Everything Your Maid of Honor Should Know

This is your maid of honor's official job description, in excruciating detail.
by The Knot

Your maid of honor should be a lot of things: part worker bee, part emotional lifeboat, part ball of energy. Sounds like a lot of pressure, right? It's not so bad, but it's important to know what's expected. Below, find the main duties every maid of honor should know about. 

Lead the Bridesmaid Troop

This is probably the most important order of business your maid of honor will have. Between directing the other bridesmaids through their duties, making sure everyone gets their dresses, going to fittings and providing them with the details for all prewedding parties, she'll be responsible for leading the charge and taking the reins. Of course, your other bridesmaids will have their fair share of things to do and should certainly assist her (she'll probably need lots of help planning your bachelorette party, after all), but your maid of honor should be the "director" at the end of the day. This doesn't stop when the wedding weekend begins, either. She should also be responsible for seeing that all bridesmaids get to the rehearsal; coordinating transportation and lodging (if necessary); and making sure all the bridesmaids have the correct bouquet and get their hair and makeup done on time. 

Play Hostess—Occasionally

Even your maid of honor might not be able to make every prewedding event, as hard as she may try. But one thing she should definitely do? Host or cohost one of your bridal showers. She should also take it upon herself to play hostess a little bit during your actual reception (since you'll be busy mingling with guests)—whether that includes showing guests where to sit, directing them to restrooms, telling them where to put presents or inviting them to sign the guest book. You'll be happy to have those tasks taken off your plate. 

Hold Some Things

This one's easy enough. During the ceremony, the maid of honor is responsible for holding your bouquet while you and your spouse exchange vows, and holding the groom's ring during the ceremony. (Pro tip: The safest spot is on her thumb!) And she should think ahead and wrap a few tissues around the stem of her bouquet too, in case the bride or bridesmaids shed a few happy tears too.

Sign the Marriage License

Both the maid of honor and the best man should sign the marriage license as witnesses. 

Be There for You Emotionally (and Make You Laugh!)

You should always feel comfortable talking to your maid of honor about wedding things, and most likely, she'll be more than happy to lend an ear. Whether it's about planning or the registry china pattern, you should always feel assured you have someone to share your thoughts with. Having an emotional crisis? Your maid of honor should hopefully know how to navigate and troubleshoot (sometimes all it takes is tissues and hugs). In our opinion, laughter is the best medicine for the stressed-out bride—and hopefully your maid of honor knows how to effectively get you there. 

Do the Menial Tasks...

That's to be expected. Your maid of honor is your right hand woman—not to be confused with a personal assistant—so she should feel comfortable helping you with seemingly menial tasks like addressing invites to choosing wedding colors (and yes, hopefully nodding enthusiastically when you wax on about wedding cake flavors). Leading up to the wedding, she can help spread the news about your registry as well as keep a record of all the gifts received at various parties and showers. During the actual wedding weekend, she's your go-to person for bustling your gown and arranging your veil at the altar; collecting gift envelopes brought to the reception and keeping them in a safe place; and helping you get ready for your honeymoon by arranging storage for your gown after the all the festivities are said and done (if applicable). 

...But Dance and Have Fun Too

Your maid of honor is clearly someone who's important in your life, and she's putting in a ton of hard work for you. That means making sure she still has the time of her life during your wedding because she deserves to (and yes, this is possible while still upholding her duties). She should feel encouraged to make a fun toast at your reception (it is tradition, after all) and, of course, dance the night away. 

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