Metaphorically speaking, if the bride is the quarterback, you are the center. You too must memorize all the plays and make sure they are carried out to perfection. And as the bride is planning to make that 99-yard touchdown pass, you are guarding her on your hand and knees from a three-point stance. You are the buffer zone, the shock absorber, the safety line and the free fall net. Your sole objective is to become her second right arm, supply a constant stream of positive support and shield her from as much stress, drama and circus-like behavior as possible. Planning a wedding is a HUGE endeavor and you are a crutch… a very important crutch. You are about to become her on-call counselor, her party-planning assistant, her shopping companion, her sounding board. Very likely, this will become your second full-time job.
Tips for the Maid of Honor
- Gather and absorb as much wedding information as you can. You should be able to field questions from guests right up to the wedding day. In fact, early on, word should be put out to come to you first. This will not only save the bride a lot of time (she’s busy doing other things), but relieve her of a lot of stress as well. Be available by phone, text, email, and in-person. If you do receive questions that you can’t answer, keep a running list and take them to the bride in batches—assuming they are not time sensitive.
- You will be the central intelligence line to all the other bridesmaids and the best man/groomsmen.
- Be available 24/7—especially to the bride. You will need to be open to listening to everyone’s concerns about the wedding. Be judgment-free.
- Offer to go on any wedding appointments the bride may have such as dress shopping, cake tasting… especially cake tasting, venue scouting, flower selection, etc.
- Attend all of the wedding events and encourage all of the bridesmaids to do the same. You were handpicked for this job for a reason. Don’t disappoint.
- If you don’t know all of the bridesmaids, plan a fun activity where you can start to build a relationship. This will make the showers, bachelorette party and wedding day more relaxing if you have already have a friendly foundation.
- Plan to do the same with the groomsmen. The better all the bridesmaids know the groomsmen, the better.
- Stress to the other bridesmaids that you are second-in-command to the bride. This isn’t to be snippity, but rather to alleviate stress on the bride by having a chain of command.
- If at any time you see drama brewing among the other bridesmaids, put a damper on it asap. Don’t participate in the drama and don’t take the drama to the bride. Just do your best to resolve the issue and bury it.
- Set a budget for each event and expect a few incidentals. Things will get expensive… especially without a plan. Unless you plan to go broke, stick to your budget.
- Plan the bachelorette party and take responsibility for this bash. Give all of the bridesmaids options about when, where and how much it will cost. Don’t assume everyone has the same budget to spend. If necessary, be prepared to cover some unexpected costs. Make sure to honor the bride’s wishes about what she wants/doesn’t want (ie. male dancers, alcohol, etc.).
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. If you feel that your plate is becoming too full, enlist the help of the other bridesmaids. Ask for help when you need it.
- Record the gifts at all the showers. As the bride (and groom) opens the gifts, write down who got her what to make ease of the thank you cards later.
- Write an awesome speech for the toast. The earlier you start on this, the better. Include lots of history and personal antidotes. And practice, practice, practice. The last thing you want to do is choke on the wedding night.
- Even in the darkest days of wedding planning, keep the bride laughing. When things are super stressful and undoubtedly overwhelming, find a way to make light of the situation and make the wedding planning as enjoyable as possible for the bride. Always remain enthusiastic and optimistic.
- Assist with any post-wedding duties. Just because the wedding has come and gone doesn’t mean your job is over. Offer to clean up the reception decorations, sort through wedding gifts, babysit the dog during the honeymoon or write thank you notes.
- Above all, remember the day is HER day!! Do whatever is necessary to keep the peace, avoid catastrophe and prevent anything with the even tiniest resemblance of a meltdown from happening. You can achieve this by smiling, being kind and giving, and adoring HER.
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