What Does a Maid of Honor Do?

Photo by  Colin Maynard  on  Unsplash

Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

You’ve asked your friends to be your bridesmaids and they’ve all said yes! And you’ve asked your best to be your maid of honor and she said yes as well. But then she asks you “what does a maid of honor do?” And you look at her blankly and you both start laughing because you have no clue and obviously neither does she. 

Has this happened to you? Does it sound familiar? Unless you've been a part of a wedding or your friend is married, there's a good possibility that the role of the maid of honor may be a bit unclear.  Below I share my opinion on what I believe a maid of honor does that's different from your bridesmaids. 

A maid of honor is an unmarried woman who is the chief attendant of a bride.  If your friend is married, she's then called your matron of honor.  Regardless of her marital status, she is basically your right-hand gal.  She’ll help you organize bridal party activities and she’ll help plan your bridal shower and bachelorette party.  She’s your go-to person when you need to vent and she’ll hopefully be your voice of reason when you’re acting a little too close to a bridezilla.  

A maid of honor can be your best friend, your sister, your cousin, or any woman who you feel is close to you and can help support you during your wedding journey.  Sometimes, the role of a maid of honor can be exhausting and more stressful than initially intentioned.  So in support of your maid of honor, it’s good to know what kind of expectations you have for her before she agrees to the role. Because sometimes, your best friend may want to be your maid of honor, but she’s got a lot going on in her own life, that she won’t be able to commit to helping you.  It'll save you both headaches and heartaches if your expectations are stated right up front so she can decide if she'll accept the role or opt for the role of bridesmaid instead.  

Here are some of the basic duties a maid of honor traditionally helps with.  Keep in mind, this list is one I've curated over the years and you may or may not need help in all of these areas, but its a good starting point for you to go by:

A maid of honor can:

  • Help plan your bridal shower.  If she's available, she may plan your bridal shower on her own or she'll recruit your bridesmaids to help out. Depending on how involved you want to be, she can be more of an assistant to you or take full control of the planning and execution of the bridal shower leaving you to enjoy yourself. 
  • Attend your wedding dress fittings with you.  She knows your style and can be supportive, yet honest, on what looks good on you.
  • Be the designated point-of-contact when it comes to organizing bridal activities such as bridesmaid fittings, spa days, and wedding day prep.
  • Plan your bachelorette.  Again she’ll have the bridesmaids to assist her, but this weekend is typically a surprise for you. To be helpful, it would be good to give her a list of things you're willing or wanting to do and things that are a definite no-no for you. 
  • Fill in for your fiancé when he’s unavailable to meet with vendors.  It’s always good to have one other person with you when meeting with vendors (to get a second opinion).
  • Help you create any DIY items for your wedding.  This can also be something you can recruit your bridesmaids to help with.  You can make a party out of it by getting take-out and having your girls bring drinks as you get crafty. 
  • Be your go-to woman on your wedding day.  She’ll help lift your dress when you need to go pee and she’ll tell you when it’s time to touch-up your makeup during your reception.  
  • Be your support system. She loves you and can support you through the roller coaster of planning a wedding, but she also can help you stay in check when you're about to blow your budget and make you laugh through another meltdown.  

A maid of honor's duties is often limitless.  You may not realize how much you'll come to depend on her opinion or her presence as you go through your wedding planning journey.  It's good to have an idea of what you expect from your maid of honor that way if she can't be there for you in the manner that you need, you can ask someone who will.  I've seen it happen many times where the maid of honor wasn't the bride's best friend but rather a good friend who's single and was able to devote her time to helping the bride in planning her wedding.  The bride's best friend was happy because the pressure was off for her and she could be supportive as a bridesmaid and the bride was happy because she had someone who was able to give her the time and attention she needed. And being happy during your wedding planning is what's important.

Back to you. Did this list help you?  Have you chosen your maid of honor yet?  Do you know what kind of duties you need here to help you with?  Share with us below!