Congratulations you have just been giving the honour of being a maid / matron of honour (or you are a bride seeing what the duties entails). There are many assumptions about the modern day maid of honour duties. This can vary considerably depending on the culture, social attitudes and so on. In fact some movies will have you believe that you almost have to fly to the moon and back just to appease some brides.
Today we will be looking at what is genuinely expected as a bridesmaid in Australia. While it will vary depending on the culture and attitudes, we are going off what we have seen and worked with here in Australia.
List Of Maid of Honour Duties
Coordinate The Other Bridesmaids
Although this may seem simple, bridesmaids will have different opinions and attitudes. It is your job to keep them all in check and coordinate with then should they have any specific duties. In some instances, you may have to respectfully remind them that they are here for the bride and that this day it is not all about them.
Help Shop For The Wedding Dress
While the bride’s mother generally goes along to help shop for the wedding dress, so does the matron of honour/maid of honour. One of the top bridesmaid duties is to help the bride choose her dress. Please keep in mind that the dress is about the brides tastes and what best suits her. Many family and friends will always interject what THEY want her to wear, but it is your job to be the voice of reason and back up the bride if needed.
Assist With Pre-Wedding Tasks
Sometimes being a maid of honour/matron of honour is like being a personal assistant. While you are not expected to run around like one of our brideslaves, it is implied that you help with errands for the bride as she will return the favour when it is your turn to get married.
Spread Wedding Information To Guests (If Required)
Through the use of email, text, social media and so on you can spread the details of the wedding and share information with other guests. While you may not know everyone, you can do your best to repeat and confirm the bride’s information, so everyone is aware of any changes and to avoid confusion.
Help The Bride Change Clothes (If Required)
One of the more customary bridesmaid duties which goes all the way back to ancient times is to help the bride get dressed on her wedding day. Those delicate and massive dresses can definitely use a hand (or two) to get into it. One of the other maid of honour duties is to help her get out of her wedding dress and changed into reception attire (if need be). In some cases help her with a speedy exit to the airport for the honeymoon to get her out of the dress and into something comfortable.
Be The Rock & Emotional Support
It is not every day a person gets married. While many brides and grooms are excited, some are scared. Your job is the be there for them emotionally should it be needed. She will come to you as you are her best friend and will require that support from you more than anyone else.
Plan The Bridal Shower & Hens Party
Perhaps the more fun duties is that you are to help coordinate with planning the bridal shower. You also have the fun of organising the hens’ party with the other bridesmaids. One suggestion is to keep the brides tastes in mind, you might like certain things but she may not. Try to plan the party this way, and you will keep the bride happy.
Keep The Brides Attire In Order
You may not realise this, but brides dresses are big and long…. They can be very big and very very long. During the festivities, it is part of your bridesmaid duty to make sure it does not get in her or anyone’s way. Try to make sure it does not get dirty and make sure it is positioned nicely for when she walks down the aisle (as well as for photos).
Hold the Bouquet When The Couple Exchanges Vows
The bride will be busy exchanging vows (and rings), holding hands and performing the ritual of committing to her partner in life. She will need her hands to be free. You will need to hold the bouquet for her during this time.
Collect Gift / Envelopes If There is Any Issue With The Gift Table (Optional)
In some cases, people forget to put their gift on the gift table or for whatever reason are unable to. You must collect the gifts and add them to the table. At the end of the night assist the bride and grooms parents with the collection of the gifts to make sure they go safely into the right hands.
Speak At The Wedding (Optional / If Required)
While traditionally the maid of honour/matron of honour does not need to do a speech, it has become quite a common sight to see them present one. The speech is either done alone, with other members of the bridal party or as a performance of a song/dance with (or for) the bride at the reception. Check out our Maid Of Honour Speech Guide for tips on how to write a great speech.
Witness & Sign The Marriage Certificate
One special duty is to witness the bride and groom sign their marriage licence and also be a signatory. To sign this document is very personal and considered a personal and high honour.
Stand In The Receiving Line
When the wedding ceremony is over, you need to stand next to the groom in the order of procession to welcome the guests and the wedding. Please note that this is sometimes optional as it is on a wedding per wedding basis. The vast majority of the time it is just the wedding couple and their parents. In many instances, the bridal party are required to join in. Traditionally the full order list is:
- Maid Of Honour / Matron Of Honour <- You Stand here
- Best Man
- Bridesmaid #1
- Groomsman #1
- Bridesmaid #2
- Groomsman #2
- Brides Mother
- Brides Father
- Grooms Mother
- Grooms Father
Make Sure The Bride Eats (Highly Recommended)
Did you know that the vast majority of brides do not eat on their wedding day until they sit down at their reception at 7 p.m.? Some brides faint as a result and this is not good for them. Sit them down and make sure they get plenty of fluids and eat something during the day. You could alsoto make your life easier and have something substantial for the bride and the bridal party.
Dance With The Best Man During The First-Dance Sequence
It is customary for the bride and groom to dance the first dance together at the reception. Then traditionally the maid of honour/matron of honour will dance with the best man. The rest of the bridal party will follow and then all the other guests will join in.
The List Of Maid Of Honour Duties
If there is one bridesmaid duty/maid of honour duties above all else, it is to be there for the bride. While this role of maid of honour has been glamorised as fun, it is essential for the bride. Just be there and be the support she needs.
Check out our blog about the olden times and the dangerous duties of the bridal party. Find out where some of these duties came from and be glad of some of the things you no longer have to do!
What are your thoughts about the bridesmaid/maid of honour duties? Do you feel we left anything off this list? Join The Discussion and let us know in the comments below 🙂
Stephanie Cassimatis is the founder and head stylist of Pink Caviar Events, a corporate event management and styling company based in Sydney, Australia. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Stephanie is known for her impeccable taste and attention to detail, as well as her ability to bring her client’s visions to life. In addition, she is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a credential that reflects her commitment to delivering high-quality events on time and within budget. Stephanie is also a respected speaker and educator, sharing her expertise and insights with aspiring event planners and designers through workshops and conferences.