The maid of honor is literally the helper of the bride. The bride is the busiest person in preparing her wedding and on her wedding day, which is why it’s a good idea for maids of honor to know these day-of to-dos.
1. Make sure the bride and bridal party are on track to have their hair and makeup was done in time (and that everyone looks great!).
If you sense that someone’s updo takes a lot of time that drags the event, it’s up to you to speak up and remind the bridesmaids. Let everyone politely know of time constraints and reshuffle the schedule to make the timing work.
2. Maid of honor must be aware of any rips in the bride’s dress and any veil or train malfunctions throughout the day.
It’s sad, but sometimes true: The beautiful wedding dress that was obsessed over for months and altered to perfection can often end up in a heap on the floor if the bride’s rushing to change into her reception dress or after-party dress.
The maid of honor must carry an emergency kit on hand all the time —unfortunately, sometimes zippers break, buttons pop and trains rip, so it’s good to have a needle and thread on standby. (Same goes for stain remover if the morning mimosas take a spill on a garment.) Help adjust the bride’s veil and smooth out her train before she goes down the aisle too.
3. Learn how to bustle the bride’s dress.
It doesn’t matter if you learn how to tie or button the bustle during a fitting or the night before the wedding—just make sure you know how to bustle the gown quickly for the wedding day. (It can take a few tries, especially if there are ribbons involved.)
4. Make sure the bride eats and drinks throughout the day.
And if you notice she’s had nothing but champagne at the reception—which happens!—make sure she takes a few sips of water between each one. Make sure the bride takes a moment to eat something — refresh her drink, get her a plate of food from the buffet table, or instruct the wait staff to keep her entree warm.
5. Hand out the bouquets, and be prepared to hold the bride’s bouquet.
Act as the point person for the bouquets and coordinate with the florist to find out when they’ll be delivered, if the bride doesn’t have a wedding planner. Hand out each boutonniere, corsage and bouquet, and make sure bouquets can be stuck in water to look fresh if the ceremony isn’t for awhile. Also, remember to take the bride’s bouquet at the altar, and return it back to her before she walks back down the aisle for the recessional.
6. Act as a host throughout the day.
Play hostess along with the other bridesmaids at frequent points during the reception: show guests where to sit, direct them to restrooms, tell them to where to put presents, invite them to sign the guest book, etc.
7. Tie up loose ends at the end of the wedding.
Keep an eye on the gift table and card box, and delegate help bringing gifts and cards into a secure room or someone’s car after the party’s over.
8. Take care of the bride’s wedding dress after the reception.
Make her happy in advance by helping her change out of it and hanging it back up in the garment bag, smoothing out any wrinkles and attacking any champagne stains with stain remover from your emergency kit. Bonus points if you hold onto it and deliver it back to her after the honeymoon!
9. Lead the bridesmaid troupe.
It’s the maid/matron of honor’s (MOH) job to direct the other maids through their duties. Make sure everyone gets their bridesmaid dresses, go to dress fittings, and find the right jewelry.
10. Offer to help the bride with prewedding tasks
Addressing invites to choosing the wedding colors and nodding enthusiastically when she waxes poetic about the wedding cake.
11. Help the bride change for her honeymoon and take charge of her gown after the ceremony.
12. Lend an ear.
Whether it’s about the planning, the marriage, or the registry china patterns, the MOH 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, the MOH keeps listening.
13. Host or co-host a bridal shower for the bride.
14. Keep a record of all the gifts received at various parties and showers (or delegate a bridesmaid to handle this).
15. Plan the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids.
16. See to it that all bridesmaids get to the rehearsal; coordinate transportation and lodging, if necessary.
17. Hold the groom’s ring during the ceremony.
The safest place to put it? On your thumb.
18. Hold the bride’s bouquet while the couple exchanges vow.
19. Sign the marriage license as a witness, along with the best man.
20. Collect any gift envelopes brought to the reception and keep them in a safe place.
21. Keep the bride laughing. For the stressed-out bride, laughter can be as effective as venting. (Optional but this what really friends do all the time)
Checkout more on our blogs: How to Choose your Bridesmaids and your Entire Wedding Party