A wedding, however big or small, requires a certain amount of planning. Brides and grooms decide where they want to marry, when they want to marry, and who they want to attend. These are the big, obvious things, but what about the details? The bride has chosen her bridesmaid but what, exactly, does the bridesmaid do? What does the chief bridesmaid do, and what is the difference between a maid of honour and a matron of honour?
Brides (and grooms) want their wedding day to be flawless. The dress, the flowers, the service. There is so much to plan and there are so many things to do on the day. Who will do what and when? So many questions. Bridesmaids may just be the younger children of the family who are there to do little more than look adorable, but what does everyone else do?
Younger bridesmaids may be referred to more specifically as flower girls. The main role of a flower girl is to look adorable as she follows the ring bearer (if there is one) and precedes the maid of honour.
In the words of Hitched.com, "bridesmaids form a support network for the bride, headed up by the maid of honour, and help her to plan her big day."
Anything that needs doing, a bridesmaid can do. Hitched.com suggests that bridesmaids can perform various tasks based on their skills and abilities.
Tasks could be anything from a good organiser overseeing plans, to a baker or florist creating masterpieces, to a seamstress checking any alterations that may be needed.
Maid or Matron
A maid of honour and a matron of honour perform the same duties. The only difference is that a maid is unmarried while a matron is married. A chief bridesmaid is another name for the same thing.
Duties of the Maid of Honour
So, the bride has chosen her maid or matron of honour, but what, exactly, does such a person do?
Often a sister or close friend of the bride, the maid of honour is an integral part of the wedding process.
She is responsible for planning the hen party, helping in the search for the perfect wedding dress, as well as outfits for other bridesmaids.
On the wedding day, the maid of honour is challenged with keeping everyone calm, organising other members of the bridal party, and helping the bride in various ways.
She may also be asked to make a speech at the reception and will be tasked with returning hired items and ensuring wedding gifts make their way to the newlyweds' home.
More Than One?
There is no reason a bride should not have more than one maid of honour, or both a maid and matron of honour. It might be a good thing, especially for a large wedding or where there are a lot of children involved, to have two (or more) people organising everything.
Maid of honour, matron of honour, or chief bridesmaid, the only difference is whether or not she is married. The responsibility is the same. There is also very little difference as to the role of a bridesmaid or chief bridesmaid other than the chief bridesmaid is ultimately responsible for organising the others.
There are a lot of things a maid or matron of honour will need to do, but the main thing is to have good organisational skills, from arranging the hen night to organising the bridal party on the wedding day.
Ultimately, the bridal party is there to help make sure the day runs as smoothly as possible from the planning stage, through every aspect of preparation, and making everything perfect on the day. So, a bridesmaid's duties could involve anything, whether that means shopping for the bridal gown, matching up the outfits, corralling the children in the bridal party on the day, or ensuring the bride does not trip over her dress.