So you have been asked to be the Maid of Honor…..Now What?

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I am 35 years old and I had never been asked to be a Maid of Honor, until now. My dear friend and the sister I never had, Jenny, asked me to be the Maid of Honor for her upcoming wedding next October. Although I am excited and deeply touched that she asked me – I am not sure what being a Maid of Honor entails! So I decided to find out.

My first stop for information was The Knot, where I found a great article on Maid of Honor duties, tips, and advice. According to The Knot, “The maid/matron of honor is part worker bee, part emotional lifeboat. Chosen for your energetic, get-the-ball-in-motion qualities, you should also remember that listening to the bride, making her laugh, and offering emotional and logistical support are also part of your honor attendant package.”

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According to The Knot, Maid of Honor Duties include:

  • Lead the bridesmaid troupe – directing the other bridesmaids in their duties
    • Make sure all bridesmaids get their dresses
    • Go to dress fittings and help find the right accessories
    • Provide bridesmaids with information for all pre-wedding festivities
  • Help the bride shop for dresses – both hers and the bridesmaids
  • Offer to help the bride with pre-wedding tasks
    • Addressing envelopes
    • Choosing Wedding Colors
    • Cake Tastings
    • And any other tasks that will help the bride
  • Be a friend and lend an ear.  The Maid of Honor needs to ensure that the bride has someone that she can share her thoughts with.  Whether its about the planning, the marriage, registering – the MOH should be a great listener for the bride.
  • Spread the word about the registry and where the bride and groom have registered
  • Help the bride change for her honeymoon and take responsibility for her dress storage until she returns from the honeymoon
  • Host or co-host a bridal shower
  • Attend all pre-wedding parties
  • Keep record of all gifts received at various showers and parties
  • Plan the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids
  • Make sure all of the bridesmaids get to the rehearsal dinner; plan transportation and lodging if necessary
  • Coordinate the bridesmaids with getting their hair and makeup done, getting to the ceremony on time, and seeing that they have their bouquets
  • Arrange the bride’s train and veil before the ceremony begins and just after she arrives to the alter
    • Help bustle the bride’s dress during the reception
  • Hold the groom’s ring during the ceremony (safest place – your thumb)
  • Hold the bride’s bouquet as vows are exchanged
  • Sign the marriage license as a witness
  • Play hostess along with other bridesmaids at frequent points during the reception
    • Help guests get to their seat
    • Direct guests to restrooms
    • Inform guests where to put presents
    • Invite guests to sign the guest book
  • Collect gift envelopes that are brought to the reception and keep them in a safe place
  • Make sure the bride gets something to eat and drink
    • Refresh her drink
    • Get her a plate of food from the buffet table
    • Tell waitstaff to keep her plate warm
  • Dance with the best man during the first formal dance sequence.  Walk in with the best man during wedding party announcements
  • Toast the couple after the best man
  • Troubleshoot emotional crises.  The MOH continues to be a trusted friend, an emotional support, a good listener, and a smart advisor
  • Keep the bride laughing

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The Knot had some great advice and I feel like they really nailed down the duties of the Maid of Honor.  But I wanted to get some more information and tips – so I kept searching.  I was intrigued by an article from Women’s Health Magazine, “How to be the most kick-butt Maid of Honor.”  They interviewed recently married women and asked them what little things their MOH did that made their special day flawless.  This is what I found:

  •   Help her keep cool – literally and figuratively
    • “My MOH was a champ and fanned me the entire night – through pictures, dinner, dancing, the whole hog.  She was willing to do whatever it took for me to be comfortable.”
      • This is great advice -especially if the bride is having an outdoor ceremony/reception, or is getting some great photography shots outside.  Do whatever the bride needs to make her feel comfortable.
  • Foster Bridal-Party Bonding
    • “My bridesmaids ranged from 21-34, were from different friend groups, and didn’t have a ton in common.  So my MOH set up a few non-wedding related outings…”
      • Friends come from all social backgrounds, groups, cities, etc – by wedding time it is a great idea to really get to know the wedding party as to not deal with drama or akwardness – the MOH is the “leader” of the bridesmaids and planning get-togethers with the fellow bridesmaids is a wonderful idea.
  • Always be there – even if you can’t physically be there
    • “My Maid of Honor lives states away, which obviously made it hard for her to come to every dress-shopping trip, or to help scout florists and photographers.  But she stayed part of the process, calling me once or twice a week to ask specifically about wedding stuff.”
      • Again, your friends are made all over and at many different stages of life – the MOH may live far away from the bride, but with technology she can and should stay connected to the bride throughout the planning process.
  • Become her one-woman glam team
    • “Throughout my big day, my sister – who was my MOH – carried around breath mints and bobby pins, and would do periodic teeth and hair checks for me.”
      • This is one of the bride’s most important days of her life – the MOH should be her right hand person to make sure the looks as beautiful as she is – especially with all of the photographs will be taken that day!
  • Handle business (so she doesn’t have to)
    • “The day of my wedding, my maid of honor was like a conductor.  She made sure things were running on schedule, that everything was in place, and that all of my bridesmaids knew what their responsibilities would be.”
      • The MOH should be the bride’s “take-charge” person.  The bride has a million things to worry about – staying on schedule should not be one of them.
  • Show her you’re in it for the long haul
    • “My MOH was a solid support system during my entire year-and-a-half engagement.  She was there to talk initial plans, came on multiple wedding-dress shopping trips, and helped with every bridesmaid outfit detail.”
      • The MOH is such a special person to the bride – it is the bride’s special day – and she picked you to share that day with her as her confident – be there for her as much as she needs you.
  • Always be in her corner
    • “Putting together a wedding can be so stressful, and I basically organized mine on my own.  I’d finally decide on something and ask my MOH’s opinion.  It was the best to hear her say “Yes! It’s your day, so whatever you want.”
      • This day is all about the bride – to each their own – the day should be exactly how the bride pictured her day to be!

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The last source of information I thought I would check out is our area event experts.  I reached out to a handful of our recommended vendors to see what advice they might have for a Maid of Honor.  They gave some great tips and pieces of advice:

“I’ve seen too many who think “this is the day I get to doll up and be pretty”. Wrong attitude for a bridesmaid.  Be a support and help her day flow beautifully.  It’ll help her and certainly change you.”  Mary Moran with Bello Photography

Jim Cerone, with Jim Cerone, The Perfect Host created an entire document on how to give the perfect toast.  One piece of advice from this – “What should I say?” First, congratulate the bride and groom and thank the hosts. Tell the guests
how you met, how long you’ve been friends, share a funny story of something you
did together (keep it clean – Grandma’s listening) or give examples of your
friends’ best qualities. Finish by asking everyone to raise their glass to the happy
couple; “cheers!”

Katie Bowman, Co-Owner of Blu3 Designs had wonderful tips for a Maid of Honor – “Be assertive (gently) in regards to giving the bride honest advice, making sure everyone stays on track timing wise, getting the other bridesmaids in order, preparing for the bridal shower, bachelorette, etc. Truly be enthusiastic and caring about the brides wedding. Be there for the bride, spending quality time together and making the most out of the experience. Make sure leading up to the wedding and the day of is all about the bride. Don’t put emphasis on your hair and makeup, dress, etc. over the bride. It’s her day, not yours. Don’t drink too much and make sure the bride doesn’t either. Everyone wants to remember the day. There’s better ways of getting rid of jitters.”

I believe the best piece of advice I received was to just be there for the bride for anything she needs.  She picked you to be her right hand woman because you are that special to her, so make sure she knows how much that means to you by doing anything to make sure her day is a beautiful as she imagined it would be.

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Until next time,

Sarah

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One thought on “So you have been asked to be the Maid of Honor…..Now What?

  1. Pingback: What every Best Man Should know about the “Big Day” | forum conference and event center

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