Maid Sense Makes Sense

Maids of Honor and Bridesmaids have specific responsibilities beyond showing up for the wedding.  A written note to the bride accepting, or declining, and thanking her for choosing you is a polite start.


Your first duty is moral support.  This means cheerfully accepting her wishes and being bodily present to assist without complaining, criticizing, demanding, gossiping, or allowing a minor issue to create a major rift and deserting your friend when she needs you most.  Understand she’ll need to vent frustrations and you’ll need to close your mouth and listen—not act, not advise, and certainly not take upon yourself the role of mediator or fixer.  A good rant and a night’s rest usually put things in perspective.


One misconception is she doesn’t need your help if she has a coordinator.  Wrong!  She needs you to be her friend, affirm her decisions, be her sounding board, and enjoy girl time with her.  If you feel you can’t do any or all of this, you need to opt out of accepting the task.  An unhappy, unavailable, judgmental maid with her own agenda and an ax to grind isn’t needed here.  This is a time for selfless giving, wide shoulders, and a great sense of humor.


Pre-wedding expectations include helping the bride with her planning – from choosing gowns to scouting facilities to addressing invitations.  Make yourself available and be proactive by calling and offering your time.


All maids are responsible for the cost of their own wedding attire to include dress, shoes, undergarments and accessories of the bride’s choice (you tacitly agreed to this by accepting the role), travel expenses to the city where the wedding is being held, your own food and lodging while there except during official gatherings such as rehearsal dinner and reception, and transportation to all events except the wedding ceremony and reception sites, and from the reception if not provided.         


As a Maid of Honor, you are obligated to host a bridal shower and bachelorette party, which can be tame or wild so long as it’s in keeping with the tastes and values of the bride.  Ask the bride for guest lists.


All maids are obligated to attend bridal showers and provide one gift one time only no matter how showers she attends in her role as maid, attend the bachelorette party, ceremony rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, all wedding day activities including pre-wedding gatherings for brunch, dressing or photography.  As a guest at the wedding, you are also obligated to bring a gift.


The Maid of Honor is obligated to sign the marriage license and perform ceremonial duties such as straightening the bride’s train, holding her bouquet or groom’s ring.    You may be asked to give a toast or speech.  All maids are obligated to sit at the head or assigned table, participate in ceremonial dances and activities, such as the bouquet toss if not married, and mingle if you are single, socialize pleasingly if you are not.  This does not mean knocking back enough shots to table dance while crowing a karaoke version of “I Will Survive”!  


You are not obligated to attend a wedding breakfast unless you accept an invitation to such, but you are obligated to return your own personal rental attire, if any, and provide your own transportation home.  


By sincerely fulfilling your role as a ‘maid, you honor and strengthen your friendship with the bride, adding to your treasure of memories to savor later.


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