The term maid of honor was initially used in the UK for the Queen's female attendant. Bridesmaids are the bride's attendants per se and the term was introduced to describe a chief bridesmaid who is already married of mature age. American English led to the chief bridesmaid being called the Maid of Honor. The bride will usually choose her closest friend or sister.
Roman law is said to have given rise to the concept of the bridesmaid because it required 10 witnesses at a wedding ceremony to send the evil spirits packing! The role has progressed quite a bit from those days to the present day where the Matron of Honor performs quite a few duties for the bride. She is heavily involved in the discussions and planning for the wedding.
Some of the duties that form part of the role may include:
· Tradition dictates that the Matron of Honor plans and hosts the bridal shower or hen party; She sends out invitation, arranges catering, games and activities and generally oversees the entire process. She will also keep a record of all the gifts the bride receives.
Coordination of the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner is done by the Matron of Honor if the bride is responsible for the proceedings. She helps with choosing the venue, seating and catering arrangements, sending out invitations and overseeing the occasion.
During the wedding the she stands right by the bride, taking care of things, arranging the train, help with the dressing, acts as official witness, hold the bride's bouquet when necessary and more.
· At the reception, the Matron of Honor will help oversee the decorating of the venue, make sure everything has been set up correctly, seating and name tags are done and gifts received get recorded.
The Matron of Honor can be given other duties by the bride and this really differs from person to person.