The 4 stages of becoming a Maid Of Honour, Matron of Honour or Gentleman of Honour:
- Step 1: Receive your invitation.
- Step 2: Freak out a bit…
- Step 3: Read this complete list of Maid Of Honour duties
- Step 4: Breathe. Calm. And enjoy the ride!
The Maid Of Honour journey and priorities
We know that the journey ahead and all of your Maid Of Honour duties might look daunting when you think of everything you have to do. But you know what makes it easier? Thinking of the bride. That’s cliché but it’s true.
This is one of the biggest personal journeys she’ll make in her whole life and she has asked you to support her – to help make it go smoothly and to surround her with love and loyalty as she embarks on this new life.
Being a Maid Of Honour is an experience you’ll remember forever and, if you can tick all the boxes on this checklist, then we can guarantee the bride-to-be will never forget the hard work and love you put into this.
What are the variations on the role?
There are all sorts of weddings, bridal parties and friendships that have produced more and more variations on what the bride’s entourage looks like.
There is the traditional Maid Of Honour role but, if the lady is married, she’d be a Matron Of Honour. And it’s even becoming more common to have variations like a Best Woman, or even a Gentleman Of Honour or Man Of Honour!
Maid Of Honour rules
- Set any boundaries and expectations with the bride from the beginning (what you can and can’t do and what you’re willing to spend etc.)
- Be honest (but kind and tactful)
- Don’t impose your tastes or preferences
- Be there for whatever she needs
- If you’re a joint Maid Of Honour or sharing duties with bridesmaids, divvy up the responsibilities at the beginning
- Chat with the bride to make sure you know what she thinks your Maid Of Honour duties are, just to make sure you’re on the same page
Pre-wedding Maid Of Honour duties
- Number one duty: Take the stress off the bride. Whatever you can do to help. If she needs to ramble, vent or anything else, you’re there for her.
- Help with wedding planning and decision making (colours, food, decor etc). Remember that you’re there to support the bride’s decisions and tastes, not your own.
- Attend wedding shows and possibly venue viewings.
- Coordinate with the rest of the bridesmaids. Be clear about who is doing what and communicate the bride’s wishes on things to make sure the bridesmaids don’t run away with their own ideas. They should come to you with any questions, not the bride.
- Provide advice on the budget – be honest but supportive.
- Go wedding dress shopping (plus fittings) – be honest but respect her taste and wishes.
- Help choose the bridesmaid dresses – express what you’d prefer but understand that it has to fit with her tastes and the overall look of the wedding.
- Do food and cake tastings (our favourite of all Maid Of Honour duties).
- Create the wedding day emergency kit – this has everything you need to avoid disasters, keep the bride happy and make the day run smoothly.
- Help send out the invitations and track RSVPs.
- Help make or assemble wedding favours.
- Help make or assemble any wedding day decor and organise it so it’s ready for the big day.
The hen party
One of the most important Maid Of Honour duties is to plan the hen do! It’s also the most fun of the duties, in our opinion…
You’ll be responsible for:
- Creating the guest list – chat with the bride to make sure you get the names of people you don’t know.
- Choosing the destination – this might be a surprise for the bride or, if not, maybe chat with her to find out her preferences.
- Decide on a budget – chat with the bridesmaids and the whole group to get a sense of what everyone can spend. Be mindful of people’s limitations and keep it realistic (to avoid dropouts and arguments later).
- Choose accommodation and/or activities – check out your fave hen party destinations to see what’s on offer.
- Book your package and split the payments (if you book with us, you don’t have to collect any money as the girls all pay for themselves online). Note, you can also split the cost of the bride, so she doesn’t have to pay for her own hen party.
- Plan any special touches – think things like themes, colour schemes, games and maybe some surprises or gifts for the bride!
Note: Though bridal showers are not traditional in the UK and Ireland, have a chat with the bride to see if she would like one.
On the wedding day
- Be the point of contact for the whole day, to vendors and guests – nothing gets through to the bride unless you hear it first.
- Keep the bride relaxed and happy – whether this is just by being supportive, telling jokes or having some special touches and surprises for her to create some special moments.
- Get ready together with the bride and bridal party – make sure the bride feels perfect and special.
- Keep things on schedule – we recommend carrying a clutch with you for the day and keeping a printed version of the schedule on you.
- Coordinate the bridesmaids for the day – make sure they’re there at all the right moments and what they have to do.
- Carry an emergency kit for the bride – check out our comprehensive checklist for the perfect wedding emergency kit.
- Hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony.
- Hold the groom’s ring during the ceremony.
- Sign the marriage license (if you are acting as witness as well).
- Make sure the bride eats something and that she doesn’t drink too much before the speeches.
- Make a speech – this is becoming a much more common expectation for Maids Of Honour and it doesn’t have to be scary! Check out our speech tips and top examples in the Maid Of Honour Bible.
- Dance with the Best Man – if the wedding follows the traditional dance order. If not, then just be ready with your dancing shoes to be the life of the party and get the crowds up and dancing.
- Tieing up loose ends at the end of the night – liaise with the venue and suppliers at the end of the evening to make sure pack up is done, make sure any gifts, the guestbook and the bride’s bouquet are taken home and stored properly, and even help coordinate making sure all guests leave alright.
More Maid Of Honour help
For expert advice, a quick list of Maod Of Honour duties, speech tips and unique ideas for making this a truly special journey for the bride, check out our Maid Of Honour Bible.
Hopefully, this list of Maid Of Honour duties and guidelines has laid everything out for you. There’s a lot in the role but it doesn’t have to be scary or stressful if you lay the ground rules at the beginning and stay organised.
If there are any duties we missed, please let us know!