Everybody knows that the Maid of Honor is important--but exactly what does she do behind the scenes? You'd be surprised how many brides-to-be haven't the faintest idea what the Maid of Honor should actually be doing during the planning process and throughout the wedding day. Being a Maid of Honor is more than its title; it comes with a list of important responsibilities that are vital to the success of the wedding!
This blog post is dedicated to educating the very busy bride-to-be on what she can expect from a committed Maid of Honor. And for those still choosing who to designate as her Maid of Honor--perhaps this list will help you identify who of your closest friends would be most comfortable playing the role.
(In this post, the maid of honor is referred to as she/her for simplicity purposes, but this list also applies to male honor attendants as necessary).
Plans and organizes the wedding shower. This is usually done with the help of the bride’s mother and bridesmaids. At the shower, she keeps a list of who gave which gifts to make thank you cards easier to personalize.
Helps organize invitations, RSVP's, and reception guest favors. This is especially crucial if the guest list is quite large. The bride can't be expected to do all of this on her own! Tasks like this can also be shared by the bridesmaids.
Spread’s word to guests about where the couple has set up their gift registry. This is important because it is not polite for the gift registry to be listed on the invitations. It is the wedding party's job to spread the word--at least until the registry is listed on the wedding website (if one is made).
Helps organize the bridesmaids. She gives out friendly reminders to place dress orders, have alterations completed, and have shoes and accessories ready well before the wedding date. She also attends the dress fittings, including the bride's, and may help the bride shop for her gown.
Participates in the bridesmaid lunch, the ceremony rehearsal, and the rehearsal dinner. Just as the rest of the bridesmaids do.
Attends all wedding-party related meetings, appointments, and organized meals. She also makes sure the bridesmaids are there as needed.
Helps decorate the reception hall if needed.
Assists the bride with anything necessary as she's getting ready for the ceremony. (Hair and makeup, getting into her dress, etc.)
Makes sure the bride eats something before the ceremony. The last thing you want is a fainting bride!
Helps the bride pack for her honeymoon if she’s planning to leave right after the ceremony.
Is the “keeper of the train” before, during, and after the ceremony. (If) after the bride removes the train for the reception, the maid of honor can store it in a predetermined place, such as in a safe box in a wedding party car.
Participates in any pre-ceremony photography sessions that have been scheduled.
Walks down the aisle at the appropriate time and takes her place beside the bride for the duration of the ceremony.
Holds the grooms ring (usually on the thumb for safekeeping) until the official exchanging of rings.
Holds the brides bouquet.
Arranges the bride’s veil for the ceremonial kiss.
Acts as a legal witness and signs the marriage license.
Poses for photographs with the rest of the wedding party. She also helps round up relatives and other members of the wedding party to pose for photos.
Helps the bride bustle her dress before the reception starts. Throughout the night, she also helps the bride manage her dress during bathroom breaks if the gown is particularly elaborate.
Stands in the receiving line, or mingles and greets guests while the bride and groom finish taking photographs.
Introduces guests to each other during the reception.
Acts as a messenger for the bride, communicating information to the wedding party as needed. Also acts as a runner for any last-minute errands that pop up unexpectedly during the reception.
Directs guests toward the guestbook, the gift table, and the restrooms.
Makes a toast or short speech in honor of the bride and groom.
Collects gift envelopes (and money for the money dance, if there is one) for safe-keeping.
With help from the rest of the wedding party, decorates the getaway car.
Helps clean up after the reception, if needed.
Takes the wedding gown for preservation if the bride leaves right away for her honeymoon.
Helps transport gifts to the newlywed’s home.
Attends the post-wedding breakfast or brunch, and helps keep track of who gave which gift if gift-opening is part of the event.
Have you ever been a maid of honor? What was your experience, and do you have anything to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!