Maid of Honor Duties – The Ultimate MOH Checklist

maid of honor duties checklist

There’s no greater honor than being asked by the bride to be the maid of honor…but it also comes with its fair share of duties (a whole checklist, in fact!). As maid of honor, you are by the bride’s side both before and during the wedding day.

You’re also there through many of the steps in the planning process. And you have the honor of getting to see the bride’s wedding dreams come to life (and standing by her side as she lives them!).

So what’s up with all these maid of honor duties and checklist? Now that you’re a MOH, what exactly is involved? We’ve got you covered, with the ultimate maid of honor checklist that’ll guide you through everything you need to know. If you’ve been given the honor of the MOH title, you’ll want to save this one!

{photo above: Mary Costa Photography, as seen in this graffiti-filled urban wedding}

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How to Choose a Maid of Honor

Who Can Rock This Checklist and all These Maid of Honor Duties

bridal party wearing satin neutral tones taking bridal party photos with the bride as a part of their maid of honor duties
photo: Laurken Kendall, as seen in this wedding with an epic outdoor backdrop

The responsibility of maid of honor is an important one, and it’s a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Some brides will opt to have a sibling or close family member as their maid of honor, which is a lovely sentiment. Other brides will chose their longest or closest friend; the one who has been by their side through it all.

These are all incredible options, but before choosing a maid of honor, there’s an important thing to consider: whether or not your chosen person is up for all the duties that come with being maid of honor.

Believe it or not, being the maid of honor requires a lot of work! Fun work, but still work, nonetheless. It’s important to consider a maid of honor who will enjoy and thrive under these duties, in addition to choosing the person you want by your side as you make this epic life change.

Checklist + Maid of Honor Duties Leading Up to the Wedding Day

forest green bridal party standing with the bride for their maid of honor duties
photo: Geoff & Lyndsi Photography, as seen in this rooftop wedding reception

Maid of honor duties begin well before the wedding day! As the MOH, you are there with the bride throughout the entire planning process.

Wedding planning can be a wild and exciting (and stressful!) process. And the bride has chosen you because she wants you by her side through it all.

So how can you go above and beyond for your bff? We’re demystifying the entire process and giving you our complete pre-wedding maid of honor duties and checklist.

1. As maid of honor, it’s your duty to be the leader of the bridesmaid pack

Consider yourself the leader of the pack…the bridesmaid pack, that is. As maid of honor, one of your duties includes being a guide for the bridal party.

For starters, you’ll help all the bridesmaids coordinate bridesmaid dresses (especially, if the bride has opted for the mismatched dress route). You’ll be the go-to on everything from when the bridal party should order and alter their dresses to what color palettes they have to stick to.

These maid of honor duties also include keeping the bridesmaids organized for the bachelorette party and bridal shower, as well as on the wedding day itself. You’ll help keep the timeline on track, make sure all bridesmaids are ready in time for the ceremony, and that they are where they need to be for wedding party photos.

Make sure all the bridesmaids have your contact info and that you have theirs. You’ll be the point person for much of the planning they’ll have to do to prepare for the wedding.

You may also find yourself playing peacemaker amongst bridesmaids to ensure everyone gets along. Tensions can easily run high on wedding days, and as the maid of honor, one of your duties involves keeping the peace.

2. As MOH, you are the bride’s go-to when wedding dress shopping

We’d argue that this is one of the most exciting of the maid of honor duties. As the bride’s go-to, you’ll be by their side for both the dress shopping and alterations appointments.

We recommend doing research on the wedding venue to help the bride figure out what dresses might work best for that location. Listen to her dreams of what a perfect gown looks like. From there, you can help her craft the perfect wedding dress Pinterest board (or get straight to the good stuff with our dedicated wedding dress board).

Pop that bottle of celebratory champagne when the bride finds the perfect wedding dress or bridal suit. You deserve it!

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3. Maid of honor duties include helping the bride choose a color palette for bridesmaid dresses

Is the bride undecided on a wedding day color palette? Has she figured what color outfits all the bridesmaids should wear (or does she likes the mismatched bridesmaid dress look)? If she hasn’t gotten to this point yet, you can be a sounding board and help narrow down those decisions.

You’ll want to take the season of the wedding into account. Spring and summer weddings lend themselves well to pastels and muted tones like sage green and rose gold, and fall and winter weddings are perfect for rich, deep tones like burgundy and black.

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mismatched burgundy bridesmaid dresses

Need to find some epic bridesmaids dresses? We’ve done plenty of roundups of our faves.

 

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4. Go the extra mile by helping the bride source a hair and makeup artist for the bridal party

While not an official maid of honor duty, we love the idea of the MOH helping the bride find the perfect hair and makeup artist for the bridal party.

Usually, this will be the same team that does the bride’s hair and makeup, but the bride may also have a specific salon in mind for all the bridesmaids to go with.

5. Maid of honor duties include planning the bridal shower and the bachelorette party

This is where the major maid of honor duties really come into play. One of the most important jobs of the maid of honor is to take on the weight of planning showers and parties, so the bride can simply celebrate during the engagement.

Does the bride plan on having a bridal shower? You can assist in planning it, or even be a co-host. Help prep that guest list, send out invitations with all the details, and coordinate with any vendors that are helping to make the day possible.

Aaaaand now for one of the most fun maid of honor duties: planning the bachelorette party. Ask the bride for inspo on what she’d love to do, and begin brainstorming. You’ll want to make sure you coordinate a date that works best for the bride and all the bridesmaids, with enough time to rest up before the big day.

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6. If the bride doesn’t have a planner on her wedding team, you can help out with sourcing wedding vendors

While this isn’t one of the formal maid of honor duties, we personally love this one! The wedding planning process can be A LOT. There are many vendors to hire and coordinate with (including finding an epic venue), and it’s bound to wear down even the most Type A of planners.

So why not help a bride out and be there to sort through wedding vendors to find the best ones? This is also something a wedding planner can help with, but there’s a good chance the bride will love having you by their side to help make those final decisions.

7. Want to go above and beyond in your maid of honor duties? Help the bride find the perfect pair of shoes.

What’s a wedding look without the perfect pair of shoes?! If we’re being honest, finding shoes for the big day can feel a liiiiiitle overwhelming. Logistically, the bride (and bridesmaids!) will need their shoes picked before any alterations appointments.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered when it comes to this stylish maid of honor duty. We’ve quite literally written the guide on finding the perfect pair.

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red velvet heels wedding shoes from Forever Soles

We’ve written the guide on all things bridal shoes, and it’s a must-read.

 

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8. Take the weight off the bride’s shoulders by helping the bride address wedding invitations

Not the most glamorous of the maid of honor duties, but the bride will thank you for this one! Depending on the length of the wedding guest list, addressing the wedding invites can be a time consuming process. Bonus points if you have gorgeous handwriting and can address those invites with some pretty writing!

Checklist + Maid of Honor Duties on the Wedding Day

bridesmaids in mustard dresses posing for group portraits with the bride as a part of their maid of honor duties
photo: the Bold Americana, as seen in this Tulum destination wedding

It’s officially the big day! And as the maid of honor, this is when some of your most important duties come into play (and it’s also when all the fun happens too!).

As the maid of honor, you play an integral part in making sure the wedding day goes perfectly, all while standing by your bff’s side. Could there be anything better?! We think not!

9. As the maid of honor, one of your duties includes helping the bride get buttoned up in her wedding dress or bridal suit

This is one of the most special maid of honor duties. You’ve been there for the dress shopping and alterations appointments. And now you get to help button up your bestie in that gorgeous dress or suit.

Oftentimes, you’ll share this duty with the bride’s mother or other close relative. And there could not be a bigger honor.

10. Maid of honor duties include making sure bridesmaids arrive on time and get ready on schedule

This is one of the most essential maid of honor duties. Here’s the reality: wedding timelines commonly are not followed, and it can easily wreak havoc on the wedding day. The wedding couple can end up feeling rushed because of this, and they may very well miss out on important parts of the wedding day as a result.

Which is why as the leader of the bridesmaid pack, it’s super important that you help to keep the bridal party on track on the big day. This includes making sure they show up to their hair and makeup times a bit early, get dressed with enough time to spare, and are ready to go whenever they are needed for group portraits.

Make sure all the bridesmaids are well acquainted with the timeline (you should be able to get a copy either from the wedding planner and/or coordinator or the bride before the big day). Consider the timeline precious, and if you can encourage the bridesmaids to be a little bit early for everything, that’s ideal!

11. As MOH, you can be a point of communication between the wedding couple and their vendors

The wedding day involves the collaboration of a lot of wedding vendors, and the bride is not going to have time to coordinate with them on the day-of. There needs to be a point person to help out with coordinating things on the wedding day.

Much of this responsibility will fall into the hands of a wedding planner or coordinator, but as the maid of honor it’s one of the most important duties for you to be able to step in as needed. This is an all-hands-on-deck kind of day!

12. Be everyone’s fave by bringing the essentials for the bride and bridesmaids

Remember when we mentioned that being leader of the bridesmaid pack was one of your maid of honor duties? Here’s another perfect example of when that comes into play.

You will be a total lifesaver when you have spare bobby pins, Aspirin, and bottles of water for the entire bridal party. Better yet, you could bring along these adorable little bride and bridesmaid survival kits.

13. The most crucial of maid of honor duties: making sure the bride has snacks throughout the day

With how fast wedding days fly by, it’s easy for the bride to forget to grab a snack or a sip of water. And it can easily lead to a bad time. After all, no one wants to be hangry on their wedding day.

Is the bride busy at the post-ceremony family formals? See if you can sneak away to cocktail hour to grab some of her fave bites to eat. The wedding couple often misses out on cocktail hour goodies, and this is a good way to ensure that doesn’t happen.

We also recommend having some water handy, especially during warm outdoors wedding days. It’s easy to forget to stay hydrated, but the consequences are not so fun.

14. Hold on to the bride’s partner’s wedding ring before the ceremony (so you can hand it off to the bride)

In case you didn’t know, it’s typical for the maid of honor to hold onto the bride’s partner’s wedding band before the ceremony. This maid of honor duty is in place so that you can easily hand that band off to the bride during the ceremony ring exchange.

15. Maid of honor duties include grabbing the bride’s bouquet and adjusting her dress and veil at the beginning of the ceremony

This is likely one of those maid of honor duties on this checklist that you’re most familiar with. As the MOH, you have a few important tasks when you get to the end of the aisle.

Once the bride is down the aisle, you’ll need to grab the bouquet from her, and you’ll also want to adjust the train of her dress and her veil. These adjustments will make for those gorgeous wedding ceremony photos, while also ensuring the bride has both her hands free for vow readings and ring exchanges.

16. Prepare for beauty emergencies by having spare makeup on hand for touch-ups

Pro tip: ask the bride’s hair and makeup artist in advance of the wedding day what tones of makeup they’re planning on using on the bride. Then bring similar tones of makeup with you on the wedding day to help with any touch-ups long after the hair and makeup team is gone.

It’s an often unnoticed maid of honor duty, but the bride will be so thankful you had these makeup goodies on hand. After an evening of mingling, eating dinner, and snacking on wedding cake, makeup can begin to fade. Those touch-ups are essential to a long-lasting wedding look.

17. Help wrangle family members and the wedding party for group formal portraits

Getting family members and the wedding party ready for group formal portraits is a notoriously time-consuming and tough task. Not only would you be taking a load off the photographer’s shoulders by helping round up the next group on the shot list, but you’ll help the wedding couple focus on the moment rather than worrying about finding the bride’s mom’s cousin from cocktail hour. This particular maid of honor duty will be appreciated by the bride and wedding vendors alike!

18. As maid of honor, one of your duties includes bustling the bride’s dress before the reception

If the bride’s dress has a train, it’ll likely need to get bustled after the ceremony and family formals. After all, dinner and dancing can be a challenge with a train trailing behind! One of the most important maid of honor duties includes helping to bustle the dress.

Depending on how complicated the bustle is, you may need the help of a few bridesmaids as well. Make sure there is enough time budgeted in the wedding day timeline for this, as it can take longer than expected!

And also make sure to practice more complicated bustles with the bride during dress fittings to make sure you have the process down.

19. The most underrated of maid of honor duties: being the bathroom bff

Let’s be honest: the more complicated the wedding dress the harder it’s going to be for the bride to use the restroom. Aaaaand as the bride’s bff and right hand gal, you are in the trusted circle to help out with those dreaded trips to the bathroom.

It may not be the most glamorous of the maid of honor duties, but it’s an underrated essential. And be sure to have your emergency kit and spare makeup with you, just in case!

20. Field wedding guest questions as needed

The last thing the bride wants to deal with on the wedding day is fielding wedding guests’ logistical questions. Whether it’s someone asking where cocktail hour is happened to where to drop off wedding gifts, an epic maid of honor will be a go-to resource on the big day.

21. Your maid of honor duties include giving an epic maid of honor speech at the reception

As the bride’s #1, you’ve got the best stories and memories to share. Start making a list of your faves, because one of the most fulfilling duties that comes with being maid of honor is sharing a heartfelt and incredible speech at the reception.

22. While being maid of honor comes with lots of duties, make sure to have fun too!

Remember why you were chosen as maid of honor in the first place! The bride couldn’t imagine having anyone else by her side. You’ve done so much work both before the wedding day and on it, and you deserve to enjoy the celebrations too.

Grab yourself a drink. Have a ball on the dance floor. Sneak an extra slice of that cake (who could resist?!). You’ve done your maid of honor duties, and now it’s time to enjoy yourself and celebrate with your favorite people.

Ready to Tackle All the Duties on the Maid of Honor Checklist?

bridal party wearing satin green standing next to the bride for their maid of honor duties
photo: Button Up Photography, as seen in this chic Cancun wedding

We can’t wait to see how you thrive with these maid of honor duties.Now that you know all the details and duties involved in being an epic maid of honor, where to next?

We’ll share some of our favorite wedding planning resources, so you can get started on your MOH journey.

Helping the bride source the perfect wedding invites? These are some of our favorite invitation suites. And if you need all the details on when to send those invites, we’ve written the guide on everything you need to know.

Is the bride still undecided on a wedding cake style? We’ve rounded up the coolest cakes imaginable, in every style under the sun.

Ready to rock your maid of honor duties and source the best vendors? We’ve gathered a collection of our fave GWS approved vendors!

And we’ve got plenty more planning resources where those came from! Check out our collection to get started.

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