What Exactly Does a Maid/Matron of Honor Do?

maid of honor : jessica newton photography

Jessica Newton Photography

You go, girlfriend!  You are the chosen one – the one that the Bride has entrusted with assisting her with the wedding of the century (at least in her mind!)  By the time the wedding is over, you will be a planner, an organizer, a referee, a weight-loss consultant, a therapist, a counselor, a day laborer, and a gopher – all in the name of the perfect wedding.

If your Bride has chosen a wedding planner, a lot of these will be covered by her.  However, for this blog post, let’s assume she is doing it all on her own.  In this case, you have a lot of roles to fill.  Being in the wedding party is not just a bunch of fun – it is an honor and has responsibilities that go along with it.  Here goes…

Your Duties As Maid of Honor

So, what exactly do you do?  Other than “everything the Bride asks,” there are some tasks that you are specifically responsible for:

  • Assist the Bride in choosing her gown and the gowns for her attendants (if she asks).
  • Follow-up with all of the Bridesmaids to make sure they make their choices and get measured in a timely manner.
  • Keep the Bride on time and organized.
  • Help address invitations.
  • Help the Bride and their family with anything they need.  For example; putting favors together, taking invitations to the post office, deciding on decorations.
  • Attend as many pre-wedding events as possible.
  • Organize the bachelorette party (with the Bridesmaids).
  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • Help decorate the hall the night before.
  • Make sure the bridal party and the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer are in their places when they are supposed to be.
  • Arrange the Bride’s gown and veil before and after the ceremony.
  • Hold the Groom’s ring before and during the ceremony (if the Best Man doesn’t hold both).
  • Hold the Bride’s bouquet and fix her train during the ceremony.
  • Along with the Best Man, witness the signing of the marriage certificate.
  • Make sure the Bride looks fabulous all day by keeping an extra lipstick and powder with you.
  • Make sure all items get from the church to the reception (unity candle, guest book etc…).
  • Act as a hostess to the wedding guests and assist them in any way they may need.
  • Give a toast after the Best Man. (This is optional.  Ask the Bride if she would like you to do this.)
  • Assist Bride with her clothes after the wedding.
  • Assist as needed in removing all items from the reception and cleaning up at the end of the party.

Your Financial Responsibilities

  • Your dress and accessories.
  • Your travel and accommodation expenses.
  • Make up and hair expenses (This should be your choice.  If you feel you can’t afford it or just don’t want to spring for a professional make up artist be honest and tell your Bride.)
  • The bachelorette party (sometimes this expense is split between all of the Bridesmaids).
  • Your wedding gift for the Bride and Groom.

How to Provide Emotional Support for a Bride

Very carefully!  Patience and forgiveness need to be two virtues with which you are very familiar.  As you know well, women start planning their wedding the moment they are born.  Your Bride is no exception.

Keep her stress level in mind; she has 5,001 things on her mind and in order for her to get them all done she believes that you are not only able to read her mind, but to anticipate any problems that might get in her way.

If you have been watching any of the popular shows on T.V. featuring “Bridezillas,” you know how bad a Bride can get.  I thoroughly believe that most of them need spankings, but I know that even the nicest, most even-tempered Bride can lose it.  So what do you do if your Bride’s stress begins to show?

1.     Take a deep breath.  Not just good for life, but keeps you calm.

2.     Tell her that you are there for her in anyway that she might need – then do it!

3.     If you have any problems with any of the scheduled events, make sure she knows ahead of time.  If you tell her last minute, she’s liable to explode.

4.     If she asks for your opinion, then give it.  Don’t give it to her if not solicited.  The only exception to this is if it concerns something that would really embarrass the Bride.  We have all seen decorations that are so bad we feel that we are on candid camera.  However, this is not an area that warrants your intervention.  Pick your battles!

5.     Sometimes the Bride just needs to vent – or cry.  Let her do it.  She will feel better when she’s done.  Ask her if there is anything you can do to help.  If it is something that doesn’t include anything illegal, do it for her.  If she says nothing, then take her out for some serious chocolate.

6.     Try not to get caught up in family disagreements.  Just be there as support and look for ways that might lessen her stress.

7.     In case of “Maid of Honor abuse,” you need to determine whether it is bad enough to ruin a friendship.  If you walk, or if you confront the Bride on her questionable behavior, there may not only be an ugly scene, but you may never speak again.  I am not giving the Bride a free pass here – but it’s something you need to think about very seriously.

Final Advice

Most likely, this will be a wonderful experience that makes you and the Bride closer.  A wedding brings families and friends together in a common purpose: to see two people commit to each other for the rest of their lives.  Your job is to help the Bride plan this event and prevent her from being committed in another way – to a mental institution.

Remember that this is all in the name of love and friendship and, don’t forget, you can always get her back by having her be your Matron of Honor!

 

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