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Your maid of honor is the one who’s going to be helping you throughout the process of planning your wedding. It’s important that she has a good idea about what the job entails before she commits so that you can both be as stress-free as possible. Whether she’s providing emotional counseling or helping out with the actual wedding, your maid of honor’s biggest job is supporting you.

She should be someone who you’re comfortable with, since you’ll want someone to talk to about the challenges of planning a wedding. Whether you’re rambling about rose variations or asking her to help address invitations, your maid of honor should be there with a listening ear, and, if necessary, a shoulder to cry on.

Of course, the maid of honor is supposed to be the one who deals with matters concerning the bridesmaids. That’s not to say that the bridesmaids don’t have their own responsibilities, such as helping with the bachelorette party, but the maid of honor is your go-to. She’ll handle the dress fittings, rehearsal dinner, transportation, lodging, bouquets, and hair and makeup for the bridesmaids. It’s also important that she directs the other bridesmaids through their duties.

The maid of honor should be the person who wedding guests can count on to have correct information. Whether it’s out-of-town relatives wondering about the lodging or guests inquiring about your registry, your maid of honor needs to be able to direct them to the wedding website, or wherever you’re storing this information.

One of the main duties of the maid of honor is to organize the bachelorette party. However, she should also host, or at least co-host, one of your bridal showers. She should be responsible for recording the gifts you receive so that you can send thank-you notes. Your maid of honor playing hostess is intended to take some of the stress off of you, and allow you to enjoy the presence of your friends and family.  This duty extends to the night of the wedding, when she should be helping guests with seating, presents, and the guest book. You’re going to be mingling with your guests, so the maid of honor should handle the little details of the evening.

The maid of honor walks down the aisle before the bride, but it’s her responsibility to make sure your wedding dress and veil look their best once you reach the altar. During the ceremony, the maid of honor is expected to hold your bouquet and the groom’s ring. She’ll also sign the marriage license as a witness, along with the best man.

At (or before) the reception, the maid of honor should help you with your dress, since it may require bustling before you head out to the dance floor. She should also be prepared to give a speech after the best man. Something short will definitely suffice, and as long as it’s from the heart, your guests will love it. After the reception, the maid of honor can be made responsible for tying up any loose ends, like freezing the top tier of your wedding cake or returning rented items.

All this being said, your maid of honor is someone you trust to help you out, not your personal assistant. Remember that your wedding should be enjoyable for her as well, especially since she’s been putting a lot of work into your big day too.

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