A lot of people, unfortunately, labor under the misapprehension that the maid of honor is a bossy, demanding bridesmaid.
In fact, a maid of honor is responsible for many and various special duties and in return receives some very special benefits.
A maid of honor is the bride's best gal and gives her support before, during and after her wedding.
The maid of honor crucially helps her bride with the wedding planning. She makes decisions and navigates the difficulties and other stresses, particularly with the bride’s extended family.
The maid takes responsibility as leader of the bridesmaids and takes control of their organization.
The maid of honor typically leads the bridesmaids, when planning the bridal shower, and more often than not, the bachelorette party.
On the wedding day, the maid of honor will help the bride prepare, get dressed and keep calm.
After the wedding, it is common for the maid of honor to make a toast and possibly give a speech at either the rehearsal dinner or the wedding.
It is also common in the United States for a couple to ask the maid of honor to be one of the signatories to their marriage license.
Crucially, the maid of honor is the strong shoulder on which the bride can lean on and listen to any concerns the bride may have.
It is convention for the bride to ask either her sister or her one of her closest female friends to be her maid of honor.
In the sort of circumstances in which this is just not possible, then the bride can choose another woman she trusts to be her maid of honor. Whoever it is will help the bride during the whole wedding planning process.
When choosing a maid of honor, it is essential to consider the weight of responsibility the person will have and to make sure that she is capable of meeting these expectations.
It is possible, although unusual, for a man to be a maid of honor. If a bride's closest friend is a man, it will make sense for him to be the person on whom she relies to help with the wedding planning.
However, it’s critical to consider how this arrangement may change the dynamics of any events, like the bridal shower or bachelorette party, as these quite gender specific occasions. Of course, the bride and her maid of honor can decide what events need to be gender inclusive.
When the terms maid of honor feels strange, the title could be adjusted to "bride's honor attendant." If this attendant is a married woman, the traditional title is "matron of honor."