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Wedding Responsibilities for Maid of Honor

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I was asked to be the maid of honor for a friend and said yes before realizing that I won't have time to do all the things she's "requiring." She mentioned that I need to go with her to shop for her wedding dress and the bridesmaids dresses, shop for the wedding cake, help make favors, help with the invitations, throw the bachelorette party, host a bridal shower. What exactly is expected of the maid of honor, and would it be a breach of etiquette to bow out?


Maid of honor really a maid?

Dear Maid of honor really a maid,

There is a list of responsibilities that go along with accepting the position of maid of honor, which can vary depending on the needs of the bride. Some brides expect the maid of honor to throw the bachelorette party, host the bridal shower, and help with many of the details in planning a wedding.

However, there are 12 basic responsibilities of the maid or matron of honor, but a bachelorette party is not one of them. The biggest one is hosting the bridal shower. The others are not time consuming, but are helpful for the bride.

If your friend has expectations of you that you cannot fulfill, then let her know now so that she can find others to help, or perhaps choose someone else to be her maid of honor if you prefer to bow out. From the Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette, below are some of the expectations of the Maid of Honor.

12 Basic Duties of the Maid of Honor

1. Buying own bridesmaid dress.

2. Responsible for own travel expenses to and from the wedding.

3. Bridal Shower: plan and host the bridal shower; this can be a joint effort of all the bridesmaids.

4. Offer a toast at the rehearsal dinner.

5. Bride Gift: along with the bridesmaids, gets the bride a joint gift.

6. Wedding Day: on her wedding day, assist the bride in getting ready for the wedding and going away after the reception.

7. The Walk Down the Aisle: before the walk down the aisle, tend to the bride by adjusting her veil, dress, and train. Also, adjust the train when the bride reaches the alter.

8. Hold the Ring: if there is no ringbearer, hold the groom's ring until the exchange of vows.

9. Hold the Bride's Bouquet: during the exchange of vows.

10. Witness: sign the marriage license as a witness.

11. Dance with the best man during the first official dance.

12. Alerts the parents of the bride and groom when the couple is ready to leave the reception.