Western weddings come with a wide variety of unique traditions and are indeed a beauty to behold. Different people have different roles and responsibilities and play an instrumental part in the wedding as a whole. The maid of honor is chosen by the bride not only to honor their friendship and love but also to act as the chief bridesmaid. As per tradition, bridesmaids are accompanied by their male counterparts as they enter the wedding venue.
Who Walks the Maid of Honor Down the Aisle? If you thought that it was the best man who walks the maid of honor down the aisle, then you would be partially correct. According to tradition, the maid of honor and the best man walk down the aisle on their own. At some weddings, they walk together but usually, each one walks alone.
What is the role of a maid of honor?
Numerous responsibilities come with the title of maid of honor. Their main duty is to be the acting chief bridesmaid where you have to personally attend to the bride’s needs and help her in any possible way, shape or form. Apart from that, the maid of honor also has to perform several different duties such as:
- Host pre wedding events – Usually bridal showers, kitchen tea and bachelorette party are hosted by the maid of honor. If any help is required, you will have to delegate it to the bridesmaids and ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
- Pre wedding help – In most cases, the maid of honor also helps in addressing wedding invitation envelopes, dress shopping, and help in the planning of décor.
- Help with DIY projects – Most weddings involve a certain amount of personalized creative projects whether it is creating jewelry or designing a visual look and feel for the ambiance. The maid of honor along with the bridesmaids have to take care of all DIY projects and make sure that it is ready for the wedding.
- Helping the bride – On the day of the wedding, the maid of honor has to help the bride get dressed and take care of the bride especially when it comes to coping with stress. You also have to hold the bride’s bouquet and ensure that she and her groom won’t cross paths before the ritual.
The job of the maid of honor is certainly not an easy one and requires you to be a good planner, think quickly on your feet and most importantly, remain calm at all times. If it’s a catholic wedding, you also have to serve as a witness to the bride and groom and sign the certificate of marriage along with the best man. If the maid of honor is married, then the correct title to be used would be matron of honor.
Maid of honor and Jewish weddings
The maid of honor in Jewish weddings also walks alone towards the chuppah and is followed by the flower girl and ring bearer, similar to traditional Christian weddings. During the ceremony, the Rabbi and parents of the couple typically stand under the chuppah but on some occasions, the best man and maid of honor are also allowed to be there.
The titles are of course different as per Jewish traditions. The Talmud talks about “shushbinin” which roughly translates to close friends who escort the bride and groom. Some of the responsibilities of the maid of honor may differ from one wedding to another but they are mostly the same as Christian weddings.
Maid of honor and eastern weddings
Although there is no such title in Indian weddings, today a lot of brides follow the western tradition of having a maid of honor. Most of the responsibilities such as taking care of the bride, multi-tasking, planning the decor and dress shopping are the same. The amount of work is far more as most Indian weddings tend to have at least 10 times the number of guests and ceremonies than western weddings. To help with this, the number of bridesmaids in Indian weddings are also significantly more.
In Chinese weddings, there are a few key differences. One can be a maid of honor only if you are unmarried as there is no concept like the matron of honor in western weddings. You can also only serve as the maid of honor a total of three times after which you never again have the title. The bride, however, can choose a maximum of two maids of honor.
Who is eligible to be made the maid of honor?
While there is no hard and fast rule about who can be eligible for being a maid of honor, in most cases it is the best friend of the bride. Generally, family members are chosen to be bridesmaids while the maid of honor goes to a very close friend of the bride. This doesn’t mean that the bride cannot choose her sister to be one of course. It’s completely up to the bride’s choice. In western weddings, the maid of honor can be married or unmarried but in other cultures, it may differ.
What is the order in which people walk down the aisle in a christian wedding?
Traditionally, the first person who enters the ceremonial space is the officiant followed by the groom. The groom can either walk alone or be escorted by his parents. Some walk down the aisle while others enter the venue from the side. Then the best man walks down the aisle solo and stands to the right of the groom. He is then followed by the groomsmen and then bridesmaids.
Then comes the maid of honor but before she walks down the aisle, she has to make sure that the bride’s veil and dress look perfect. After ensuring that everything is right, she takes her place in the ceremonial area. Then the flower girl and ring bearer walk down the aisle signifying that the bride will soon be entering the venue. Then finally the bride is walked down the aisle by her father.
Header Photo © Jeremy Wong (@jeremywongweddings) / Unsplash