The Maid of Honor (or MOH) is the head of the bride's wedding party in a wedding. Specifically, she is the bridesmaid with the most honors and duties of the bridal party, and is considered the equivalent of the groom's Best Man.
- A woman who carries this role, but is married, is sometimes called the Matron of Honor. Some people don't like the term "Matron" and keep the title "Maid of Honor".
- Traditions have evolved that it is possible to include both genders for the bridal side of the wedding party. In this instance, some brides are involving their best male friends to be the Man of Honor.
- Some brides, who have two very special friends/sisters, may choose to have two positions of honor, e.g. a Maid of Honor and a Matron of Honor.
- Although the position is a traditional role, it is not a necessity. Some brides choose not to select a Maid of Honor at all, and just have bridesmaids. Some brides even choose not to have bridesmaids at all.
- Organizes bridal shower and bachelorette party
- Offers help on any wedding-related task
- Assists bride in selection of gown and bridesmaids dresses
- Coordinates with bridesmaids to ensure timely/accurate ordering of bridesmaids dresses, and their timely attendance at wedding related functions
- Attend rehearsal dinner
- Keep the bride calm and focused throughout the process. Provide a kind and understanding ear to listen to her vent
- Compile list of gifts received at pre-wedding events along with names of givers to help the bride prepare for writing thank you notes
- Helps the bride get into her wedding dress
- During ring exchange, stands closest to bride and holds bride's bouquet. May also hold the groom's ring
- Rearranges/fluffs the bride's dress during ceremony
- Helps bustle the bride's gown after the ceremony
- Gives a speech at reception, after the Best Man's speech
- In most cases, signs the marriage certificate as a witness
- Dance with the best man during the first official dance (traditional but optional)
- Carry or keep track of the bride's purse, or the MOH may carry her own purse with a few essentials for the bride inside (makeup, medications, tissues, etc.)
- Transport gifts to the bride/grooms home after the wedding (unless another individual has been selected for this task)
Selecting a Maid of Honor
Choose your maid of honor wisely, as this person will be standing up for you as your main witness and will be heavily involved in the wedding, including the months and weeks leading up to the wedding. Choose someone that you can rely on and with whom you have a great relationship. Chosen well, a person in this position will feel honored that you asked them, will carry the responsibilities well, and will not feel burdened by the things you need accomplished.
A maid of honor is typically a sister or best friend, but could also be a close relative (e.g. a cousin) or the groom's sister (if you have a good relationship).
Keep in mind that the expenses of a wedding, even for the participants, add up quickly, so do what you can to keep costs low for your wedding party. Your MOH should be able to help scout out deals on dresses and accessories.
Tips for Maid of Honor
- No matter what happens (remember the three "C's"): stay calm, cool and collected at all times. The MoH will be riding the roller coaster of emotions with her bride during the planning process, through all the pre-wedding parties and the wedding day itself. For better or for worse, someone needs to be the rock in the center of the storm and the wedding goes a lot smoother when that person is the MoH!
- In case of emergency or one of the unexpected hang-ups that probably will occur on the wedding day, the MoH should have a copy of the following on her person the day of the wedding: the wedding day time-line, a list of the wedding day vendors' phone numbers, and a list of the wedding party and other important guests' (ie: parents, grandparents, etc.) cell phone numbers. The MoH's foresight and preparation for any wedding day hiccups will be greatly appreciated!