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Maid of Honour Duties and Responsibilities Checklist

If you’ve been asked to be a maid of honour, then congratulations!

Being chosen to take on the role of the maid of honour is super exciting and a huge privilege. There are several requirements of this special position and while every wedding will vary based on the bride’s specific needs, at its core, the maid of honour’s main role is to simply support the bride.

So, what is a maid of honour? What does a maid of honour do, exactly?

In this blog post we’ll cover everything you need to know about maid of honour duties and responsibilities to make sure you fulfil the role flawlessly.

What is a Maid of Honour?

Today, brides have free reign to ask anyone to be the maid of honour on their big day. The maid of honour could be any important person in a bride’s life: a sister, cousin, best friend, sibling-in-law, male best friend or anyone that the bride trusts to take on the important responsibilities of a maid of honour on her wedding day.

They are someone who knows the bride intimately, who the bride trusts and who can also bring them back down to earth on the odd occasion they need it!

But this wasn’t always the case. The tradition of the wedding party is thought to have originated from Roman law which required ten witnesses to outsmart evil spirits. These evil spirits were believed to be present at marriage ceremonies so the bridesmaids and groomsmen would all dress in identical clothing, so that the evil spirits would not know who was getting married.

What Does a Maid of Honour Do?

The role of the maid of honour is to assist and support the bride through the entire marriage process normally helping with logistics, helping pick out wedding themes, dresses and providing support and assistance on the wedding day.

While a wedding may look effortlessly beautiful, a lot of careful planning and preparation goes on prior to any wedding and behind the scenes on the day which the maid of honour and best man play a key role in. For this reason, the role should be designated to a person who is close to the bride and will provide all the support they need throughout the entire wedding process.

As a close friend or family member, you’ll know the couple inside out but it’s important to remember that every couple is different, and your role will vary depending on their specific needs. While some couples may want you to take control of certain elements of the wedding others may prefer you to take a more relaxed approach, offering your support as and when they require.

Below we’ll discuss the most common maid of honour roles and responsibilities in preparation for the wedding, on the wedding day itself as well as after the wedding. But first we’ll detail the differences between the duties of the maid of honour and the duties of a bridesmaid.

Maid of Honour vs Bridesmaid

The maid of honour and bridesmaids are both important roles, but typically the maid of honour has more responsibilities than a bridesmaid.

A bridesmaid is a member of the bridal party, and they are typically expected to attend the wedding and assist on the big day. They are usually a sister, cousin or close friend, although these days brides may choose attendants of the opposite sex as well.

The maid of honour serves as the chief bridesmaid. They are the bride’s key personal attendant both during the preparation and on the big day, with the aim to reduce stress wherever possible.

Maid of Honour Duties and Responsibilities Checklist:

The duties of a maid of honour will likely depend on the size of the rest of the wedding party – if it’s just you there will be more to do but if there are multiple bridesmaids, jobs may be shared out between you. To help you determine your key duties, we’ve put together a complete maid of honour duties and responsibilities checklist. Be sure to communicate with your bride and decide on your specific duties together.

Maid of Honour Jobs Before the Wedding

Attend wedding dress shopping and fittings

One of the most exciting parts about being a maid of honour is helping the bride choose her wedding dress. While the bride themselves may have the boutique booked and a Pinterest board of their favourite wedding dress styles, they will be looking to their nearest and dearest for a second opinion. Check out our blog on where to find your wedding dress in Lancashire for a little bit of inspiration!

Manage the bridesmaids

The bride may ask for your help choosing bridesmaid dresses, which gives you the perfect chance to advise on budget, colour and styling options. Once the bride has made their selection, as the maid of honour, you should step in to ensure each member of the bridal party knows where, when and how to collect their gowns. If the bridesmaids are expected to pay for their dresses themselves, you should also remind them of any alteration costs.

Organise the hen party

Next up on our maid of honour duties and responsibilities checklist: organising an epic hen weekend! From relaxing getaways, adventurous outdoor retreats or vibrant city escapes, there are endless possibilities for an unforgettable hen party celebration. Depending on the bride’s preferences this may involve just a small number of close family and friends, or it could be quite a large group of friends. It’s the maid of honour’s duty to coordinate the hen party activities with the bride and plan a few extra surprises that you know your bestie will love. It’s your job to make sure everyone knows the plan, the details of when and where you are going and how everyone is getting there.

Offer to help with any wedding planning

As maid of honour, your level of involvement with any wedding planning activities is entirely dependent on the bride. While some will relish your help and support every step of the way, others are more inclined to plan their wedding solo. Typical wedding planning responsibilities include helping organise wedding stationary, offering your opinion on wedding themes, wedding flowers and wedding food and organising the bridal party. Whatever their expectations, the bride will be relieved of your eagerness to want to help plan, coordinate and respond to their needs as best you can.

Attend pre-wedding events

The rehearsal dinner is typically held the night before the wedding and is a chance for the wedding party to practice the ceremony and then celebrate with dinner and drinks after. This is a great opportunity for everyone to meet ahead of the wedding and get to know each other. As maid of honour, lending your hand in planning the rehearsal dinner and ensuring that everything runs smoothly on the evening will be greatly appreciated!

Maid of Honour Jobs During the Wedding

Get dressed with the bridal party and bride

The wedding day has finally arrived, and the soon-to-be bride needs your support now more than ever. On the wedding day, you’ll need to be at the venue early to help the bride and bridesmaids get ready. While the bride may have organised wedding makeup artists and hairstylists to pamper her bridal party, you can provide your assistance in other ways. This includes helping the bride put on her dress and making sure she has everything she may need like her wedding bouquet.

Keep things calm and check in with the bride

This is likely to be one of the most emotional days of the bride’s life and it’s only natural that she might become overwhelmed, so it’s important to be there to listen to her and provide emotional support. As maid of honour, you know your best friend inside out. Help her calm her nerves and enjoy this special day by letting her know you’re there whatever she needs.

Help keep things on schedule

The maid of honour should make sure the bride or wedding planner provide the bridal party with a full wedding timeline. You may need to gently remind the bridesmaids when the wedding transport will be leaving for the ceremony and make sure everyone is where they need to be on time.

Get the wedding party organised to walk down the aisle

Traditionally in the UK, the groom and groomsmen will be waiting at the altar for the bridesmaids to walk down the aisle one by one. If you’re having flower girls and page boys, they’ll walk down the aisle just before the bride. As tradition goes, the bride is then walked down the aisle by her father. As maid of honour, you should make sure all the bridesmaids know the processional order everyone will walk in and where they will stand once they reach the aisle.

Check the bride’s veil, train and adjust her bouquet if needed

Make it your responsibility to ensure the bride looks fabulous in her wedding photos and be prepared to attend to the little things like checking her veil, arranging her train and adjusting her bouquet. Keep an eye out for scrunched up trains or wisps of hair tangled up in the wedding bouquet and step in to adjust any mishaps if needed (she’ll thank you for it later). Remember to be as discreet as possible as not to draw unwanted attention to any mini wardrobe malfunctions.

Hold the bouquet when the couple exchange their vows

This might seem like common knowledge but during the wedding ceremony, the maid of honour stands by the bride’s side and holds her bouquet while she says her vows.

Sign the marriage license as witness

Right after the ceremony, the officiant and the newlyweds will sign the marriage license. Two witnesses are also required, and usually the maid of honour and best man take on the role of witness as well.

Make a toast or speech

Although there are no ‘have tos’ when it comes to wedding speeches, the maid of honour usually gives a speech before or after the best man. This is a chance for the maid of honour to offer a story about the bride and toast the happy couple. It doesn’t need to be long but something heartfelt is sure to be a hit.

Make sure the dance floor is filled

One of the most important maid of honour jobs is to make sure everyone is having a great time and spending a lot of time on the dance floor! The evening wedding reception usually begins with the bride and groom’s first dance as a newly wed couple which then traditionally is followed by the best man and maid of honour who encourage others to dance too.

Maid of Honour Jobs After the Wedding

Once the wedding is over the duties of the maid of honour are very minimal. The main duty of the maid of honour post-wedding is to ensure any hired clothes or accessories are cleaned and returned. You may also need to help remove decorations and gifts from the wedding venue and transport them for the couple. With all the gifts and cards received at the wedding, the couple may also want help with organising thank you notes and cards so you could offer your hand.


Being assigned the important role of maid of honour in a close friend or family member’s wedding is hugely exciting but it’s only natural to feel a little nervous. Know that your bestie has entrusted you in this position for a reason: you’re her go-to-person and she knows you’ll have her back no matter what. As a starting point we suggest talking to the bride-to-be about how much involvement they would like from you in the wedding planning and preparation and go from there.


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