Be a great M.O.H even if you live in different cities.
Like most people I am and stay really busy, between my full time job, blogging, freelancing, family and friends, I am often overwhelmed. No matter how long my to-do list I couldn’t turn down the chance to be the maid of honor for my longtime bestie Karen. Aside from my long to-do list, being a good maid of honor proved to be even more stressful since Karen and I live about 4 hours away from each other. But being the maid of honor doesn’t have to mean months of stress for you. Your duties can be broken down into 7 different tasks.
If you’re her maid of honor you know probably know the bride better than most, so you know when she asks your opinion if she really wants it or just wants you to support the choice she’s already made. Give helpful opinions when asked. Help her see the logical side of decisions or just let her rant to you when she gets overwhelmed. Once she has officially made her choices just support it, it’s her day. You may think yellow and red is a horrible idea but it’s her wedding so you will be rocking the yellow dress with the red shoes on her day.
Plan the shower.
You get a little bit of help on this. Because once the bride has registered you just have to get a list, send out invitations and a pick a location. Ask your bride early out for the list of people she’d like to invite and their addresses. Also, the mothers of the bride and groom will often want to be involved or offer their home to host the celebration.
A big part of the hosting the shower is keeping a record of gifts. You are going to be her right-hand for every major event so make sure you have a designated notebook to keep track of gifts, she will be needing that for thank you cards.
Go shopping with the bride
If you aren’t in the same city or state and don’t have time or cash to make a Maid of Honor trip to see her before the wedding, then make sure she knows it is perfectly okay to blow your cellphone up with pictures and Snapchats of things she is considering and thinking of, so she has your support and opinion, which obviously she trusts. Karen and I sent links back and forth in email of possible bridesmaid dresses before she picked a beautiful one.
Prepare a speech. This may be the task a lot of maid of honors have the most trouble with (Remember Rachael McAdams M.O.H. speech in Wedding Crashers? You can relieve the awkwardness here ).
This doesn’t have to be some Oscar worthy, nerve-wracking speech. You probably aren’t a professional speaker or comedian so don’t try to be. Speak from the heart and watch the clock.
Remember this is not the time to bring up old memories about the bride’s wild past or go on and on about every awesome moment you’ve had together. It’s your chance to talk about how much you love your bestie and how happy you are for her and her new spouse.
Good pattern to follow: Introduce yourself and how you know the bride, then talk about your wishes and hopes for the newlyweds, then end by wishing them well. While it is tradition, this day is not about you so if your speech isn’t earth shattering or tear generating people won’t probably give it a second thought…unless you try too hard to be funny or mushy.
Be the team captain of the bridesmaids
If you’ve read my post “Wedding Day Emergency Kit” then you know that I am a strong believer that it’s the maid of honor’s job to keep the other bridesmaids in the know and on point (if you haven’t read it, you totally should because it comes with a free checklist!). This means making sure they know all the important dates and times for the different wedding events. Making sure they order their dresses on time. And really just trying to take as much pressure off the bride as possible by being the middle man instead of having to make her communicate with all 8 of you on top of all the other stuff she has going on.
A good way to manage this (especially if you don’t know them all or live in different cities) is the start a private Facebook group. Nothing will drive a group of bridesmaid’s more insane than getting mass text messages with responses every 2 minutes. You may think it’s super easy to send a group text saying, “Hey everyone the dress is on sale till the 15th” but what isn’t convenient is when each bridesmaid feels the need to send an emoji showing excitement or asking off topic questions to the entire group when they really only need to talk to one person or sending multiple comments that end up feeling annoying and spammy.
Yes, you have to plan another party. Consider everyone’s schedule and budget here. Sometimes the bachelorette party will have to be 2 events. If your bride has her heart set on an out of town trip or cruise not everyone will be able to afford that, as well as if she has friends not in the wedding they may not want to make the trip out of town, so if that is the case plan a night out with her friends at a local bar, perhaps the night before the away trip or plan a day activity that isn’t so crazy like a brunch or mani and Pedi spa day.
Important note: Regardless of what years of television sitcoms have shown us, you should never have the bachelorette party the night before the wedding, ESPECIALLY if there is drinking involved.
You want the bride to be well rested and excited on her big day not hungover and exhausted.
Be prepared for anything:
Even the best laid plans often go awry… it’s your job to make sure that if anything goes wrong that it doesn’t get any worse.
Bad breath, a stain on a bridesmaid dress before the ceremony, a bride having an outdoor ceremony with allergies….. whatever it may be sure you are ready for it.