Everyone involved in planning a wedding has a set of duties, and few are more important/helpful to the bride and groom than the Maid of Honor and Best Man—but not everyone is sure what those positions actually entail so here are some you can share with your important helpers.
Maid of Honor
As the maid/matron of honor, you’re part industrious helper, part sympathetic listener and emotional lifeboat. MOH duties use a blend of these characteristics, sometimes enlisting you for help with general tasks, sometimes making sure the bride’s needs are being met, and sometimes simply making sure that everything will run smoothly. Here’s a basic rundown of what’s expected of a MOH:
- Lead the bridesmaids.
Chorale everyone so the bride doesn’t have to. This includes making sure everyone has their dress/outfit, goes to fittings, and finds the right jewelry. The MOH should keep all the bridesmaids in the loop about any/all pre-wedding parties, and is in charge of leading them on the rehearsal and the big day.
- Plan the bachelorette party.
This isn’t always the case (for example, if a bride wants to plan her own party she is certainly allowed to), but often it is the MOH’s responsibility to plan the bachelorette party (often with bridesmaids’ help), from the fun activities to the nitty-gritty particulars (time, place, duration, and making sure all bridesmaids reach an agreement about the cost of the event).
- Host/co-host important events.
Host the bridal/wedding shower for the bride and attend all pre-wedding parties.
- Record the gifts.
Keep a detailed list of all the gifts received at pre-wedding parties and showers, or delegate this task to another bridesmaid.
- Hold the ring.
Hold the groom’s ring before/during the ceremony (try keeping it on your thumb).
- During the wedding:
Situate the bride. Arrange her train and veil before the ceremony and straighten it at the altar. It’s also the MOH’s duty to hold the bride’s bouquet during the exchange of vows.
- During the reception:
Dance with the best man and, typically, give a toast to the newlyweds.
- Help the bride change.
For her honeymoon, if she has different wedding and reception dresses—it’s the MOH’s job to help the bride in and out of these garments, as well as to take care of the wedding dress after the ceremony (if the bride and groom are going directly to hotels/honeymoons). It’s also a good idea to keep general toiletries; foundation, blotting papers, tissues, the bride’s lipstick, as well as water and a small sewing kit for hydration and emergencies.
- Help enthusiastically.
Check in with the bride regularly to offer help with pre-wedding tasks—choosing a dress, wedding colors, flowers, cake, decorations, venue—and be an encouraging listener when the bride does make these decisions.
While the best man duties aren’t quite as extensive at those of the maid of honor, he still has several very important responsibilities that involve helping the groom.
- Plan and throw the bachelor’s party.
Much like the MOH, this involves the when and where, activities, and staying on top of the cost of the event.
- Help with tuxes.
Including fittings for the groom and other groomsmen.
- Organize a groomsmen’s gift for the groom.
This is often, but not always, presented during the bachelor’s party.
- Keep tabs on the groomsmen.
This involves helping to arrange accommodations for out-of-towners, as well as keeping them updated on any changes in scheduling and making sure they attend the rehearsal dinner.
- Organize the departure.
The best man typically organizes the couple’s reception departure, arranging transportation and (usually) decorating the getaway car.
- Be in charge of the toasts.
Organize the order of toasts at the rehearsal dinner and reception. Give the second toast at the rehearsal dinner (after the father of the groom, or the first if he is not speaking).
- Assist the groom.
Aid the groom with dressing, take charge of the rings, and ensure that the groom has the marriage license.
- Manage payments for any participants.
Handle payments for such things as the officiant, musicians, and caterers. Have the groom put these payments in individual, sealed envelopes with each recipient’s name, and deliver them after the ceremony.
- Be the driver.
Drive the couple to the reception if there is not limo/alternative form of transportation.
- Assist in the couple’s departure.
Help the newlyweds depart by taking charge of the groom’s tux after he changes, and having their car and luggage ready after the reception.