If you’ve been asked to be a bride’s maid of honor, congratulations! Your close friend has chosen you to be a part of one of the most important events of her life, and that should serve as a serious compliment. There’s a reason that the title “maid of honor” has stuck around for so long, as it is certainly a great privilege to be chosen as the bride’s go-to woman. However, with this honor come many responsibilities. Besides the bride herself, the maid of honor is the busiest member of the bridal party. From attending appointments to planning parties, there are so many details of a wedding that can be hard to be sure of what exactly it is that your bride expects of you. Whether you’ve just been asked the special question or you’ve been tackling some maid of honor duties for a while now, here is a quick refresher on the ins-and-outs of everything that comes along with being a MOH. We’ve compiled a list of common maid of honor questions, from whether or not you will have mismatched bridesmaid dresses to what to say in your MOH speech, so that you can confidently complete your duties.
Q: What is the difference between the maid of honor and the matron of honor? Do they have different duties?
A: The maid of honor title is for an unmarried woman, while the matron of honor is allotted to a married woman. Besides there being a ring on one’s finger, there are no differences between their typical duties. However, some brides choose to have both a matron of honor and a maid of honor. A two-part team should speak with the bride and with each other to decide which duties will be assigned to each gal.
Q: Is it my responsibility to plan the bachelorette party?
A: As far as traditional bridesmaid roles go, the answer is typically yes. However, it’s always nice to check with your bride to make sure a bachelorette party is on her list of must-haves for her wedding experience. If the pressure of planning the perfect girl’s trip is too much to handle alone, utilize your fellow maids for their ideas and input. While a Vegas trip may be some brides’ dream, there are plenty of other options that aren’t quite as wild (or as expensive!). We love the idea of weekend getaways to a lakeside cabin too.
Q: Do I plan the bridal shower?
A: Yes, maid of honor duties usually include the coordination and hosting of the bridal shower. Remember to have fun with this event, as it is a great event to celebrate your best friend’s engagement. Join forces with other bridesmaids, as well as the bride’s mother to ensure the celebration sets the perfect tone for the rest of the wedding festivities.
Q: Do I need to accompany the bride to all of her appointments – dress fittings and all?
A: This will vary depending on whether the bride and groom plan on doing most of the planning together. As the right-hand-woman to the bride, it’s best to at least plan on attending all wedding-related appointments. From dress shopping to picking registry items, there’s a lot to be done. However, appointments such as the cake tasting may be special just for the soon-to-be-newlyweds will enjoy. Be sure to let your bride know you’d love to attend any appointment right off the bat. Typically, she will then let you know which she would like you to accompany her to.
Q: Do I have a different dress than the rest of the bridesmaids?
A: This will certainly vary from wedding to wedding, and with the popular mismatched bridesmaid dresses trend, it’s hard to determine an answer. Some brides choose to have the maid of honor wear a different style of dress than the rest of the girls, such as a one-shouldered neckline as opposed to the rest of the strapless gowns. You should feel honored if your bride wants you to stand out, but don’t certainly don’t expect or ask for any spotlight.
Q: What do I do if I live in a different state than the bride?
A: If you live out of state and are selected to be your friend’s MOH, she typically will not expect you to be there for everything. Maybe try to plan a trip to visit and help with the planning one time before the big day, and you’re always just a phone call/Skype session away! As for planning the shower and bachelorette, you could see if the bride would be open to doing them in the same weekend, and will definitely want to coordinate with the other bridesmaids if they’re in town where the bride is.
Q: What do I do the day of the wedding?
A: While each wedding day is different, most maids of honor have a few common responsibilities on the big day. The maid of honor holds on to bride’s bouquet and the groom’s ring, ensures that the bride is always looking her best (this means lots of dress fluffing), acts as a witness in the signing of the marriage license, and gives a toast at the reception.
Q: What should I say in my toast?
A: There’s no specific requirement that constitutes a killer toast. Be sure to practice before and have some notes handy, though. It’s best to keep it simple, sweet, and from the heart. What is it that makes the bride so special? There’s bound to be a reason you agreed to be the maid of honor, and our guess is because she’s been someone who has shared many meaningful memories with you.
Q: Are there any other duties I should know about?
A: As the maid of honor, do your best to help the bride with anything and everything. Whether it’s putting stamps on the invitations or holding on to her cellphone during the ceremony, it’s your job to do all that you can to make the bride’s experience as smooth as possible.
The title of maid of honor may require a great deal of time and work, but it is certainly an experience to be cherished. Now that you have a better understanding of the traditional responsibilities, you are well on your way to knocking this wedding out of the park. Try not to let the details or any drama get the best of you. Remember why you are doing what you’re doing. While your bride may be frazzled at times, know that she deeply appreciates your support. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have asked you to stand beside her at the altar. After all of your duties are fulfilled, you’ll deliver your speech and feel fulfilled knowing that you helped to make the happiest day of your best friend’s life a reality. Now that is something to be proud of!
Let's chat! Are you a maid or matron of honor? Have you served as a maid of honor in the past? Tell us about your concerns and past experiences, and feel free to ask more MOH-related questions below in the comments section too!
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Taking Your Measurements
For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor.
**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.
Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).
Waist size: While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.
Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.
Choosing your correct size
Compare these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.