Maid of honor responsibilities aren't quite what they used to be. In case you hadn't noticed, weddings are a lot different than they were when our mothers were young. In fact, in olden times, bridesmaids were included as decoys for the bride in case of an attempted kidnapping! Since most bridesmaids now are more girl squad than ransom bait, your number-one will need to be on her toes in a very different way.
Who Is the Maid of Honor?
The maid of honor is in charge of the bachelorette party and bridal shower, and she leads the rest of the bridesmaids throughout the planning process and on the day-of. A bride will traditionally appoint a sister, female relative, or best friend as the maid of honor as it is a privilege reserved for the closest person to her.
Below, see all of the maid of honor responsibilities your bestie needs to know. Take a peek, then send this over to your bestie, STAT.
1. Bridal Distraction
You have a lot to do while you're planning your wedding. While your maid of honor should be your go-to source for an extra set of hands, it's more importantly her duty to make sure you enjoy every moment of your engagement. From an afternoon spent getting mani-pedis to a full-blown girls' night out, your MOH is first and foremost your best friend, and that's the role she should take most seriously during the planning process.
2. Sisters in Shopping
If you're making an event of wedding dress shopping, your maid of honor should be at the top of your guest list. She should be totally down with traveling from fitting room to fitting room, as you try on way more wedding dresses than you ever intended and be willing to give her honest opinions in a constructive manner.
3. Point Person
Who has time for wedding guests bugging them about what time the ceremony starts and where you're registered? Give all the information to your maid of honor, so she can be your guests' point person when questions arise.
4. Bridesmaid Wrangler
Your maid of honor is also your bridesmaids' go-to. She should try to keep the peace between any conflicting personalities in the group (because the last thing you need is to be mediating fights between 'maids!), assign tasks concerning any pre-wedding events, and be available to answer any questions the bridesmaid may have about where and when they should be on the wedding day.
5. The Duchess of DIY
Need help addressing wedding invitations or DIY'ing your centerpieces or favors? Your maid of honor is who you should turn to. Invite her over, open up a bottle of wine, and conquer that wedding DIY project together.
6. Party Planning Extraordinaire
Maids of honor lead the charge when it comes to planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party. From reaching out to family members and bridesmaids to help with the nitty-gritty of planning to keeping everyone's budgets in mind, maids of honor become bonafide expert party planners during the wedding process.
7. Record Keeper
If you're opening gifts at your bridal shower, your maid of honor should keep track of who gave you what, so you'll have an easier time writing those thank-you notes later.
8. Timeline Tracker
While your planner or coordinator will take the helm when it comes to your wedding day timeline, it's worth sharing with your maid of honor as well. She'll be able to watch the time in the bridal suite, making sure hair and makeup appointments are moving along, and let you know when it's almost time to get in your dress.
9. Champagne Caterer
As much as you’ll want your MOH to keep you calm on the wedding day, you’ll also want her to help you relish in the excitement! Keep the energy up by having her pop a bottle of Champagne for sips as you get ready, dish on gossip while getting glam, nip some of the nervousness, and cheers with the bride squad before the ceremony. Have her pop a straw in your glass to keep lips perfectly painted, and be sure she monitors your intake. We all like a celebratory toast, but no one likes an inebriated bride.
10. Food Provider
There's nothing worse than a hangry bride, especially when the reception is hours away. Your MOH should check in periodically to see if you need something to nibble on before you leave the bridal suite. You may be too excited to think about food, but a protein-rich snack will help you fend off hunger pains.
To help her out, share some of your go-to snacks with her so you can prep a kit, be it croissants, potato chips, or granola bars.
11. Mother of the Bride Butler
As much as your MOH is there for you, she can also help you out with your mother. Be sure to have her lend a hand to mom during hair and makeup too, shuttling her water, snacks, and sips of Champagne. If you suspect that your mother will be a bit of a pain on the wedding day, have the MOH run backup plans to keep mom busy and focused on herself—not bugging you—on the big day. Activities include recommending she greet arriving guests, relax with her friends for a pre-ceremony cocktail, or do a final walk-through to ensure all the decor is set.
12. Social Media Maven
You should spend the morning of your wedding relaxing and staying as unplugged as possible, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be documented. Give your maid of honor your phone so she can get behind-the-scenes shots of the champagne toasts, happy tears, and the moment you slip on your dress. Let her know if you want these moments to be private or if you're all about Instagram, you could also tap your MOH to post to your accounts throughout the day. Don't forget to give her your hashtag.
Have your MOH keep an eye out for your partner. It’s viewed as bad luck if he or she sees you before the first look or walk down the aisle! Connect the MOH with your planner or coordinator to make sure the two of you don’t cross paths before the dedicated moment. Consider her your very own 007 spy. If you and your spouse opt to exchange gifts ahead of the wedding, she could also run these in-between the rooms.
14. Bathroom Companion
This isn’t the most glamorous task, but you’ll appreciate it: a little help from your MOH getting the dress, heels, and hair into the ladies room for a final go before the ceremony begins. It’s a moment full of laughter and some tricky maneuvers, which no one will forget. It gives new meaning to BFF.
15. Personal Stylist
Have your MOH lend a hand to the getting ready process, especially if you don’t have a planner or stylist on the wedding day. She can help steam last minute wrinkles from your dress and be sure the veil is perfectly placed. During photos, have her keep an eye out for rumpled trains and crooked headpieces so each shot looks as immaculate as possible. And she should also arrange your wedding dress train and veil at the altar once you walk down the aisle.
16. Bouquet Buddy
What on earth do you do with your bridal bouquet once you walk down the aisle? You hand it to your maid of honor, of course! Pass the bundle of blooms off to her at your ceremony and then once you say "I do," she'll hand it back to you for your walk back up the aisle.
17. Water Girl
Like football game sidelines, your MOH will want to keep you hydrated from morning until the last dance. Let her know your preference—sparkling or still—and have her remind you to take a few sips of H2O throughout the day. It will keep your energy up, your skin looking radiant, and ward off any hangovers for your morning-after brunch. Being a water girl never looked so good.
18. Toast Master
Some brides opt to have only family members give speeches at their receptions. Others forgo speeches entirely. But your maid of honor should always be game to deliver a speech—and not embarrass you during it.
19. Princess of Presents
What do you do with the wedding gifts and cards guests bring to the reception? Leave it to your maid of honor! She'll take charge of ensuring all your gifts, checks, and cards end up in your car or hotel room at the end of the night.
20. Dance Partner
You’ve made it to the reception, when hopefully all the planning stress has melted away—you’re married! Celebrate on the ballroom floor and grab your MOH for plenty of boogying to your favorite jams. As much as you’ll want to get down with your new spouse, don’t forget your dance floor OG. Selfies welcome.