Ok, so you’re the Maid of Honor. This is a super fun, super important, and super exciting time. You’re the righthand lady, the confidante, the badass, and the fearless leader/pro wrangler of the bridal party. You’re the hostess with the most-est and a dancefloor extraordinaire. And with a slew of shopping, bridal shower, bachelorette party, and reception responsibilities coming at you full speed, here’s our ultimate Maid of Honor duties checklist to make the process as charmed and breezy as possible. Bookmark this page!
Help with Wedding Dress Shopping
One of the most delightful parts about being a Maid of Honor is helping the bride choose her wedding dress. This is a point in the wedding-planning process where she’s really counting on you. She may have her venue booked and palettes pinned, but she’s looking to her nearest and dearest for a second opinion on her perfect wedding gown!
When booking or helping to book a bridal appointment, keep the following in mind to make the process feel easy and productive:
- Help the bride keep her boutique guestlist minimal, i.e., she doesn’t need to invite every aunt, cousin, and friend-of-a-friend.
- Help the bride prep for her appointment by gathering inspiration and researching her chosen boutique’s wedding dress selection. Curate some of her favorites from Pinterest as reference, and do what you can to help her find specific wedding dresses in her area.
- Prepare for multiple boutique trips if necessary.
- Bring your phone or a camera to take dress-shopping photos.
- Give honest but productive feedback as the bride tries on each wedding gown.
- Check out our full guide to MOH etiquette for wedding-dress shopping in the link.
Help with Wedding Planning
It goes without saying that brides have all kinds of personalities and management styles. Some relish the help and support of friends and family, while others are more inclined to plan their wedding solo.
As the Maid of Honor, you’re the one who knows your friendship dynamic best. Does the bride need a little nudging and motivation? Do you need to back off a little and let her do her thing? Do you both work best with calendars and brainstorm sessions, or does the planning happen organically as you spend regular time together? If the plan of approach is unclear, don’t be afraid to reach out and set a date to talk shop. Whatever her personality or expectations, the bride will be relieved to know you want to plan, coordinate, and respond to her needs as best you can.
Help Coordinate or Purchase Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Accessories
As the Maid of Honor typically takes charge of bridesmaid duties, it’s your responsibility to coordinate their gown, accessory, and styling purchases. The bride may ask for your help choosing gorgeous bridesmaid dresses, which gives you a perfect chance to advise on budget, silhouette, and palette options. Once the bride has browsed options and made her selection, it’s your job to ensure each member of the bridal party knows where, when, and how to get their gowns in hand.
If bridesmaid gowns are being ordered through your bridal boutique, the bride will most likely be able to forward you information given by her stylist. This may include an online link for each maid to choose her size and place an order, or a way for the bridesmaid to pick up from a batch order in-store. Remind the bridal party of any alteration costs; many boutiques and specialty bridal shops also offer these services for bridesmaids’ gowns and groomsmen suits.
Whether the bride is shopping in-store or online, paying for gowns herself or allotting to bridesmaids, purchasing in one delivery package or delegating to individuals—perhaps the most important coordination effort you can help with is to sync up purchase and delivery in a short and manageable time frame. (The last thing the bride needs is a procrastinating bridesmaid or returns mishap the month before the wedding…)
Maid of Honor Duties to Help to Plan and Host the Bridal Shower
This is another fun part of your Maid of Honor checklist! In the midst of all the shopping and pinning, you get to help the bride plan a chic, unique, and meaningful bridal shower. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Depending on the wedding timeline, you may host the bridal shower anywhere from 2-6 months before the big day.
- Your bride may need help with choosing and sending out her bridal shower invites.
- Plan to invite the bridal party and other close friends and family. Traditionally the guestlist is all female, but lately it’s not unusual for brides to invite loved ones of all genders.
- Work with the bride to decide who hosts the actual celebration. It may be held at a close relative’s home, a restaurant, a park, or a unique venue.
- If décor is your responsibility, ask the bride for some mood boards and inspiration. Shop items that fits her taste and budget.
- Research games and activities that fit your bride’s personality and complements the vibe of her crowd. A guest group that already has a good bond may prefer something more organic and laidback, whereas a group that doesn’t know each other as well may benefit from structured games and icebreaker-style activities.
Help Plan and Host the Bachelorette Party
Next up in your Maid of Honor Duties checklist: the bachelorette bash! Here are a few ways to make the experience memorable, manageable, and as drama-free as possible:
- Help manage the bride’s anxiety and expectations. Media and movies have given us unrealistic ideas of bachelorette parties; it’s important to optimize everyone’s excitement without letting it tip over to anxiety and frustration.
- Work with a realistic budget and be respectful to everyone who contributes money or resources. For example, if a bridesmaid offers her family cabin as a location, make sure everyone in the group knows the rules and expectations for use. If you’re crowdsourcing for food and booze, set a detailed plan ahead of time in a group itinerary email.
- Avoid overscheduling the day or weekend. Most often the bridal party is there to relax and enjoy each other’s company; all the bells-and-whistles “traditions” are really just good for photo ops.
- Set a clear plan for transportation so there’s zero risk of anyone driving under the influence.
- Have fun with the location and look to the bride’s interests to personalize the experience. If the Vegas cliché isn’t her thing, choose a unique destination like a local vineyard, a glamping spot, or a spa retreat.
- Look to your group to coordinate a surprise activity or experience for the bride at some point in the bachelorette festivities. It’s also a great idea to present a personalized gift.
Coordinate the Bridesmaids’ Duties
Bridesmaids’ duties vary depending on the size and scale of the wedding, but the most common breakdown includes:
- Paying for their attire and accessories.
- Contributing to the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
- Attending any pre-wedding events, including the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
- Buying a wedding present.
- Assisting the MOH before, during, and after the wedding.
- Participating in the wedding ceremony.
- Being in bridal party photos.
- Being a fun and helpful guest at the reception.
- Making sure the bride eats and stays hydrated on the wedding day.
- Staying positive, energetic, and supportive to make the whole process as stress-free as possible.
Since you are second-in-command for the bridal party, much of this management and coordination is put on you. You’ve got this!
Maid of Honor Duties for Supporting the Bride During Engagement
As the Maid of Honor, you’ve got a big job of checking in with the bride to make her engagement as smooth, enjoyable, and manageable as can be. By no means are you expected to disrupt your life for hers, but it’s a true gesture of your friendship to give her as much support as you can during this busy and stress-prone time.
On the Wedding Day: Help Bride wih Wedding Dress, Bustle, and Veil
As the actual wedding day approaches, sync up with the bride to plan your nitty-gritty agenda for getting dressed, getting HAMU done, and adding any finishing touches. This Maid of Honor getting-dressed checklist may include:
- Arrive at the venue to get ready at a set time.
- Coordinate the rest of the bridal party’s arrivals.
- Manage bridesmaids’ dress and HAMU appointments.
- Communicate with the bride about her on-site beauty items.
- Help the bride get into her wedding dress.
- Add accessories like jewelry, veil, and shoes.
- Pose for the bride’s getting-dressed photos.
- Assist with corsages, bouquets, crowns, and other floral accessories.
- Bring an emergency kit or run to the store for last-minute supplies.
- Help with the bride’s bustle for the reception.
- Keep the bride’s veil safe and help with the bouquet.
Keep Bridesmaids on Schedule as Part of Your Maid of Honor Duties
One of the best ways you can help the bride on her wedding day is to take charge of the bridal party’s schedule. Similar to your getting-ready agenda above, this responsibility includes:
- Ensure each member of the bridal party arrives on time with their clothing, makeup, accessories, and any other add-ons in tow.
- Keep everyone fed, hydrated, and energized.
- Pour celebratory bubbly and making a pre-ceremony toast.
- Manage HAMU appointments and vendor timelines.
- Help the bridal party navigate the venue and note where everything is.
- Answer any phone calls, texts, and logistical questions for the bride.
- Make sure the bridal party understands their lineup and ceremony roles.
And of course, the pre-wedding timeline is just as important as the actual wedding-day agenda. Part of your Maid of Honor duties during the engagement window is to check in regularly with bridesmaids about their gowns, travel schedules, gift/registry questions, planning responsibilities, and budgeting.
Give a Maid of Honor Speech at the Wedding Reception
This may be an exciting or dread-inducing part of your Maid of Honor duties checklist: making a unique, meaningful, and effective toast at the wedding reception! Whether you’re a seasoned public speaker or hopeless introvert, here are a few time-honored things to include and a few things to avoid:
- Follow a tried-and-true formula but add appropriate flair.
- Practice a few times before the wedding day.
- Give some sweet advice from your own wedding day, if applicable.
- Lean on a quote if you need to.
- Keep the speech short and sweet.
- Avoid awkward humor, cheap shots, and clichés (e.g., crude sex jokes, money references, obscure inside jokes, criticism of either partner, oversharing, unnecessary personal baggage, etc.)
- If you like giving a speech and fancy yourself a pro, don’t make it about yourself. Keep it focused on the couple and the guest experience.
Wedding toasts often go one of two ways: they either become a meaningful and affirmative part of the ceremony, or they descend into an awkward free-for-all featuring a dicey microphone and drunk wedding party. As the Maid of Honor, it’s one of your responsibilities to manage this high-stakes portion of the evening—setting your own fun, fabulous, and thoughtful praise to the newlyweds as precedent!
Maid of Honor Duties for After the Reception: Collect and Transport Wedding Gifts
Once you’ve helped the couple check off ceremony, toasts, dance party, and send-off, you may find yourself as the last point person for shutting down the event and packing everything out of the venue. Here’s what to anticipate for your MOH checklist for after the wedding:
- Clean up parts of the venue, if necessary.
- Hand out tips to vendors, if assigned.
- Save flowers if the bride wants to reuse or preserve them.
- Get gifts loaded up and sent to the right location.
- Gather any left-behind items like jackets, beauty products, and purses for safekeeping.
- Collect extra party favors to give back to the couple or family.
- Grab extra food and goodies from vendors.
- Make sure the couple gets the top tier of their wedding cake, if they’re saving it.
- Help out with the after-party, if there is one.
- In a few days or weeks, help the bride send out thank-you cards.
Ok, phew, you’ve got this. At the end of the day, the most important part of being chosen as the Maid of Honor is to be the best support to the bride you can be. This may be as complex as booking venues and coordinating bridesmaid responsibilities, or as simple as being a shoulder to cry on or a regular brunch date for vent sessions. You’ve already built a beautiful trust and friendship; now use that to help plan an unforgettable occasion for one of your favorite people!
Looking for more inspo beyond Maid of Honor duties? Head to a few of our other planning posts, including these trends for groom’s wedding attire and these chic MOB outfit ideas. As always, you can sort and source to your heart’s content on our Pinterest page. Happy planning and send our love to the soon-to-be newlyweds!