom so they do not need to stress about it.
Wedding Day Duties
- Host for the Day
Get ready to be an information center for the day. Guests, suppliers even the family of the couple will be asking all sorts of questions from the direction going to the ceremony or reception to the arrival of suppliers, parking etc. Help where you are needed and be ready to step in and act on behalf of the couple as well as their families. Try to answer concerns and issues raised to the best of your ability so you won’t have to bother the bride and groom about them.
Make sure you have all the contact list of the vendors so you can easily communicate with them. Your goal is not to make the bride stress over the details of her wedding but to keep her calm and enjoy her wedding.
2. Get ready with the bride and bridesmaids
Ensure that the bride and bridesmaids start on time and ends on time with regards to their hair and make-up. It’s your responsibility to hand out the bouquets and make sure it’s complete and properly distributed.
Make sure you travel with the bridesmaids and the mom of the bride minutes ahead before the bride leaves her hotel so that you and the bridal party can prepare for her arrival at the wedding venue.
3. Assist the Bride
Make sure that the bride was able to have a good breakfast to sustain her throughout the ceremony and reception. She may also need your assistance in wearing her gown. Provide assistance before the bride walks down the aisle by making sure she’s picture perfect. Hold her bouquet during the ceremony.
You will have to assist the bride when she needs to go to the comfort room. Be ready to do the retouch on her make-up too. Assist her when she changes her outfit. Some brides opt to wear a beautiful dress for the reception and a going-away dress by the end of the party.
- Make a Toast or Prepare a Speech
As the maid of honor, be prepared to make a toast or offer a speech for the couple. Prepare what you have to say in advance for your toast or speech to be able to communicate your message for the couple clearly. Keep it short, simple but meaningful.
- Sign the Marriage Certificate
You and the best man will be asked to sign as one of the witnesses in the couple’s marriage certificate.
- Be the solution provider for any loose ends of the wedding.
Have a list of the vendors that need to be paid and be the person they coordinate with to hand out checks. Safe keep the gifts received by the couple and ask help to have them sent in a secure place or loaded to the car of one of the friends or family members of the couple.
Make sure the wedding dress is placed back in the garment bag and free from stains and arrange on returning it to the bride after the honeymoon. Facilitate the return of hired clothes and accessories as well.
It is indeed an honor to be chosen as a maid of honor. No wonder the bride has trusted you take on this all-important role. Although your duties may vary, as some brides hire a wedding planner who can take on most of the tasks specified above, there’s certainly no substitute for the emotional support that the maid of honor can give a bride. You’ve allowed the bride to share her thoughts with you when going through an emotional crisis and you have calmed her nerves by making her laugh. Sometimes all she needs is someone to listen or just a big hug or smile from you.
What you’ve done for the bride as maid of honor has made a big difference. You have helped the couple in preparation, during and after their wedding. You have kept the problems at bay and made everyone have a fun-filled and enjoyable wedding. It is more than just a call of duty, but all is done out of love and support for a friend you are more than willing to help in order to make her wedding day extra special.