You just got engaged, and already your mind is whirling with ideas for your wedding. Along with setting a date and choosing a venue, you will have to select wedding attendants. As the bride, you will probably want to start the process with your maid or matron of honor.
For some brides, selecting a maid of honor is a no-brainer. There is no one more suited for the job than their one and only sister or their best friend since kindergarten. For others, the decision is much more difficult. They have several sisters and close friends, plus a ton of cousins. In that case, the best course of action is to select a person who can fulfill all of the obligations of the job.
Depending upon your wishes, the maid of honor may have more or fewer duties to perform. Sit down and decide exactly what you would like your maid of honor to do. Make a list of their duties and a list of potential candidates for the job. Then start comparing the lists.
Be honest in your assessment of each candidate on your list. You need a person who not only will be willing to carry out the duties you assign but do them on time. You may love your little sister, but if she is a procrastinator, she may not be the best candidate for the job. Your older sister, on the other hand, might make a better choice because she is so timely.
Consider each candidate’s personal situation as well. What kind of commitments does she already have? If your older sister is a wife and mother, works full time and heads several committees, she may be too busy to serve as your matron of honor. If she is pregnant, she may be too tired and sick to perform the duties required. If she is going through a difficult divorce, she may not have the energy to devote to you and your wedding. Choose someone who doesn’t have as much on her plate to be your maid of honor.
If you plan to lean heavily on your maid of honor, make sure you choose someone who lives close enough to you to get the job done. If you live in the Midwest, don’t choose a cousin who lives on the coast to be your maid of honor. It will be hard for her to serve as the center of support from so far away. Choose that dependable friend who lives just down the street.
Choosing a maid of honor takes time. Don’t rush the process, and once you have found someone and she has agreed to serve as your maid of honor, make sure you communicate your wishes to her. If you want her to take an active role in the wedding planning, say so. If you would prefer she sit on the sidelines until the actual wedding day, let her know that. Give her a list of all of the tasks she will be responsible for and check in with her often to see how things are going.
Traditionally, maids of honor have a variety of responsibilities.
Some of these may include:
• Assisting the bride with much of
the wedding planning, including
choosing a reception venue,
decorations and flowers
• Helping the bride shop for a
wedding dress and bridesmaid
• Addressing the wedding
• Making or assembling the
• Hosting the bridal shower and
• Attending the rehearsal
and helping out
at the rehearsal dinner
• Decorating and cleaning up
the reception site
• Receiving the flowers and
handing out all of the bouquets,
corsages and boutonnieres
• Helping the bride and bridesmaids
get dressed and making sure
they get where they need to be
at the appropriate time
• Holding the bride’s bouquet
during the ceremony
• Witnessing the marriage license
• Standing in the receiving line
• Taking part in the wedding
• Toasting the couple
at the reception
• Dancing with the best man
and other guests
by Tresa Erickson, MultiAd