So You’re Maid of Honor: 01 The Bridal Shower

Hold. The. Phone. You’re maid of honor for the first time and you’re probably freaking out – not that I like to make assumptions. I was in a wedding last weekend and was maid of honor for the very first time and realized how helpful it would have been to have a maid of honor one-stop shop of sorts. When I said yes to the dress (and all the other maid of honor duties that come with it), I dived in headfirst.

What I found was that I knew what my duties as maid of honor were, but not really how to execute them. I read round ups, guides, checklists, you name it, but my head was spinning. There was so much! Each article was too long and had way too much information to even be helpful.

So here it is, an abridged guide to being maid of honor in your friend’s wedding, part 01.

Maid of Honor Duties

Let’s break your maid of honor duties down into three parts: Before, during, and after. This post is dedicated to the bridal shower, so stay tuned for the follow ups!

maid of honor duties before the shower

Before the Bridal Shower

This is where the bulk of your work is going to take place. Depending on the bride, you’ll be planning the bridal shower from start to finish.

  • Talk to the bride. What kind of theme does she want? Would she like to go out for high tea or have a backyard bbq? Get some ideas from her, but keep some things a surprise! It’ll be that much more enjoyable.
  • Clue in the bridesmaids. They’re sure to have some great suggestions! Start with the theme then work your way down to the nitty gritty, like décor and nosh.
  • Secure the guest list. Remember, everyone invited to the shower should also be on the wedding guest list.
  • Send the invites! Paper and/or e-invites like Paperless Post both work equally as well. Get your invites in the mail 4-6 weeks before the soirée. Give your guests 2-3 weeks to respond, respectively.
  • Pick up a gift. The easiest option here is to do a group gift. Remember, you and the bridesmaids are paying for the bridal shower, so it might be best to pool your resources and get one big gift or a handful of small, thoughtful gifts for the bride. A few ideas: Something blue (probably the most forgotten for day-of) or a personalized hanger.
  • Remember the nitty gritty we talked about earlier? Here it comes. With help from your bridesmaids, you’ll need to figure out:
    • Food
    • Drinks (remember to offer non-alcoholic bevvies)
    • Décor (my personal preference includes oversized balloons and confetti. lots of it)
    • Tables + seating. Feel free to get creative here! Use a mix of lawn chairs and foldable tables or rent one long farm table for a family-style shindig.
    • Favors. Not necessary, but if you have some wiggle room in your budget and time, craft a sweet takeaway for guests.

maid of honor duties during the shower

During the Bridal Shower

It’s finally here! During the bridal shower, you’ll have a few tasks, but remember to have some fun!

  • Greet the guests. Make them feel welcome, especially if they only know the bride and not the other attendees!
  • Field questions about directions/parking as necessary.
  • Take any gifts and place them on the gift table (or equivalent).
  • You’ll also want to make sure the bride is fed and has had as many (but, not too many) beverages as she’d like.
  • Keep the show on the road. Announce when the bride will be opening gifts and sit by her side (or wrangle one of the bridesmaids). You’ll want to jot down the gift and the awesome attendee who gifted it. This will come in handy when the bride is writing her thank you notes.

maid of honor duties after the shower

After the Bridal Shower

Whew! Take a breath. The first major wedding hurdle is over and you’ve done a kick-ass job. Only a few more tasks and you’re home free…and probably kicking off bachelorette planning.

  • Say goodbye to the guests as they leave. If the bride has that one slightly tipsy aunt with food stuck in her teeth who just won’t leave, help her graciously say farewell and send her on her merry way.
  • Help clean up! You’re the hostess, so have some fun with the bride and bridesmaids as you clean up the bridal shower aftermath.
  • Assist the bride with transporting her gifts – pack up her car, bring extra reusable bags for travel via public transportation, etc.

Did I forget something? Do you have any other tips or maid of honor duties I happened to gloss over? Please do share!


Author: gabriella

Gabriella is a blogger, Director of Social Media in Boston, and City Manager for the BOS Lady Project. You'll typically find her with an iced chai in one hand and a book in the other.

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  • So just recently I have been asked to be maid of honor , I honestly always hoped one day I would be someone’s main girl. Well now I regret it. Lol. When I was asked I was shocked it was me only because we are friends not best of friends. She has a group of girls that have been around for years and I’m a newer friend. Not that it matters but I didn’t even expect to be part of the wedding party at all. Anyways that being said I did politely try to get out of it. I told her I’m honored but financially I just can’t take in that responsibility. I’m a stay at home new mom with a amazing husband just barely keeping us afloat. She told me to not worry about expenses at all, she just wants me to help and stand by her side. At that point I didn’t know how to say I don’t have the time either ( honestly I don’t at all) but I agreed. Fast forward a couple of months it’s time consuming and now she’s talking in casual talk about I’m trying to pick cheaper dresses for you guys to afford and looking for hair and makeup we can afford etc…… DUDE I didn’t sign up for this. My advice is unless it’s your sister or truly a life long BFF do not take on this financial and time burden. There is nothing fun about this. Oh yeah since I’m a good baker she wants me to bake wedding favors for 120 guests! I’m about done and the wedding isn’t till April 2016. Ahhhhhhh. Sorry had to vent. Xoxo.