Bridesmaids and maid of honor are two of the most important roles in a wedding, with the main difference being that the bridesmaid serves as the bride’s primary attendant, while the maid of honor has the unofficial title of chief bridesmaid.
The maid of honor is typically in charge of the bachelorette party, the bridal shower, and leading the bridesmaids across the entire planning process until the big day. In most cases, brides appoint a sister, female relative, or their best friend as the maid of honor. The traditions surrounding bridesmaids and maids of honor originate from ancient Roman times when ten witnesses were deemed necessary to keep evil spirits at bay. These malevolent spirits were thought to be present at every marriage ceremony, and ten witnesses were theorized to be effective at appeasing them.
Bridesmaid duties are usually numerous and last through to the actual wedding date. Most people are aware that the bridesmaid is tasked with assisting the maid of honor in planning the wedding events, but the duties don’t end there. The following are some of the other tasks associated with being a bridesmaid.
- Providing emotional support to the bride throughout the wedding planning and the day of the event, and possibly beyond. All events that take place should be attended and organized by the bridesmaid.
- Assist the maid of honor in the planning and payment of the bridal shower and also the bachelorette party. Both of these take some intricate details and can last for several weeks, which makes it even more important to pull it off with as few hassles as possible.
- Attend each pre-wedding event, including the engagement party, bachelorette party, wedding shower, rehearsal dinner, and more. It could be a hectic schedule for any bridesmaid to navigate through all of these until the wedding day.
- Serving as the errand girl leading up to the wedding, including pre-ceremony events and up to the wedding day if necessary. There are also bound to be other events that pop up between being selected as the bridesmaid and the actual wedding day.
- Maintain a log of all gifts from the bridal shower to assist the bride in creating a proper list to thank everyone for their gifts.
Bridesmaids don’t typically choose their dresses for the wedding, as that’s traditionally up to the bride. Depending on preferences, bridesmaid dresses can run from a vintage style to a modern one.
Although most weddings have bridesmaids that match and wear the same dresses, some options include wearing different dresses that follow a specific theme or features that connect through accessories.
Maid of Honor Duties
The maid of honor has several duties to perform in her role, including but not limited to the following:
Serve as the primary source of support
The main duty of the maid of honor is to be a rock of constant support for the bride throughout the process. It includes getting involved in wedding invitations, reception decorations, and of course, any drama that abounds from other guests or even bridesmaids. As second in command, you will be tasked with assisting in the decision-making process and offering your opinion on a number of things.
Bridal Party Leader
More than likely, this position designates the maid of honor as the lead bridesmaid, and primary duties include keeping all bridesmaids current on everything related to the wedding. By keeping communication open, a lot of common problems can be avoided.
Dress Shopping and Fittings
As one of the most exciting duties of the maid of honor, it also can be one of the most time-consuming as you assist the bride in picking out the perfect dress.
Once a decision has been made on a wedding dress, it is up to the maid of honor to attend all fittings and help narrow down and possibly decide on the accessories, including jewelry, shoes, veil, floral bouquet and more.
Bridesmaid Dress Shopping
One of the more notable duties of a maid of honor is helping the bride select the dresses they and other bridesmaids will be wearing on the big day. While some brides may allow the bridesmaids to decide on their own dress, typically, all bridesmaids wear matching dresses that complement the bride’s dress.
Whatever the case may be, the maid of honor commonly provides input on the style and cut of the dresses and determines what might look most flattering and will be comfortable for each bridesmaid.
Bridal Shower Planner and Host
This is one of the duties that will allow the maid of honor to truly shine, as it is considered the most rewarding aspect of a wedding. The maid of honor must round up all the friends and family members and ensure that the event is unforgettable and hits all the right notes.
Maid of Honor Outfit
It is tradition to differentiate her from other bridesmaids by giving her a slightly different dress or bouquet. There are a few ways to place the maid of honor in a different dress.
She can wear a dress similar to the other bridesmaid’s dresses but in a slightly different color, or the same color dress in a different style to stand out from the others.
A Shared Goal
There may be slight differences between bridesmaids and the maid of honor, but both positions have the same goal of ensuring that the bride is happy and content.
There are a slew of duties to consider, and they may take some effort, but once a bride has decided to bestow duties, it is up to all bridesmaids and maid of honor to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible to give the bride the best day of her life!