While the internet is full of to-do lists for a maid of honor, we’ll be the first to admit: this isn’t a one-size fits all job. Every relationship is different, and it’s never safe to make assumptions about what the bride expects from you in the lead up to the wedding.
After celebrating the engagement and going through the initial emotions of being asked to be the maid of honor, have a conversation with the bride about what that role means to her. It’s always a good idea to get an idea of expectations, so you can come through for her in the best way possible.
With that in mind, we’ve got a few pointers to help you shine as maid of honor.
Support the bride!
Your role as the maid of honor can easily be summed up in one task: support the bride! She’s chosen you as her right-hand woman for this season of her life. To-do lists and party planning aside, just think of this role as a time to kick your friendship game up a notch. Be excited for her! Bring the bubbly over to celebrate, ask questions about the wedding and how she’s doing, and show you're on her team.
It might get stressful or overwhelming, and being in a bridal party can be really busy. Just remember - this is temporary, but your friendship isn’t. When all the chaos is over, you’ll be able to look back on the memories you made together.
Everyone is different, and while some brides want their maid of honor beside them for every part of wedding planning, others are content to plan with their fiancée. The important thing is to check in often and let her know that you’re there if she needs you.
Be prepared to lend a helping hand the week of the wedding, or at least the day before. Whether you’ve had a large part in the planning or not, people are bound to ask you questions about the wedding, so try to be in the know about as much as possible. The more questions you can answer before they get to the bride means less stress for her.
Communicate and delegate.
Traditionally, the maid of honor is considered the go-to person for coordinating any team efforts of the bridal party. This goes both ways, and you may need to communicate the needs of the bridal party to the bride as well. Yes, you may end up feeling like a mediator at times, but you’ll be helping the experience go smoothly for everyone involved!
If you end up with too much on your plate, don’t forget to delegate tasks to the bridesmaids and groomsmen! Weddings are a team effort, and the rest of the bridal party is there to help.
Get your party on!
The bridal shower and bachelorette party need to be planned, and it’s up to you to get the ball rolling!
When it comes to the bridal shower, there’s a good chance that the mother of the bride or another family member has something in mind. If so, you can offer to help with the shower, and in particular, you can help make sure the shower is what the bride wants. If mom is planning 12 bridal shower games and the bride has dropped a number of hints that she’s really not into that sort of thing… it might be a good idea to try to talk mom down to 2 or 3 activities max! Sometimes plans are a surprise, and your insight into what the bride wants might make you the person who can keep it a good surprise.
Pro tip: On the day of the shower, it’s really helpful if the maid of honor or one of the bridesmaids keeps a list of the gifts received, and who gave each one. It will help the couple with thank you cards later.
When it comes to the bachelorette party, though, there’s a good chance that you’ll be leading the charge! Communicate with the bridesmaids and share the tasks (see above!) and we’re sure you’ll plan a party that the bride-to-be will love!
Prepare a speech.
On this day, you get to gush over your friend. Now’s your chance to speak up about all of the things you love about the bride and why your friendship is so special. Plan ahead to be sure you get to say everything you would like to. If the couple is opting for minimal speeches and you aren’t expected to give one, it’s a good idea to prepare a short toast anyways - it never hurts to have some kind words ready to share in a pinch!
Check in about their relationship!
In all of the wedding planning excitement, it can get easy to get caught up in party plans and pretty details. Don’t forget to check in with the bride about how things are between her and her fiancé! After all, standing up for her is mostly about showing your support for her marriage, and the marriage that follows is a whole lot more important than the wedding day.
On the day of the wedding…
- Act as a go-between for the bride, the groom, and any of the wedding vendors. This may involve confiscating her phone so you can text people directions and answering whatever questions they have
- Keep the grooms ring with you, so it makes it to the ceremony
- Sign the registry during the ceremony
- Keep an eye out for wardrobe malfunctions and makeup smears.
- Before she gets dressed, learn how to bustle the bride’s dress. Trust us… somoneo other than the bride needs to know how to do it!
- Make sure the bride eats and drinks, by bringing her food when she’s too busy to head to the buffet
- Help round people up for photos
- Stay until the end of the night, ready to help out where needed.
- Lead the charge! Where the bride and groom are is where the party is, but also… where the bridal party are is a close second. If the couple is hoping for a killer dance party, be sure to get out there and cut a rug. People will follow your lead!