To make sure your maid of honour knows exactly what their duties are, take a look at our easy-to-follow checklist!
As the bride, you should choose your maid of honour carefully, as it’s a considerable responsibility, and demands certain qualities in order for the expected duties to be performed. They’ll need to be a good listener and advisor. They'll need to be really organised and willing to muck in. They’ll have to be able to take charge, and, most importantly, you’ll have to trust them.
From organising the bridesmaids and advising on the best wedding dress, to giving a maid of honour speech, the duties of a maid of honour are vast and varied. There’s much more to it than just planning the hen party, you know!
To help you and your top ranking crew member answer the burning maid of honour questions, we've compiled our go-to duties guide and tips on everything you need to know.
Maid of Honour Duties Explained
Your maid of honour duties start well before the big day, and they should be there to help you with any parts of the wedding planning you need. This may involve aiding your decisions on everything from your colour scheme, venue, and cake, to registering for wedding gifts. While also attending visits to wedding shows, rehearsals, dress shopping, and beyond.
Your maid of honour must be honest in their feedback — if a dress or hairstyle doesn’t suit you, or if you’re risking your wedding budget, they should tell you.
Plan the Hen Party
Your maid of honour's real moment to shine is the hen party. They will normally take the lead in organising it, and it should have a lot of thought put into it, aided by the other bridesmaids, who should also be asked for ideas.
The hen party should take place up to three months before the wedding – this gives time for any bruises to fade if it’s a particularly active hen party, or for people to recover from their hangovers! With three months to go, the maid of honour should be thinking about little details to make the hen party extra special.
The Day Before the Wedding
If there are any hired items that need collecting, the maid of honour should if possible help out by offering to pick them up, so the couple aren’t stressing about those things the day before their wedding.
The maid of honour may be needed to help set up the reception room the night before, if the venue allows this, and sometimes it's nice if they can accompany the bride on any last-minute beauty appointments.
On the Wedding Day in General
The maid of honour will take care of the bride and lead the bridesmaids in their duties. They should make sure the bride eats something for breakfast, and that everyone is hydrated with something apart from Prosecco. Of course, you can all have a celebratory drink while getting ready for the ceremony, perhaps to calm the nerves, but you want to avoid stumbling down the aisle… Your maid of honour should be there to tell you when enough is enough. Aiding the bride in the bathroom might also come into play if you have difficulty with your dress.
One of a maid of honour’s largest duties will be to help the bride get ready on the day of their wedding. And they should have emergency accessories kit on them, just in case. A sewing kit, safety pins, mints, tissues etc. If things start to get a little overwhelming, they should also be able to create some quiet alone if the bride needs it.
The maid of honour will ensure everything is as it should be, and if possible, they should visit the ceremony and reception rooms before people arrive, just to make sure everything is as it should be. They should be equipped to answer any questions from family, guests, and suppliers (such as the photographer, the caterer, the band, etc). Send messages back and forth between people, and give out any specifications (such as any particular photos the couple wants to have taken).
During the Wedding Ceremony & Reception
Hold the Bride’s Bouquet
During the wedding ceremony, the maid of honour will need to hold the bride’s bouquet. They may also be asked to give a reading or to be a witness while the newly-weds sign the register. After the ceremony, the happy couple will leave first and the maid of honour and best man will follow together.
Stand in the Receiving Line
At the reception, if there is a receiving line, the maid of honour will need to join the newly-weds in greeting the guests as they arrive for the wedding breakfast. If there is a gift table, they should help in taking the presents and displaying them nicely.
The maid of honour is traditionally seated on the top table along with the happy couple, their parents and the best man. If there’s a different line-up on the top table, it may be that the maid of honour is seated among the guests, ‘hosting’ a table of their own.
Clear up the Bridal Suite
If the bridal party enjoyed getting ready for the big day in the bridal suite, it might have been left in a little bit of a state.
The maid of honour should/could make sure that the bridal suite is clean and tidy, ready for the happy couple on their first married night together. It’s a nice idea to head up there during the reception and have a quick tidy up. The bride will really appreciate it.
If one of your maid of honour duties is still to get a bridesmaids dress, you better book yourself an appointment at our new-look shop! Get in touch here and let's find the whole bridal party their dream look.