Being asked to serve as someone’s maid of honor is truly… an honor! Standing as a witness, and a supporter as two lives are joined means you are to becoming a permanent party of an event, and a memory, that will last forever. Being a maid of honor is also a huge responsibility. The bride will be relying on you for support and assistance not only with day-of tasks like train maintenance and photo taking, but coordinating events and details during the months that lead-up to the event.
If you’ve had the honor of being asked to serve as the M.O.H., we’ve got five tips to help you nail it!
1. Set Expectations.
After you’ve celebrated accepting the M.O.H. role, have a conversation with the bride early-on regarding her expectations. Does she want you to plan a shower, or is a family member or her future mother-in-law going to plan the shower? Does she want to have a bachelorette party? If yes, does she want to have a girl’s night out? Or a day at the spa? By having an understanding of where the bride needs your help, you’ll both be less likely to feel the strain of misaligned expectations.
2. Get to Know the Bridesmaids.
You may be able to skip this step if your bridal party is comprised of family or friends who all already know each other. If your bride has assembled besties from across the phases of her life, however, (like her sister, her elementary school best friend, her college roommate, and her close coworker), your job is to serve as the team quarterback. A woman’s bridesmaids need to act like a team and be able to enjoy one another’s company and collaborate to complete wedding tasks. Bridesmaids who feel like they are unfamiliar strangers won’t fully enjoy the time they spend together, and the disappointed bride, will feel it.
3. Plan to write a kick-*** toast.
More often, we are seeing not only best men giving wedding day toasts, but maids of honor too. Remember that the best toasts are not about you, and your relationship and history with the bridge. While your feelings about the bride are important, and will have a place in your toast, keep embarrassing stories about that time in Cabo out of your speech. Instead, focus on your thoughts about the couple. That’s what everyone—including the bride and groom—want to hear. Talk about how you knew the bride and groom were made for one another, or the first time you were introduced to the groom, or three characteristics you see in their relationship that you believe will translate to a long and happy marriage.
4. Familiarize Yourself with the Traditional M.O.G. Role
When it comes to weddings, there are still traditions that prevail and customs that must be followed. Again, be sure to talk to your bride so you know what she expects of you, but be prepared to complete the following traditional maid of honor responsibilities:
- Help the bride shop for her gown and bridesmaid dresses.
- Host or cohost a bridal shower.
- Plan the bachelorette party.
- Attend all pre-wedding parties, including the rehearsal dinner.
- Keep a record of all the gifts received, and who gifted them, so that thank you notes can be sent later.
- Manage the bride’s train during the ceremony, during the reception, and take charge of her gown after the ceremony.
- Hold the groom’s ring during the ceremony.
- Hold the bride’s bouquet during the exchange of vows.
- Sign the marriage license as a witness, along with the best man.
- Stand in the receiving line, if the couple has one.
- Mingle with guests as a representative of the couple.
- Collect and store any gift envelopes brought to the reception by guests.
- Make sure the bride eats during the reception. Don’t let her mingle her way through dinner without a bite of the food she painstakingly selected!
- Dance with the best man during the formal bridal party first dance.
5. Be the Rock.
Most importantly, be prepared to be the bride’s rock from engagement to sparkler sendoff. You may very well be the single factor standing between your best girl, and a serious wedding-stress meltdown. Be prepared to listen to her concerns, stressors, and family drama. Remember, vanilla or chocolate cake may seem like a small detail to you, but when you’re getting married, every choice feels weighty. Be her sounding board, give her honest feedback, and constantly remind her that the most important thing is that she’s marrying the man of her dreams.