What is a maid of honour?

There’s no “clause” in the wedding rule book that says that you have to have a maid of honour. (Heck, you don’t really even have to have bridesmaids if you think you’ll be better off without them.) But it’s not like brides ask their friends to be their maid of honour for no reason; your maid of honour is meant to do more than just stand there and look pretty at the altar while you exchange vows.

Let’s start with the basics — what is a maid of honour, anyway? Right hand woman, total confidante and sometime lifesaver, your maid of honour is there to support you through all the ups and downs of wedding planning. The maid of honour’s duties include organizing and hosting your bridal shower, helping you do things like address invitation envelopes and shop for your bridesmaids’ dresses, and collect and keep records of your wedding gifts. Oh yeah, and she’ll also act as a crucial liaison between you and your bridesmaids to keep everyone on track in terms of buying their dresses and planning your bachelorette. If you think you’re going to have time to do everything, and enjoy your wedding day to the fullest… well, good luck.

So let’s be real: You’re going to need some help during the wedding planning. One idea is to delegate each of the maid of honour tasks to your bridesmaids, sisters, best friends or favourite cousins — whether you call any one of them your maid of honour or not. Make one woman in charge of, say, the bridal party, and another in charge of helping you with DIY crafts for your wedding day and so forth. And since they’ll be the point person, people (hopefully) will go to them with questions instead of you. The extra hands will keep the little details leading up to your wedding running smoothly. Can’t choose just one maid of honour? Why not have two maids of honour…or three? There’s no wedding etiquette rule against it. Now all you have to do is kick back and enjoy your day.

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