You MAID it to the top! Your bestie, sister, or cousin just asked you to be the maid of honor at her wedding! Congratulations! You just became the bride’s shoulder to lean on through the whirlwind of wedding-hood.
It’s true — being asked to be a maid of honor is, well, an absolute honor. But with great power comes great responsibility.
Let’s get specific on those responsibilities! Keep reading for an extensive list of maid of honor duties.
Tip: Remember that all weddings are different. Pick and choose from this list to best suit you, the couple, and their big day!
Offer Help Before the Wedding
Photo: Cameron Flaisch Photography
What’s one fun part of helping the bride plan her wedding?
SHOPPING, of course!
You’ll need to go shopping for bridesmaid dresses. And she’ll almost certainly ask you to come wedding dress shopping. But the retail rounds don’t end there!
There are so many other things that go into wedding planning. She could likely use a solid wing-person for many of them.
She might love your input in finishing the bridal look — jewelry, shoes, veil, and accessories.
It’s always nice to have an extra set of eyes and style discretion you trust when choosing the wedding colors, and decor, too.
This could also include weighing in on table linens, centerpieces, and perhaps even the wedding cake.
There’s even a chance you’ll find yourself picking out groomsmen gifts, recommending DJs, and writing out wedding invitations.
Each bride is different. Some may not have a lot of support from partners, parents, or vendors in making these decisions. She could involve you in some, none, or all of these items, but it’s nice to know what’s on her to-do list so you can offer some support and company along the way.
Let us help you find the perfect dress.
Coordinate Important Pre-Wedding Events
Some brides might not need help in planning the actual reception. But ALL brides hope their maid of honor will help coordinate and host some of the pre-wedding parties.
Aside from your duties on the actual wedding day, these are the things you absolutely can’t slack on:
The Bridal Shower
Usually, the bride’s family likes to coordinate the bridal shower. Depending on how much help she needs, the mother of the bride may ask you to give her a hand in planning.
Your duties might include anything from sending out invites and tracking RSVPs to confirming the venue details. Being available to help in the ways they need is number one.
If the bride’s family isn’t involved, you and the other bridesmaids might want to take it upon yourselves to put on a nice little party for her.
During the shower, you should be by her side as she’s opening gifts. It’s up to you to keep track of who brought what so she can send proper thank-you notes afterward.
The Bachelorette Party
The bachelorette party itself can be a blast, but the planning process can be a challenge.
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.
From the bridal suite to the activities, make sure that the bachelorette party is designed for her. You can’t let the other bridesmaids go rogue and plan a party that suits them more than the bride.
Just be upfront with the schedule and manage financial expectations, so there are no surprises.
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 times with the groom's family.
But be ready to step in and help if need be. The bride might task you with something as small as calling the venue to confirm a headcount. If the groom isn’t that involved, she might need you to help her create a short list for them to consider for the perfect location.
Related: How to Hold a Wedding Rehearsal
On the Big Day
Photo: Clapp Studios
The bachelorette party, bridal shower, and other pre-wedding events are just appetizers for the big day. Think of them as an internship for your real job: that’s when you really have to step up and shine in all your glory.
You’ve helped her grow this day from the seed, now you just have to keep the wheels turnin’.
Here’s how to take charge and make sure everything goes smoothly:
1. Keep her calm.
Brides have a lot to think about, so do what you can to help her relax. Keep the mood light, get the laughter going, and put on a playlist of her faves. Also, make sure to keep that one bridesmaid in-check (you know … the one who’s asked to have her hair re done three times).
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.
Try to rally the troops to stick to the timeline laid out for before, during, and after the ceremony.
4. Hold the groom’s ring.
It’s your job to hold her partner’s ring while she walks down the aisle, and hand it off to her when they exchange vows.
5. Make sure she looks good.
Keep her dress, train, and veil intact as she walks down the aisle and while she’s saying her vows. A fresh coat of lipstick and lipgloss after the ceremony and just before pictures is key. And of course, a quick check that her teeth are clear!
6. Hold her flowers.
Be prepared to take the bride’s bouquet while she’s saying her vows.
7. Give a speech at the reception.
Put some thought into a nice toast to the couple. Make sure you share a few thoughtful words to show them how much they mean to you. Start preparing a few weeks ahead of time to help ease the butterflies.
8. Have fun!
Don’t forget to eat some food, spend some time on the dance floor, and enjoy yourself! The more relaxed and in the moment you are, the calmer the bride will be. Take time to celebrate together!
Related: Can You Have Two Maid of Honors?
There’s no doubt about it — being MOH brings lots of responsibility. Every bride needs a right hand to help and, let’s face it, some couples need more than others. Before you accept, 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.
When it comes to the shower and bachelorette party, the family or entire bridal party should chip in to cover the costs.
And when it comes to buying items for the wedding itself … well that’s on the bride and groom. No one should expect you to pay for the cake just because you’re at the cake tasting!
So buckle up, put on some comfortable running shoes, and get ready to immerse yourself in your sister’s/best friend’s/cousin’s wedding. If it’s someone you truly love, you’ll have enough fun to outweigh any of the short-term stress!