Everyone knows that wedding planning is a big deal, with preparations taking as long as months, years, or even beyond! If you’ve been chosen as the bride’s maid-of-honour, buckle up because we’ve prepared a guide for all of your roles and responsibilities.
Being chosen as the maid-of-honour marks you as one of the most integral parts of the wedding, as well as being distinguished as the bride’s closest, most trusted confidant. She’s counting on you to have her back from engagement, to the exchanging of rings, and even beyond.
This may seem like a lot of pressure but don’t put yourself down just yet; You were handpicked for a reason.
The bride has confidence in you and your skills so take heart and prepare yourself for the responsibilities you have ahead of you! The process will be simple and as stress-free (as possible) if you’ve prepared yourself for what you’re in for.
Your duties as maid-of-honour vary depending on the bride’s personal expectations, and who better for the job than you? There are a lot of duties (like the hen night, luncheons, invitations etc.) that you need to have your hands on.
We’ve broken down all the traditional maid-of-honour things you need to consider for all the stages of the wedding. Here’s your complete guide to the pre-wedding, during the wedding, and after the vows stages:
Before the Wedding Responsibilities: The Road To “I Do”
Contrary to popular belief, the maid-of-honour’s responsibilities do not start and end at the hen party. As MOH, you’ll be privy and part of all the pre-wedding preparations as well!
1. Attend wedding appointments with the bride
These can range from cake tastings, decoration appointments, and, probably the most important of all to a bride: wedding dress appointments.
You’re not even required to make these decisions but all you have to do is be there for the bride or lending an ear whenever she needs to let off some steam and stress.
Be sure to be patient as the bride will probably have lots of appointments and loads more choices to make during this process. Just remember to be supportive and be there if she asks for your opinion.
2. Help the bride unwind
After running errands with the bride, don’t forget to relax and unwind. This may be through a simple spa date, going out for a nice meal, or watching a movie. You’re one of the few things keeping the bride at ease and away from turning into a bridezilla.
3. Host the hen party
As you help the bride-to-be bid adieu to her singlehood, one of the highlights of her last days is a hen party!
This is the one night in which busy women that are important to the bride come together and send her off. This is usually characterized by a wild, fun night of drinking, male dancers, hen party life drawings, bar-hopping, to name a few.
It’s important to coordinate this event with the bride because not all brides are the same. She may prefer staying at home and bonding with her girl gang over a wild night out, so it’s best to get a feel for the kind of woman she is.
4. Lead the bridal party
Apart from being the bride’s right hand, you will also be the spokesperson for all of the bridesmaids. This means that you get to have a say on what the bridesmaid’s gowns will be!
Other tasks you may handle include the appointments for hair and make-up, coordinating transportation and accommodation, etc.
Wedding Day Duties
Months of planning have been leading up to the big day. Whether the bride is experiencing some pre-wedding jitters, or there are any last-minute errands to run, it is the maid-of-honour’s job to make sure everything runs smoothly down the aisle.
1. Doll up with the entourage and the bride
There is usually a bridal suite for the bride and the whole entourage to get ready for the wedding. This is where girl power comes in as everyone makes sure that all members of the wedding crew are looking picture-perfect for the big day.
2. Stay close to the bride
Here’s the unspoken responsibility of the maid-of-honour: you’re on toilet duty. Your bride will probably be in a long gown that will require assistance should she need to take a pee break. You’ll have to help her hold her gown up and this is where your close relationship is at an advantage.
But this isn’t the only thing we mean. You want the bride to be as involved and immersed in her wedding as she can be so running small, menial tasks like getting her phone or grabbing her some medicine is part of your responsibility, too.
The bride will be eternally thankful for you for being by her side throughout the entire thing. You’ll be her sidekick and confidant through the hustle and bustle of the busy day.
3. Hold the bride’s bouquet, arrange her train and veil upon arrival to the altar
These are part of the wedding program flow already but is still worth noting. These are some of your main tasks during the wedding proper, so it’s best to know what to expect.
Not to worry, there are usually wedding rehearsals in which all of your responsibilities will be listed down to you.
4. Sign the marriage license as a witness
After the ceremony, the official and the newlyweds will have to accomplish the marriage license. Two witnesses are required for this document, in which the best man and maid-of-honour usually take on the role.
5. Attend to the guest’s concerns
During the wedding and reception, the guests have a barrage of questions that they’ll probably direct to you. Questions ranging from where’s the restroom, to where’s the gift table will probably be thrown your way so it’s best to know the entire wedding inside out.
6. Make sure the bride has time to eat and drink
Guests will probably be flocking to the newlyweds during the reception to give their best wishes and for photo-ops, so you should make sure that the bride has some time to recharge. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the ceremony, always make sure that the bride is still feeling okay and offer refreshment in case she needs it.
After the exchange of rings: party time!
Once the marriage ceremony is over, it’s time to have fun! But don’t hang your heels up just yet. While the load has been lifted, there are still some things you need to look out for during the reception.
1. Toast to the happy newlyweds
You’ve been there every step of the wedding, from beginning to the big day, which is why guests and the couple would want to hear from you.
Your toast can be heartfelt, sweet, funny, or you can share anecdotes about the couple and the whole party-planning shenanigans!
2. Encourage others to have fun and dance
There’s nothing sadder than an empty dance floor at a wedding party reception. Initiate the party by pulling some of the bridesmaids and groomsmen to the floor!
3. Gather the guests
For important parts of the reception such as the cake cutting, bouquet toss, and others, you should help the host corral the guests to the center and celebrate the newlyweds.
4. Help the bride touch-up and change
The bride will probably slip into something more comfortable from her wedding gown to her reception dress. You should be by her side and assisting her as she changes, and doing touch-ups during the reception proper.
5. Make sure their honeymoon’s ready to go
Whether the couple will be heading to a hotel or setting off to a far land for their honeymoon, you should make sure that all their necessary transportation from the reception banquet to the destination are ready.
Make sure that the bride and groom have everything they need to kick off their honeymoon get-away without any worries.
In spite of all the roles and responsibilities that come with being a maid-of-honour, you should never forget one thing through it all: have fun!
You were personally handpicked by the bride to be her sidekick throughout her journey into the married life. This isn’t just because she trusts your capabilities, but also because she believes you’ll make the whole experience more enjoyable for her.
Don’t be daunted by all the reminders; Being a maid-of-honour is a true honour. Although you have more duties compared to the rest of the entourage, the title is truly fun and rewarding. It’s not meant to be a full-time job that you’ll shoulder all by yourself so don’t be afraid to delegate!
If you’re still jittery about some of your responsibilities, there’s no reason why you can’t message and check in with the bride.
After all, she chose you to be a part of her big day. She’ll be there for you as well.