Ah, many congratulations! You got engaged, time to get your best girls involved in the planning. Who's going to be your chief bridesmaid? Your "regular" bridesmaids? Your maid of honour?? What even IS a maid of honour?! Well you've come to the right place!
According to Google, the official line on these roles & their traditions is as follows:
The bridesmaids are members of the bride's party in a wedding. ... Traditionally, bridesmaids were chosen from unwed young women of marriageable age. The principal bridesmaid, if one is so designated, may be called the chief bridesmaid or maid of honor if she is unmarried, or thematron of honor if she is married.
The principal bridesmaid, if one is so designated, may be called the chief bridesmaid or maid of honor if she is unmarried, or the matron of honor if she is married.
So there we go, that's how - traditionally - the ladies in your special day are viewed. Of course, you've chosen them because they're your closest friends & family, which is a lovely way to have them involved in your big day.
On the subject of getting involved, traditionally they're there to assist you on your big day - holding your dress out the way, tidying your hair for photos, holding your flowers during the ceremony. However these days, bridesmaids tend to be a bigger part - organisation of your hen party being the main task before your wedding. They will also no doubt be on hand to help with any pre wedding jitters you have, maybe helping with seating plans, generally making life a little easier for you.
A subject that often comes up is who pays for bridesmaids dresses? Well, these days the girls pay for their own. But it's up to you to source the dresses, tell them the style & colour you'd like them to wear, ensuring the styles chosen are flattering to all those in your bridal party. remember though that not everyone has unlimited budgets so that's something to consider when choosing - perhaps leave the Vera Wang dresses for now?!
I hope this has been helpful, if you have any thoughts on this subject I'd love to hear them!
Photos here from my sister's wedding in September 2017 - what a fun day! Didn't stop laughing the whole time we were together <3
Middle photo credit to Leigh Spary Photography, gorgeous photographer with an eye for all things natural
I'm a qualified wedding planner dedicated to designing & creating weddings for alternative couples. Because everyone deserves a wedding as unique as they are