Note: For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to use “maid of honor” throughout this article, but, of course, this high honor can be given to a married or unmarried woman or man.
Who is the maid of honor?
The maid of honor is often the sister or best friend of the bride. But the maid of honor can be anyone close to the bride who can handle the responsibilities.
What are her responsibilities?
The maid of honor is the bride’s right hand gal. After supporting the bride in any way she needs, the maid of honor’s biggest responsibilities can include:
- Planning the bachelorette party and/or bridal shower
- Helping the bride choose her dress
- Helping the bride choose the bridesmaids’ dresses
- Making sure her fellow bridesmaids have their outfits purchased in time for the wedding
- Attending pre-wedding events like the rehearsal dinner
- Bringing up the groom’s ring at the ceremony
- Holding the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony
- Giving a toast at the reception
She might also help with any wedding planning the couple requires, and will always try to put out fires without worrying the couple.
What does she pay for?
Financially, the maid of honor is usually responsible for:
- An engagement gift
- Part of or the entirety of the bachelorette party and bridal shower, depending on whether or not she splits the cost with the other bridesmaids or the bride’s family
- Her own dress, shoes, jewelry, etc. for the wedding
- A wedding gift
Of course, every wedding is different, but the maid of honor should expect to spend some amount of money while carrying out her duties.
To help your bridesmaids save money, consider suggesting the bachelorette party and bridal shower be thrown at someone’s house instead of out on the town, and allowing them to choose their own dresses and shoes.
Can there be more than one?
Your wedding can be anything you want it to be. If you have two special people and you can’t choose between them, go ahead and have two maids of honor.
While definitely not mandatory, having a wedding party is a great way to honor your most important people. Take some time with your partner to learn about the traditional roles of the wedding party. Think about if and how those traditions are important to you, and who you want to stand beside you on your big day. Then, by all means, make it your own.