If a loved one has recently asked you to be their maid of honor – congratulations! It’s a beautiful and meaningful way for them to uplift and celebrate your deep and meaningful connection. But the role is not just a ceremonious one. The title comes with some responsibilities to help the couple prepare for their wedding day.
What you’ll learn in this guide
- All about the maid of honor role
- 7 maid of honor responsibilities before the wedding
- 10 maid of honor responsibilities on the day of the wedding
- What not to do as the maid of honor
- A bit of advice
All about the maid of honor role
Traditionally, one person from the wedding party is appointed as the maid of honor, a role which can also be called matron of honor, person of honor, or honor attendant. Although the maid of honor role was traditionally given to women by the bride, the role is no longer gender specific. Instead, the person of honor could be anyone with whom the bride feels a special bond.
Traditionally, the maid of honor is involved with planning or organizing activities leading up to the wedding, coordinating with the wedding party, and supporting the couple physically and emotionally as their wedding day nears. Although each wedding party is different, there are some commonalities you can expect as the maid of honor.
7 maid of honor responsibilities before the wedding
The person of honor’s role comes with responsibility. Below is a list of important honor attendant duties you’ll likely need to take charge of before the wedding day.
1.) Supporting the couple
Know how to support the couple without being too overbearing. Once you’ve been asked to be the person of honor, have a conversation with the nearlyweds to discover the role they want you to serve leading up to, and on the day of, their wedding. It’s best to be straightforward and ask if they prefer for you to step in without being asked or if they should delegate tasks to you. These tasks may be those typically associated with a wedding, or they may want your assistance in unique matters related to their wedding, such as helping with family members.
2.) Wedding outfit coordination
As the person of honor, the couple may ask you for their opinion on what to wear. Styles and colors are among the selections they may want your help making. They may also ask you to come along to try on styles and for tailoring. It’s important to give your honest opinion on the options, too. Although this is their wedding day, you’re named the person of honor because you’re trusted to provide advice they value.
If the couple welcomes it, you can even come up with some wedding outfit ideas. Since you know the couple’s tastes, your considerations can go a long way as they make a decision. You can also head to Pinterest or check out wedding blogs to see what’s trending that fits into their aesthetic.
3.) Communicate with the wedding party
You’re likely to be the point of contact between the couple and the wedding party. This is both to give the wedding party a point of contact for all matters related to the wedding, and to ensure they aren’t bothered with persistent questions as they focus on the big picture for their wedding day. Start a group chat or email thread based on their preference and use this to deliver important information about clothing choices, dates to save, wedding shower planning, and more. Remember: not everyone will know each other, so make space for introductions so everyone feels comfortable.
4.) Budgeting for pre-wedding festivities
Before you get into the details of pre-wedding event planning, have an honest conversation about costs with the wedding party. Talk to each person privately to see which contributions they can comfortably make toward the shower, group gift, wedding day attire, and other needs. You can also confirm with the couple if they’re willing to contribute.
5.) Planning the bach party
As the honor attendant, you’ll likely put your party planning skills to work as the planner of the bach party (also called the bachelor or bachelorette party). From collaborating on the couple’s wishes to putting the finishing touches on the celebration, you’ll work closely with guests and the guest of honor for the perfect celebration.
6.) Hosting the wedding shower
Oftentimes, the couple’s family hosts the wedding shower (or bridal shower). However, as the person of honor or maid of honor, your help is quite appreciated — and needed. You can help the family plan the shower by asking the couple what they envision, and then bringing those details to the party planners.
7.) Putting together the wedding emergency kit
Before the wedding day, you may be asked to make a wedding emergency kit. In this kit, you can add small and large practical wedding day essentials that can prepare the couple and the wedding party if something doesn’t go as planned. If you assemble the kit, you’ll likely bring it with you to the venue on the day of the wedding. Review our wedding emergency kit guide for tips on getting started.
9 maid of honor responsibilities the day of the wedding
Your assistance on the day of the wedding is quite important, and incredibly meaningful, to the couple, their families, and the wedding party. Some of the person of honor responsibilities you might have on the wedding day include:
1.) Get ready with the nearly-weds
Hair, makeup, and dressing are often done as a group in the hours before the wedding, whether at someone’s home, at a nearby hotel, or at the venue. As the person of honor, you’ll be a part of this tradition with the bridal party. Along with any professionals hired for the day, you can help by assisting others with putting on their outfits or steaming out wrinkles from their clothes.
2.) Offer touch-ups throughout the day
Whether due to uncooperative weather, sweat, or an errant smudge while eating, touch-ups are a typical part of leading up to the main event. Lipstick, bobby pins, hairspray, and other cosmetics stashed in the wedding kit come in handy as you keep an eye on makeup and offer touchups.
3.) Handle any hiccups
One of the most important responsibilities you have on the day of the wedding is to shelter the couple from any mishaps that may happen throughout the day. You can be the point of contact for any vendors, family members, and others involved in the wedding so the couple can focus on enjoying the day and not on sweating the details.
4.) Check in regularly
It’s natural for the couple to be nervous before such a monumental event in their lives. And with so much to do the day of the wedding, the couple can easily accidentally skip a meal or forget to sit down. Make sure their basic needs are met while they’re focused on their special day. Check in with a kind word, encouragement, or offers of a favorite snack or drink.
5.) Be the point of contact for the wedding party
Keep the wedding party in check throughout the day, so they know what’s going to transpire when without badgering the couple for a schedule. Prepare a timeline and have it with you the day of the wedding – you can also send it in advance in the group chat or email thread you created before the wedding. Remind the wedding party to come to you with questions or concerns, not the couple.
6.) Hold onto the bouquet
During the ceremony, it’s likely you’ll be in charge of holding onto both yours and the bride’s bouquets. These bouquets can be quite heavy, so be wary of their weight as you take hold of it alongside your own.
7.) Help collect gifts
Before the wedding begins, find out where the newlyweds would like their gifts to be put during the reception. Make sure that all the gifts end up in the right hands at the correct location so all the thank you cards can be properly addressed later on. At the end of the wedding, make sure the gifts make their way with the couple to where they’re staying that night.
8.) Be involved in the ceremonies
Although not necessary, it’s often tradition for the person of honor to take part in the wedding ceremonies. From walking down the aisle to delivering a speech during dinner, you’ll likely play a big part during the day. The couple will let you know in advance if they’re participating in these traditions. If you’re giving a speech, ask someone in the wedding party or a family member to listen to you practice as you work out any kinks before you deliver it to the crowd.
9.) Get the party started
Of course, have fun! Grab the wedding party and head to the dance floor to kick off a rousing round of dancing to the couple’s favorite tunes. Encourage others to join in on the fun. Together, everyone contributes to an ambience the couple will never forget.
What not to do as maid of honor
As the person of honor, one of your main goals is to help take some stress away from the couple as they prepare for their wedding day. To ensure smooth sailing, there are some things to avoid in the time leading up to and the day of the wedding.
- Procrastinate. The sooner you start to help the couple plan out the details of the pre-wedding events and the special day itself, the better it is for all involved. This will help keep their minds at ease and can make planning more enjoyable for everyone, as rushing can dampen the joy that comes with the process.
- Leave key wedding day items behind. As the person of honor, you should always come prepared. To that end, be sure that nothing entrusted to your care is left behind on the couple’s special day.
- Communicate poorly. Many involved with the wedding are relying on you to facilitate do’s and don’ts from the couple. Organization and good communication are key to keeping everyone in the loop. Missing the mark now can mean a disorganized wedding party later on.
- Don’t make the wedding about yourself. Although the couple is honoring the meaning you bring to their lives, remember this day is about them, not you. Keep their needs and wishes top of mind as you help them navigate wedding planning and the special day itself.
A final bit of advice
Knowing the role a person of honor plays in a wedding party provides structure, instruction, and peace of mind as you assist the couple with their plans. With a general idea of what to expect, you can focus your thoughts and attention on ensuring their calmness and happiness throughout this journey. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating meaningful memories for the soon-to-be-married couple.