Wedding Planning Guide

All Maid of Honor & Matron of Honor Duties (with Timeline and Checklists)

When it comes to weddings, there are a few roles that are absolutely essential–the bride and groom, of course, but also the maid of honor or matron of honor. These two attendants play a very important role in the wedding process, from helping to plan the big day to making sure everything goes smoothly on the big day itself.

If you've been asked to be a maid or matron of honor, then congratulations! Though there are some duties that come with the position–like leading the charge for planning bridal festivities (think the bridal shower and the bachelorette party)–what it truly means is that the bride considers you to be her best friend and confidante and someone she wants by her side on her big day.

In this post, we'll run through all the key duties of the maid of honor and matron of honor through a handy timeline checklist to make sure everything is covered.

Maid of honor vs. matron of honor: what's the difference?

The only difference between a maid and matron of honor is that the matron of honor is typically a married woman, while the maid of honor is not. Other than that, there is no difference in their responsibilities or duties.

A bride may choose to have both a maid and matron of honor, or just one or the other. When there are both, the matron of honor typically walks down the aisle first, followed by the maid of honor. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, so ask the bride what wedding processional order she prefers.

What's The Difference

Photo by Briana Nolan.

Who is the maid of honor?

The maid of honor is typically the bride's closest friend or family member. The most important thing is that the maid of honor is someone the bride trusts and feels comfortable confiding in.

The maid of honor is typically the bride's right-hand woman during wedding planning and on the big day. She also plays an important role in the wedding ceremony, standing next to the bride and helping her with her dress, veil, flowers, and anything else she might need.

Who is a matron of honor?

A matron of honor is often an older or more experienced version of a maid of honor. She is typically a married woman, but this isn't always a requirement. The matron of honor may be the bride's mother, sister, close friend, or a woman she has a close relationship with.

Like the maid of honor, the matron of honor has many responsibilities. The matron of honor's duties includes helping the bride with wedding planning, being a support system on the wedding day, and giving a speech at the reception. The matron of honor may also be responsible for planning the rehearsal dinner and coordinating the bridal shower. If the bride has a large wedding party, the matron of honor may also be responsible for helping to manage the other bridesmaids.

While there is usually not a matron of honor for grooms, there is a best man. The best man is typically the groom's closest friend or brother. He plays an important role in the wedding ceremony, standing next to the groom and helping him with his boutonniere, rings, and anything else he might need.

A woman can, however, be asked to serve as the best man or best woman. It all depends on the couple's choice.

Maid or matron of honor vs. bridesmaids

In comparison to maid or matrons of honor, bridesmaids do not have as many specific duties beyond being supportive and helping out where needed. However, they may also be asked to give a speech, help with wedding planning, or stand up with the bride during the ceremony.

It definitely depends on the bride, maid of honor, and the bridal party. Bridal parties love to support in any way they can, and they can help the maid of honor or bride with anything they need.

Vintage Romance

Vintage Romance”, designed by Creo Study

Maid of Honor & Matron of Honor Duties: Wedding Timeline

Pre-Wedding Duties

Six to Twelve Months Before the Wedding

Collaborate with the bride on her vision for pre-wedding festivities: After your bestie gets engaged, meet with her within 1-2 months to determine if she wants traditional parties to take place. This includes an engagement party, the bridal shower, and the bachelorette party. If she only needs help with activities, start asking her questions to get a clearer idea of what she’s envisioning. Understand what type of celebrations she has envisioned. Does she prefer more intimate gatherings in a casual location with close friends or a larger event at commercial locations? This will give you an idea of how far in advance you’ll need to plan. Many vendors become booked six months or more out in advance, so the earlier you can figure out the bride’s wishes, the better.

Help the bride choose her wedding dress: The maid or matron of honor can help her choose her wedding dress, veil, shoes, and accessories. She can also help the bride to find a seamstress or tailor if necessary. Go dress shopping with the bride if desired. This is a good way for them to bond and get excited about the big day.

Initiate virtual/in-person introductions with all the bridesmaids: Once you’ve figured out a general idea of what the bride wants, you should reach out to the rest of the “I-do crew” to set up introductions and see who may be able to help with party planning. If bridesmaids are located in different cities, a welcome email or group web chat can be a fun first correspondence. Use this introduction to see what calendar dates may work best for the group to hold an event.

Maintain open communication with the bride: Throughout the wedding planning process, it's important to keep in communication with the bride. Ask how she's doing, offer your help and support, and check in regularly to see if there's anything you can do to make the process easier for her.

Assist the bride with wedding correspondence preparations: Help the bride do her homework: Research options to purchase coordinating save-the-dates, invitations, and how to set up a free wedding website. With Minted, you can even order free wedding invitation samples to better understand what gold foil, gloss press, or double-thick paper stock looks and feels like.

Be a good friend: The amount of tasks to complete before a wedding can be overwhelming and sometimes the bride needs to be reminded that she’s more than just a bride. This can range from texting funny memes, taking her on a new hiking trail, or having her over for a movie night with a strict no-wedding-talk rule.

Floral Ring

Foil-Pressed Bridal Shower Invitations


by Baumbirdy



Bridal Shower Invitations

Pixel and Hank

by Pixel and Hank


Wedding Band

Bridal Shower Invitations

Eric Clegg

by Eric Clegg

Pleasant Grove,UT

Bridal Cake

Foil-Pressed Bridal Shower Invitations

Itsy Belle Studio

by Itsy Belle Studio


Three to Six Months Before the Wedding

Help the bride choose wedding party gifts: The maid or matron of honor can help the bride choose gifts for the bridal party. This is a nice way to show appreciation for all their hard work and support. Gifts can be anything from personalized jewelry to gift certificates for spa treatments.

Help the bride choose and assemble her invites: If the bride is on the fence about what invite design they should choose, there’s a good chance she’ll turn to you for your great eye. Fulfill your maid of honor responsibilities by guiding the bride through their decision. Once the invitations are ordered, schedule a time where you can help the bride assemble them all and place them in the mail. Feel free to reference our guide to assembling the wedding invites!

Attend dress fittings if desired: The maid or matron of honor can attend dress fittings with the bride if the bride desires. This is an excellent way to bond and get excited about the big day. It's also nice to show your support and help her pick her dream dress. If she is unsure about something or needs a different opinion, you'll be there to help.

Help plan the wedding rehearsal and dinner: The rehearsal dinner is typically held the night before the wedding and is a chance for everyone in the wedding party to practice the ceremony, and then celebrate with dinner and drinks after.

Plan the bridal shower: Once you’ve figured out who will be hosting the bridal shower, now’s the time to dive deep into your preparation! Make sure to make venue reservations as early as possible or secure the date and availability at a family or friend’s house in advance. Decide on a bridal shower theme and set up a meeting with the bridesmaid or host to delegate different tasks like food preparation, decor, and game selection. Establishing an initial budget will help with overspending. Traditionally, the maid of honor may take on all the expenses of the bridal shower or split it with the rest of the bridal party or willing family members (like the bride’s mom).

Plan the bachelorette party: As maid or matron of honor, you'll be expected to help plan the bachelorette party. Talk to the other bridesmaids to get a feel for what the bride is looking for—and what everyone can afford—before getting started.

Here Comes the Bride

Here Comes the Bride”, designed by Paper Sun Studio.

Keep in mind that the bride may have specific requests for these events, so it's important to get her input before making any plans. Some brides prefer a low-key evening with close friends, while others want an all-out bash. There's no right or wrong answer, so it's important to plan something that the bride will enjoy and that everyone can afford. If you're unsure where to start, we have a guide on planning a bachelorette party. There are tons of great resources available, and you're sure to find something that the bride will love.

Wife of the Party

Foil Pressed Bachelorette Cards

Caitlin Considine

by Caitlin Considine

Swan Hill,CA

Rose the Day Away

Foil Pressed Bachelorette Cards

Jennifer Postorino

by Jennifer Postorino


Color Block Arch

Bachelorette Party Invitations

Maria Alou

by Maria Alou


Beach Please

Bachelorette Party Invitations


by Elly


One to Three Months Before the Wedding

Start thinking about your speech: If you're going to be giving a Maid of Honor speech, now is the time to start thinking about what you want to say. A good speech should be personal, touching, and maybe even funny. You can also ask the bride if there's anything she wants you to mention. Follow the tips below to get you started.

  • Look online for inspiration. - There are a lot of great maid of honor videos out there that you can quickly watch. Note which ones you liked the most and why you liked them.
  • Set small goals for yourself. - No one’s asking you to write your whole speech in one sitting. Create deadlines where you finish one portion of the speech each week.
  • Play on your strengths. - Not particularly a funny person? Don’t force yourself to be! Instead, focus on what you’re good at. This can range from telling a fun story about how you and the bride met or simply sharing with the bride how much she means to you. Authenticity is always appreciated.
  • Practice, but don’t over practice - Rehearse your speech to at least one other person for some constructive feedback. Continue to practice your speech at home so that it seems natural and free-flowing later on.
Apartment 3 Photography

Help host the bachelorette party: It is one of your duties as the bride’s right hand man to help host the bachelorette party. You can ask her friends, bridesmaids and family to pull off the perfect day. Try to incorporate things she would love and invite only people she would want at the party.

Help host the bridal shower: If you plan on having the bridal shower two months before the wedding, bridal shower invites should be sent out 6-8 weeks in advance. The invite should include important info like the date, location, and gift direction. If you are struggling with how to compose your party invitation, review our article on how to word a bridal shower invitation. During the bridal shower, it’ll be important for you to help the bride take notes on who gave her what gift, so she’ll know who to thank afterward. If the bride wants to stick with wedding tradition, save the ribbons from the presents to make a ribbon bouquet for the bride to use at her rehearsal


Nature”, designed by Creo Study.

Get the wedding week organized: Create a shared Google Drive document, start a group chat, or do whatever you need to to keep everyone on the same page for the day of the wedding.

Week-of Wedding Duties

Attend the Rehearsal Dinner: On the rehearsal dinner day, arrive early to help set up and ensure everything is running smoothly. You'll also want to be available to answer questions from the wedding party or guests. After the rehearsal dinner, it's tradition for the maid or matron of honor to give the bride a "survival kit" to help her get through the wedding day. This can include snacks, gum, aspirin, band-aids, safety pins, a mini sewing kit, and anything else you think she might need.

Get a wedding schedule from the bride: The week of the wedding you should get a schedule from the bride of all the events that will be taking place on the big day. This will help you know when and where you need to be, and it will also help you plan for any last-minute emergencies. In addition to getting a schedule, be sure to ask the bride if there's anything you can do to help her relax and enjoy the day. She's likely feeling a bit stressed, so anything you can do to help her feel better will be appreciated.

Finish your speech: In addition, be sure to practice your delivery, so you don't get too nervous on the big day. This is also the right time to add finishing touches and tie up loose ends in your speech. You can add relevant information that you didn’t think about before. It would be great to run your speech by someone else as a test audience.

Prepare the wedding-day emergency kit: You can never be over prepared! Ask the bride what helps she needs making the wedding emergency kit.

Check-in with the bride: The day of the wedding is sure to be busy, so it's important to check in with the bride periodically to see if she needs anything. This is also a good time to give her any last-minute gifts or words of wisdom.

Pre-Ceremony Duties

Help the bride get ready: On the wedding day, you'll need to be at the venue early to help the bride get ready. This includes helping her put on her dress, fixing her hair and makeup, and anything else she may need. You should also ensure she has everything she needs for the ceremony, like her wedding rings, bouquet, and marriage license.

Act as a messenger for the bride: If the bride wants to send her partner a note or a gift, it’ll be your job to run it over to them as she’ll be busy getting ready. Consider bringing an extra pair of comfortable shoes for errands, as you don’t want to tire your feet out before the day begins.

Play hostess and gatekeeper: The maid/matron of honor has the responsibility of checking in on other important members of the bride’s entourage. Asking the bride’s mom if she needs water or checking in on her soon-to-be mother-in-law are great ways to keep everyone happy that morning. You’ll also need to watch out for extended family members that are known to stress your bride out. If they’re not invited to the bridal suite, make sure they don’t find their way in.

See if vendors are in place: If a wedding coordinator isn’t on hand on the day of the wedding, it’ll be your duty to keep track of vendor arrivals and payments. Creating a list of phone numbers and separate tip envelopes beforehand will help you manage what needs to be done.

Hold onto the bride’s phone if she prefers to be unplugged, or a portable charger if she doesn’t!

Give her moral support: This is likely to be one of the most stressful days of her life, so it's important to be there for her emotionally. Hug her, tell her she looks beautiful, and let her know you're there for whatever she needs. Help her calm her nerves and enjoy this special day.

Last-minute errands: In the hours leading up to the ceremony, you may need to help with last-minute errands like picking up the flowers or getting the marriage license. This is also a good time to ensure everyone in the wedding party knows where they need to be and when.


Photo by Liz Fogarty

Arrange the bride’s train and veil: Make it your responsibility to ensure the bride looks great in her wedding photos. No one wants to look back on wedding photos to find a scrunched up train that ruins the beauty of an elegant dress. Outside of the photographer and the bride herself, you’re the bride’s last line of defense for picture mishaps.

Pack away a few tissues inside your bouquet for any tears the bride or you may have

Pre-Ceremony Duties

Walk down the aisle: After the bride is ready, it's time for the ceremony to begin. The maid or matron of honor will typically walk down the aisle with one of the groomsmen. Practice beforehand, so you know how to walk and where to stand.

Be by her side: During the ceremony, your main duty is to be supportive. This includes holding her bouquet, wiping away tears, and anything else she may need. You should also be prepared to sign the marriage license as a witness after the ceremony. Stand by her side and hold her bouquet while she says her vows, and make sure to pull the wedding officiant out of the way so the new couple can get their first-kiss shot.

Help with photos: After the ceremony, you'll likely be needed for pictures with the bride and groom and the wedding party and family. Arrange people into groups, help with lighting and positioning, and ensure everyone is where they need to be. You can help arrange her dress and veil for photos if needed.

Post-Ceremony Duties (Reception)

Give a speech: After the ceremony, it's time to celebrate at the reception. As maid or matron of honor, you'll likely be asked to give a speech. This is your chance to thank the bride and groom, share some memories, and wish them a happy future together. Practice beforehand, so you don't get too nervous on the big day.

Make sure the bride eats: It seems simple, but it’s important. The bride may be too busy talking to guests to eat on her own, so make sure the bride eats and drinks.

Be available for guests: During the reception, you should be available to answer any questions from guests or help with anything that may come up. This includes getting more drinks, cutting the cake, or taking photos. You may also need to enable the bride with her dress or bouquet at some point during the night.


Photo by T&K Photography

Encourage guests to get on the dancefloor: Nothing kills the mood of a party more than an empty dance floor. Once the bride and groom start dancing, grab some friends to join them to help get the party started. Even if dancing isn’t your cup of tea, it’s your maid of honor duty to help bring people together.

Make sure things run smoothly: Throughout the reception, you should keep an eye on everything to ensure it's running smoothly. This includes making sure the DJ is playing the right songs, checking that the food is being served on time, and ensuring everyone is having a good time.

End of the night duties: At the end of the night, you'll need to help the bride and groom with anything they may need. This includes getting their things together, helping them say goodbye to guests, and ensuring they get into their transportation safely. You should also plan to stay at the hotel with them that night to help with anything they may need.

Post-Wedding Duties

Help with cleanup: Depending on the arrangements, you may need to help with cleanup after the wedding. This could include taking down decorations, packing gifts, or returning rented items. If you have any helpers, thank them for their assistance.

Collect gifts and cards brought to the reception and store them for safekeeping.

Distribute tip envelopes to vendors (if needed and if you haven’t already).

Help the bride change and store the dress until after the honeymoon.

Take a deep breath and relax. You’re finally finished with your maid of honor responsibilities!


Photo by Stefanie Keeler

Other Maid of Honor & Matron of Honor Duties

  • Escort the bride to the dressing room and restroom
  • Keep her phone safe
  • Collect wedding gifts or envelopes
  • Help with bridezilla moments
  • Prepare the bride for the honeymoon
  • Keep a tissue for the waterworks
  • Don't be afraid to get emotional!


Maid of honor duties for bachelorette parties

  • Make itineraries and plan all events
  • Purchase food, drinks, decorations, and all supplies
  • Find and book a venue
  • Coordinate with the bridal party for what they will be bringing and paying for

Pure Heart

Bridal Shower Invitations

Sara Hicks Malone

by Sara Hicks Malone


elegant arch

Foil-Pressed Bridal Shower Invitations

Nicoletta Savod

by Nicoletta Savod

Long Island,NY

Love is Blooming

Bridal Shower Invitations

Jennifer Postorino

by Jennifer Postorino



Bridal Shower Invitations

Owl and Toad

by Owl and Toad

Long Beach,CA

Funny maid of honor duties

  • Make her laugh
  • Fish out throwback pictures or memories
  • Play riddles and games to keep her in a light mood

Funny maid of honor duties

  • Make her laugh
  • Fish out throwback pictures or memories
  • Play riddles and games to keep her in a light mood

Maid of honor duties in the church

  • Arrive early at the church
  • Be a witness during the ceremony
  • Sign the marriage certificate
  • Take care of the bride's train

Maid of honor duties for a destination wedding

  • Help with travel arrangements
  • Coordinate with other guests
  • Pack an emergency kit
  • Make sure everyone is where they need to be
  • Be available for anything the bride needs
  • And all of the regular maid of honor duties!

Gilded Palm

Foil-Pressed Wedding Invitations

Melinda Denison

by Melinda Denison


Water's Edge

Wedding Invitations

Nicoletta Savod

by Nicoletta Savod

Long Island,NY

fresh tropical

Foil-Pressed Wedding Invitations

Phrosne Ras

by Phrosne Ras

Cape Town,SA


Wedding Invitations

Rebecca Durflinger

by Rebecca Durflinger


Other wedding roles

  • Bridesmaid: The bridesmaid is a close friend or family member of the bride who helps with wedding planning and provides moral support.
  • Best man: The best man is typically the groom's closest friend or brother. He plays an important role in the wedding ceremony, makes a speech at the reception, and helps plan the bachelor party for the groom. (Read more here for all the best man duties.)
  • Groomsman: The groomsman is a member of the groom's wedding party responsible for helping the groom with wedding-day preparations such as getting dressed and organized.
  • Flower girl: The flower girl is a young girl who walks down the aisle ahead of the bride, scattering petals.
  • Page boy or ring bearer: A page boy or ring bearer is a young boy who carries the rings down the aisle. He typically walks with the flower girl.

Most important maid or matron of honor duty?

Arguably the most important maid or matron of honor duty is to support the bride through the stressful and joyful parts of wedding planning.

As a part event planner, part bridesmaids peacekeeper, and part financial manager, the maid of honor needs to be able to wear multiple hats and lend a helping hand when called upon. Don’t be afraid to enlist help from the rest of your bridesmaids because you can’t shoulder every burden!

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your place of honor.