Your best friend is getting married, and she asked you to be her Maid of Honor – Congrats! There is just one problem. You’re not sure what to do now. The basic responsibility of any member of the wedding party is to offer the bride support and assistance throughout her engagement and on her wedding day. But honestly, what does that mean for the Maid of Honor?
Traditionally speaking, Maid of Honor duties include:
Accompanying the bride to shop for her wedding gown and bridesmaid attire
Let guests know where the couple is registered
Coordinate the bridesmaids’ duties
Host the bridal shower and keep records of gifts
Organize the Bachelorette Party
Be the bride’s wing woman (she may need your opinion on the cake, accessories, etc)
Help her to get ready on her wedding day
Hold the bride’s bouquet when rings are exchanged during the ceremony
Prepare and give a toast at the reception
While there are circumstances in which these specifics seem obsolete – heck you may be a Man of Honor or we could be talking about an LGBT wedding – the main principles stay the same. Be your friend’s first line of support, organize the wedding party and help where you can.
Each couples desires from their wedding party are different, so be sure to ask what is expected of you. Are you a savvy scrapbooker? Have time to make calls to vendors? A fashionista? It helps to be as specific as possible when asking if you can help, as usually a general question will be turned down. But if, for example, you have calligraphy skills and offer to address the invitations or write the place cards, the couple will be more likely to welcome your help.
Money can be a factor in one’s ability to manage these duties. I was recently asked by a college friend who is the maid of honor for her best friend’s wedding if she is responsible for covering expenses for both the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Although she would most likely be the lead organizer as the Maid of Honor, I recommended speaking with the bridesmaids to see if they would be willing to split the bachelorette party. Of course, it’s important to come up with a budget that everyone can afford.
Similarly with the bridal shower. However, often times there is a family member that may want to co-host the bridal shower. An aunt or cousin? Again, keep the communication lines open. Ask the bride if any family are interested in co-hosting the shower. They may even want to have it at their home, which will save in venue costs.
Now, what can you do to make your friend’s experience extra special? Use your strengths. Are you crafty? Come up with a theme and decorate the events you’ve planned using your creative skills. Add personal touches. This can be in the decor, such as framed photos of the bride with her friends, family and fiance. Or the entire event could be centered around an activity the bride loves, like riding horses or wine tasting. Put together fun and meaningful party favors. Here are several ideas that make for great party gifts.
Above all else, be there for your friend. The wedding planning process should be fun, but it can feel overwhelming at times. Even the most pulled together brides (and grooms) need the support of their friends.
Have more questions about your responsibilities? Feel free to leave a note in the comments section, and I will reply!
Joie de vivre,