What does a maid of honor do

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Pippa (and her booty) made a big splash at sister Kate's royal wedding
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Planning what does a maid of honor do will keep everyone happy and effective

It used to be that the maid of honor was the bride’s best-est friend and she showed up for the wedding, of course, and was present for bridal showers, shopping trips, tear-wiping, and consoling pre-wedding jitters. She did all the things that best friends (or sisters) do for each other - but even more so when the pressure and excitement of an impending wedding gets to the bride and some hand-holding is required.

The maid of honor is the bride’s support, her go-to girl, and she may carry the bride’s train during the trip down the aisle (ala Pippa Middleton) and she holds the bouquet while the couple exchanges their vows.

However, with the advent of TV shows such as  Bridezillas and Say Yes to the Dress the role of the maid of honor has risen way beyond an honorary position that didn’t require much more than being supportive and present to becoming the required "24/7 wing man" for the bride.

So what does a maid of honor do?

The maid of honor is often portrayed on TV as very vocal when it comes to shopping for the wedding gown and can be cruelly critical at times according to what is seen on the tube. Miss Manners and Dear Abby would both probably advise the maid of honor to zip it and be supportive and encouraging of the bride rather than pointing out that she looks like a marshmallow or Big Bird while standing in front of a huge mirror in an elegant bridal shop wearing a potential wedding gown.

The hell-raising brides, no holds barred, and often very poorly behaved brides, on Bridezillas seem to expect their maid of honor to put her own life on hold for weeks, even months, prior to the wedding to do all of the bidding for the bride, which is ridiculous. You may think you’re a princess and she’s your lady in waiting but it’s not true. Get a grip and get back in touch with reality. When a woman signs on to be a maid of honor, she isn’t signing her life over to you.

Brides need to keep in mind that although the wedding and all of the other pertinent events that precede the wedding are, of course, important to the maid of honor, because she is your friend and she wants the best for you, this is probably not the number one priority in her life.

Be considerate of that. Don’t be a spoiled brat. People work, have numerous demands on them, children, responsibilities and a social life other than as your fetch-and-get-it girl as well as financial restraints that prevent them from spending all of their disposal cash on you and your incessant needs.  The maid of honor cannot be on call 24/7 and shouldn’t be expected to be.

Being a bride-to-be does not entitle you to be an ass. Keep up the diva behavior and your maid of honor may turn up MIA on the big day.

According to, the “official” duties of the maid of honor include heading up the bridal party troupe. The maid of honor directs the other bridesmaids and flower girls, telling them what they are supposed to do and where they should stand, etc. The maid of honor may go to bridal fittings with the bride and the rest of the bridal party and jewelry shopping. She informs the other members of the bridal party when showers are slated for, rehearsal dinners and anything else they need to know.

The maid of honor may help the bride address envelopes, choose the wedding colors, shop for a wedding cake and, following the wedding ceremony and reception, help the bride change for her honeymoon.

The maid of honor plans the bachelorette party and keeps track of the gifts that the bride receives at bridal showers, although the mother-of-the bride can do this as well.

During the ceremony, she holds the groom’s ring (put it on your thumb.) She and the best man sign the marriage license as witnesses and she dances with the best man during the first dance. The maid of honor may give a speech during dinner, or prepare a special toast.

None of this is carved in stone. You are free to figure out your own arrangements. However, dear brides, be kind to your maid of honor and to your other party members. They may be under some stress themselves. You want to keep your maid of honor as your best friend, don’t you?

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