The Ultimate List of Maid of Honor Duties
Everything you need to know to be the best maid of honor EVER.
Being a maid of honor is, well, an HONOR! The bride to be has chosen you as her go-to-girl on the most special and important day of her life. Whether you are her sister, cousin, future in-law, or best friend, being the maid of honor is a big deal.
If you have never been a maid of honor before, you may be wondering: "what the heck do I even do other than hold her flowers and help her go to the bathroom?!" No worries sister, Styled in White is here to help!
BEFORE THE WEDDING
Be a sounding board for the bride.
There are going to be a million and a half decisions for the bride to make between now and her wedding day. What color should the bridesmaids' dresses be? Should she go for gold or silver accents? Does she want more florals or more candles? Should she go for a traditional cake, or would a dessert bar be better? And the list goes on and on.
As the maid of honor, it is your job to help her through these decisions to the best of your ability! Be honest at all times, but also remember that it's her day - encourage her to go with what will make her truly happy, despite the pressure she might be feeling from others.
Help communicate with the bridal party and mediate any conflicts that may arise.
Communication is key in the wedding planning process, especially when it comes to the wedding party! Make sure that all of the girls know where they need to be, what they need to bring, and what is expected of them overall. Setting and communicating expectations early on will make your life sooooo much easier down the road!
Go with the bride to pick out her wedding dress.
This is one of the most fun and exciting duties of the maid of honor in my opinion! You get to go play dress up with your bestie and watch her fall in love with her dream dress. Again, it is important to be truthful in this experience. If something doesn't look quite right or isn't her style, speak up! But remember, what is most important is that she feels happy and beautiful in the dress she chooses (even if it isn't your top pick).
Help the bride pick out wedding party attire, and make sure that orders and alterations are done on time.
It never fails - there is always at least one girl who forgets to order her dress, has to pay for rush shipping at the last minute, and is trying to find somewhere to alter the dress the week of the wedding. Talk about a stressful situation for her (and the bride!!). Make sure that you give each bridesmaid a "due date" to order her dress by (my recommendation would be a minimum of three to four months out from the wedding). Then, follow up with them to make sure that they get their alterations done at least a month before the big day!
Help plan and attend the bridal shower.
Some brides have their mom, sister, or aunt host their bridal shower. But in many cases, the bridal shower is hosted by the maid of honor. Since expenses for a shower can rack up quickly, don't be afraid to ask the bride's mom (or another close family member or friend) to co-host with you!
Plan and attend the bachelorette party.
Get ready to partaaaayyy! As the maid of honor, it is your job to both plan and execute a weekend that the bride to be will never forget. Some brides like to be involved in the planning process, and others want to be 100% surprised. Either way, it is your job to make her bachelorette dreams come true!
Help the bride with any DIY projects she is working on for the wedding.
If the bride has chosen to DIY pieces of her wedding day, be sure to offer a helping hand! Making 20+ centerpieces is always better with a friend (and some wine!).
ON THE WEDDING DAY
Create a playlist for the bridal suite.
The best way to set the mood in the bridal suite is by creating a fun, upbeat playlist to get ready to! Have each of the girls submit 2 - 3 songs that remind them of the bride (maybe it's True Friend by Hannah Montana, or maybe it's that one song you heard in the club on spring break a few years back that brings back allllll the fun memories... you know the one!).
Make sure everyone is having fun, but not too much fun.
Someone has to be the mother of the group when mimosas are involved at 8 am, and in this case, that person is you. The morning of the wedding with your girls in the bridal suite is a blast and a half, but the day of your bestie's wedding is a marathon, not a sprint. ;)
Check on the bride and make sure she eats something before going down the aisle.
The morning of the wedding will probably be overwhelming for the bride, so make sure that you check on her as she is getting ready! Even if she is nervous or doesn't want to feel bloated, it is very important that she eats before going down the aisle.
Help the bride use the restroom as needed.
This is one of the most well-known duties of the maid of honor, so no need for explanation here! Pro tip though - it is always easiest to have the bride sit backwards on the toilet when using the restroom in her gown, especially if she has a long train or large bustle.
Keep the bride and groom separate until it's time.
Chances are, the bride and groom will either wait until their first look or until she walks down the aisle to see each other. So make sure that there are no accidental run-ins on wedding day!
Hang on to the groom's ring until you get to the altar.
Some couples have the best man keep both wedding bands, and some have the best man keep the bride's ring while the maid of honor keeps the groom's. Ask your bestie what she prefers!
Straighten the bride's veil and train as needed.
Another one of the tried and true duties of the maid of honor is making sure that the bride's veil and the train of her dress look perfect at all times! This includes both up at the altar and during photos. Just make sure that you don't mess with it too much as it could be distracting during the ceremony.
Hold the bride's bouquet as needed.
When the bride takes her new spouse's hands for the first time, she will hand her bouquet off to you. Be ready to hang on to it, but don't forget to hand it back to her before she walks back up the aisle with her honey!
Prepare a toast for the reception.
You are either super excited for your speech or absolutely dreading it - there is really no in between. Either way, it is customary for the maid of honor to give a speech during the reception (along with the best man). Our best tip for your toast is to make it personal, make it entertaining, but don't embarrass either the bride or the groom too much! Remember, their parents and grandparents are sitting just a few feet away.
Take tons of behind the scenes photos and videos.
It will be weeks, if not months, before the bride and groom receive their professional photos and videos back. So one of the best gifts that you can give your bestie is the gift of behind the scenes photos and videos that she and her new hubby can look at on the way to their honeymoon as they reminisce on the best day of their lives!
AFTER THE WEDDING
Make sure that all cards and gifts are put in a safe place.
Once the reception has concluded, make sure that all of the couple's cards and gifts are placed in a safe space! In fact, you may even want to do this halfway through the reception just in case (especially when it comes to the cards, which typically contain a lot of cash and checks).
Keep track of gifts received at the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and the morning after the wedding.
As the bride opens her gifts at each event, keep a list of what was given and by whom so that she can write thank you cards more easily when she gets back from the honeymoon.
Send all of the photos and videos that you have of the wedding day to the bride, but don't post on social media until she does!
Before you post all of your selfies and fun videos on the 'gram, make sure that the bride has the chance to make a post of her own. Some brides won't care as much about this, but if your bride is particular, let her have her moment!