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The How-To Lounge: Maid of Honor Responsibilities on the Big Day

While many of the maid of honor’s duties revolve around wedding planning, when it comes to the big day, she still has many final responsibilities awaiting her. Although the most important job is to keep the bride as stress-free as possible, there are many other details that shouldn’t be overlooked. To see some of the most significant maid of honor duties on the wedding day,


  • Create and bring an emergency kit that includes any potential disaster necessities, from clear nail polish to a miniature sewing kit and everything in between.
  • Keep a running checklist of all the things that need to be completed before and during the event. You don't want the bride to be running around trying to keep track of everything.
  • Manage the bridesmaids by making sure that they’re on time and ready to go. Feel free to dole out some of the maid of honor duties to them over the course of the afternoon or evening.
  • Assist the bride in getting into her dress and veil. Keep an eye on her dress during the ceremony and make sure to fluff and straighten her train if necessary.
  • Act as a go-between for the bride, the groom, and any of the wedding vendors. Again, the bride has enough to worry about, and she won't be able to interact with anyone outside of the bridal party while she's getting her hair and makeup done.
  • If possible, check out the reception venue and make sure that everything is as it should be. This is probably what the bride will be most concerned over, and it will be a great relief to know that you’ve seen it.
  • Along with the best man, sign the marriage license as a witness.
  • Hang on to the groom’s ring during the ceremony until requested. If you have nowhere else to put it, wear it on your thumb.
  • Be prepared to toast the couple at the reception unless otherwise decided.
  • Make sure the bride eats and stays hydrated throughout the occasion.
  • At the end of the reception, help the bride and groom’s families load up the gifts and any other memorabilia. Do a final walk through the venue to make sure that nothing has been left behind.

While this is no short list of responsibilities, knowing that your best friend has had as perfect a wedding as possible will surely be reward enough!

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Join The Conversation
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
either that bride has gianormous boobs...or that's a horrible fitting dress! :p
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
So much responsibility. I had two MOH and still had to do a lot of the work myself which is fine because I'd have to make sure everything was done right.
emalove emalove 9 years
I've been a MOH two times and I loved it! I think I did a great job :)
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 9 years
i feel so sorry for my maid of honor and my matron of honor they are prepared though we still have a year left
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
Thanks Kiki! This is def helpful :)
miss-jaxx miss-jaxx 9 years
God Im going to be a MOH next year... yikes!
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
skigurl, I have low blood sugar... so I know all about that :( I don't ever get grumpy... but I get dizzy, weak, sick, faint and when I start to eat I feel like I am going to be physically sick. Marni7, This is what I found on The Knot... if you just google "best man duties" it gives a lot of websites that lay out what all he is supposed to do. Some MOH and BM duties overlap -- like taking care of tips, handling caterers, photographers, etc... just make sure the MOH & BM know who is taking care of each duty. • Serve as the groom's personal aide and adviser before and during the wedding. This can include helping him pack for the honeymoon (the valet part). • Help the groom choose and rent (or buy) wedding formalwear, and coordinate the other groomsmen's rentals. You guys are supposed to match, after all! You may be expected to arrange accommodations for out-of-town groomsmen. • Organize the bachelor party. Don't be shy about enlisting other groomsmen to help you out -- most guys don't mind this duty! Put financial worries out of your mind -- the cost should be split among everyone who attends the bash. • Attend the rehearsal with the bride and groom and all the other attendants. This is your chance to figure out how you're supposed to walk down that aisle. • Stand beside the groom at the altar and keep the bride's ring until vows are exchanged. Find a safe place for the ring (and triple check that your pockets don't have holes) -- you don't want to fumble around when it's time to whip it out. • Corral the other groomsmen and make sure they're performing their duties. • Sign the marriage license as a witness after the ceremony, along with the maid of honor. • Give the officiant a sealed envelope with his or her fee (the groom's responsibility) just after the ceremony. • You may be announced with the maid of honor when the reception begins. • Dance with both the honor attendant and the bride during the wedding party dances. • Give the first toast to the bride and groom at the reception. This is your biggest -- and probably most frightening -- duty. Read our article about toasting, and remember the cardinal rule: Mum's the word on the bachelor bacchanalia. • Collect any gift envelopes guests bring to the reception. You may be asked to deposit them in the couple's bank account or at least to keep them until the couple returns from their honeymoon. • Decorate the getaway mobile. Grab the other groomsmen and the bridesmaids for this one. • Drive the couple to the wedding-night hotel or airport after the reception. If you perform this service, you'll need to stay sober throughout the reception. If you have a feeling this may not be possible, hire a limo to drive the couple into the sunset.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
kikidawn - SUCH a good call on the second to last one!! (the low blood sugar thing) - my best friend gets SUPER grumpy and faint when she's hungry, and she always needs to have snacks on hand...and i'll be her MOH one day i'm sure, so i need to remember this!
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
Is there any place I can find info on Best Man Duties for my boyfriend? He is the best man at his best friend's wedding in October and I've only been a bridesmaid before so I dont know what to tell him to do..the poor thing is all lost.. lol
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
These lists make me want to elope!!!
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Thank you Dear! Like I said we don't have to worry about it now, but I was still curious :D skigurl, I found this list online once and saved it. You may not need everything in here... and not all of it seems like 'emergency' type stuff.... but I can see where it would be good to at least have most of this on hand :) Grooming ¨ hand lotion, wet wipes ¨ curling iron, hot rollers ¨ tissues ¨ hairdryer ¨ cotton balls, cotton swabs ¨ brush, comb ¨ makeup ¨ hairspray, hair gel ¨ makeup remover ¨ bobby pins, hair elastics, barrettes ¨ nail polish in shade worn ¨ nail polish remover ¨ headband or clips for pulling hair back while applying makeup ¨ toothbrush, toothpaste, floss ¨ nail file ¨ mouthwash ¨ tweezers ¨ baby powder ¨ small grooming scissors ¨ deodorant ¨ small hand towel ¨ perfume ¨ lint brush Attire ¨ “throwaway” garter ¨ safety pins and a sewing kit with thread the color of bride’s and attendants’ dresses ¨ clear nail polish for runs in pantyhose ¨ masking tape or sewing tape (for last-minute ripped hems) ¨ extra earring backs ¨ small scissors (for thread) ¨ extra buttons ¨ club soda or other stain removal solutions ¨ flat shoes for the reception ¨ iron ¨ extra pantyhose Health/Medical ¨ antacid ¨ bandages ¨ antihistamine, cold remedy, any prescription medications ¨ upset stomach remedy ¨ aspirin, pain relievers ¨ feminine hygiene products (tampons, panty liners, etc.) Miscellaneous ¨ extra copies of directions to reception ¨ small flashlight ¨ breath mints ¨ folding utility knife ¨ cell phone and home phone numbers of all wedding participants ¨ duct tape ¨ contact information for all vendors ¨ snacks ¨ cooler with juice, sodas, and bottled water (this and snacks esp if someone tends to have low blood sugar) ¨ champagne, glasses
skigurl skigurl 9 years
awesome list. i'm not in the position to be a MOH yet, but as soon as one of my friends walks the aisle, i'm sure i'll be bombarded with duties what else can we think of to put in that emergency kit? bobbypins two sided/garment tape bandaids chapstick/blistex moiusturizer/vaseline tums/rolaids advil/asprin
DearSugar DearSugar 9 years
kikidawn - Good question. I believe you do have to be 18 or older to act as a witness for a marriage license. It may vary state to state though.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
totally random question, but how old do you have to be to sign the marriage license as a witness ... 18? Or can you be any age? I was going to be faced with this question if we had gotten married this year. My sister is going to be my Maid of Honor and she won't be 18 until next year. Since we decided to get married next year this won't be a problem anymore, but I am still curious! :)
sjtoliver sjtoliver 9 years
this is very helpful, although my friend has no designated maid of honor, she said she expects that a friend and I will have to carry most of the bridesmaid duties out(for various reasons). it's great to see this list and have an idea of what I'm signed up for!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
so much to do!
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