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There comes a time in a woman’s life when she’s given the privilege to bear the prestigious title only a few ever get the chance to be called, ‘The maid of honor.” Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? The maid of honor usually stands out among the bridesmaids at any wedding, elegantly dressed in her beautiful attire second only to the bride herself. Every lady dreams of someday fulfilling this role at a wedding for her friend or sister, or a stranger across the road. However, it must have crossed your mind one way or another that these beautifully dressed ladies don’t just stand there and look pretty.

Have you ever wondered what exactly the Maid of honor duties are? If you’re reading this, and you’ve been chosen to be the Maid of honor at a wedding but have no clue what your duties are, then you’ve come to the right place. After reading this article, you’ll have all the information you need to equip you to become the ultimate maid of honor.

What is a Maid of Honor?

“Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibilities.” Weddings may seem perfect like a fairytale to the watching guests, but a lot of drama can happen behind the scenes from pre-wedding planning to emotional instabilities, wardrobe malfunctions and disappointments could happen. The Maid of honor often called the Chief Bridesmaid, is that individual who has the most important task of being the Chief bride’s support before, during and after the wedding.

Only one in a million ladies ever get the chance of being asked to be the Maid of honor at a wedding, and it’s indeed a very honorable role. If you’ve been selected to be the Maid of honor, then a big congratulations to you! But there are specific Maid-of-honor duties that you are expected to perform, and though the experience may be memorable, exciting and fun, fulfillment of your duties are essential in helping the bride keep it together and prevent a complete meltdown.

The maid of honor typically leads and coordinates the other bridesmaids, and her responsibilities vary from helping out with the wedding planning to making key decisions and picking dresses, helping to quell the built-up tension, family difficulties and other forms of pre-wedding jitters that may spring up. Indeed, the maid of honor duties are endless, and her ability to superbly play that role goes a long way to determine the success of the wedding. For those who love a little walk down history lane, one question comes to mind — who was the first maid of honor?

Who Was the First Maid of Honor?

While it may be impossible to place a finger on a particular person who first played the honorable role of the Maid of honor (except somehow time travel was a thing), the tradition of the Maid of honor dates back centuries ago. Some people cite the Biblical story of Jacob and his wives Rachel and Leah, who both came with their own maids (handmaidens) as the origin of the bridesmaids. Other sources claim that in ancient times, the bride, the maid of honor, the groomsmen and bridesmaids all wore matching attires with the bride and groom to confuse jealous suitors and vengeful evil spirits trying to harm the bride and groom.

Unfortunately, none of these origin stories were able to do enough justice to the search for the first Maid of honor. In the United Kingdom, the female attendant of the Queen is originally referred to as the Maid of honor. All bridal attendants in the UK are however called bridesmaids. However, a married or matured attendant is given the title ‘Matron of honor.’ In the United States, however, the maid of honor is the title given to the chief bridesmaid who is usually the closest friend or sister to the bride.

Maid of Honor Duties

Everybody wants a perfect wedding, however, that almost always never happens. It’s a common belief that brides always freak out weeks, days and hours to their wedding due to tons of stress and anxiety. Hence, the Maid of honor duties are numerous from providing emotional support to being a part worker bee and providing constant assurance in the face of disappointments. Is this is your first time being the Maid of honor at a wedding and you have no idea what to expect? We’ve got you covered. Below are the top 15 Maid Of Honor Duties that you probably didn’t know about:

#1 Helping To Choose The Style And Dresses For The Bridesmaids

The Maid of honor is usually tasked with assisting the bride in choosing the style and color of the dresses to be worn by the bridesmaids. This not only involves choosing the dresses but also ensuring that all the bridesmaids order their dresses and any other accessories on time. The Maid of honor also ensures that the bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done at the right time, while also coordinating their rehearsal, transportation, and lodging where necessary.

#2 Help Plan The Bridal Shower

What’s a wedding without the bridal shower eh? And thanks to the Maid of honor and her excellent planning skills, she’s responsible for putting the bridal shower together with the help of the other bridesmaids. Her job involves picking the venue for the event, sending invites, ordering the food and keeping records of all the gifts received. It’s a massive task to organize a bridal shower, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work, so it’s important to delegate some work to other members of the bridal party.

#3  Help Plan The Bachelorette Party

The bachelorette party is probably every lady’s favorite event before the wedding. The party is held for the bride with the number one goal of helping the bride have as much fun as humanly possible, one last time as a Bachelorette. The Maid of honor’s duty is to lead the other bridesmaid in planning a head-spinning Bachelorette party, one she would never forget.

#4  Make A Speech At The Wedding Or Rehearsal Dinner

Big events require big speeches to set the mood and make everyone happy, and weddings are no exception. Both the Maid of honor and the Best man are required to make a toast and give a heartwarming speech at either the wedding reception or the rehearsal dinner. The speech is usually short, talking about the bride and how much you love the new couple. You can go ahead and share something emotional about them, just keep in mind that whatever you say will be a hit as long as it comes from the heart.

#5  Be A Good Listener And Provide Emotional Support

Some brides decide to handle most of the wedding planning themselves while others go all the way to employ professional wedding planners. However, the Maid of honor duties are to be right there by the bride to assist her with any tasks she might need help with. All brides want a perfect wedding which is almost never guaranteed, except you’re marrying an English Prince. Some disappointments and family drama may come up that could threaten to drive the bride crazy and destabilize her emotionally. It’s the all-important job of the Maid of honor to keep her in check, listen to her ideas, and provide emotional support throughout the day.

#6  Help The Bride Get Dressed On The Wedding Day

A lot of work has gone into the dress and appearance of the bride to help create that euphoria that fills the wedding hall immediately the bride shows up and walks down the aisle On the D-day. The Maid of honor with the assistance of the other bridesmaids help the bride get dressed in the bridal suite making such she’s able to give Cinderella a run for her money.

#7  Lead And Organize The Army Of Bridesmaids

This is one of the most important jobs of the Maid of honor. You’ll be tasked with organizing the other bridesmaids directing them through their duties and making sure everyone gets their dresses and provide them with all the information they’ll need for all pre-wedding and post-wedding events. She’s usually the go-to person for any bridesmaid-related inquiries.

#8  The Couple’s Messenger On The Wedding Day

It’s a common belief that it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride all dressed up in her wedding dress before the ceremony. While the authenticity of this cannot be ascertained, most brides still don’t want their grooms to see them fully dressed before the wedding. However, there simply can’t be radio silence between the couple. They’ll definitely want to communicate and send each other love notes or gifts, and that’s where the Maid of honor duties come in. She could serve as the exclusive messenger between the couple helping to deliver notes to the bride’s spouse and bring feedbacks.

#9  Arranging And Holding The Bridal Train

 The bridal train is an extra piece of fabric that extends from the back of a wedding dress and droops behind as the bride walks. The bridal train can be very long and impede the bride’s overall movement. The Maid of honor duties, therefore, includes helping the bride arrange the train upon her arrival at the wedding and make sure she looks great before she walks down the aisle. The Maid of honor is also tasked with ensuring the bride can easily use the restroom, and it’s a great idea to learn how to bustle the wedding gown to keep the train clean and make her move more comfortably.

#10  Ensures That Things Go According To Plan And Schedule

It’s a universal law; things almost never go according to plan in a wedding ceremony. However, you can only do your best to minimize this by helping to keep things on schedule. The maid of honor can request for the full wedding plan and timeline of the ceremony so that she can keep an eye on proceedings. Gently reminding everyone of their responsibilities and making sure they’re where they need to be at the right time is one important duty of the Maid of honor.

#11  Required To Be A Witness In Signing The Marriage License

In a modern wedding, both the Best man and the Maid of honor are required to sign the marriage license along with the newlyweds as witnesses of the union.

#12  Helps To Hold The Bouquet And Other Things For The Bride

If there’s one thing the Maid of honor will be doing plenty of during the wedding ceremony, it’s holding. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? The Maid of honor is responsible for holding the bride’s bouquet during the exchange of vows, holding the groom’s ring right to the moment for ring exchange, and a few tissues in case the bride gets a little emotional.

#13  Helps The Couple Collect Wedding Gifts

Weddings are usually flooded with tons of gifts from family, friends, and well-wishers of both the bride and the groom. Before the wedding, the Maid of honor should find out where the couple would love to have their gifts transported for safekeeping after the ceremony. She can help to keep a record of all the gifts received, collecting gift envelopes and keeping them safe for the couples.


#14  Ensure That The Bride Eats And Drinks Enough

Sometimes people get carried away with the joy and happiness that overflowing during weddings that they forget that the bride and groom are also human beings and need to eat during the wedding reception. The last thing you want to see is a hangry bride, so the Maid of honor duties are to ensure that the bride eats and takes a lot of water to help her stay hydrated.

#15  Be Ready And Prepared For Any Type Of Emergency During The Wedding

A lot of surprises could spring up during wedding ceremonies, and because you wouldn’t want to bother the bride and make her destabilized, you prepare for all kinds of emergency situations. You can carry along an emergency bridal kit filled with items such as pain relievers, safety pins, band-aids, and fashion tape; that may come in handy in case of mini-emergencies

Who Makes the Perfect Maid of Honor?

Traditionally, the Maid of honor is usually a female — either the Bride’s sister or her closest female friend. If at all it’s impossible to find either, the bride has the liberty to pick anyone she can fully trust and is capable of showing her love and emotional support during the wedding ceremony.

Before deciding to choose the Maid of honor, it’s important to consider the large amount of work and responsibilities listed above that the person will have to fulfill exquisitely. It’s essential that they’ll be able to meet these expectations. A careful examination of the potential candidates will enable the bride to pick the right person for the job without bias.

Can the Maid of Honor be a Man?

The question that has been on the minds of everyone for centuries is, “Can the maid of honor be a man?” Technically speaking, Yes! A man can play the role of the ‘Maid of honor.’ This actually makes perfect sense especially in cases where the bride doesn’t have any female friends that she trusts well enough to fill the role but instead has tons of trustworthy male friends. While it may feel awkward with the groom, the man could be someone she exclusively trusts to be by her side with the wedding planning. It may, however, alter the traditionally-gendered events of the Bachelorette party and bridal shower.

Calling a man the ‘Maid of honor’ might also seem weird, so the chief male attendant to the bride is usually called, “Bride’s honor Attendant,” or to make it sound a lot more catchy, “The bride’s sidekick.” So there you have it, the top fifteen Maid of honor duties you need to know about before you play the honorable role at any wedding.

What is the Worst Thing About Being a Made of Honor

When a survey was carried out to find out what people who had played the roles of Maid of honor thought the best and worst parts of being the Maid of honor was, the cost came in as the number one complaint having about 66% of participants claim it was the worst. Another complaint was about the dresses with the price of the bridesmaid dresses being overwhelming you had to really dig deep into uncharted territories in your pocket. The major problems with the dresses being the inability to where wear them to other occasions and doing all you can to match with the other bridesmaids can be stressful.

Despite all the seemingly daunting tasks, there are things you can’t help but love about being the Maid of honor. Most importantly, being there for your friend or sister on her special day! There’s simply no better feeling in the world.


Now that you have read this article, you’re well on your way to being an outstanding Maid of honor, second to none the world has ever seen. We’re only human and couldn’t have possibly listed all the Maid of honor duties here. If you feel you have any additional duties you feel deserve to be on the list, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below.