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Maid of Honour Duties Explained

Congratulations – you’ve been asked to be Maid of Honour for your best friend or sister. Bridesmaid with her bouquet

The Maid of Honour can also be called Matron of Honour or Chief Bridesmaid.  Usually the term Maid of Honour is used for an unmarried woman and Matron of Honour for a married woman.

Now do you have a clue about your role as Maid of Honour?

As the Maid of Honour you will be responsible for leading the other bridesmaids.  But let’s have a look at your other duties and what you should be helping the bride with. 


Before The Wedding

Dress Shopping

The bride will probably ask you to go with her when she is dress shopping.  You could offer to make the appointments for her at the bridal boutiques.  Make sure you leave enough time between appointments for travel and to give the bride chance to catch her breath.

You could find somewhere nice for the group to go for lunch.  You’ll need some sustenance to keep you going through the day – but make sure you don’t drink too much at lunch if you have more appointments to attend!!

Maid of Honour Duties Explained


Bridesmaids Dresses

You should help the bride with choosing the bridesmaids dresses.  Please don’t be a diva about this.  Most brides want their maids to look fabulous but if, for example, the colour choice isn’t your favourite try not to make too much of a fuss.

Traditionally the couple pay for the bridesmaids dresses but this doesn’t have to be the case.  So if it hasn’t been mentioned find out what the plans are and make sure the other bridesmaids are aware.  Much better to have an open conversation up front at the outset than have a bridesmaid have to drop out because she can’t afford it.

Help to organise times with the other bridesmaids when you can all go shopping to try on dresses.  Setting up a group chat for the bridesmaids is a great idea so you can update them on plans and they have a safe place to ask any questions they may have.


Hen Party

Organising the hen party is one of your primary roles.  Talk to the bride to find out her preferences for what she’d like to do and get a list from her of people to invite.

You really must listen to her preferences – don’t organise a wild week in Ibiza if the bride just wants to go for afternoon tea! Remember it’s not about what you’d like to do 🙂

Finding a date that suits everyone can be a real challenge so it might be easier to get 3 dates from the bride and then see which one suits the most people.Hen Party

Don’t be afraid to rope in the other bridesmaids to help as well.  Maybe one could choose some games to play.  Someone else could collate messages from everyone and or/videos to compile into a guest book for your bride.

Try to have the hen a few months before the wedding.  This will allow time for any bruises to fade!!  But also make sure the bride isn’t having to fit in another event just before the wedding when she’ll be really busy anyway.



General Planning Help

Your friend/sister might be super organised and not really need any help.  But if not, I’m sure she’ll appreciate your help in getting her on track and keeping her there.

Maybe you could attend wedding fairs with her, help her to make décor, write invitations if your writing is neater than hers!, help her with colours etc etc.  There’s plenty that you can help with.

It can also be really helpful for her to have someone to bounce ideas off and give her a different perspective on issues.


In The Week Before

Now is the time when you really need to help to keep the bride calm and share the work load.  If there are items which need collecting and delivering to the venue you could help with this.

Make sure all the other bridesmaids know what time they need to be arriving and make sure they have everything they need.

If there is some décor to set up in the venue, and the couple haven’t booked a planner or stylist to do this, then you will probably need to help with this.

Bridesmaid getting ready


The Night Before

If you’re staying with the bride the night before the wedding, it’s nice to provide a few treats for you all.  Maybe some nice chocolates, a bottle of fizz and some wedding films?  You could have a few beauty treats too – but don’t risk facemasks or anything new – a breakout or reaction is the last thing you need.

Don’t let her drink too much though!!  No bride needs to be hungover on her wedding day.


On the Wedding Day


Getting Ready

Typically the bride will get ready with all the bridesmaids and mothers so you can help by making sure everyone is there on time so the hair and make up artists can get started on time.

Make sure there is food and drinks available for everyone.  Maybe put a playlist together too for the morning?

When the flowers are delivered check them over to make sure everything is right.  The bouquets will probably be in water, so if you don’t have a wedding planner, make sure you take them out of water half an hour before they are needed.  Take some kitchen roll with you and lay them on that to dry out so that you don’t have water marks on your dresses.

Keep an eye on the time so you don’t end up rushing.

You will help the bride into her dress and shoes and make sure she looks perfect.

Maid of honour Duties


The Ceremony

Typically the bridesmaids walk down the aisle ahead of the bride.  But chat to the bride and make sure you know what order she wants everyone to walk down in.

When you get to the front, you and the other bridesmaids will sit on the front row of seats.  When the bride arrives at the front, take her bouquet from her and look after it during the ceremony.

You might have been asked to do a reading during the ceremony so make sure you have a copy with you and hand the bouquets to the other bridesmaids before you stand up.

At the end of the ceremony, the bride and groom will leave first followed by you and the best man.


Make a Speech?

Sometimes the Maid of Honour will make a speech, although this isn’t traditional.

If you are asked to give a speech keep it light and fun but with some sentiment.  Maybe share a couple of funny stories about you and bride – but keep it clean! and let her know how much she means to you.

You should also thank the other bridesmaids for their help.


Tidy Their Room

Quite often you will all have got ready in the honeymoon suite and there could be quite a bit of mess left in there.  So try to nip to the room at some point to have a quick tidy up and remove all the bridesmaids’ stuff into your room.


Throughout The Day

The bride and groom will be really busy all day and often don’t get chance to eat and drink.  Make sure they get some canapes and some food in the evening to keep their energy up.

I always advise my couples to get some time together, even if it’s just 10 minutes, so if they don’t have a planner, maybe you could try and make this happen for them.

Quite often the Maid of Honour will look after the bride’s phone and lipstick.  She might even need your help to go to the loo if she has a particularly tight or big dress!

Maid of Honour Duties


First Dance

Traditionally the Maid of Honour will dance with the Best Man after the couple have had their first dance at the start of the evening reception.


After The Wedding

You may need to help to clear the venue the day after the wedding and pack everything away.  You could also offer to return any hire items or take clothing to the dry cleaners if they’re heading straight off on honeymoon.

So as you will have realised, being a Maid of Honour is a privilege but it’s far more than wearing a cute dress and carrying some flowers.  There’s quite a lot for you to do to make sure your bestie or sister has the best wedding day possible.

You can see my other top tips for being a fabulous bridesmaid here.  It might be worth sharing this with the other bridesmaids.  


Louise Wearmouth, Founder of Your Fabulous Wedding