What Does It Mean to Be the Maid of Honor?

Your best friend or sister just got engaged, and they’ve asked you to be the maid of honor at their wedding! You might feel honored or emotional or just plain excited…but what exactly did you just agree to? What responsibilities will you have and will you have any special roles at the ceremony? A lot of this depends on what your friend wants and needs. The role of maid of honor isn’t one size fits all. That said, here are some general guidelines to give you an idea of what it means to be the maid of honor at a wedding!

Coordinate The Bridesmaids

One of your main jobs as the Maid of Honor will be to coordinate your fellow bridesmaids (and perhaps the rest of the wedding party). They will surely have lots of questions and the bride might be feeling a little overwhelmed or not have the time to help. You can step in to answer questions and coordinate the team so that you’re all on one page. This can range from making sure everyone has their outfit together and has a plan in regard to their hair and makeup to logistics in regard to the wedding venue.

Plan A Bridal Shower Or A Bachelorette Party

Often there will be fun events leading up to the wedding such as a bridal shower or a bachelorette party. These two events are very different and it’s a good idea to check in with the bride before planning one of these parties to make sure they’re something she’s interested in.

A bridal shower is a party that is traditionally held for the bride a few weeks before. Friends and family members can play fun party games and give her gifts such as pretty lingerie or clothing for her honeymoon. This event tends to be pretty family friendly. You’ll probably want to coordinate with the bride’s mother to come up with an event that will make the bride feel loved and supported. 

The bachelorette party is usually a night out with the bride to celebrate her last day as a single woman — although frequently this party is held at least a few days before the wedding. Many bachelorette parties involve drinking and dancing. Some brides find this fun, but it isn’t for everyone; check in and see what your friend wants. Other options that she might enjoy are a camping trip or a weekend getaway to the beach. The important thing is to check in with what the bride wants!

Make A Speech

Traditionally, the Maid of Honor and the Best Man will give speeches at the wedding reception. Make sure you’re ready and you’ve rehearsed so nerves don’t get to you when the DJ hands you a microphone! You may find it helpful to talk with the Best Man about his speech so you’re on the same page. When it comes to your actual speech, you may want to keep the wedding’s vibe in mind. If the wedding is a formal affair in a ballroom, you may want to give a more formal speech than if you are the Maid of Honor at a backyard DIY affair for a kitschy couple.

Support The Bride

This might seem vague, but it sums up your job well. Your number one priority in regard to the wedding should be to support the bride. This might mean something different to different brides. For some people this might mean helping with seating charts or assembling invitations. This might mean helping to decorate and coordinate the day of the wedding or helping to stop any situations that might stress out the bride. Check in with the bride and ask her to be clear about what she might need help with.

Bonus: Other Titles To Consider

Maid of Honor isn’t always the most fitting title for the bride’s special attendant. Traditionally, Maid of Honor specifically refers to an unmarried woman, with a married woman being called the Matron of Honor. Men who fill this role will often be called the Man of Honor or you may use the title Honored Attendant if you’d prefer to use a gender neutral title.

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