The time for the wedding has finally arrived. All your work and support in planning, calming nerves, and offering the shoulder to lean on are memories. And it has all been leading up to the life changing ceremony you are about to be part of. So now what are the MOH Duties for the Ceremony? Read on and be comfortable in your role. Your bride is counting on you!
MOH Duties: Preparing to Enter the Ceremony
You are responsible for ensuring that everyone is assembled and in the right position, ready for the bride’s entrance to her ceremony. A wedding day coordinator, if available, will take the lead. Step in with support where needed.
Remember the coordinator is just one person, does not know the bride like you do, and has probably not met most of the wedding party except at the rehearsal. You are the perfect person to get the job done. If there is no coordinator, the entire job will surely fall to you.
One of the most challenging MOH duties is often working with the little people in the wedding party. You may need to calm excited flower girls, corral rambunctious ring bearers or locate a misplaced corsage. It is impossible to predict what is in-store for you. Be prepared with a few non-messy bribes, (Oh, I guess I should say treats) and distractions if you will be waiting before the ceremony.
Just keep one thought in mind. It is all about the bride! And your job is to fill the next hour of her life with the wedding ceremony memories of a lifetime. You get to handle the challenges, chaos, and distracts that may arise. (oh, joy!)
To put it simply, the MOH duties are to help keep everyone calm and on schedule at the ceremony venue.
Keep your eye on the clock. Try to make sure that everyone is where they need to be on time. If you need a reminder, set a “count-down” ten minutes in advance on your cell phone.
Keep the Bride Calm
When the bride seems a bit stressed while waiting for the ceremony to begin, it’s one of your duties to keep the mood light.
Prepare with a funny story, some light music, or whatever keeps the bride happy and laughing. Reminiscing about fun times with the groom are sure to be a pleasant distraction. Prepare in advance for what you can do to lighten the mood when bridal nerves are stretched thin.
Just Keep Fluffing
Take one last look just before the bride is ready to walk down the aisle. Is there any last-minute help she needs with fluffing her dress, straightening her train, rearranging her veil, or fixing makeup? Don’t ask, just fix it.
Take a final look, making full circle around the bride. Make a tiny adjustment (even it if is not needed), put on your biggest smile and tell her she looks perfectly gorgeous. (Perfect is the key work. Be sure to use it.)
This is one of the best things you can do to calm nerves and instill confidence in the bride for the walk of her life.
MOH Duties: The Ceremony
Walk Down the Aisle – A Gorgeous Maid of Honor
Your big moment in the spotlight is when you walk down the aisle. The Maid of Honor generally enters immediately following the other bridesmaids.
The ring bearer, flower girl and the bride will follow. Again, the order may vary. Some brides choose to have their Maid of Honor immediately precede them into the ceremony, especially if there are young children who may need assistance or guidance. When you are between the children and the bride, you are the one who gets the fun job of child control, so the bride can concentrate on her walk to her groom.
Be sure to smile, walk slowly, and allow adequate space between you and the bridesmaid preceding you. This will ensure that your photographer can get awesome pictures of everyone.
Arrange the Bride’s Dress and Veil
When the bride joins the groom, the Maid of Honor is responsible for making sure that the bride’s dress and veil look fabulous. Your officiant will usually pause for a few seconds while you make any needed adjustments before the ceremony begins.
If the bride and groom move during the ceremony itself, possibly for a unity ceremony or even when exchanging rings, you are also in charge of having the bride’s dress and veil picture-ready when the couple returns to their original position.
Finally, be ready to make adjustments when the couple turns to be announced as husband and wife and exit the ceremony.
Keep Things for the Bride
Wrap a few tissues around the stem of your bouquet in case the bride, bridesmaids or even the groom shed a few happy tears. You may also have her lipstick or other beauty items and even a cell phone , though these can be left outside.
Hold the Bride’s Bouquet
If the bride’s bouquet is large or heavy, or you know you will be spending time arranging the gown or veil, you may pass your bouquet to the bridesmaid beside you to hold. Just remember, the bride’s bouquet always remains close to her.
Just before the couple is announced as husband and wife, pass the Maid of Honor passes the bride’s bouquet to her, then makes sure the bride’s dress and veil look perfect.
Carry the Groom’s Ring
Traditionally, the Best Man holds both the bride and groom’s wedding ring. However, many of today’s brides are having their Maid of Honor carry the groom’s ring on their behalf until the exchange of rings.
If you are asked to carry the groom’s ring, have this cute rose box nestled in your bouquet. You can also wear the ring on your your thumb. Either way will work, as long as the ring is secure and you can easily hand it tot he officiant when the time arrives.
Be Prepared for Happy Tears
Wrap a few tissues around the stem of your bouquet in case the bride or groom shed a few happy tears. (And keep a few for yourself.)
MOH Duties: The Recessional
As you prepare to leave the ceremony venue, the Maid of Honor and the Best Man take their positions behind the newly married couple for the recessional. You will lead the rest of the wedding party as they exit the venue. Be sure to check with the bride in advance for the tone of the walk she wants to see. It can be very formal, or a wild and crazy dance. Just make sure everyone in the bridal party knows the plan. If the bride wants a dance routine, then you can are also responsible for bridal party practice if needed.
MOH Duties: Before the Reception
Sign the Marriage License as a Witness
Your final and most important ceremony duty as Maid of Honor is witnessing the signing of the marriage license.
Many jurisdictions require the officiant and the couple to sign the marriage license, with the Maid of Honor and Best Man as witnesses. Some require only the officiant to sign. (Instructions accompany the license when issued. Be sure to check in advance to know what is required in your area.)
The local jurisdiction will record the marriage and make it legal only when it is properly witnessed.
Before the wedding day, make sure there is a photogenic place for the license signing. Determine who the bride and groom want present and coordinate with them. Make sure everyone is in place to complete this formality quickly, so you can be off to the photos and reception.
Other Articles in Our Maid of Honor Series:
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