bridesmaids

You said yes to the bride. Now, grab onto this maid of honor duties list to become the best MOH ever!

Jewelry fittings! Woohoo! Yes, it's part of the maid of honor duties.

Jewelry fittings! Woohoo! Yes, it’s part of the maid of honor duties.

This Uber complete maid of honor duties list is a Must Have before, during and after the ceremony.

Here’s the short of it: planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower, lead the bridesmaids, being the goto person on the wedding day, giving a speech and help the bride change into her send off clothes! Yep! And it’s not over! So, if you’ve been chosen as the MOH, bookmark this page with the maid of honor duties list that will make you the best bestie ever!

Where do the Maid of Honor Duties Originate?

Centuries ago, the maid of honor role was fulfilled by the mother of the bride or a person close to the bride whose function was to escort and protect her on her way to the wedding ceremony. I guess it always sounds like the bride needed defending from something, right? Well, in this case, the threat was real. Brides would wear their best garb, jewels and valuables thus becoming the target of thieves. The maid of honor task was to avoid these attacks.

Times changed, but the maid of honor is as important as in the past. She may not have to battle robbers but she still has to get the bride to the ceremony safe and sound.



The maid of honor duties vary from bride to bride. She may just help organize the bachelorette party or lead the bridesmaids, throw the bridal shower and bachelorette party and assist the bride at all times before, during and after the wedding.

As a maid of honor you get to help the bride pick the bridesmaids dresses and your own.

As a maid of honor you get to help the bride pick the bridesmaids dresses and your own.

Maid of honor duties: always be supportive of your bride. Nashville, TN.

Maid of honor duties: always be supportive of your bride. Nashville, TN.

The Maid of Honor Duties List!

Do you want to rock your maid of honor duties? Then sit down and talk to the bride and ask her exactly what she expects from you.

Some brides will expect you to show up on the day of the wedding, others will want you to support them all the way through and most, somewhere in between.

Planning a wedding is not an easy task. The work is endless, it could demand long hours and piles of decision-making and it’s often exhausting (but definitely satisfactory!) Therefore, the MOH is essential in supporting the bride at all times.

Anyway, your bestie may not know all that you could help her with, so here is the list of maid of honor duties divided into before, during and after the wedding ceremony. Take note!

As the maid of honor you will be walking a lot so make sure to break in your shoes.

As the maid of honor you will be walking a lot so make sure to break in your shoes.

Digging the flower crowns on the wedding party.

Digging the flower crowns on the wedding party. Order yours from Smyrna, Delaware at Etsy!

Maid of Honor Duties Before the Wedding Ceremony

  • Be the bride’s right hand and help her select some wedding details like theme, colors and the like.
  • Accompany the bride gown shopping. As the maid of honor, you will be one of the few people who get to see the wedding dress before the ceremony, and hopefully sip some champagne at the fittings. 😉
  • Help choose the bridesmaids’ outfit look (and your own)
  • Lead the bridesmaids and coordinate their tasks. You’ve got to have a squad to help you handwrite those place cards.
Ask the bridesmaids to help you put together a fab bridal shower.

Ask the bridesmaids to help you put together a fab bridal shower.

  • Cake and food tasting! Yum!
  • Spread the word to let the guests know where the bride and groom are registered.
  • Top in the maid of honor duties list is the planning of the bridal shower. If nothing else, this one is a must. Remember to write down who gifted what and help the bride write the thank you notes.
  • Plan and host the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids’ help, of course. Have tons of fun!
  • Prepare the maid of honor speech.
  • Attend pre-wedding events. You are going to need a wardrobe!
Make sure to spend some time having fun with your bestie before the big day!

Make sure to spend some time having fun with your bestie before the big day!

Not everything is chores - it is also parteee!

Not everything is chores – it is also parteee!



Maid of Honor Duties the Day of the Ceremony

On the wedding day, your goal is to keep the bride relaxed and happy. Be the best maid of honor you could be by blocking any pesky or stressful guests that want to take a peek at the bride before the ceremony. You know the kind. 😉

  • Welcome guests and keep everyone organized and under control.
  • If there is no wedding planner or day of planner, your duties will also include being the primary contact for vendors and family members alike.
  • Keep the wedding party (and the bride) hydrated. And make sure the bride eats something. She may be too nervous, but at least, feed her a light snack.
  • Arm yourself of an emergency kit. Chocolate chip cookies, Tums, Tylenol, bandaids, clear nail polish, and perfume could come in handy. Be creative and proactive!
  • The maid of honor helps the bride get dressed. Plan ahead and lay out all the pieces such as stockings, dress, underwear, jewelry, veil before you start. There’s nothing more stressful than trying to find things at the last minute.
Maid of honor getting the bridal gown ready.

Maid of honor getting the bridal gown ready.

Part of the maid of honor duties are to make sure the toasting flutes, the guest book and pens and the wedding favors are at the reception venue.

Part of the maid of honor duties are to make sure the toasting flutes, the guest book and pens and the wedding favors are at the reception venue.

  • Guard the groom’s ring. Put it on your thumb so you don’t lose it. You will have to hand it over at the ceremony.
  • Make sure the toasting flutes, the guest book and pens and the wedding favors are at the reception venue.
  • Arrange the bride’s train and veil before she walks down the aisle.
  • Don’t forget to hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony.
  • You may even be one of the witnesses to sign the marriage license!
Don't forget to accessorize in style. Italian lobster clasp fastening pouch with freshwater pearls.

Don’t forget to accessorize in style. Italian lobster clasp fastening pouch with freshwater pearls.

Lavender soaps for bridal shower favors by BrowniesandGinger. Ringwood, New Jersey.

Lavender soaps for bridal shower favors by BrowniesandGinger. Ringwood, New Jersey.

Maid of Honor Duties After the Wedding Ceremony

Your maid of honor duties do not end when the wedding ceremony does. Here are a few more!

    • It’s time to have the bride change for the reception. Some brides will have very little to go though and others may change the entire outfit. There’s one more (and final) change of clothes for the bride and that’s before the send-off. Yes, you gotta help there too and pack her clothes so she can take them home.
    • Some guests will bring a gift to the reception and, yes, you need to collect them and safeguard them until you can deliver them to the newlyweds.
    • Give the most funny or heartfelt MOH speech ever!
You are the maid of honor. Celebrate it and treat yourself to a long sleeved bodysuit and tulle skirt separates. Handmade in Philadelphia.

You are the maid of honor. Celebrate it and treat yourself to a long sleeved bodysuit and tulle skirt separates. Handmade in Philadelphia.

  • Make sure the bride and groom eat their dinner. Otherwise, have the catering company put together a doggy bag for them to enjoy on their way to the honeymoon.
  • Go parteeeee!!
  • Announce when it’s time to cut the cake, or throw the bouquet and make sure everyone is present.
  • Finally, collect the keepsakes the bride requested after the reception and take them home.

Above all, remember that you have a bridal squad handy, coordinate and delegate as needed! Keep in mind that to be the best maid of honor ever, you have to speak up (nicely) when things are getting to be too much for you.

Stand out and look as glam as ever with a V-neck floor length sleeveless sequined gold maid of honor dress.

Stand out and look as glam as ever with a V-neck floor length sleeveless sequined gold maid of honor dress.

Does the Maid of Honor Pay for the Bachelorette Party?

Yes. and for the bridal shower as well. Of course, if this is beyond your means, talk to the bride. Nowadays, mostly everybody will help out and pitch in. Or check out these affordable rocking ideas to organize a fun and naughty bachelorette party.

Original ideas for the bridal shower that don't cost a fortune.

Original ideas for the bridal shower that don’t cost a fortune.

Does the Maid of Honor Get the Bride a Gift?

Actually, yes. That’s good etiquette. But if you are spending quite a bit in your maid of honor duties, think a sweet handwritten card, a picture frame with a photo of the two of you or craft something cheap but heart-felt. You can rest assured your friend is grateful for just your presence.

In love with this burgundy and rose gold halter neck sequined maxi maid of honor dress.

In love with this burgundy and rose gold halter neck sequined maxi maid of honor dress.

 

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Choosing your bridal squad – especially when there are more ladies than guests at your wedding – can demand a lot of tact and finesse. Follow these tips on how to choose bridesmaids – without offending anybody in the process!

It's time to choose bridesmaids for your wedding and you know you will have to cut some people from the list. Handle the process with finesse!

It’s time to choose bridesmaids for your wedding and you know you will have to cut some people from the list. Handle the process with finesse!

It’s time to choose bridesmaids for your wedding and, as the bride, you know you will have to turn down some of your besties or family members for the part.

Picking someone as a bridesmaid is a public acknowledgment of how much they mean to you. Yes, even if some of the people in your wedding party were chosen because you had to, your framily won’t see it that way. And you have to be aware that it’s hard for both the bride and those around her to know that another was chosen for the position.

So, unless you only have a very small group of close friends, a very small guest list, or you have decided not to have bridesmaids, – but if this was the case, you wouldn’t be reading this article, am i right? – check out how to choose bridesmaids for your wedding without offending anybody (well.. almost anybody) 😉

Who Should be your Bridesmaid and What is She/He Supposed to do?

Once upon a time, the bridesmaids’ duties involved protecting the bride from evil spirits. Allegedly, these devilish entities tried to steal the bride’s happiness. To confuse them and avoid this tragedy, all the young single women in the village would surround the bride dressed up like her.



Superstitions aside, your bridal squad does not have to wear the same dress or be all young single females. Welcome one, welcome all ages, genders and marital status. Besides, mix and match outfits will look snatched and save them some money on a dress they will only wear once.

How many bridesmaids should i have? The answer to this and many more questions on how to choose bridesmaids for your wedding. Photo: bethanysmallphoto.

How many bridesmaids should i have? Photo: bethanysmallphoto.

So, who should be your bridesmaid? Those who are your closest friends and those you hold dear that show initiative, creativity, and willingness to help you with some tasks before, during and after the wedding.

Related: Find out all about the bridesmaid dress etiquette and what’s hot and what’s not!

After the wedding you say? Yes, they could help bring some of your gifts from the wedding venue to your future home, or strew rose petals over your honeymoon bed.

Glorious bridesmaid proposal cards with a gold spark.

Glorious bridesmaid proposal cards with a gold spark. Ask Casey from Highlands Ranch, Colorado to make yours!

How many Bridesmaids should I have?

While traditionally many calculate the number of bridesmaids – or bridesmen – according to the number of guests as if they were canapés, today’s answer is: the number you want.

We say, the limit is how many people you can fit flanking your sides at the wedding ceremony. We have seen couples with 30 bridesmaids and 30 groomsmen – it was a large church – and other couples who only had two or three and it was all equally beautiful.

Another thing to take into account when defining the number of bridesmaids, is how much of their time you will need. The greater the number of tasks, the larger the wedding party. You can not expect them to leave all their obligations aside to help you organize your wedding, right?

Loving these bridesmaid dresses in shades of green. Baltimore Wedding L Hewitt Photography.

Loving these bridesmaid dresses in shades of green. Baltimore Wedding L Hewitt Photography.

Ask your MOH to help you choose bridesmaids for your wedding that will get along and avoid unnecessary drama.

Ask your MOH to help you choose bridesmaids for your wedding that will get along and avoid unnecessary drama.

How Long before the Wedding do you Ask Bridesmaids?

The sooner the better. You want to allow for enough time for them to get their dresses and plan the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. The rule of the land says between 8 months to a year is spot on.



Are Bridesmaids Supposed to be Single?

No. This tradition has been dropped a long time ago. Bridesmaids can be married and have children. Only use it as an excuse if you are trying to cut some suitors off the list. 😉

Glitter and stars tulle socks. An uber original and fun gift for your bridesmaids!

Glitter and stars tulle socks from NYC. An uber original and fun gift for your bridesmaids. Get them here!

A robe always comes in handy when you and your bridesmaids are getting ready and they can always treasure it as a keepsake after the big event.

A robe always comes in handy when you and your bridesmaids are getting ready and they can always treasure it as a keepsake after the big event. Made in Lansing, North Carolina.

How to Choose Bridesmaids for your Wedding

First off, don’t get carried away by the moment and ask all your friends to be your bridesmaid when you call them to share the good news.

Take your time. Who do you really want by your side when you say your I dos? Or live forever in your wedding album? Create a list of potential candidates and draft only the most supportive and flexible friends.

Who Goes on the List?

Don’t limit yourself. Think of all your friends, they don’t have to be women. Consider including your sisters. Try to choose bridesmaids that get along well with each other. There is not need for added drama when planning your wedding, right?

Come up with a list of skills you would like them to have. You don’t have to justify your decision to anyone, but it’s easier if you have a reason to tell someone that they cannot be your bridesmaid.

Time to pick the besties that will help you walk down the aisle. Discover how to choose bridesmaids for your wedding without offending anyone.

Time to pick the besties that will help you walk down the aisle.

Consider Logistics when Picking your Bridesmaids

Yes, she is your best friend. But your bestie lives all the way across the country and you need your bridesmaids by your side. How else can they help you with planning tasks? You will both be better off if you give her another role to make her feel part of your big day.

Make sure they are responsible and punctual and do not feel obligated because you were a bridesmaid at their wedding.

Dusty blue is such a becoming color - your bridesmaids will love it - and perfect for this farm wedding.

Dusty blue is such a becoming color – your bridesmaids will love it – and perfect for this farm wedding. Photo: junebug weddings.

Avoid Losing Friends in the Wedding Planning Process

Have a clear Idea of what you will ask them to do, both physically and emotionally. If you need them to help you plan the wedding, call you every week, be there when you want to vent or just look pretty on the day of, be straightforward. It will save you loads of headaches later on and you could even lose a dear friend.

This bride knows who she wants in her wedding party. Discover how to choose bridesmaids for your wedding.

This bride knows who she wants in her wedding party.

Family Pressure to Choose Bridesmaids for your Wedding

Let’s be real. People have expectations that they will be picked to be part of your bridal party and your family may even insist on a special someone. When it comes down to the last situation, you may want to let it slide and make this person a bridesmaid. Avoid the drama and have said bridesmaid help with what you feel comfortable with.

How to Include Friends who are not Bridesmaids?

Not everybody will make the cut and you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Or piss them off. Leverage what your friends bring to the table to make them feel part of your celebration. Ask them for advice on wedding planning, host a special gathering before the wedding, honor them at the rehearsal dinner or enlist them to help you welcome guests.

Is your family pressuring you to select a particular bridesmaid? Read on and find out how to turn some people down with ease.

Is your family pressuring you to select a particular bridesmaid? Read on and find out how to turn some people down with ease.

Have a Backup Bridesmaid

Things happen. And you may have to fire a bridesmaid. So, add one more to your list as a backup. Don’t wait to the last minute to ask them, so be tactful but honest. Explain to your friend that you love her very much, but that you did not have more places in your original bridal squad. If you had already assigned this friend a different role that can be taken over by another person, even better. Offer to pay for her dress – and for her kindness and understanding. It will be a nice gesture on your part that will lessen the chances of offending her.

Love the freedom of having all of your friends in your wedding party, independently of gender.

Love the freedom of having all of your friends in your wedding party, independently of gender.

If a Friend Declines your Invitation to be your Bridesmaid

Respect their decision. Do not try to convince her. Don’t feel hurt. Your friend may have her reasons and if she wants to share, she’ll let you know. It’s better to know now and not after stress ruins your friendship.

Be Thankful

We are sure you will plan a very special proposal to ask her or him to be your bridesmaid or bridesman. Be as thoughtful when it comes the time to show them how much you appreciate their help. Be thankful. Mention their names on your wedding programs and plan on a nice thank you gift. You will save a many friendships this way.

Let the fun times begin! Planning is almost over so, enjoy the company of your bridesmaids and bridesmen in beautiful pink and blue silk dressing robes! Photo: theweddingscoop.

Let the fun times begin! Planning is almost over so, enjoy the company of your bridesmaids and bridesmen in beautiful pink and blue silk dressing robes! Photo: theweddingscoop.

 

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It’s time to pick your besties’s outfits to be part of your bridal squad! Better find out all about the bridesmaid dress etiquette and what’s hot and what’s not!

Mix-and-match your bridesmaid dresses by bringing them together with a neutral palette. Love these short dresses in different styles!

Mix-and-match your bridesmaid dresses by bringing them together with a neutral palette. Love these short dresses in different styles!

Choosing bridesmaid dresses should not be – but it generally is – a source of stress for the bride AND her wedding party. Find out who pays for the bridesmaid dress, how much do bridesmaid dresses cost, when you should order the outfits, and even what’s trending!

Having a few bridesmaid dress etiquette rules handy will help everyone navigate this time with ease. And have a little fun in the process! It’s shopping time after all! 😉

General Bridesmaid Etiquette

While the general duties of a bridesmaid vary from bride to bride, know that your BFFs are there to help you with your wedding duties. Well.. some of the duties… like helping address the invites, running small errands for you and the like. But there is one thing for sure the bridesmaids have to do: stand by your side at your wedding.

That means having to wear a cohesive look on your wedding day. Let’s go over some bridesmaid dress etiquette tips before diving into the fash trends!

Who Pays For The Bridesmaid Dress?

This is a very good question! Traditionally, a bridesmaid is expected to pay for her own dress, including the shoes, accessories, hair and makeup for the big day – minus the bridesmaid bouquet, of course. That’s on the bride.



The bridesmaid dress etiquette and this year's trends. We love these colors and styles as they are so versatile they will look beautiful both at outdoor and indoor weddings. Dresses by Jenny Yoo.

The bridesmaid dress etiquette and this year’s trends. We love these colors and styles as they are so versatile they will look beautiful both at outdoor and indoor weddings. Dresses by Jenny Yoo.

Embrace the new trends and create an ethereal vibe for your bridesmaids with sequin tops and soft chiffon skirts for a beach wedding. Photo: Lucija Ros.

Embrace the new trends and create an ethereal vibe for your bridesmaids with sequin tops and soft chiffon skirts for a beach wedding. Photo: Lucija Ros.

Now that we covered who traditionally pays for bridesmaid dresses, let’s go over a few alternative ways of handling this. The bride covering this expense for her bridal squad is becoming more and more standard, or at the very least, they cover part of the cost. Some brides are helping their friends meet their bridesmaid dress etiquette by loaning them the money over time.

Let your bridal squad rock with these bridesmaid dress etiquette tips and trends, the ones you need to know.

Let your bridal squad rock with these bridesmaid dress etiquette tips and trends, the ones you need to know.



How Much Do Bridesmaid Dresses Cost?

Bridesmaid dresses do range in cost. The average cost of a bridesmaid dress this year in the U.S. is $150 according to Brides magazine. But that price can go up if you need to have any alterations done. Plus, you need to factor in the shoes and any accessories and other expenses. Being a bridesmaid is not for the faint of heart! (or pockets!)

We know these are your bae people, but as the bride, keep it on the affordable side. Be creative – you’ll see many options that are totally lit here – and let them know how highly you think of them often.

Every bridesmaid dress has a different style. That way when they get together again they can still wear them, minus the flower bouquets, of course!

Every bridesmaid dress has a different style. That way when they get together again they can still wear them, minus the flower bouquets, of course!

Related: How to Choose Bridesmaids for your Wedding (without offending anybody in the process)

How to Ask Bridesmaids to Pay for their Dress (Nicely)

First of all, it is good manners and of course perfect bridesmaid dress etiquette to include them in the search for “the” bridesmaid dress.

Share with them your vision of the wedding, the colors, shades or wedding theme. Furthermore, show them a specific dress you found and its price and ask them if it fits what they were planning to spend. There. you’ve done it.

If they expected you to pay for their dress, explain that it’s customary for the bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses. If they can’t afford the dress, this is the moment to let you know! Maybe you’ll decide on a cheaper alternative and even help them pay for the dress. Even though it’s your big day, discuss the dress issue with your friends and come to a good understanding on dresses that work for everyone’s budget!

One great idea is gifting them the shoes or the jewelry. Your bridal squad will appreciate that. You were going to thank them with a gift after all, right? Make it something useful for all of you!

Bridesmaid dress etiquette: who pays for the dress? Kennedy Blue.

Bridesmaid dress etiquette: who pays for the dress? Kennedy Blue.

When Should you Order the Bridesmaid Dresses?

For off the rack dresses, get them when you find them. You never know when they will go out of stock. If you’ve chosen designer outfits, think six months in advance. Three months for them to arrive and three for any alterations needed.

Summery, airy and elegant two piece bridesmaid dress.

Summery, airy and elegant two piece bridesmaid dress.

Bridesmaid Dress Etiquette: The Long and the Short of it

This never ends, does it? Long bridesmaid dresses are perfect for a black-tie affair, winter or an evening reception. On the other hand, short dresses will give a more informal vibe that could be perfect for a daytime or outdoor wedding. If you are having a hard time deciding, go with the time rule: is the wedding before or after 6PM? If it’s after, pick long bridesmaid dresses. But always, always be true to your aesthetic.

Two of the cutest knee-length bridesmaid dresses we have ever seen in ruffled chiffon.

Two of the cutest knee-length bridesmaid dresses we have ever seen in ruffled chiffon.

What’s Trending on Bridesmaid Dresses?

Finally, here are the hottest trends for your bridal party to flaunt and feel gorgeous at your wedding!

The Two-Piece Look that will Capture Everybody’s Heart

Love these flouncy tulle skirts that your bridesmaids will be able to use again and again. Being a bridesmaid is such an investment that thinking of their pockets will be hugely appreciated. If you are not a fan of tulle skirts, any two-piece outfit will do. Get inspired by these bridesmaid dress ideas!

After the wedding, you can wear the sequin top with a knee length skirt or use it to dress up a pair of jeans. Recycle the dress.

After the wedding, you can wear the sequin top with a knee length skirt or use it to dress up a pair of jeans. Recycle the dress.

Break the rules in perfect trendy taste.

Break the rules in perfect trendy taste.

The tutu skirt - a garment and even an accessory that comes from the world of ballet - here with an urban chic vibe.

The tutu skirt – a garment and even an accessory that comes from the world of ballet – here with an urban chic vibe.

Sweet Florals that Fit any Wedding Style

Florals can really pop against a bride’s white (or off-white dress). It’s a very feminine and appealing look that goes well with boho, vintage, garden, urban and backyard weddings! Lighter backgrounds are sweet and flowy and the trendiest darker backgrounds are ultra flattering!

For your special day, and all the days after, a flowy floral boho bridesmaid dress by plumprettysugar.

For your special day, and all the days after, a flowy floral boho bridesmaid dress by plumprettysugar.

Split side floral boho dress for sexy bridesmaids by oshopolive.

Split side floral boho dress for sexy bridesmaids by oshopolive.

More inspo: Trendy Plus Sized Wedding Guest Dresses, Curvy is the New Black

Light up your Bridal Squad with Sequins

If you want your bridesmaids to really dazzle on the day of your wedding, sequin dresses are fire. They will add glitz and glamour of your wedding. This trend works full-length, knee-length or as a sequin top paired with a long pleated skirt. Perfect for re-use!

Dare to go all 2019 with these silver sequin bridesmaid dresses!

Dare to go all 2019 with these silver sequin bridesmaid dresses!

Blush sequined convertible sheath one shoulder bridesmaid dresses from MissZhu Bridal. Ultra glam.

Blush sequined convertible sheath one shoulder bridesmaid dresses from MissZhu Bridal. Ultra glam.

Luxurious and Soft Velvet Bridesmaid Dresses

If you’re having a fall or winter wedding, velvet bridesmaid dresses are perfect! The soft and eye-catching fabric provides some extra flair to the dresses, making them stand out no matter what color you pick!

Tradition dictates that bridesmaids must wear the same dresses. Today a mismatched bridal squad looks even more harmonious and beautiful together!

Tradition dictates that bridesmaids must wear the same dresses. Today a mismatched bridal squad looks even more harmonious and beautiful together!

This is more on trend now than ever, mix and match your bridal party look! Gives your bridesmaids a chance to show off their personal style and pick their most flattering dress silhouette. Just be sure to setup a few guidelines and ask them to check with you before purchasing them so you end up with a cohesive look.

 

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Photo Credits: storenvy, whowhatwear, revelry, wedding-venues.