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What Are the Duties of the Maid of Honor and the Bridesmaids?

March 11 2021 – Mike Yarbrough

bride talking with her bridesmaids and maid of honor

bride talking with her bridesmaids and maid of honor

Fun fact: The tradition of bridesmaids wearing the same outfit goes all the way back to Ancient Rome when the bridesmaids actually wore the same outfit as the bride as well. The belief was that the wedding celebrations would attract evil spirits (or jealous suitors who failed to win the heart of the bride), and by dressing exactly the same, the bridesmaids would act as decoys to prevent these evil spirits from ruining the wedding for the bride.

Today's bridesmaid duties are, for the most part, far less dangerous but no less important. If you've been appointed as a bridesmaid or maid of honor, you'll need to know what's expected of you.

Maid of Honor Duties

Being chosen as maid of honor is a big deal, and it comes with some real responsibilities. As maid of honor, you're the head bridesmaid and you'll be in charge of managing and coordinating anything that has to do with the bridal party.

Plan the Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party

It's usually the maid of honor's responsibility to plan the bridal shower and/or the bachelorette party. You'll be in charge of things like the venue, catering, guest list and decor. Feel free to delegate some aspects of the planning to the bridesmaids!

Go Wedding Dress Shopping

The bride will need some help with picking out a wedding dress, and that traditionally falls to the maid of honor. Be there to help her navigate the process and act as a sounding board for ideas. It's up to you to help the bride make a great choice (but also to be honest about what looks good and what doesn't). She picked you as the person she trusts the most so she will value your input.

Be the Bride’s Right Hand on Her Wedding Day

The morning of the big day is a whirlwind for the bride. Be there to help in any way you can. That means lending an ear if she has pre-wedding jitters, but also helping with more tangible needs like hair, makeup and getting into that dress. You may also need to be a spokesperson for the bride so she doesn't have to deal with any issues on the morning of her wedding

Hold the Bouquet (and the Ring)

As you stand with the bride at the altar during the wedding ceremony, your most important job is to hold the bride's bouquet while rings and vows are being exchanged. Depending on what has been decided in advance, you may also be holding onto the groom's wedding band.

Give a Toast (if Asked)

The bridesmaid is one of a handful of people who may be asked to give a toast, either at the rehearsal dinner or at the reception. Speak from the heart and don't forget to rehearse!

Have Fun at the Reception

This is important! One of the biggest jobs that falls to the maid of honor and her counterpart, the best man (and to some extent the bridesmaids and groomsmen) is to make sure the bride and groom have all the support they need throughout the wedding festivities. Laugh, dance, and have fun. In doing so, you'll make it easier for others to have fun.

Bridesmaid Duties

Some brides choose to forego appointing a maid of honor, and instead choose a group of her dearest friends to be bridesmaids. In those cases, the bridesmaids usually divide up the aforementioned maid of honor duties amongst themselves. Most brides, however, choose a maid of honor and several bridesmaids. If that's the case, then the bridesmaids take on a more supportive role and may also be responsible for a few other tasks. 

Support the Bride

As a bridesmaid, job number one is to support the bride. That could mean offering emotional support when she's overwhelmed. It could mean being a good listener when she's fed up with her future mother-in-law’s involvement in the planning and needs to vent, or it could mean running errands leading up the wedding. Just be ready to jump in and lend a hand. 

bride and bridesmaids huddling together

Provide Backup for the Maid of Honor

Bridesmaids should be prepared to pitch in if the maid of honor becomes overwhelmed and needs to delegate some tasks. Also, be ready to step in if the maid of honor isn't able to make it to a dress fitting or other event. 

Get Your Bridesmaid Dress and Accessories

You'll likely get some guidance from the bride and/or the maid of honor, but it's up to you to pick up (and probably pay for) your own bridesmaid dress. Make sure you also have all the required accessories, and get everything on time. 

Attend Pre-Wedding Events

From the bachelorette party to the rehearsal dinner, make sure you know where and when you need to go for each of the pre-wedding events. Be ready to take part in any wedding day photo shoots that might be scheduled as well, and stand with the bride at the ceremony.

Help Out at the Reception

One of the biggest bridesmaid responsibilities is simply to be helpful and informed. If any of the guests at the reception need assistance, directions or have any questions, be ready to offer a helping hand. 

Just as your bridesmaids have your back through the wedding planning process, our team at Rustic and Main has your back when you’re trying to find the perfect wedding rings. Message our live chat team today and find out how we can help make your wedding day more special with one-of-a-kind, custom wedding rings!

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