Sarah Der Photography

The role of the maid/matron of honor today is usually reserved for the bride’s closest confidante, the friend who will organize the bachelorette party, the bridal shower, and other pre-ceremony events and be at the bride’s right hand through the ceremony. This dutiful role can be traced back to the origin of the maid of honor tradition, believed to come from ancient Rome. Ancient Romans believed that evil spirits haunted weddings so to protect the bride and groom they required ten witnesses to dress in the same clothing as the couple so the spirits wouldn’t know who was who. The maid of honor was one of these attendants. She and the other bridesmaids dressed like the bride for another crucial reason – to trick very mortal aggressors, the men in the groom’s village who were jealous of the groom and might try to steal the bride away before the ceremony. Brides in ancient times traditionally traveled to the groom’s village for the ceremony so she really needed reliable protection. The maid of honor made sure to stick by the bride, dressed exactly like her, to confuse any threats natural or supernatural until her fate was secured. The maid of honor also helped the bride dress before the wedding, as she still does today, and helped her weave a wreath of aromatic flowers believed to protect her from evil spirits. The term “maid of honor” came from the United Kingdom, meaning female attendants to the queen.

While still protecting the bride – a maid of honors duties consist of much more, here are a few that sometimes get overlooked:

  • Help plan (or just support) pre-wedding tasks
  • Host/Co-Host the Bridal Shower – during the shower it is the maid of honors responsibility to keep track of all gifts received for future thank you notes.
  • Plan the bachelorette festivities
  • Be able to button & bustle the bride’s gown upon request
  • Be responsible for/hold the groom’s ring during the ceremony
  • Make sure the bride takes a moment to eat something – the day can be crazy busy, but it’s your responsibility to make sure she gets fed
  • Give a heartfelt toast/speech after the best man to the newlyweds (to read more about how to give a great speech, see our blog post here)
  • And most of all, be grateful for the honor you have been given and make sure the bride has a wonderful wedding.

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