A maid of honor, or matron of honor if married, is a title and position bestowed upon a bride's close friend or relative to aid the bride throughout the wedding process. A maid of honor is required only to be there for the bride during the wedding ceremony. Often, however, it is helpful for the maid of honor to take part in the majority of the wedding stages. From being emotionally supportive to planning parties, a maid of honor has many rules to uphold if chosen for the position.
Support and Aid in Wedding Planning
Many brides ask the maid of honor to help look at different locations for the wedding to narrow down top contenders to show the groom. Keeping the bride-to-be company during the location search can last more than one day. Therefore, it is important to keep specific days free that can be dedicated to help find the bride's ideal spots. Once a location, day and time are chosen, maids of honor can help the bride choose wedding invitations, and offer to help address invitations if an extra hand is needed. Other aspects of wedding planning in which the maid of honor takes part include helping decide upon and ordering wedding decorations/ favors, and the wedding and bridesmaid dresses, as well as making sure that the items arrive in time for the wedding.
Host the Bridal Shower
The bridal shower is an event dedicated to "showering" the bride and groom with gifts. The maid of honor's responsibility is to host the event in cooperation with the bride's mother, if applicable. Most bridal showers consist of ladies celebrating with the bride; however, it is becoming increasingly more acceptable to have a co-ed shower to include the groom and his friends as well. When planning the bridal shower, it is important that the maid of honor works with the bride to create a list of who the bride wants to attend, and gifts she would like to receive. Many bridal showers take place in the home of the bride a few weeks before the wedding, with the maid of honor purchasing the favors and decorations.
Plan the Bachelorette Party
The maid of honor will plan the bachelorette party, with the help of the bride and the other bridesmaids. Often, more than just those in the wedding attend the bachelorette party, with planning beginning anywhere from four to two months before the wedding. It is important for the bride and the maid of honor to decide the location of the party, how long the party will be, if the event will be conservative or wild, and how much everyone associated with the party will pay.
Wedding Day Responsibilities
The maid of honor is to meet the bride on the day of the wedding, help the bride get into her dress, and assist with her hair and makeup. The maid of honor acts as a messenger to communicate between the groom and the bride, while making sure the reception location is set up without problems. As the wedding begins, the maid is responsible for helping the bride with her veil and train, and holds the bride's bouquet and the groom's ring to present when called upon.
At the wedding party, the maid of honor is responsible for making a toast or speech, along with making sure all envelopes for the bride and groom are collected.
After Wedding Responsibilities
While the bride and groom are on the honeymoon, it is the maid of honor's responsibility to watch over the dress until the bride returns, and to work with the bride's family or friends to ensure all wedding gifts are dropped off at the couple's house before their return. Additional tasks may vary by cultural traditions, including refrigerating a leftover slice of wedding cake for the bride and groom to share on their one year wedding anniversary.