Chief Bridesmaid Role and Responsibilities

The maid of honour if you are heavily influenced by American TV (matron of honour, if the woman is married), or chief Bridesmaid in the UK, is a true BFF. The bride’s closest confidante throughout all of the events surrounding the wedding. Most grooms are not into details and mothers can be a bit dominating, so the bride needs someone to step in who will give the support she needs.

Enter the bride’s partner in crime for every intricacy from napkin colours to seating charts. Typically a sister or other close relative or best friend, the maid of honour is given a special distinction to which the bride has most likely given much thought. These days an important male in the bride’s life can also fulfil the role, lovingly referred to as the “man of honour.” And the bride may value her bridesmaids equally, that’s completely fine.

The most important role of the chief Bridesmaid is to be there to support the bride during this exciting and emotional time. Though she’s not a personal assistant (Bridezillas take note!), the maid of honour can graciously lend a helping hand and serve as a sounding board for many of the bride’s decisions.

They may help the bride in any or all of the wedding preparations, including shopping for her wedding dress and accompanying her to dress fittings, selecting the bridesmaids’ dresses, and other fun appointments such as looking at wedding venues, attending the cake tasting or shopping for honeymoon essentials. She’s a shoulder to lean on (and cry on, if necessary), a much-needed second opinion, a go-between for family and friends, and a leader of the bridesmaids.

Before the wedding

The maid of honour is the bride’s unofficial fashion consultant: Along with the mother of the bride, she will most likely help the bride select a wedding gown and accessories for the day. If the bride’s dress needs to be bustled, a bridesmaid should attend a fitting and learn how to do this so she can help the bride make a smooth transition from ceremony to reception.

The bride may also ask the maid of honour for help in selecting the bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories. As a helpful liaison between the bride and bridesmaids, the maid of honour keeps the other attendants on track for fittings, reminds them of any pre-wedding parties and relays any of their concerns to the bride.

Traditionally, the maid of honour helps to plan and throw the bridal shower. This is a common gesture to celebrate the bride but is by no means mandatory. The maid of honour can coordinate with the other bridesmaids or close female relatives of the bride to organize the event, or she may choose to go it alone and host the party herself.

If the latter, she should ask the bride and/or bride’s mother for a list of important friends and family to be invited. At the Hen Party, all bridesmaids should introduce themselves to family and friends and introduce guests to one another. They may also be in charge of games played at the shower and assembling the favours.

The Chief Bridesmaid should also help the bride open her gifts-keeping a list of what each guest gave (so the bride can be organized in writing her thank-you notes) or designating a bridesmaid to do so. They can use ribbons and bows from the packages to create a “bouquet” for the bride to carry at the rehearsal or enlist a creative shower guest to help.

The Maid of Honour, along with the bridesmaids, also typically plans the Hen-do party. She should keep in mind what type of party best suits the bride’s personality and wishes, whether it’s a crazy night out on the town or a quiet afternoon at the spa. Attendees at the Hen-do party typically pay their own way, so the maid of honour can organize and collect funds. The bride should supply a list of whom she would like to include.

maid of honour

During the wedding day

On the wedding day, the Bridesmaids serves as modern-day ladies-in-waiting: Most importantly, helping the bride get dressed, calms her nerves and reassures her that she looks beautiful. The head bridesmaid can also act as an intermediary for any tense moments between members of the wedding party or family, so as to not disturb the bride: If any last-minute issues occur, they should troubleshoot the snafu (a bridesmaid missing a shoe, a vendor who needs directions, a drunk groomsman, etc).

During the ceremony, the maid of honour walks down the aisle just before the bride makes her grand entrance. Once at the altar, they should make sure the bride’s train is perfectly positioned throughout the ceremony and hold her bouquet during the vows. The Chief Bridesmaid may be asked to hold the groom’s wedding band for the ring exchange, and she can also be a witness to the signing of the marriage license.

If the wedding has a receiving line, the head bridesmaid typically stands to the groom’s left, with the other bridesmaids to her left. While the bride and groom take wedding photos with their families and members of the bridal party, the maid of honour can help the photographer identify who’s who, and make sure that the most-have shots are taken.

At the reception, they may be asked to make a toast along with the best man. Mainly, she should keep an eye on the bride and help the wedding move along smoothly. She, along with the other bridesmaids and groomsmen, should keep the party going on the dance floor, and also check in with special guests to make sure they are being taken care of (i.e., keeping Grandma’s champagne glass full). The Maid of Honour should check in with the bride to make sure she has eaten enough to keep her energy up and offer to accompany her to the restroom (some careful dress manipulation may be necessary).

After the wedding

As the reception winds down, the chief bridesmaid can help the bride and groom make a smooth departure from the party. She will often be responsible for getting the bride’s wedding gown either to a professional cleaning service or to her home for storage. They may offer to pick up the couple’s mail or take care of a pet while they are on their honeymoon. And then comes the most fun part: After the bride returns from her honeymoon, she can schedule some one-on-one time to recap the best memories of the day.

What is the role of the chief bridesmaid?
As the chief bridesmaid, you will be the head of the bridesmaids and you will keep them organised and lead the plans for the hen-do.

You will also act as the assistant to the bride on her big day and will be one of her closest friends throughout the day. You will be in charge of helping her prepare for the wedding, organizing her outfit and makeup, and helping her keep calm and stress-free throughout the day.

What does the chief bridesmaid do on a wedding day?
  • Be the brides first point of call if she needs assistance or support
  • Help the bride in and out of cars and down the stairs if she needs help.
  • Fix her dress whenever needed throughout the day.
  • Carry an emergency brides kit and lipstick just in case.
  • If needed, assist her to the bathroom.
  • Make a speech to the guests
  • Encourage guests to take pictures in the photobooth and fill in the guestbook
What are the chief bridesmaid’s responsibilities before the wedding?
  • Make sure that you provide emotional support for the bride-to-be during the stressful planning stages of the wedding.
  • Help with the bride-to-be’s wedding plans including helping to choose the dresses for the bridesmaids
  • Help the bridesmaids to understand their responsibilities leading up to the wedding.
  • Plan the hen-do with the bridal party.
  • Work on the reception speech.


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