Your best friend is getting married, and while you’re totally honored and not at all surprised that she just asked you to be her MOH, you suddenly realize that you have no idea what a maid of honor is actually responsible for. Have no fear—if you’re kind, thoughtful, and willing to help, you’ll do great. But there are a few things that you might want to think about it, so we’ve created a complete guide to help you get started.
Communicate between the bride and bridesmaids. You’re the official liaison between the bride and the bridesmaids. It’s your job to convey the bride’s wants and wishes to the bridesmaids, as well as all plans, arrangements, and parties. Don’t forget to share the bride’s sizing for clothes and delicates!
Help shop for dresses. Accompany the bride dress shopping, and offer to help pick out bridesmaid attire. If she asks for your opinion, be honest, but otherwise it’s also you’re job to affirm all of the bride’s choices.
Wedding timeline advisor. Unless the bride has hired a wedding planner (and sometimes even if she has!), it can be really helpful to do some research and write up a wedding planning timeline that fits the length of the bride’s engagement. Give it to the bride to use as a guideline, and offer to remind her when appropriate.
Help with all the little details. Offer to address envelopes, manage RSVPs, and assist with any DIY projects.
Bridal shower. Plan, host, or co-host the bridal shower. You probably want to coordinate with the mother of the bride and defer to her wishes. If MOB wants to take over, you can still offer valuable ideas and insights, and help with the details of the day.
Keep a record of gifts. At all pre-wedding parties that involve gifts, stick close by the bride with a notepad and a pen and record every gift (be specific!) with the name of each giver. This is a huge help for the bride as she writes her thank-you cards.
Bachelorette party. Ask the bride how much she wants to know about the party beforehand. Does she only want to help pick out the date and then be completely surprised, or does she have really specific ideas of what she wants—and doesn’t want? Traditionally, the bachelorette party attendees are the bridal party, but the bride may have some friends in mind who she’d like to invite, so be sure to ask about who she’s inviting as well as what she has in mind. If she’s hoping for a low-key girl’s night and you invite a male stripper, the night might not go so well, and vice versa.
Wedding rehearsal. Help coordinate transportation and lodging for the rehearsal night. Communicate with the bridesmaids that they should direct inquiries about the night and the next day to you—and be sure you have the details straight!
Bring an emergency kit. Bandaids, sewing kit, safety pins, bobby pins, hair dryer, scissors, tissues, tweezers, mints, nail clipper/file, snacks, deodorant, blotting paper, finishing powder, aspirin/ibuprofen.
Hold the groom’s ring. Unless the ring bearer is actually carrying the ring, keep the groom’s ring with you until the couple exchanges rings. Slip it on your thumb just before you head down the aisle.
Hold the bride’s bouquet while the couple exchanges vows.
Transportation from ceremony to reception. Help arrange transportation and ensure the bridal party and parents of the couple have a way to get from the first venue to the second. Don’t forget the photo location, if it’s separate. And keep tabs on all of the bride’s clothes and items in the room where everyone got ready. Can they safely stay there until the end of the night? Will the bride be heading back to that room before the send-off or do you need to take her honeymoon suitcase with you?
Help bustle the bride’s train. You probably want to practice this before the big day.
Give a speech or toast after the best man. Do some research ahead of time and plan what you are going to say. There are a lot of ideas and templates for maid of honor speeches that you can find with a simple internet search. Always try to keep your speech encouraging—include a few meaningful compliments—and try to avoid inside jokes, which usually just make everyone else feel awkward.
Make sure the bride eats something.
Make sure the bride stays hydrated.
Get on the dance floor. You, and the rest of the bridal party, are contractually obligated to be the first on the floor soon as the dance music starts.
Help clean up. Some venues offer event clean-up as part of the fee, but not all do. If that’s the case, it is not okay to ditch immediately after the send-off, no matter how tired you are. Don’t leave clean-up to the bride and groom’s family; help delegate tasks and involve the rest of the bridal party.