jenny yoo bridesmaids

Maid of Honour Duties – What Am I Expected to do?

With great power comes great responsibility, and as MOH you’ll be given some pretty big responsibilities on the big day.

Congrats! Your best mate in the world has selected you to be her maid of honour! That is a major privilege, and one that must be taken seriously. Because there’s more to Maid of Honour duties than organising the hen party, or simply bossing the other bridesmaids about. You’ve been given the leading role in your friend’s biggest day, and with that comes unexpected responsibilities.

maid of honour duties in jenny yoo sparkly bridesmaid dress

These days, a maid of honour can be called many things. ‘Chief bridesmaid’, ‘matron of honour’ or even ‘best woman’. But however you are named, the maid of honour duties remain the same. And this extends further than simply helping out on the wedding day, you’ll be involved in the planning too. And this is such a fun and exciting time, one that you’ll be able to play a significant part in.

From organising the bridesmaids and advising on the best wedding dress, to giving a maid of honour speech and being armed with tissues at all times, your duties are varied, but always important.

Ready and armed with a notepad, pen and corkscrew? Answer your burning questions below, and get the low-down on how to be the best maid of honour with our go-to duties guide and tips on everything you need to know. 

What is the Difference Between the Maid of Honour and Bridesmaid?

A maid of honour and bridesmaid are both very important roles, but typically the maid of honour has more responsibilities than a bridesmaid. A bridesmaid is expected to attend the wedding, look amazing and assist where needed on the big day. Whereas the maid of honour is an integral part in the lead up to and planning of the wedding day itself.

What’s a Married Maid of Honour Called?

Traditionally, if the maid of honour is not married, they are called a ‘chief bridesmaid’ or ‘maid of honour’. If they are married, then they’re called a ‘matron of honour’. There is no difference between the duties and responsibilities of a maid of honour or a matron of honour, however the advantage of having someone who has already been married before is that they’ll have prior experience of planning a wedding.

terracotta jenny yoo bridesmaids

Why is it Called a Maid of Honour?

The term ‘maid of honour’ comes from the tradition of a maiden, a woman who has never been married, whose duty or ‘honour’ was to attend to a Queen or Princess. The actual role can also be traced back to the Ancient Romans, who believed that evil spirits haunted weddings. To protect the couple, 10 witnesses – including the maid of honour – were required to dress in the same clothing as the couple to confuse the spirits. The maid of honour would stick by the bride, and protect her from any spirits who might steal her away before the ceremony. Thankfully, your maid of honour duties are slightly less stressful these days… normally!

Maid of Honour Duties Explained

Before the Big Day

1. Go Wedding Dress Shopping

Finding the perfect wedding dress is perhaps one of the most exciting events during planning, but it can also be stressful which is why the maid of honour should be on hand to help the bride say ‘yes’ to their dream dress.

The bride might ask you to come wedding dress shopping with her, or ask for input on choosing the bridesmaid dresses.

As the maid of honour, you’re leading the rest of the maids, so make sure they’re all organised. Do your best to gather the troops for dress shopping sessions and for fittings. Take some further stress off the bride by planning the itinerary for any dress shopping trip, look for a fun place to go for lunch or celebratory drinks once you’ve all got your gowns.

It’s traditional for the bride to pay for the bridesmaid dresses, however this isn’t always the case. Make sure this is discussed – as well as accessories, professional hair and makeup – to save any awkwardness further down the line.

2. Organise the Other Bridesmaids

As the wedding date fast approaches, make sure the bridesmaids know what time they need to arrive, where everyone is getting ready and if they need to bring anything.

If the bridesmaids don’t all know each other, it’s a good idea to connect everyone on a group chat. That way everyone will be on friendly terms by the time the hen party comes around. You could even go as far getting them all together for a meet-up pre-hen party, that way they’ll be totally comfortable with each.

Also, think about useful things to have on hand – such as large umbrellas to help in case of bad weather. It’s also a nice idea to put together a bridal emergency kit for the bride. You never know when you might need tissues or plasters!

maid of honour duties in jenny yoo bridesmaid dress

3. Plan the Hen Party

The maid of honour’s real moment in the sun is the hen party. You will take the lead in organising this, so put some serious thought into it. Speak with all of the bridesmaids, ask for ideas and consult the bride to find out whom she’d like to attend.

It might be that you need to arrange two celebrations: a hen party for the girls (and boys) and a more mature, bridal shower style celebration for the bride’s mum and older relatives. Rather than asking people what dates they can do, pick two or three and ask who can make which date. This is a slightly harsher approach, but it’ll make it easier to narrow it down to just one weekend.

Make sure you’re very aware of everyone’s budget. Don’t assume everyone can, or wants to spend as much as you. They may not all have the funds for a weekend in Ibiza, so plan something that is inclusive of all budgets.

The hen party should take place up to three months before the wedding, this gives time for any bruises to fade (seriously), and for people to recover from their hangovers!

4. Help with Wedding Planning

You may be the bride’s sounding board for lots of ideas, so be prepared to consult on everything, from wedding colour schemes to the shape of the cake. The maid of honour can also help with more hands-on wedding tasks. Such as writing or addressing wedding invitations, making DIY confetti cones or assembling favours. Fun idea? Organise a DIY craft night complete with the bride’s favourite snacks and drinks.

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4. Be Their Rock

You know the bride better than anyone else, so the maid of honour should be there every step of the way. But remember to be supportive without being too much for the bride.

While your main responsibility is to help with the planning, ensure you’re still pencilling in some fun too. A relaxing afternoon getting your nails done, or a de-stressing night out will be just what the bride-to-be needs!

Think that’s it? We haven’t even got to the day before the wedding yet! Bookmark our blog, and we’ll have the rest of your Maid of Honour duties explained soon!

Polly & the girls xx

Show Your Bridesmaids Some Love on Your Big Day

5 Ways to Show Your Bridesmaids Some Love on Your Big Day

Here are some ideas on how to celebrate your bridesmaids on your wedding day

As a bride-to-be, it goes without saying that you love and adore each of your bridesmaids. After all, you’ve asked them to be by your side on one of the most important days of your life. So they must be pretty special to receive such an honour!

A true honour it may be, but your bridesmaids deserve that little bit more. A special something that will make them feel loved and appreciated. They deserve it after all! They haven’t just comforted you during your bridezilla breakdowns leading up to the big day, they’ve been there through thick and thin for years. Teary break-ups and drunken upsets through to endless lockdown quizzes and skype Friday nights – these girls have loved you throughout, so why not show your appreciation for each of your bridesmaids on your wedding day?

Show Your Bridesmaids Some Love on Your Big Day
Photo by James Bold

It doesn’t have to be anything grand, in fact it’s the little things that can make the big difference. Stuck for ideas? Well we thought we’d round up our favourite ways to shower your bridesmaids with your love below. Regarde.

Top Ways to Show Some Love to Your Top Girls

Let Them Pick Their Dresses

All of your bridesmaids want and deserve to feel amazing on your big day. By giving them the gift of choosing their own bridesmaids dress, you’ll be letting them express their own personal style and choose a dress that flatters them best.

Don’t panic though, you don’t need to give up full control of what your bridesmaids are going to wear. All you need to do is set a few parameters for them to work within, get it right and you’ll achieve the modern, cohesive wedding party look you have been dreaming of.

For example, pick an exact bridesmaids colour and ask them to select a dress available in that colour. Or choose a palette, and let them select a dress within that range. Conversely, you could decide on a length and let them do the rest. If your bridesmaids can’t agree on a dress style that is flattering, don’t worry, that’s what the Nabbd girls are here for!

floral mix and match bridesmaids by true bride
Bridesmaids Dresses by True Bridesmaid

Give Them Unique Gifts

Bridesmaid gifts are part and parcel of the wedding party experience. While there is nothing wrong with getting them wedding day accessories and other traditional bridesmaid gifts, it also helps to throw in something unique to each of your girls.

For example, why not make your bridesmaids a personal photo album documenting your most special moments together? This heartfelt bridesmaid gift idea is guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings!

See more sweet gifts for your bridesmaids here.

Say a Few Words When You Pop the Champagne

The moment your maid of honour pops the morning bottle of bubbly it’s time to relax, get the tunes on and prepare for the big day! But before you get the party started, gather your bridesmaids around and clink a few glasses in celebration.

This is the ultimate moment to say a few pre-prepared words or feelings off-the-cuff that show your appreciation to these special gals! Doesn’t need to be long, they’ll probably get a bigger shout out during the reception. These words are just for you guys, private thoughts that show you care.

It may be a small gesture, but it reminds them of just how grateful you are to have them by your side. Plus it’s a lovely way to start the day’s proceedings off on a good note.

Show Your Bridesmaids Some Love on Your Big Day
Photo by Gift Habeshaw

Write Them Each a Heartwarming Note

If you’ve ever received a thoughtful, personalised letter before, you know just how much of an impact it can make. Penning a heart-warming note to each of your bridesmaids is the type of gesture each of them is sure to cherish forever.

On top of saying your thanks, be sure to include things that are specific to each and every one of them. Did one of your bridesmaids help you with a particular crisis? Mention it and tell her how thankful you are that she was there.

Make it clear that you appreciate the little things more than they can possibly know. Just get the tissues ready in case they aren’t expecting you to get so sentimental!

Make Your Maid of Honour Feel Extra Special

Whether she’s your sister or best friend since school, your maid of honour is one-of-a-kind. She’s taken on some of the most important roles, from bringing your bridesmaids into order, to planning hen party on lockdown, via Zoom. She is a super-hero and definitely deserves the recognition.

One way to make her shine on your big day is by dressing her in a different bridesmaid dress than the rest of your bridal party. Have your maid of honour wear a floral printed bridesmaid dress for example or a sparkly sequinned bridesmaids dress while the rest of your gang wears a coordinating shade. Or, you could have your maid of honour wear a long style while your other bridesmaids opt for shorter bridesmaids dresses.

You could also make her feel extra special by giving her a personalised necklace or by treating her to a much-needed spa day after all the excitement of the big day. No matter what the gift, make sure that it’s worthy of all that she’s done for you during the wedding preparation.

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