The bride chooses her Maid of Honor because she is her most beloved friend or sister. The name Maid of Honor is given to the primary bridesmaid, if the woman is unmarried. She may also be called the Chief Bridesmaid, or Matron of Honor if she is married. A bride could also have a Junior Bridesmaid, an honorary bridesmaid that is clearly too young to be marriageable.
The Western bridesmaid tradition is supposedly dated back to ancient Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding to “outsmart” “evil spirits.” These “evil spirits” were thought to be present at wedding ceremonies. The witnesses dressed identically to the bride and groom to disguise the couple actually getting married.
While being chosen as the Chief Bridesmaid, or MOH, is truly a title to be proud of, the role also comes with a ton of responsibilities. Here is a list of some, but not all, of the duties that you could be responsible for.
Before the Wedding:
- Become the lead delegator for the bridesmaids and their duties. Divvy up tasks and responsibilities so that there is less stress on you and the bride.
- Make sure all of the bridesmaids get their dresses, including fittings for them and appropriate accessories.
- Go with the bride to shop for her dress. Offer to help her shop for the bridesmaids’ dresses too.
- Be active in wedding planning such as choosing the wedding theme, colors, invitations, cake, etc.
- Help plan the wedding reception.
- Keep in mind that a Junior Bridesmaid does not have any responsibilities aside from attending the wedding ceremony.
- Be the rock for emotional support throughout the entire process leading up to the wedding. Keep an open line of communication with the bride and keep her calm and positive.
- Plan the bridal shower. Use your close relationship with the bride to decide on the most suitable theme and location of the shower.
- Keep track of which guest gave which present at the bridal shower. This will make sending Thank You cards easier.
- Plan the bachelorette party. You can ask for creative ideas from the other bridesmaids on this one.
- Be available and attend all wedding-related events prior to the wedding.
During the Wedding and Wedding Reception
- Keep a tab on all of the bridesmaids. Make sure they arrive on time and have their hair and makeup done.
- Help delegate guests to where they need to be.
- Hold the groom’s ring during the ceremony.
- Fix the bride’s train and veil before and after she arrives at the altar.
- Hold the bride’s bouquet during the exchange of rings and vows.
- Serve as the official witness for the signing of the wedding license.
- Dance with the best man or other groomsmen during the formal first-dance sequence.
- Give a speech or toast to the newlyweds.
- Be a dependable friend, advisor, and shoulder to cry on if necessary.
- Stay cool and levelheaded in stressful situations.
- Keep the bride and guests happy and in good spirits throughout the entire ceremony.