Maid Of Honor Duties On The Wedding Day: Reception

Article By: Kim Forrest

If you’ve been asked to be a maid of honor (or matron of honor), first of all, congrats! This is a big honor, and can be fun and exciting. Of course, there are certain maid of honor duties and responsibilities you’ll be in charge of handling.

Stand next to the groom in the receiving line (optional)

Many couples choose not to have receiving lines these days, but if there is one, the maid of honor stands next to the groom and greets guests as they enter the reception.

Enter the reception with the best man

If the emcee is introducing the wedding party members as they enter the reception, the maid of honor usually enters with the best man. Whether or not you choose to do a silly dance as you enter is your call!

Help bustle the bride’s train—and use the restroom!

Before the wedding, it’s a good idea to learn how to bustle the bride’s gown—her bridal salon or seamstress can give a quick tutorial if you’re able to attend a dress fitting. Bustling the bride’s gown will help keep her dress’ train clean and make her dress more comfortable to dance in.

If the bride’s gown is particularly cumbersome, you might be enlisted to help the bride use the restroom. That’s what friends (and maids of honor) are for, right?

Play host

As before the wedding, guests will likely have questions during the event. Where’s the guest book? When’s the cake cutting? Where do I sit? Where can I put my gift? Part of the maid of honor’s role is to help answer questions and direct guests. And while guests are supposed to give their gifts directly to the newlyweds or place them on the gift table, you may be entrusted with a gift or two. Make sure any gifts are properly placed in a safe location.

Dance with the best man

One of the most important maid of honor duties is to have a great time and spend a lot of time on the dance floor. To help kick things off, the maid of honor traditionally dances with the best man for the song immediately following the first dance. If this seems a bit too formal or isn’t your style, no worries! Just be sure to be one of the first people on the dance floor, and encourage others to dance too!

Make sure the bride stays stress-free

If any mini-crises occur during the reception, don’t let on to the bride and groom. They should focus on enjoying the reception, not that the bride’s cousin got sick in the bathroom or the cake almost toppled over.

Give a toast after the best man

The maid of honor usually gives a speech after the best man. The maid of honor speech is usually relatively short, relaying about the bride, and her love and respect for the couple. As long as the speech comes from the heart, it’s sure to be a hit.

Make sure the bride eats and drinks

The last thing anyone wants to encounter is a hangry bride. Make sure that the bride eats and be sure to refresh her water glass throughout the night to keep her hydrated.

Collect wedding gifts if necessary

Before the wedding, find out where the couple would like their gifts to be transported after the reception. Ensure that the couple’s gifts end up in the right hands and in the correct location when the reception is over.

Tie up any other loose ends

From making sure the bride’s wedding gown is properly stored to ensuring that the top tier of the wedding cake ends up in a freezer, talk to the couple about any end-of-the-night duties they’d like the maid of honor to help complete.

Help the couple during and post-honeymoon

As the couple heads off on their honeymoon, see if there are any ways you can assist them—particularly if you live nearby. Perhaps you can check in on their house once in a while, dog sit, or bring over groceries before they head home. By helping the newlyweds out after the wedding, you’re showing that you’ll be there for them for life.

13 DIY Wedding Centerpieces We Love

Article By: marthastewartweddings / Photo Credit: Bryan Gardner

OUR BEST WEDDING CENTERPIECES

If you love yourself a good craft, you’re certainly not alone. When it comes to your nuptials, there’s plenty you can make, build, or create on your own, from décor to food and everything in between. One especially fun idea is DIYing your reception table centerpieces. With so many options out there, you’re sure to find a project you love, and something that suits your skill level, time frame, and budget. DIY centerpieces can help you save up for other aspects of your wedding. They can also allow you to take the reins and make something all your own. Ahead, ideas for adding personality and a homemade touch to one of the prettiest parts of your wedding reception décor.

Hardware Candle Centerpiece

This modern metallic centerpiece starts with a slab of stone tile ($7, homedepot.com) used as a runner. On top, insert both candlesticks and tea lights into mix-and-match copper-colored hardware you can get from your local store (3/4-inch brass pipe cap, $7.50; 3/4-inch copper pressure C x C coupling with stop, $9.50 for a bag of 10; and 1 1/2-inch copper tube cap, $6.50, homedepot.com). 

Peony Centerpieces and Favors

Peony Centerpieces and Favors

MAKE THESE FAVOR CENTERPIECES

Group a few big, bold peonies together, and you’ve got a gorgeous tablescape. But that’s not all! Invite guests to take a vase home at the end of the evening, and you’ve got your favors covered, too. Simply arrange them on tables (make sure there are enough to go around) and add our custom clip-art sign.

Geometric Candle Sticks

Geometric Candle Sticks

MAKE THESE GEOMETRIC WOODEN CANDLEHOLDERS

Remember playing with wooden blocks as a kid—or learning to draw with them in art class? Those same educational toys can be transformed into modernist centerpieces with a quick trip to the hardware store and a coat of paint. But here’s a lesson you didn’t learn in kindergarten: A cone and cylinder, when stacked, make an inexpensive and eye-catching geometric candlestick, as does a cube all on its own. A small cut in a half-sphere or prism can also turn it into a place-card holder or table-number holder. Continue the theme with wooden bead napkin rings and chair garlands.

Tiered Bowl Centerpiece

Tiered Bowl Centerpiece

MAKE THIS TIERED BOWL CENTERPIECE

For a bold and cheery statement piece, fill tiered bowls with dense tufts of goldenrod, fuzzy clusters of mimosa, globelike craspedia balls, olive leaves, kumquats, lemons, and sprigs of fresh lavender.

Blooming Branches

Blooming Branches

Fit for a spring wedding, these branches bloom with handmade paper blossoms and are accented with millinery birds.

Decorated Glasses

Decorated Glasses

MAKE THESE GLOWING GLASS CENTERPIECES

Clustered around a floral centerpiece, these gussied-up containers enhance any scene. We relied on common adhesives—glue, stickers, and tape—as well as paint and glitter to make basic glasses stun.

Pink Vinyl Centerpieces

Pink Vinyl Centerpieces

Snip plastic strips of hot pink vinyl to the same height as vases, roll them up, and slip them inside. Add a glue dot to keep the strip in place on larger vessels. 

Gold Embellishments

Gold Embellishments

Flowers and birds and clovers—oh, my! Sold by the sheet, Castle in the Air Dresden paper-backed foil trims take a zillion shapes, pack flat (perfect for a destination wedding), and are so wallet-friendly that even your grandma would agree they’re a good deal. Re-create this tablescape by using double-sided tape to affix the embellishments to clear glass vessels in varying sizes. Pair the golden hue with soft pastel blooms.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Tissue Paper Flowers

MAKE THESE TISSUE-PAPER FLOWER CENTERPIECES

In winter, when fresh blossoms may be harder to come by, these lush tissue-paper flowers are in full bloom. Their silver centers are actually Christmas balls, a nod to the season. Arranged at different heights in silver trumpet vases and mint julep cups, they bring whimsy to a formal reception table set in all white.

Floral Spheres

Floral Spheres

MAKE THESE FLORAL-SPHERE CENTERPIECES

Spread out on lush lawns or placed on a pedestal, these whimsical globes consisting of hundreds of orange, red, fuchsia, and yellow gerbera daisies add a pop of color to your wedding.

Papier-Mâché Fruit

Papier-Mâché Fruit

MAKE THIS PAPIER-MÂCHÉ CENTERPIECE

A minimal centerpiece, like this whitewashed papier-mâché fruit arrangement piled on a cake stand and trimmed with silver millinery leaves, is as chic as it is unexpected.

Striped Luminarias

Striped Luminarias

MAKE THESE LUMINARIA CENTERPIECES

Download our chic striped clip art to create this modern take on luminarias—paper bags with votives inside.

Accordion Accent Centerpieces

Accordion Accent Centerpieces

MAKE THESE ACCORDION CENTERPIECES

If you can print and fold, you cake make these luminarias, inspired by cake-decorating stencils.