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She asked you to be her Maid of Honor! Now what?

She asked you to be her Maid of Honor! Now what?

How to be the best Maid of Honor for her wedding day

You are going to be busy. And responsible for lots of details. Just remember she’s a great friend and you’ll love her even more after the wedding is over, when you’re relaxing with one last glass of champagne.

 We’re not trying to say that the job of Maid of Honor is not fun. It is! But planning events is stressful, so the more you prepare yourself, the more you will be able to stay calm – and keep her calm, too.

You can find plenty of lists about the Maid of Honor’s job online. Here is a good one. But first, let’s go through the most important duties every Maid of Honor has to handle to ensure the wedding is all the bride hopes for.

Be there for the bride

You are her sounding board and your job is to listen. When the bride is being a little unreasonable (hey, it happens) it’s your job to commiserate, hold her hand, and then to make her smile by showing her some cat videos. Don’t disagree with her and, when she’s going off on her mother-in-law, try not to agree too often, either. She just needs someone to talk to, and you’re it.

You are the boss of the bridesmaids

Be a good boss. Reach out to them and arrange a pre-wedding gathering, if possible, so they can get to know each other. Make it clear that you are taking over the task of coordinating their activities – with a little nudging at times. All to make an important day for your mutual friend not just nice but fantastic.

Maybe this should be first on your list

Start with celebrating her engagement, perhaps over a glass of wine, and then create a timeline for the wedding day and work backwards so you can set reasonable deadlines. Go over the bride’s list of all your potential duties, write them down, and start setting dates. Then share the calendar with everyone else, (bridesmaids, parents, wedding planner) so they aren’t surprised when you contact them to make sure they are doing what they said they would do.

No matter how well you plan, something will get weird

We recently participated in a wedding party that featured several bridesmaids. A couple of months before the wedding, one of the bridesmaids let it be known that she was backing out; she had earned an important internship she couldn’t leave. Then, the day before the wedding, she arrived in town and was in again! And she was a sister-in-law of the bride. The Maid of Honor took on most of that mess (although there was plenty to go around for the bride, both mothers, and curious bystanders).

You have two specific jobs.

You will arrange the bachelorette party and give the Maid of Honor speech at the wedding ceremony. Hey, everyone likes a good time, but if something is going to make the bride uncomfortable, stray away. And – weeks before the wedding – start writing your speech. Then spend time editing and practicing so you have it nailed for the ceremony. It’s OK to bring notes with you, but it all sounds more heartfelt if you can do it from memory.

You don’t have to make all the decisions

The bride gets final say and the bridesmaids can and should help, especially because they incur plenty of expenses for the parties, gifts, gowns and travel. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the costs. 

Remember, from time to time, to have fun. Your friend asked you to share this day, and you were there for her. You will remember this experience forever.

One last tip: Someone will ask you for a last-minute gift idea. Consider this set of two champagne glasses with gold crystal-filled stems. And when the bride dives deep into the inevitable funk, we’ve got a gift for that, too.