The Bride’s Maids
Before assembling the bridal party, brides need to be clear on one important question – the difference between a bridesmaid and maid of honour.
Bridesmaids tend to be a sister, cousin or close friend, although these days brides sometimes choose attendants of the opposite sex, reflecting nature of modern friendships.
Numbers-wise there’s no minimum or maximum, although couples often choose to have an equal number of attendants. If there’s only one bridesmaid, they will serve as the maid of honour.
In the lead-up to the wedding, some of the tasks bridesmaids undertake include addressing and stuffing envelopes, going dress shopping, or getting involved in DIY projects, whether it’s creating personalised ceremony programs or making decor elements for the reception. Bridesmaids can also help out with tasks such as recording details of gift givers during events such as the engagement party.
On the wedding day, they support the maid of honour in looking after the bride, can help look after junior attendants, will circulate at the wedding to ensure guests feel included, dance with their opposing groomsman, and also answer guest queries.
Maid Of Honour
The maid of honour (or man of honour, where applicable) serves as the chief bridesmaid. She acts as the bride’s key personal attendant both during the engagement and on the big day, with an aim to reduce stress wherever possible and lend a hand or opinion when needed.
In the lead-up to the wedding, the MOH will traditionally host events such as the bridal shower and plan the hen’s night. She can also help corral, and delegate to, bridesmaids wherever a hands-on effort is needed, for example if the favours are being home made.
On the wedding day itself, her duties range from helping the bride get dressed, making sure she eats something and holding her bouquet during the ceremony through to signing the marriage certificate and helping the bride to go to the toilet if her dress is too ornate to wrangle alone. Traditionally, she also dances with the best man during the newlyweds’ first dance, takes charge in moments that need a soothing hand and may also make a speech or toast.
Usually she’s dressed the same as the bridesmaids, although some brides will reflect her status with a different colour, piece of jewellery or slightly different dress design. Note that if she is married, the correct term is matron of honour.
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