By Amanda Orr
Guess what, you’ve just been asked to be the Maid of Honor! Congrats, girlfriend! Now what? You’re probably wondering what a maid or matron of honor (MOH) does, and what are the expectations?
Sure, you’ll have a big job to do, but it’s a great excuse to create one of the most rewarding and fun memories in yours (and the bride’s) lifetime. The bride knows that she can count on you for anything. Yup, sounds like a big responsibility! But don’t despair; below is a checklist of the MOH basics, ready to guide you through this exciting role.
Before the Wedding:
Enjoy being that go-to-person the bride can come to about anything on her mind when it comes to her wedding. You’re that special person she can lean on to share her thoughts, seek advice and vent off wedding stress. And just remember, laughter is the best medicine for stress.
Help the bride research dress styles and go with her for preliminary fittings! Remember, all bridesmaids will purchase their own wedding dresses and shoes.
Communicate with bridesmaids on when to purchase their bridesmaid dresses, fittings, jewelry, shoes, etc. within a certain time frame.
Help find gift registration options, send out invitations, and assist with table seating assignments.
The maid of honor usually hosts, organizes and pays for the bridal shower, and is usually in charge of all bachelorette party festivities. But don’t forget to recruit and include the bridesmaids for planning help!
Gracefully delegating tasks to bridesmaids is a great way to include everyone in on the fun. Don’t try and do it all yourself! Consider having one bridesmaid organize games or activities for the shower. Another bridesmaid can help track gifts that are given to the bride at the shower and during the reception. And another bridesmaid could coordinate with the groomsmen on decorating a surprise getaway car!
Be sure to inform the bridesmaids of when and where to show up for the rehearsal, as well as the following rehearsal dinner event.
Get a copy of the Wedding Day timeline and photography schedule from the bride, and discuss this information with the bridesmaids--make sure they understand the times they need to be available for photos!
Plan ahead with the bridesmaids to know exactly how much time is needed to get their hair and makeup done, how long it takes to drive from one location to another, and what they need to bring with them to help the bride get ready.
Team up with the bride to help her create an emergency kit for the wedding day. This could include a bag full of safety pins, cotton swabs, tissues, lip gloss, touch-up makeup, bandaids, water bottles, flip flops, scissors, bobby pins, lotion, chewing gum, chocolate bars--think about anything that the bride might need in a pinch!
Prepare a toast. And don’t be shy; practice in front of a few folks to get the nerves out. And don’t make the toast too long; a good rule of thumb is to keep the toast between 2 - 5 minutes.
On the Wedding Day
Have a healthy, full breakfast; today is going to be a calorie-burning day!
Keep the bridesmaids alert and on time; be sure they know what the schedule for the day is, and text them the schedule again if needed. (TIP: If you think you have a bridesmaid(s) who is(are) chronically late, tell them to be ready 1 hour before you actually need them to be--this is a great trick to keep them on track.)
Plan some fun moments for the bride while she is getting ready, like a Champagne toast, before she puts her dress on! These moments will keep the wedding day stress-free, and make for great photos!
Help the bride get her dress on. The mother of the bride may be there for most of the preparations--like jewelry--but you may be asked to help with the bride’s veil, lacing the back of the dress, or placing shoes on her feet.
Keep the bride laughing. Today may be full of to-do’s and tasks, but make it fun, carefree and memorable!
When the flowers arrive, be sure to get the bouquets distributed to each bridesmaid and bride before the photography begins!
Recruit bridesmaids to help pin the boutonnières onto the groomsmen--be sure the photographer is available to catch this moment!
Before the ceremony starts, hold the groom’s ring! Keep it in a safe place for easy access!
Help the bride with her gown train and veil before, during and after the ceremony. You may be asked to assist with straightening and arranging the dress during the photos, and you may have to bustle the dress before the reception!
After the bride makes her way down the aisle, she’ll pass her bouquet to you to hold during the ceremony.
You’ll be an official witness by signing the marriage license.
During the reception, you may be asked to dance with the best man. And you may be introduced with him during the grand entrance or introductions!
Last but not least, it’s toast time! Good thing you’ve practiced. It’s now or never. You totally got this!