A maid of honor takes on a ton of duties—and they definitely don’t stop the day of the wedding. From hanging up the bride’s dress after the reception to keeping her water glass topped off all day, don’t miss these must-do tasks to help out the couple, keep problems at bay and ensure everyone is having fun.
1. Make sure the bride and bridal party are on track to have their hair and makeup done in time
If you sense that someone’s updo is going to take a really long time, or see that the bride’s lipstick being applied isn’t the one she wanted, it’s your job to step in. Let everyone politely know of time constraints and reshuffle the schedule to make the timing work.
2. Be aware of any rips in the bride’s dress and any veil or train malfunctions throughout the day
This is why having an emergency kit on hand comes in handy—unfortunately, sometimes zippers break, buttons pop and trains rip, so it’s good to have a needle and thread on standby. (Same goes for stain remover if the morning mimosas take a spill on a garment.) Help adjust the bride’s veil and smooth out her train before she goes down the aisle too.
3. Learn how to bustle the bride’s dress
It doesn’t matter if you learn how to tie or button the bustle during a fitting or the night before the wedding—just make sure you know how to bustle the gown quickly for the wedding day. (It can take a few tries, especially if there are ribbons involved.)
4. Make sure the bride eats and drinks throughout the day
Even if she’s too jittery to eat breakfast, carve out a few minutes of the morning for her to eat something substantial to keep her energy up—a granola bar is better than nothing. Throughout the day, refresh her mimosas and water glass (especially her water glass) and get her a plate from the buffet at dinner. And if you notice she’s had nothing but champagne at the reception—which happens!—make sure she takes a few sips of water between each one.
5. Hand out the bouquets, and be prepared to hold the bride’s bouquet
Act as the point person for the bouquets and coordinate with the florist to find out when they’ll be delivered, if the bride doesn’t have a wedding planner. Hand out each boutonniere, corsage and bouquet, and make sure bouquets can be stuck in water to look fresh if the ceremony isn’t for awhile. Also, remember to take the bride’s bouquet at the altar, and return it back to her before she walks back down the aisle for the recessional.
6. Act as a host throughout the day
Does Aunt Jane need help with directions to the reception? Does it look like the cake baker and caterer are having a disagreement? Did Uncle Mike ask for a vegetarian dinner and not get one? Does the bride’s grandfather look like he wants to dance but doesn’t have a partner? Did the groom’s father get stuck in an elevator right before his big speech? (Trust us, it happens.) Take it as a cue for you to step in and help where it’s needed, acting on behalf of the couple and their families—especially for things that the newlyweds definitely don’t need to be bothered with or know about.
7. Tie up loose ends at the end of the wedding
Create a list with the couple or their parents ahead of time of any vendors that need to be paid when the night is over, so you can be the point person to hand out checks. Also, keep an eye on the gift table and card box, and delegate help bringing gifts and cards into a secure room or someone’s car after the party’s over.
8. Take care of the bride’s wedding dress after the reception
It’s sad, but sometimes true: The beautiful wedding dress that was obsessed over for months and altered to perfection can often end up in a heap on the floor if the bride’s rushing to change into her reception dress or after-party dress. Make her happy in advance by helping her change out of it and hanging it back up in the garment bag, smoothing out any wrinkles and attacking any champagne stains with stain remover from your emergency kit. Bonus points if you hold onto it and deliver it back to her after the honeymoon!