Being asked to take the role of maid of honor is a major privilege in this life; an honor one might say! So what exactly is included in this critical role? And how can you be the best right-hand woman possible for your bride?
Whether it’s an intimate wedding with a tight budget and ten guests, or a huge affair with twenty bridesmaids and four wedding planners, your list of maid of honor responsibilities is nevertheless pretty long!
From organizing pre-wedding events to prepping for potential weather disasters, your duty doesn’t end until the happy couple has successfully ridden off into the sunset!
But don’t panic, we have pulled together some tips on how to be an AWESOME maid of honor right here…
Firstly, a little positivity goes a long way! Chances are, some of her friends will lose interest after the initial excitement of the engagement is over and when the nitty-gritty of wedding planning starts.
Your role as maid of honor means that you should try to be upbeat and enthusiastic every step of the way (hopefully this should come naturally to you as her best friend anyway!).
When your bride starts to plan her wedding, let her know that you are there for her for the whole journey. Sit down together and figure out which roles she would like you to take on, and which roles she’ll ask another bridesmaid or family member to do. This will give you clear guidance for the coming months and set expectations.
If she wants you to join her on wedding dress appointments, florist meetings, venue visits, then go along with positivity (and honesty!) to make sure she gets the best experience out of each day.
Lead the Bridesmaids
As maid of honor, it is your role to lead the bridesmaids!
Once you’ve got a list of jobs that need doing, it is likely your role to delegate these to the other chosen few in her wedding party. This can sometimes be tricky if you don’t all know each other that well, but be confident with this!
One tip is to set up a meeting with the bridesmaids, get to know each other a little, and talk about the tasks (big and small) that you can all do to help out your bride.
Ideally, this meeting would be face to face over a cocktail, but if you are in different areas, why not set up a group video call so the bridal party can all meet and chat everything through?
You’ve been asked to be a maid of honor for a reason – the bride trusts you and respects your opinion, therefore, be honest with her along the way.
This may be easier said than done, but if she seems to be swaying towards something that you think she may regret in the future, then politely let her know.
She will probably want your guidance in every detail from her dress and veil to shoes and choice of bridesmaid dress. Be sure to give her your honest opinion on all the details, and help her throughout the planning process.
Your bride may have to make hard decisions along the wedding planning journey. Deciding on guest lists and seating plans, for example, can be really tough! If she is unsure about who exactly to invite or who is going to have to sit next to old Uncle Bob, then just be there to listen to her.
As the wedding gets closer she’ll have to make lots of small decisions – favors, name cards, table plan, readings, heck even the font on the menus – it can be overwhelming if she doesn’t have a wedding planner in particular.
So listen to her and give her your advice when she asks for it. If you haven’t seen each other for a few weeks, check in with her on Whatsapp, it’s likely she will have a few things that she would appreciate a second opinion on!
Plan the Best Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower
Now for the fun part; the pre-wedding events!
One of the most important maid of honor duties is the planning of the bachelorette party and bridal shower.
Ultimately it comes down to what is right for the bride. Some ladies would love a raucous bachelorette party with tequila shots and strippers, but some really wouldn’t.
Afternoon tea may be one bride’s perfect bridal shower but making cocktails may suit another. Think about your bride every step of the way!
Once you’ve worked on the guest lists, take on the boring parts like travel, accommodation, and collecting money so she will just have the fun stuff to think about!
Plan some surprises that you think she’ll love, book activities that she may not expect (life drawing, anyone?), and include options for drinking so not everyone feels the pressure to overindulge on alcohol!
A top tip for a full weekend bachelorette party is to plan some relaxed girl time. Sometimes there is nothing better than sitting around in your PJ’s with your best friends talking about life, love, and everything in between!
Give Support During the Final Few Weeks
As the wedding day approaches, make sure you are checking in a little more than usual. This is crunch time and the stress levels are likely to ramp up.
Create to-do lists with her. Try to make sure she is remaining calm. Offer to be her emergency contact for suppliers on the day – so the florist and DJ will call you first if they need to instead of her.
It’s these little things that can really help to take the pressure off!
Top tip: work with her to write a schedule for the wedding day itself. Seeing in black and white exactly how the day is going to go down can be really helpful!
Create a Bride Kit for the Wedding Day!
A good maid of honor should be prepared for any eventuality on the wedding day itself, so get together a ‘Bride Emergency Kit’ to include things you may need to hand on the day.
Think about make-up for top-ups and things like deodorant, mints, paracetamol, tissues, and a couple of safety pins for good measure (yes, I’ve been a bridesmaid and my bride broke the strap of her dress just after the ceremony; a safety pin was essential!!)
You may also want to include a bottle of water, and if you are outside, either sun lotion or an umbrella, depending on the weather forecast!
Prep the Maid of Honor Speech!
Not all maid of honors will be asked to do a speech at the wedding reception but if you are, then make sure you prep this well in advance!
Write your speech from the heart. Be open and gushing about what an amazing person she is. Talk with admiration and respect about their relationship and your hopes for their future.
Of course, you’ll want to make people laugh, so write in a few jokes, but not too many embarrassing stories in front of her family!
Remember Your Duties for the Day Itself
So the big day is here and you are prepped to be the best maid of honor there is, hurrah!
On the wedding morning, be calm and supportive. Make sure that hair and make-up sessions are all tracking on time. If she is nervous before walking down the aisle, take some deep breathes with her beforehand and tell her she is going to be brilliant.
Throughout the day you should try to check in with her often, even if she may not realize you are doing it.
If she has confetti in her hair or lipstick on her teeth it’s your job to notice and fix it! Top up her makeup if she needs it. Make sure her veil is perfect in the photos. It’s these tiny jobs that she will remember and be thankful for!
Of course, you will ROCK your wedding speech – let’s hope she’ll shed a happy tear so don’t forget to have those Kleenex on hand.
Make sure she doesn’t get too drunk too early, remember to give her glasses of water, and encourage her to step back, look around, and enjoy this special day she has created.
And of course, if that dance floor is looking empty it is your duty to be on it – bringing the energy and fun to the party, and encouraging others to join you!
And most importantly, make sure YOU enjoy the wedding day. After all the help and guidance you have given her, you deserve to let your hair down and have a great time too!
Just don’t forget to be peeking over your shoulder to check she is smiling/ dancing/ gazing into her groom’s eyes before that next drink!