When it comes to Maid of Honor duties and Matron of Honor responsibilities, there is a lot to plan and take care of (but the most important thing is to be there when the bride needs emotional support).
This article will give you all of the information you need (plus a few free printables to help keep you organized while helping plan this special day).
Here is what we will cover in this post:
- Maid of Honor duties before the wedding day
- Maid of Honor duties and responsibilities on the wedding day (pre-ceremony)
- Maid of Honor duties on the wedding day (ceremony and photos)
- Maid of Honor duties on the wedding day (Reception)
- Real brides tell what they appreciated most about the Maid of Honor
Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor Duties Before The Wedding Day
Congratulations on being asked to be a Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor (or maybe the Man of Honor)! Now what?
There are lots of small and important details to plan and keep track of.
We recommend getting one of our Maid of Honor printable planners to keep you organized throughout the process.
If there are two Maids of Honor you can divide up some of the lists.
Let’s go over all of the main things (and little details) that a Maid of Honor typically helps with…
Give emotional support throughout the entire process
This is definitely one of the most important Maid of Honor duties.
The months leading up to the wedding day are when the bride-to-be is going to need the most help and support.
There are going to be times when wedding planning is really fun and exciting, and there are going to be times when wedding planning is stressful and chaotic.
As the Maid of Honor, it’s your role to be there for moral support and guidance when your best friend needs you most.
Help the bride to-be-stay organized
Staying organized is honestly the best way to ease wedding planning stress and overwhelm.
I have photographed and helped plan over 500 weddings and I can say one thing with certainty:
A bride who has an organized Maid of Honor (or Matron of Honor) who is there to help, is a bride who has a great time planning a wedding.
By helping the bride stay organized, you will make the wedding-planning process so much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
We have an entire article on putting together the ultimate Maid of Honor planner. Check it out here.
Introduce the other bridesmaids to each other
Once the bridal party is official, send out a group email to the girls to introduce each other and make sure you collect everybody’s contact information.
You could privately send out an email to each bridal party member and ask them a few fun questions like these:
- How do you know the bride/what is your relationship to the bride?
- What are 3 things you can’t live without
- Favorite song
- Favorite movie
Then have them email you a profile photo and compile a short bio with the photo.
Now send out an email to the group with all of the info.
Setting up a private Facebook group (or some other online community) is a great way to keep everybody in the loop. And it’s free!
Talk about the budget with the other bridesmaids
There are going to be a lot of different events and items to pay for between now and the wedding day (bachelorette party, bridal shower, plus all of the expenses for the bridesmaids on the wedding day).
After talking with the bride about her wishes, send out a group email to the bridal party (or do a group Zoom call) to talk about money.
Money should not be a taboo issue. It’s best to find out what people can and cannot afford before plans start being made.
Does the bride want to do a big trip to another country or the other side of the US for the bachelorette party? Before booking that trip, make sure to talk to everyone to see what they can afford to do.
There are always solutions if the majority can’t swing it.
Maybe you could do a local bachelorette party for the entire group and then the bride and a smaller group could do the big trip together.
Have that conversation as soon as you can.
Take on the role of point person for the bridal party
Reach out to all of the bridesmaids and let them know that they can contact you with any questions about the wedding.
You could even put the answer in your private Facebook group. This will save you and the bride the time and stress of answering the same questions over and over.
Help the bride find the perfect wedding dress
Wedding dress shopping is such an exciting part of the wedding planning process. You can help the bride by putting dresses back on hangers as she searches for the perfect gown.
Bridesmaid dresses and your dress
Order your dress as soon as you can and make sure the other girls do too. This way everyone gets their dress delivered on time with plenty of time to get alterations done if needed.
Planning the bridal shower or couple’s wedding shower
One of the main Maid of Honor duties is planning a bridal shower or wedding shower (or helping the Mother of the Bride plan it).
Talk with the Mother of the Bride and/or sisters (if you are the best friend who is the MOH) and find out the plans for a bridal shower.
Sometimes the bride’s mother or family throws the bride or couple a shower and sometimes the bride gets more than one shower.
If you are going to plan or help plan the bridal shower, here are a few things that will go into the planning process:
- Talking with the bride and Mother of the Bride to come up with a guest list
- Setting a budget
- Planning a timeline/schedule for the day
- Menu details
- Games and activities
Planning an amazing bachelorette party
One of the most important roles of a Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor is planning a really fun bachelorette party for the bride-to-be.
Some of the things you will need to plan are:
- Coming up with a budget with the bride and the rest of the bridesmaids
- Getting a list of must-haves and wants from the bride-to-be
- Getting a guest list from the bride
- Researching locations
- Booking accommodations, flights, and rentals cars
- Planning activities, excursions, and games
- Finding amazing places to eat and have drinks
- Keeping the rest of the bridal party in the loop with money and details
- Collecting payments from everyone
- Making a detailed itinerary and packing list
- And more!
Attend pre-wedding events
As the Maid of Honor, you will most likely be attending any pre-wedding events that the couple is having.
Here are some of the events:
- The engagement party
- Bachelorette party
- Bridal shower
- Couple’s wedding shower
- The rehearsal dinner or wedding welcome party
Think about what you’re going to wear!
Put together a wedding day emergency kit
Put together a kit of things that could be helpful on the wedding day (safety pins, scissors, hair ties, stain remover, mints, tissues, etc.).
Help with DIY projects
Ask the bride-to-be if she needs help with any projects (making a seating chart, addressing wedding invitations, Cricut projects, etc.)
Put together an epic playlist
Help the bride put together the best music playlists ever.
You will want one for the following events:
We have the best playlist ideas on our blog. This is the best place to start for song ideas.
Matron of Honor Duties (Maid of Honor) – (Day of The Wedding – Pre-Ceremony)
The Maid of Honor has an important role on the morning of the wedding and the main thing is keeping the bride relaxed and making sure it’s a fun atmosphere (tip: music is a must).
Here are a few things that you can help with:
Keep the bridal suite looking great for photos
When you have 6-20 people getting ready on the wedding day morning, the bridal suite can look like a tornado hit it very quickly.
Coordinate with the bridesmaids to ensure the bride’s hair and makeup area looks great (it will be in a lot of photos). Remove water bottles, food wrappers, clutter, etc.
Ask the photographer if they have a spot picked out for when the bride gets her dress on. Make sure this area is kept clean as well.
Tip: Designate one corner/area of the bridal suite to keep bags and personal items. This way the rest of the room looks picture-perfect.
Check-in with the Mother of The Bride
Check in throughout the morning to make sure the bride’s mom has everything she needs. See if she needs a snack or a drink. See how she’s liking her hair/makeup.
Note: If you get a sense that the bride’s mother is stressing her out on the morning of the wedding, try and find some “important jobs” to keep her busy (maybe checking on the reception room to see how the setup is going or gathering the details for the photographer).
Coordinate with vendors
Let wedding day vendors know that you are the main point of contact for questions. The wedding coordinator or planner, photographer, and DJ are probably going to have questions throughout the day.
Introduce yourself when they get there and let them know that you can help with any questions they might have.
By doing this, the bride will get a little more downtime.
A great Maid of Honor can put out the small fires without the bride ever knowing they even happened.
Keep a close eye on the bride during hair and makeup
When the bride is getting her makeup done, check in as much as you can to make sure she is happy with the process and results.
I have been in over 500 bridal suites during the hair and makeup process and I have personally witnessed so many brides who were not happy with their makeup but were afraid to say something.
As the MOH, you will be able to get the bride’s honest opinion and then you can talk with the makeup artist (or hair stylist) to make sure the bride is getting everything that she wants on her big day.
Organize the details for the photographer
Most likely one of the first things that the photographer will want to do after arriving is photograph all of the bride’s little details.
Gather all of these things the morning of the wedding (or the day before) and make sure the photographer gets them (and make sure they are kept together when they are finished with them).
Some of the typical items include the dress, shoes, invitations, bride’s bouquet, jewelry, bride’s ring and engagement ring, and groom’s ring.
Keep The couple separated
If the bride and groom (or bride and bride) are getting ready at the same location, accidentally seeing each other before the ceremony can happen easily if there is no coordination.
If the bride wants to leave the bridal suite to check on things or get some fresh air, coordinate with the wedding planner and photographer to make sure that the other person is not also walking around the wedding venue or getting photos taken outside.
Tip: Keep the wedding planner and photographer’s number in your cell so you can call or text them for a quick response. This is a huge time saver!
Help get the bride into her dress
You will want to get into your dress before helping the bride get into her dress.
Talk with the bride ahead of time to see if she wants other people to help (mom, sister, the other bridesmaids, etc.).
Know the process of the dress before the wedding day. If there are a hundred little buttons that need to be done up on the back, this will take a lot more time than a simple zipper.
Plan accordingly and keep an eye on the timeline.
Assist with the dress in the bathroom
It’s not the most glamorous job but somebody’s gotta do it 🙂
Remind the bride the use the bathroom just before getting into the dress.
You would not believe how many times I have heard a bride say “I wish I would’ve thought of this before I got dressed!” (I started reminding them when the MOH did not and it was always appreciated)
Make sure the bride drinks water and eats something
This one is a big deal and often gets overlooked. Check in with the bride now and then to make sure she is getting enough to eat and drink before the day starts moving faster.
The last thing you want is a dehydrated bride during the ceremony and photos.
Keep an eye on the time
Another main responsibility of the MOH is keeping things moving in the morning.
The bride-to-be is not going to watch the clock.
Keep a copy of the wedding day timeline on your phone (or print one out and tape it up in the bridal suite). That way you can quickly see if things are getting off track.
If the first look is happening at 1 pm and you see that the bride is not dressed at 12:45, it’s time to step in and help the bride get moving (calmly).
I am going to be writing an entire article on this very shortly because we have a lot of tips that will help you stay on schedule (too many to post in this article).
Maid of Honor Duties and Responsibilities (Day of The Wedding – Ceremony and Photos)
Here are a few things that the Maid of Honor typically helps with at the wedding ceremony:
Make sure the bride looks picture-perfect before walking down the aisle
Double-check the bride’s hair, dress, and veil just before the wedding ceremony starts
Adjust the bride’s train and veil
After the bride walks down the aisle and gets into position, it will be your job to fix the back of the train and adjust her veil.
Pay special attention to the side facing the guests and photographer.
Hold the bride’s bouquet
As soon as you are finished fixing the train and veil, the bride will hand you her bouquet.
You will give it back right before the couple walks back up the aisle.
Sign the marriage license
One of your roles might include signing the marriage license as a witness.
Help make family photos less stressful
As a photographer and wedding planner, I can confirm that this is the most stressful part of the day for most brides.
There are always going to be family members and wedding party members who act like they’ve never taken photos at a wedding before. They will wander off to cocktail hour. They will head to the bathroom. They will walk to their car to get the couple’s gift.
One thing you can do to make this less stressful is to help wrangle family members and the rest of the wedding party for group photos.
You are probably familiar with most members of the bride’s side of the family so it will be easy for you to keep them in the area and ready for their turn.
Help the bride make a list of family photos and give a copy of that list to the photographer, wedding coordinator, and best man.
If you make it a group effort, it can get done really fast.
Maid of Honor Duties and Responsibilities (Day of The Wedding – Reception)
Here are the main Maid of Honor duties during the wedding reception:
Help bustle the bride’s dress
The bride will want to bustle her dress after wedding photos but before entering the reception.
Learn the process before the wedding day and it will be easy and stress-free.
Make an awesome entrance to the reception with the best man
It’s time to get the party started!
The Maid of Honor and Best Man will enter the reception just before the couple. Make it a great entrance. Get the guests cheering!
Here are 50 wedding party entrance ideas for inspiration.
Make sure the bride gets those important group photos
Get a list of important photos from the bride before the wedding day and help coordinate these with the wedding photographer.
These will be the photos that are not taken during family portraits.
Here are some of the photos that we typically get requests for:
- Group photo of college friends
- High school group
- Big extended family photos
It’s a good idea to get these photos taken early on at the wedding reception.
We have found that the time between the end of dinner and just before the dance floor opens up works best.
The DJ can announce each group and you can help get those people lined up.
Give the best Maid of Honor speech ever given
Prepare an amazing Maid of Honor speech and toast the newly married happy couple.
We will be putting together an article with the best tips next week. We will share the link right here.
Get People Into The Photo Booth
The couple booked a photo booth so they definitely want all of the guests to use it.
From my experience and what I have seen, more people will use the photo booth when the couple and the bridal party make it a priority.
Grab different groups of family and friends and get some fun photos taken with the provided props.
Make sure you get a photo booth session of all of the bridesmaids, the bride with the bridesmaids, you and the bride, and you with the couple.
Stay on the dance floor with the bride
If the bride wants to dance all night, stay out there with her and encourage the groom, the other bridesmaids, and the bride’s parents to get out there too.
The photographer will be taking a ton of photos of the dance floor action. The couple will love having lots of photos of those closest to her having a great time.
Help At The End Of The Night
This is not always necessary but for weddings where the couple is responsible for packing everything up, offer to chip in and help gather or box up items.
The more hands available the faster the process will go, so ask the wedding party to help too.
Real Brides Tell Us What They Loved Most About Their Maid of Honor/Matron of Honor
We sent out an email to our readers and asked these questions:
“During the wedding planning process, what did your Maid of Honor do that was the most helpful?”
Here are a few responses from our community:
“My maid of honor helped with missing RSVPs. This was gold to me! We were missing so many responses and my moh asked me for a list with phone numbers and email addresses. She got together with 2 of my other bridesmaids and got in touch with everyone. She did so many other amazing things but this one should get her a medal.”
“My sister was my Matron of Honor and she was amazing! She offered constant emotional support when I needed it. She planned my bachelorette party and bridal shower and made sure the bridesmaids knew when and where to show up for events. On the wedding day I did not have to worry about anything.”
“My aunt was my matron of honor and my best friend was my maid of honor. They were tons of help!! They helped me find bridesmaids dresses and made sure the other girls got what they needed.”
“My sister brought me lots of food on the wedding day because she knows I get hangry lol”
More Wedding Planning Tips and Resources
Here are a few more articles that you might find helpful:
- The ultimate Maid of Honor printable planner
- How to start your Maid of Honor speech
- How to end your Maid of Honor speech
- 50 best beach bachelorette party destinations
- A packing list and checklist for the bridesmaids
- Check out these fun game articles like He Said She Said and Bridal Mad Libs
- Check out our online wedding shop for wedding planners, Maid of Honor planners, Mother of the Bride planners, and bridal shower game card bundles (everything in our store can be customized and personalized with a FREE Canva account)
- The best bachelorette party games
Note: All of the photos in this article were personally taken by me. I do not mind you sharing them or using them but please give credit to PA Unveiled