Maids of honor, listen up. We know what you’re thinking: “I love my best friend, I’m stoked to be the Maid of Honor, but I don’t know anything about planning a wedding or what this important role entails!” There are many expectations that come with the role of MOH and it can feel overwhelming, but we’re here for you! We’ve created a list of 15 essential maid of honor duties that traditionally fall on the shoulders of the all-important head bridesmaid, so take note!
First things first: use this is list a jumping off point for a convo with your bestie bride. She may want you to do all of these, and she may want you to do only a few! Keeping an open dialogue with your gal will ensure that there are no unmet expectations and that the months leading up to her big day are some of the best of her life!
1. Spread the Word
Keep the other bridesmaids, guests, and friends informed about important events and perhaps most importantly, remind everyone where the bride and groom are registered.
2. Delegate Bridesmaid Duties and Keep Them on Track
You’re the head maid, but don’t be afraid to reach out to other bridesmaids and delegate some responsibilities. It takes a village, people! Additionally, you’ll help lead the charge for making sure the girls get their dresses, find the right shoes and jewelry, and have all the info on pre-wedding events.
3. Dress Shopping
If the bride requests, be available to attend dress shopping and fittings as well as contribute to the selection of bridesmaid dress options. Lend your opinion on styles, color palettes, and fits! We have a great list of dress resources HERE if you need a place to start.
4. Plan the Shower
This can include either hosting it yourself, or coordinating location and responsibilities with the bride’s family, relatives, or close family friends who might also want to cohost a shower for the bride. Pro tip: seek out that cohost if possible! It’s always good to have additional help, especially when you’ve got lots of other wedding to-dos on your list.
5. Plan the Bachelorette Party
Perhaps the most important (and fun!) task, this means coordinating with the other bridesmaids to pick a date, location, accommodation, and activities.
6. Keep a Record of Gifts
This is especially important at the shower and bachelorette party. Likely, the couple will keep track of the gifts they receive at their wedding so you’re off duty there unless otherwise specified.
7. Attend All Pre-wedding Parties
We know, ANOTHER shower from the bride’s second cousin twice removed feels like too much. But our general rule of thumb is if it’s within a 1 hour radius of where you are located, you should be there. Look at it this way: it’s quality time with your bestie before she’s married AND free food and drinks!
8. Get Ready Together
Talk with your bride’s wedding planner about timeline for the day and assist in keeping everyone on schedule throughout the getting ready process (as we all know, it is a process). You may also want to confirm what food and drinks will be available in the bridal suite, and check if you need to be the one supplying them. Mimosas anyone?
9. Serve as a Liaison with Groomsmen
Help to exchange any pre-ceremony cards or gifts and act as a go-between with the Best Man for anything the couple needs.
10. Sign the Marriage License
The bride and groom may elect for you and the best man to sign the marriage license as a witness, so be prepared to step in to that duty after the ceremony if asked.
11. Prepare a Few Words
This is another element you’ll want to chat through with the bride in advance, but it’s traditional for the Maid of Honor to give a toast at the reception and/or rehearsal dinner. The idea of writing a speech can be nerve-racking, but whatever you do, don’t use a recycled speech from the internet. Speak from the heart and we guarantee it will be well-received. And before you head up to the mic to deliver said speech, we recommending a quick glass of bubbly to loosen the nerves, but not 10 shots. Don’t be the drunk bridesmaid!
12. Provide Personal Security for the Bride’s Train
If you aren’t looking out for it, few will (especially if it’s a long stunner like this bride’s). Arrange the bride’s train and veil before the ceremony and right after she arrives at the altar. Ensure it’s straightened throughout the ceremony and help her bustle the train if required at the reception so she can get down on the dance floor without any issues. You should also attend her last dress fitting to learn how to bustle the dress with the seamstress. Those bustles can be tricky!
13. Be the Keeper of the Bridal Bouquet
Hold the bouquet during the ceremony and hand it back to the bride before the recessional. As you get closer to the ceremony, chat with the bride about her plans for her bouquet after the ceremony. She might want to just throw it away, or maybe she wants to take it home and dry it out. Make an action plan for that sucker!
14. Look After the Gown
Help the bride change out of her gown before the grand exit and arrange a place for its safe keeping until she returns from her honeymoon.
15. Be her Right Hand Girl!
You’re her best friend so be ready to comfort any emotional breakdowns, stresses, or general feels throughout the planning process. Keep her laughing and blissfully unaware of any issues that may arise. She needs you, maybe even more than she knows! Be ready and willing to jump in and fill needs as they come from the bride (even after you’ve gone through this list), checking in throughout the planning process to make sure she’s doing well!
Good luck girl, we know you can do it!
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