So you've been awarded the grand title of 'maid of honour'. Your bride to be must think very highly of you! Being a maid of honour, aka chief bridesmaid, comes with high expectations that will see you help with both the planning stages and on the wedding day itself. That's why we have compiled this useful GoHen® guide to see you through this important role, and ensure you are the best maid of honour she could ever expect!
The Bride's honour attendant is called the Maid of Honour if she is an unmarried woman, Matron of Honour if she is or has been a married woman, the Best Person or Man of Honour if he is male. It is traditional for the person selected as the maid of honour to be indicated in her attire - e.g., by a dress of a slightly different style or colour or to carry a slightly different bouquet.
More frequently these days, 2 or more maids of honour can be appointed and their duties may vary. One may take on the speech and organisational duties, the other may be tasked with coordinating the hen weekend. So decide early on who's got what responsibility, thereafter it's just picking it right - choose GoHen® for the hen and you'll get the best possible event organised.
The traditional responsibilities and duties for the maid of honour are as follows:
Before the Wedding Day
- Assist in addressing invitations and announcements
- Help the Bride select her wedding dress, accessories and bridesmaids dresses
- Plan the hen weekend - speak to GoHen® for the best UK and European hen weekend packages
- Attend rehearsal and rehearsal party
- Assist the Bride with going away clothing and luggage
- Coordinate the bridesmaids and their tasks, including fittings for dresses
- Help keep track of gifts received and thank you notes
- Supply "Something borrowed" and "Something blue"
On the Day - Before the Ceremony
- Arrive at the bride's house in plenty of time to help out with the hair and make-up and be on hand to help dress younger guests.
- Help out with arrangements for getting the mother of the bride and the other attendants to the ceremony.
Simply be there for the bride. Calm her nerves, make sure she eats something, whatever she wants or needs.
Quick Pre-ceremony Check-list:
- Make sure the bride and groom have their honeymoon kit – luggage, tickets, passports, money, etc
- Check any reservations
- Check final arrangements – service sheets, hired cars etc
- The rings! the rings!
At the Ceremony
- Once attendants arrive at the venue the photographer may want to take some pictures before the bride arrives – the chief bridesmaid will have to organise the other guests.
- Upon the bride's arrival the maid of honour should ensure that everyone is in the right position behind the bride for her entrance and make any necessary last adjustments to the veil and dress
- Once the bride has joined the groom, the chief bridesmaid will take the bouquet and look after it for the duration of the service. Remember to produce the groom's ring on cue!
- When the time comes to sign the register the chief bridesmaid will go with the bride into the vestry or side room, accompanied by the best man, to witness the signing
- Once guests are outside, the chief bridesmaid will be called upon to help organise attendants for the next set of photographs
- Finally, the maid of honour should gather together important attendants and make sure that they are all in the car to take them to the reception
At the Reception
- Once at the reception the Maid of Honour may be a part of the receiving line if there is one
- The Maid of Honour may have the responsibility for displaying the bouquet somewhere safe and cool ensuring that it is not damaged during the rest of the day. This is especially important if the bride is planning to have her flowers preserved. The Maid of Honour should also circulate amongst guests during the reception, ensuring that they are enjoying themselves
- Although the speeches are generally a male tradition, it is becoming more and more usual for the chief bridesmaid to make a speech – plan early! However, this is not compulsory and will not happen at all weddings – check with the couple
The Evening Reception
Again, the Maid of Honour should also circulate amongst guests during the reception, ensuring that they are enjoying themselves. It is traditional for the maid of honour to take the floor with the best man to join the new couple in their second dance.
Finally, if the bride needs to change into a going away outfit the chief bridesmaid should be on hand to take care of the wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses and ensure that they are returned home or to the hire shop.
So there you have it, the day is finished and everything will have run like clockwork thanks to your dedication, preparation and organisation as maid of honour.
Enjoy yourself and good luck!
Share with the girls!