HELP! I'm the Maid of Honor and Have No Clue What To Do!

HELP! I’m the Maid of Honor and Have No Clue What To Do!

In a recent post on Reddit, a poster was concerned with her Maid of Honor Duties and what she should do.  Here is the original post and we will tackle the subject below.

I was asked to be maid of honor at my best friends wedding next year and I’m so honored she chose me but I’ve never done anything like this before!
I’ve never been to a “real” wedding before or seen one planned. To add to that she’s on the west coast and I’m on the east in an accelerated nursing program so that means I can maybe fly out a couple days before the wedding weekend.
I do not want to let her down and I want to do everything in my power to make her wedding the most magical, amazing day I can for her but I need help!
Any advice from brides on what made your day magical that your maid of honor did for you, any tips from other maid of honors on how to plan and coordinate all your duties (also what the hell are your duties), any good resources or books I should get to help me figure this out, any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

Being a Bridesmaid and Maid of Honor has some responsibilities.  It is an honor to be asked to fulfill this coveted role.  While the majority of the responsibilities depend on the specific bride and wedding, here are some things to consider.

  1. Plan and attend the bachelorette party. Generally speaking, the bride does not pay for any part of the party. Ask the other Bridesmaids about their budget restrictions and work within those parameters.
  2. Give a speech/toast at the reception
  3. Have the correct dress, shoes, accessories, etc. for the wedding day. Make sure you fully understand what the bride expects you to have, communicate with the bride about your budget, and know which expenses you are responsible for. If the dress has to be ordered by a certain date, make sure it is ordered.
  4. Ask for a general schedule. Does the bride want you to fly in a couple days early to attend the rehearsal dinner or help her with last minute details? This will also give you time to budget for your lodging and travel expenses.
  5. Be a loving and supportive friend to the bride! Remember that this day is about HER, and it’s your responsibility to help her enjoy the day!
  6. This definitely isn’t a “requirement,” but SOME couples depend upon their wedding party to handle a lot of the set up and take down for the event. Figure out what her expectations are in advance.

Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable day for the bride.

  1. Get contact information for all the other Bridesmaids and make contact as soon as you can. A successful bachelorette party should be planned several months in advance if you want to ensure that all of her closest friends can make it.
  2. Talk to the bride in advance about what potential issues/questions she wants to deal with personally and which ones she would be willing to let someone else take care of on the day of the wedding. Be the gatekeeper and delegate the things she told you she didn’t want to handle.
  3. If your travel allows, pack a bag full of essential and emergency items. Items to consider including are extra makeup, nail polish and other nail tools, ibuprofen and Pepto Bismol, scissors, safety pins, needle and thread, granola bars, baby wipes, several hair accessories, etc.
  4. Make sure the bride eats and drinks water throughout the day! Keep some snacks that are easy to eat without making a mess on hand (ex. almonds, cheese cubes, grapes).
  5. Put your phone away (except for pictures!) and be present!
  6. Be at the Bride’s side all day.  You will likely have to help her into her gown and may need to assist if she needs to use the restroom after she has gotten into her gown.
  7. If the Bride has a train or a floor length veil, you will need to adjust these after she walks down the aisle.  
  8. You will also need to keep an eye on the time when she is getting ready to ensure she makes it to the ceremony on time.
  9. It will likely be helpful if you communicate with the Wedding Planner to see if there is anything additional you can help with.  Some Brides may even prefer for you to be the primary contact in the few weeks leading up to the wedding to help alleviate her stress.  If this should be the case, make sure you have communicated with the Bride so you can accurately convey her wishes.

As we stated, the range of responsibilities are really up to the Bride and her expectations.  The most important thing is to ensure you have communicated with the Bride effectively to ensure you meet those expectations.

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