The bride is the “star” of the wedding, but to get to her big “show” she has to have help. And that’s where the Maid of Honour comes into the picture. You have to be the amazing go-to resource for the bride. As her number one bridal party attendant, you are instrumental in making her big day one that is filled with friendship, happiness, love, memories, and many other facets.
If you are to be a Maid of Honour but aren’t exactly sure what is expected of you, this is the all-you-need-to-know guide. We have advice, information and some tips to get you through the months, weeks, days, hours and even the last few minutes before the Bride and Groom exchange their nuptials.
Maid of honour duties
Weddings have many different participants, each with an important job. But it is the Maid of honour that has be biggest job, well besides the Bride and Groom anyway. From the day you accept this honour of being the Bride’s go-to-gal, you are expected to be in attendance and involved in every aspect of planning for the big day.
You aren’t only a bridesmaid, but you have the biggest load of responsibilities that will require offering advice, providing insights and offering emotional support and opinions. It is a job that requires the utmost in organisational abilities and keeping a cool head when the bride is losing hers. Here we have collected a list of the common responsibilities of a Maid of Honour, keeping in mind, some of these may not happen and many more may be added as the day grows nearer.
Twelve Months Out
1). Schedule brunch or lunch with the bride, the groom, and the best man to discuss the wedding plans and create a timeline. Clarify if the attendees are responsible for their attire or if the couple will be paying for them and what the budget is for the happy couple. This part will help you with the rest of the Maid of Honour duties.
2). Go with the bride to find her dress and her bridesmaid’s dresses, accessories, and shoes. If you can gather all of the attendees to go at one time, even better! Keep in mind though that she has had this dream vision of what her wedding will look like. Offer your advice and insight to the dresses, but remember it is her day.
3). Set a date to go venue shopping with the couple. Be ready with a camera and notepad! The date and the venue need to match up as well as fit the couple’s budget. The venue may determine things like the cake, the catering, the decorations and the flowers. This is a fact-finding mission for you and the couple.
Six Months Out
1). Set a date for bridal registry shopping. How much more fun can you have than shopping without spending! The bride and groom may want to do this together and may or may not include you. Whether you go or not, you need to let anyone and everyone that maybe buying a gift know where the couple registers.
2). Help the Bride choose the invitations and get them to the printer. Ask the Bride and Groom to start forming their guest list. The save the dates need to be mailed as soon as possible and the invitations need to be mailed at 8 to 10 weeks out.
3). Set a date for the bridal shower and start planning it. As Maid of Honour, you’ll be the host, so start planning ahead your budget and choose a date to fit the bride’s schedule. Would she prefer a brunch, a lunch or evening event? Incorporate help from the other attendees.
4). Plan the hen party and incorporate the attendee’s input. Do you want to plan a surprise party or include the bride in the planning? Take into consideration if any of the attendees live out of the country and plan accordingly. And be prepared to take notes of what gifts came from who so the Bride can send out thank you notes.
Three Months Out
1). Offer to pick up and help address the save-the-date and the invitations. Then take them to the post office.
2). Follow up with the Bride and her attendees on their dresses. Have they been fitted and scheduled for any alterations? Do they need help getting their dresses, accessories and shoes picked up?
3). Schedule a day for the Bride to go get tryout of hair and makeup for the wedding. Go with the Bride for her bridal portrait appointment.
4). Work with the Bride and Groom on a seating chart for the wedding and the reception. Go with the couple to finalise the venue and all the details for the reception, including the cake and flowers. This may include sample tasting day at the reception site and the bakery.
One Week Out
1). Meet with best man and the grooms attendees and confirm the arrival time to the venue. Confirm with the best man he has his duties all in line. Review the escort list of family and guests as to who should escort who to their seats.
2). Confirm the rehearsal date with the Bride, Groom and the venue and then confirm all parties are aware of the date and time.
3). Schedule your hair and nail appointment.
4). Depending on weather possibilities, purchase fans or umbrellas for the Bride, Groom, their attendees.
The Day Before
Collect the Bride’s accessories, dress, and shoes. Confirm the venue, the flowers, and the cake are all scheduled to be delivered and set up on time. Check in on the Bride and see if there are any last minute things she needs.
The Big Day
1). Early that day, make sure all the bouquet have arrived as well as the grooms and his attendees, the flower girl and page boys.
2). Be the Bride’s right hand, left hand, confidant and partner. Help her with her hair, her make-up and her dress.
3). Help the Bride’s attendees including the flower girls and the page boys.
4). Do a quick review with the wedding party and their duties, providing directions and instructions.
5). Arrive at the venue an hour before the bride or if in a hotel, plan to stay the night before there with the bride.
6). As the Bride arrives at the door for her entrance, arrange her dress and veil.
7). You will walk behind the bride and her father as they go up the aisle. Hold her bouquet during the ceremony and if there is no ring bearer or page boy holding the groom’s ring, you’ll hold that as well and hand it to her at the proper time.
8). You will exit the venue with the Best Man at your side behind the newly married couple and you will head to the reception after the couple has left for the reception. In most cases, there is a short picture taking session at this time. You’ll assist the couple, the attendees and those that are to be included in the pictures.
At The Reception
1). You and the Best Man will stand in the receiving line second after the couple to greet the guests.
2). Make sure the gifts are displayed and record the names of those that brought gifts.
3). If there is no hired help at the reception, after the couple has made the first cut, distribute slices of the cake. Many venues have staff on hand for this.
4). After the new couple has had their first dance, you’ll have the first dance with the Best Man.
5). Assist the bride in changing clothes for her going away.
6). After the couple leaves, collect her dress, accessories, shoes and any special wedding items
Such as the cake knife, champagne glasses, etc. and take home or leave at the couple’s home as planned.
7) Return any rental accessories, clothing, and décor.
It seems like being the Maid of Honour is more work than an honour, but it really is an honour. You are the person that the Bride feels she can trust to make sure her day is as flawless as possible and that everything will fall into place. Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities, but if you organise and plan it all, it can be a fun and memorable time.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask the Bride questions if you’re not sure about something and then reassure her you’ve got it all under control. Before you know it, the Bride and Groom will be off on their honeymoon and you can sit back and relax, smiling, and thinking about how awesome it all turned out!