“I do!” you exclaim. Your bestie just asked if you’d be her maid of honor, and you’re thrilled; can’t wait.
It takes a second for the excitement to wear off before you realize, there’s a lot to do.
A second after that you wonder, what exactly do you have to do?
Being a maid of honor is not for the faint of heart. You need the leadership of head cheerleader, organization skills of Marie Kondo, the thoughtfulness of a therapist, and the delicacy of a crisis negotiation team. Oh, and if you’re good at putting out fires, that helps too.
But we know you’re up for it, she picked you for a reason. We’ve created this guide to help you give her the best sendoff into marriage possible. It may feel like it’s all about her, but we’re here to support you!
1. Leader of the Babes
You’re in charge of the other bridesmaids. If leadership is something you’re uncomfortable with or have never experienced before, take heart.
Your job is to help keep the bridesmaids informed. If you and the bride make a decision about something, it’s likely your duty to inform the rest of the posse.
You’ll coordinate the bachelorette party and bridal shower with them.
You’ll delegate tasks, and work with them to make it the most wild, memorable and fun night out. Or, opt for something more mellow, but equally entertaining.
Focus on communication. If things go awry, it’s your job to remind the team of the bigger picture.
If your bestie also has a matron of honor, the responsibilities are shared between you and her, hallelujah! You have someone to relieve you of some of the tasks. Check out this Bella Bridesmaids article on matron of honor duties, and how you can work together to ensure the best day ever.
2. Dress Shopping
You get to help her find the dress! Make a day of it, perhaps squeezing in a pedicure or a massage (she’ll love that, after moving about trying on so many options).
As she tries on different dresses, be honest and kind. If she’s open to suggestions, pull a couple you think would look stunning on her.
You also have a say in the bridesmaid dress choices – which is great, because that’s what you’ll be wearing.
3. Bachelorette Party & Bridal Shower
You know her, know her sense of humor. You know her level of comfort – and may want to push it a wee bit – at least during the bachelorette party.
Here’s an article from Modern MOH full of bachelorette party ideas. There is no “right way” to celebrate either of these, and the main difference between the two is, one of them your grandmother would love.
Of course, all of the planning and responsibility doesn’t fall solely on your shoulders. You’ve got the rest of the bridesmaids to help.
Discuss the plan and budget with them. Make sure the budget is something everyone agrees on, and can pitch in to help pay for.
4. Voice of Reason
Wedding planning can be stressful, even in the best of times. Do your best to be there if needed. Be a voice of calm and reason. If something falls through, be there to help find a solution.
If the bride starts to spiral, help bring her back to earth. Remind her she’s marrying her freaking best friend (besides you of course!) and that’s perfect, so nothing else has to be.
On the day of, you may feel like somewhat of a circus ringmaster.
Your job is to help make sure everything goes smoothly. If there’s a problem, do your best to not burden the bride. Figure it out, and she’ll probably never notice.
6. Holder of Hands & Things
Slipping into the wedding dress after hair is perfectly curled and makeup applied is emotional. The bride may be overwhelmed, and her mom may cry. Be there for her. Hold her hand, and other hands in need of holding.
It’s a lot. One moment you’re scrambling to fix (hide) a rip in a dress, and the next moment all that’s required is your presence.
Other things you’ll likely hold are her bouquet, as she steps up to the altar. During the reception you may hold her flute of champagne. And if her dress has a long train, you may have to hold it in those moments where she manages to escape into the restroom.
As you can see, the duties of a maid of honor encompass a wide variety of specialized skills. Don’t be intimidated, and remember to enjoy it. Happy moods are contagious, and this is a celebration after all.
Have fun, you got this!