Photo: Bella Bridesmaids Memphis/Jacob & Audrey Geyer
Congratulations, you MAID it to the top! Your bestie, sister, or cousin just asked you to be the maid of honor at her wedding, and you know what that means:
You are now the bride’s shoulder to lean on through the whirlwind of weddinghood!
It’s true — being asked to be a maid of honor is an absolute honor. But with great power comes great responsibility.
Keep reading because we’re about to get specific on your maid of honor duties.
Tip: Remember that all weddings are different. Choose from this list to best suit you, the couple, and their big day!
Offer Help Before the Wedding
Photo: Bella Bridesmaids Birmingham/Rachel & Noah Ray
What’s the best part about helping the bride-to-be plan her wedding?
SHOPPING, of course!
In addition to shopping for bridesmaid dresses, she’ll almost certainly ask you to come wedding dress shopping when it’s time to pick THE DRESS.
She might also ask you to help her shop for her day-of accessories, shoes, and jewelry. Or even groomsmen gifts, flower girl and ring bearer gifts, or a wedding day gift for her spouse-to-be!
Don’t be shocked if the bride asks you to help her choose wedding colors and decor, too! (It’s always nice to have an extra set of eyes when picking out table linens, centerpieces, and flowers.)
Each bride is different, meaning she might lean on you for support when wedding planning for some, all, or none of these elements. So, as her maid of honor, just let her know she can rely on you for help in whatever way she needs!
Let us help you find the perfect bridesmaid dress for that upcoming wedding. Check out our entire collection of bridesmaid dresses!
Coordinate Important Pre-Wedding Events
Photo: Bella Bridesmaids Richmond/Michael and Carina
The bride may or may not ask for your assistance in planning various aspects of the wedding day. Yet, she’ll definitely rely on you to coordinate and host some of the pre-wedding parties!
Aside from your duties on the actual wedding day, set aside some time to plan (and attend) a few pre-wedding celebrations!
The Bridal Shower
Usually, the bride’s family members coordinate the bridal shower. Yet, depending on how much help she needs, the mother of the bride may ask you to help her with some of the details. That includes sending out invites, tracking RSVPs, or confirming the venue.
If the bride’s family isn’t involved, you and the other bridesmaids might want to take it upon yourselves to throw her a shower.
During the festivities, sit by her side as she opens gifts. That way, you can keep track of who brought what so she can send proper thank-you notes afterward.
Related: Can You Have Two Maid of Honors?
The Bachelorette Party
The bachelorette party itself can be a blast, but the planning process can be too!
Here’s how you pull it off:
Do what the bride wants to do.
If she wants a chill day getting manis and pedis, do that. If she wants a wild night out with endless shots and dancing on tables, go for it.
The bachelorette party should be designed for her, from the bridal suite to the activities. Don’t let any of the other bridesmaids go rogue and try to plan a party that suits them more than the bride.
It’s also a good idea to manage financial expectations with the rest of the bridal party. Everyone should share in the party as well as the cost!
The Rehearsal Dinner
Okay, so this is one pre-wedding event you don’t actually have to plan — the happy couple will do that together, often with the groom's family.
Just be ready to step in and help if need be. For example, the bride might ask you to do something small — like calling the venue to confirm a headcount or arranging transportation to and from the restaurant. Just let her know you’re there to help her in any way she needs!
Read: Bridesmaid Expectations: Matron of Honor Duties
On the Big Day
Photo: Bella Bridesmaids/Daniel Maldonado
The bachelorette party, bridal shower, and other pre-wedding events are just appetizers for the big day. Instead, think of them as an internship for your real job of playing MOH: that’s when you really get to step up and shine in all your glory.
You’ve helped her plan for this day for months. Now, you just have to keep the wheels turnin’.
Here’s how to take charge and be the best maid or of honor ever on the big day:
1. Keep Her Calm
Brides have a lot to think about. So one of your maid of honor responsibilities is to do what you can to help her relax.
Keep the mood light, get the laughter going, and put on a playlist of her favorite songs. Also, make sure to keep any difficult bridesmaids in check. (There’s always one that asks if she can have her hair or makeup redone!)
2. Bring an Emergency Kit
Pack a wedding survival kit with bandages, fashion tape, a sewing needle, thread, and anything else she might need at the last minute. Staying calm and confident comes from being prepared.
3. Keep the Other Bridesmaids On-Task and On-Time
Do your best to rally the troops to stick to the timeline laid out for before, during, and after the ceremony.
4. Hold the Groom’s Ring
If there’s no ring bearer, you’ll be the one to hold her partner’s ring while she walks down the aisle. Then, hand it off to her when they exchange vows.
5. Make Sure She Looks Good
Keep the bride’s train, wedding gown, and veil intact as she walks down the aisle and while saying her vows. Carry her lipstick or lipgloss so she can apply a fresh coat after the kiss and before taking photos.
6. Hold Her Flowers.
While the couple says their vows, you’ll be the one to hold the bride’s bouquet.
7. Give a Speech at the Reception
The maid of honor speech is your chance to shine, show the newlyweds how much you love them, and entertain the crowd!
If you’re nervous about speaking in front of all those wedding guests, prepare your speech a few weeks ahead of time so you have time to practice it.
8. Have Fun!
Don’t forget to eat some food, spend a little time on the dance floor, and enjoy yourself! The more relaxed and in the moment you are, the calmer the bride will be. This is a huge day for her, and helping her celebrate it is what it’s all about!
Are you still shopping for the PERFECT dress for the upcoming wedding? Find bridesmaid dresses near you!
There’s no doubt about it — being MOH brings lots of responsibility. Every bride needs a right hand to help, so before you accept the title, make sure you’re up for the challenge!
But remember this:
Just because you have a hand in planning the pre-wedding events doesn’t mean you have to pay for them all.
So get excited, put on some comfortable running shoes for all that shopping, and get ready to immerse yourself in your sister’s/best friend’s/cousin’s wedding. If she’s someone you truly love, this experience will be one that you’ll remember for a lifetime!
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