Many wedding etiquette questions surround the responsibilities of the bridal party. Perhaps the most important person in your wedding party will be your Maid of Honor, therefore be sure to pick someone that is reliable and responsible. If your best friend has always been a flake, maybe you should consider making her a bridesmaid and selecting someone else as your Maid of Honor instead.
It's the responsibility of the Maid of Honor to attend all prenuptial parties including the engagement party and your bridal showers. In addition, she should host or co-host a party for the bride and groom. This could be one of your showers or an informal dinner party for a small group of friends and family.
When shopping for your bridal gown, the Maid of Honor normally comes along to give honest advice on your selections. Your mother, sisters and bridesmaids may also join you.
The Maid of Honor should keep track of all the fitting appointments, rehearsals and other duties of the bridesmaids. It is her responsibility to call and remind the bridesmaids about the appointments and tend to any problems that may arise.
The Maid of Honor should arrive at the home of the bride (or wherever she is getting ready) at least 2-3 hours early to help the bride and the bridesmaids with makeup, hair and getting dressed.
She should contact the photographer as soon as he arrives and help him to identify members of the bridal party and family members that should be shot in pictures.
The Maid of Honor holds the wedding bouquet during the exchange of rings. She should hand it back to the bride just before the recessional. She must also adjust the bride's train as necessary.
If a double ring ceremony is taking place, it is the Maid of Honor who carries the groom's ring until handing it to the minister.
The Maid of Honor (and the Best Man) must witness and sign the marriage certificate after the ceremony.
The Maid of Honor should pack an emergency kit for the bride for her wedding day. This kit should include toiletries, aspirin and medications, a change of undergarments and pantyhose, white chalk for stains, bottled water, snacks and other necessities. She is responsible for bringing the emergency kit to the ceremony site and the reception hall.
If you are having a receiving line at your reception, the Maid of Honor stands at the groom's left with the bridesmaids to her left.
The Maid of Honor should assist the bride in changing into her going away outfit. She should also coordinate the tossing of the petals (or other items) as the couple leaves. Additionally, the Maid of Honor is responsible to take care of the bride's gown according to her wishes after the reception. This may include bringing the gown to the bride's home, her parent's home or the cleaner.
Most importantly, the Maid of Honor should look out for the bride's best interests throughout her wedding day and make it as special as it can be. This is especially true of the bride does not have a wedding coordinator.
The Maid of Honor should have the contact phone numbers of all the wedding vendors in case anyone is late. She should tend to any potential problems very quickly. For example, if you have a cousin that tends to drink too much, the Maid of Honor should alert the bartender at the reception to cut him off. She should do anything and everything possible to help your day run as smoothly as possible.