Whether it’s a relative or a close friend, someone you love getting married is an exciting time for everyone. And if you’ve been asked to be the bride’s maid of honor, you get to share even more of this special occasion with her as well as help her out with the whole event. It can be a lot of responsibility but also very rewarding.
If you’ve been asked to be a maid of honor, the duties that now fall to you may seem a bit overwhelming. The maid of honor is a very important part of the bridal party and helps keep everything running smoothly. So try not to worry about the pressure and remember that this is about helping and supporting the bride and making sure her wedding day is a happy one.
In The Beginning
As the maid of honor, it’s your job to support and help the bride in any way, and that isn’t just for the wedding or bachelorette party. Be there for her every step of the way to help her through this exciting but very anxious time in her life.
From the very beginning, you should show your full and enthusiastic support to the bride. The wedding may be the main event, but there are many other traditions and customs surrounding a new marriage that we celebrate. One of these traditions is the initial engagement. After your bride announces that she’s engaged, say “congratulations on your engagement” with a small party or a gift. Give her time and opportunities to celebrate her engagement before the planning needs to start.
After the initial excitement, have a discussion with the bride about her expectations. Know ahead of time what she’d like you to be responsible for as the maid of honor and be honest about your ability to deliver. Also, ask about her plans and expectations for the actual wedding so you have a good idea of what the planning stage might entail. Help her come up with a plan and basic schedule for making arrangements.
You should also take the time to get to know your fellow bridesmaids if you’re not very familiar with them already. They may not share the responsibilities you have, but you’ll still be doing a lot with them and they’ll still be helping out a bit. You can enlist their help in planning and executing the bachelorette party and get their input so you can make sure it’s a fun night for everyone.
A Helping Hand
Bachelorette parties and dress shopping are important responsibilities for a maid of honor, but the most important duty is minimizing stress for the bride and ensuring that the preparation for her special day goes as smoothly as possible. There’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding and for many people that means a tremendous amount of anxiety. Help out here and there so the bride’s mental health doesn’t suffer leading up to what should be a happy occasion.
Offer the bride help in making any arrangements. You can make calls to different vendors on her behalf or offer your opinion when she’s trying to make hard decisions. Also, consider suggesting some DIY decorations for the reception. There are so many projects you can do to make beautiful centerpieces, name cards, or even bouquets and boutonnieres with artificial or wooden flowers. This can not only help with the cost of everything but can also be a fun activity for the bridal party to do together.
Always be supportive of your bride’s decisions. Even if something doesn’t match your own personal taste, don’t dissuade her from choosing something she genuinely likes. This is her wedding and she has a specific vision of it, so make sure she gets her way (within reason, of course.) This is especially important when it comes to choosing a wedding dress. Everyone will have their own opinions regarding the dress, but the most important thing is that it makes the bride feel confident and beautiful. A bridesmaid or even the mother of the bride might have negative comments to say if they disagree with the choice, so to alleviate the bride’s stress try to defuse the situation calmly and politely while reassuring her of her decision. Always have the bride’s back, whether arguing with a relative or negotiating with vendors.
The Big Day
Your main duties on the day of the wedding are to make sure the bride looks fabulous, keep the bridal party on track, and above all keep her calm and ensure this is a happy day for her. A woman’s wedding shouldn’t be panicked chaos for her. She should look back on this day as one of the happiest of her life, and you can help make that happen.
The bride’s focus should be on the groom and their happy day, not running around checking on florists and caterers. While you should stick with the bride most of the time, you can also take it upon yourself to check on things to make sure everything is going according to plan. Speak to any staff at the wedding venue to ask for updates or give them some direction.
Of course, it’s extremely unlikely that everything will be perfect with no issues whatsoever. Again, try to check in on the bride’s behalf and if there are any problems to figure out, try to find a solution quickly or designate someone else in the bridal party or a family member who is available. If a problem arises that can be easily solved, the bride might not even need to know about it. Keep an eye on the guests as well. Weddings can sometimes bring out family drama that needs to be de-escalated so it doesn’t distract from the occasion.
Finally, while you may have a lot of responsibilities to balance, make sure you’re able to enjoy the day as well. Your loved one is getting married and chose to share this momentous occasion with you so it’s important for you to not be overcome with stress either. Try to stay calm and keep a level head so you don’t get too overwhelmed. And once the reception begins you can let loose and have fun dancing with the bride, family, and friends.
Weddings can be stressful, but they shouldn’t be so overwhelming they can’t be enjoyed as well. Be sure to take time to focus on the bride and ensure her special day is as happy and enjoyable as possible.
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