by BVT Live! K Stanford 11/28/18

Diamonds may play a big part in a wedding, but they are not a bride’s only best friend on the big day. Being a maid of honor gives the bride’s best friend the opportunity to play such a huge role on her big day. While it is exciting and a special time for both the bride and her best friend, with this role comes a lot of responsibility.

Your sister, cousin, or best friend just got engaged and now she just “popped the question” to you. She has asked you to be her maid of honor in her wedding. You are so excited and honored but what does this really mean? What responsibilities are you going to have? All you know is that you’re in charge of the rest of the bridesmaids and you have to plan two big things; the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. But besides the obvious, what else will you have to take on?

Take a deep breath. We have it all laid out for you from before the wedding to during the wedding and even to after the wedding. (Yes, even when it is all over you are still going to have a few responsibilities).

Maid of Honor

Before the Wedding

Dress Shopping – Obviously if she asked you to be her maid of honor she considers you her best friend and why wouldn’t she want her best friend there w
hen picking out the dress of her dreams? Not only will you be there for shopping for her dress, you will also be there when shopping for the bridesmaids dresses. Make sure to give your input but don’t push your opinions. Remember that when it comes down to it, it is her day and her final decisions.
The Bridal Shower – Typically the bridal shower is a “known surprise”. The bride usually knows when the party is but she doesn’t know any of the details. Whether she knows about it or it is a complete surprise, make sure she has a white outfit to either wear or change into when she arrives. You might also want to talk to her and her mom about whom to invite. You will need to find a place to have it and decide on food, desserts, activities, and decorations. You might also want to think about what you want yourself and the other bridesmaids to wear. Have fun with it and don’t try to do everything on your own. Ask the other bridesmaids and the mother of the bride help you out.

Maid of Honor

The Bachelorette Party – This is when you take the bride out for the last time as a single woman. Use your imagination and make it memorable. It could be as big as a weekend getaway or as sweet and simple as a one night party. Be creative but make that sure whatever you decide to do, it is something that the bride will enjoy. It’s a cool idea to get decorations or maybe even matching shirts or hats for everyone in attendance. Lots of times the maid of honor comes up with a phrase to put on matching shirts, hats etc. Maybe it could say something like “Bride Squad”, “Bachelorette Bash” (with the date of the bachelorette party), or “Last Fling Before the Ring”.
Booking Hairstylist/Makeup Artist – While the bride may have a certain hairstylist that she prefers; you should take the initiative on booking the hairstylist(s) and makeup artist(s) for the morning of the wedding. Take note of how many girls will need to get their hair and makeup done and how much time you have to get ready. Coordinate this for nice and early on the day of the wedding so nobody feels stressed and crunched for time before the ceremony. For example, if the ceremony is at 5pm, you may want to have hair and makeup scheduled by 10am.

Maid of Honor

Hotel Rooms – Some of the bridesmaids may be from out of town. If this is the case you will need to help them with hotel accommodations. Also, if the bride wants to get ready in a hotel suite, make sure it’s booked for her. Start this process as early as possible so everyone knows how much it will cost and they can plan accordingly.
Gift for the Bride – Talk to the other bridesmaids about what you think you should get the bride as a gift from the group. Sharing her big day with her is a gift in and of itself, so you don’t have to get her anything crazy. Just agree on something meaningful and memorable for her. It can even be all chipping in on something like an excursion or photo-shoot for her and her soon-to-be hubby on their honeymoon.
Rehearsal – This is the kickoff to the wedding weekend. Make sure you have a dress to wear and you are early to the rehearsal. Also make sure the rest of the bridesmaids are aware of when and where the rehearsal will be. Assist as much as possible to make sure everyone is there on time. You don’t want the bride stressing over the whereabouts of her girls when it comes time for rehearsal.
Keeping the Other Girls Focused – Through this whole prepping process, make sure you keep the rest of the bridesmaids focused on the goal – creating a dream wedding for the bride. You don’t need any of the girls complaining to the bride that they don’t want to wear the dress, don’t like the colors etc. Remind them that it is not about them. They are in the wedding to celebrate the bride. If it is what the bride wants, they shouldn’t question it or argue about it.

Day of the Wedding

The Dress and the Veil– Do not let the dress or veil out of your sight. Make sure it gets from where it is to where it needs to be. You don’t want anything to happen to it hours before the wedding. Once the bride is ready, help her get dressed and put the finishing touches on.
Time Check– It is your responsibility to keep all of the ladies where they need to be at the right times. You don’t want anyone running late and holding up the ceremony.
Keep the Bride Calm– This is the biggest day of her life; naturally she is going to be a little nervous. Make sure you help keep her calm and relaxed. Remind her to enjoy every minute of it and not to stress. Comfort her by telling her you have everything taken care of – because you do.
Picture Time– Keep the ladies ready to smile. Pictures will probably be snapped all day and all night long from the ceremony to the reception. Keep the ladies close so you are all ready for the photo op when it’s photo time.
Reception Speech – Now that the reception has started, it is getting closer to your moment in the spotlight; your speech. Make sure your speech is short, sweet, and relevant. Don’t get too drunk, talk too long, or embarrass the bride or groom. You may get nervous when it’s time to deliver your speech so make sure you practice it. When the moment comes, just relax and stay calm and you’ll do great.
Bathroom Help– The bride looks beautiful in her beautiful dress, but now she needs to take a trip to the ladies room. You’ve been by her side through the whole process of the wedding planning and guess what – now you need to be by her side through this too. Help her maneuver around her dress and make sure her makeup and lipstick get touched up without getting it on her dress. This may seem like a small task but it really is a big deal.

After the Wedding

Maid of Honor

Gifts – Once the newlyweds are back from their honeymoon (or maybe even before they go) they are going to want to open their gifts and cards. It is a good idea, if they would like you to be there, to have a notepad and take notes of who got them what. This way they can enjoy opening their gifts together but still have a record of what they got.
Thank You Notes – The couple may want some help writing or sending out thank you notes. This is where the notes you take during their gift-opening are really helpful.

Final Thoughts

After reading this article, you may be thinking, “Wow, what am I getting myself into.” It’s okay. Take a deep breath and relax. You’ll do great. She wouldn’t have asked you to be her maid of honor if she didn’t trust you enough and think you were capable of taking on all of these responsibilities. Through it all, just remember to enjoy yourself as well. Your best friend is getting married, don’t be too busy stressing on her behalf that you miss out on all of the wonderful and beautiful memories that you a part of.

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