The job of maid/matron of honor, that is!
You have been selected to be a maid/matron of honor and you could not be more excited, BUT you have no idea what you are supposed to be handling, planning or doing! The one thing you do know is where you will be standing (next to the bride). Here are a few of the duties that maids and matrons alike are traditionally responsible for:
Before The Wedding
- Make sure the other bridesmaids are completing their duties. Bridesmaid’s dresses should be bought, jewelry and shoes picked out and all information for showers and parties should be given to the bridesmaids through the maid/matron of honor!
- Help shop for everyone’s dress (bridesmaids’ and bride’s)! Don’t forget that the maid/matron of honor pays for her entire wedding ensemble!
- Offer to help the bride with any wedding tasks (big and small), from choosing the wedding color scheme, addressing invites to gushing about how delicious the cheese she selected is.
- Spread the news about where the couple is registered. (Read here about gift cards as wedding gifts!)
Showers and Parties
- Host or co-host a shower for the bride.
- Attend all pre-wedding parties and encourage others to do so.
- Keep a record of all the gifts received at various parties and showers (or delegate a bridesmaid to handle this) to ensure proper thank-you notes can be sent.
- Plan the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids.
Pre-Wedding and Ceremony
- See to it that all bridesmaids get to the rehearsal; coordinate transportation and lodging, if necessary.
- Make sure that all bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done, get to the ceremony on time, and have the correct bouquets.
- Hold the groom’s ring during the ceremony. Wondering where to put it? On your thumb.
- Arrange the bride’s train and veil before the ceremony begins and just after she arrives at the altar. You may also need to help her bustle the train for easy dancing at the reception.
- This one is a given, but just in case you forget, hold the bride’s bouquet while the couple exchanges vows.
- Sign the marriage license as a witness, if required, along with the best man.
- Play hostess along with the other bridesmaids at frequent points during the reception: show guests where to sit, direct them to restrooms, tell them where to put presents, invite them to sign the guest book, etc.
- Make sure the bride takes a moment to eat something (force her if you have to) refresh her drink, get her a plate of food from the buffet table, or instruct the wait staff to keep her entreé warm.
- Dance with the best man during the formal first-dance sequence and possibly be announced with him at the beginning of the party. Also dance with other groomsmen, the groom, and others.
- Offer a formal toast to the couple. (This is optional, but it is a nice touch.)
- At the conclusion of the reception, help the bride change for the departure and take charge of her gown. Arrange for storage in a safe place until she returns (maybe even cleaning if you want to earn brownie points).
Finally, remember your real role is a sister and best friend!
Always be willing to listen. Whether it’s about the planning, the marriage, or the thread count of the sheets she is registering for, the maid/matron of honor should assure the bride that she has someone with whom she can share her thoughts. Even if she seems to dwell on the same subjects repeatedly, keep listening and make sure you are sincere.
And lastly, try to keep the bride laughing. For the stressed-out bride, laughter can be as effective as venting. And remember our motto here at Circle of Love Weddings: this is supposed to be fun!
Photo courtesy of W. Scott Chester