Not All Superheroes Wear Veils: Being the Maid Of Honor

How to Conquer the World (and the Aisle) as the Bride’s First-in-Command

By: Jessi Minneci

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Your BFF, sister from another mister, bestie is getting hitched! Eeeeek! And even though you may have had your fair share of nights sitting with the bride-to-be, bottle of wine between the two of you, discussing the latest bone-headed thing her now-fiancé has done – all of his imperfections seem to fall to the wayside when she pops the question to you.

“Will you be my maid of honor?!?!”

Double eek! Here’s where the real fun (and work) comes into pay…

Don’t get us wrong, the role of maid of honor is, for lack of better words, honorable – but we didn’t just emphasize “work” up there in parenthesis for no reason. The role of MOH is part right-hand (wo)man, part emotional support system, part employee of the bride, and so on. In fact, just being there for the bride is one of your most important duties, so let’s begin our MOH checklist right there:

Lend an Ear… and a Shoulder… and a Hand…

When it comes to the extent of your duties, it’s a toss-up: some brides will ask a lot of their MOH and others will be more hands off. Throughout the wedding planning process, the MOH may be responsible for everything from deciding on the bridal color scheme to taste-testing cake flavors. Another bride, however, may want to handle the bulk of pre-wedding responsibilities themselves—or may even hire a wedding planner who will take care of most of it for them. 

Despite your bride’s preferences, the main responsibility here is to be there for the bride. 

Be there to assist with any and all wedding tasks

o   Addressing invitations

o   Creating place cards

o   Securing a DJ/band

o   (You get the gist!)  

Be there to listen to ideas

o   What about an ice cream bar instead of a traditional cake?

o   What if I count my shoes as my something blue? 

Be there to provide your own suggestions

o   We totally suggest adding in your own thoughts and opinions, but remember: Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it in a mean way!

It’s pretty simple, and, since you’ve likely landed the role of MOH for being there for the bride in the first place, you’re probably already a pro and your overarching responsibility. 

Be a Style Maven 

She is poised. She is wonderful. She is MOH! And she must assist the bride in choosing the wedding gown and the bridesmaid dresses

While the bride may not invite her whole bridal crew along for dress fittings, she will most likely extend the invite to her MOH. Dress shopping is one of our favorites – So. Much. Fun!

More likely than not, the bride is going to have a lot on her plate – and it will become the MOH’s responsibility to ensure all of the ‘maids order their dresses and accessories soon after that dress selection is made. Create a group chat with the bridal party to help keep tabs on each other and ensure that everyone is fulfilling their requirements with enough time left for possible alterations and such. Other duties may include confirming hair and makeup appointments ahead of the big day.

OH, and do keep in mind – the maid of honor is to pay for her entire wedding outfit – from the dress to the jewels and the heels. Be sureto calculate that into your budget ahead of time!

Now let’s talk about the real fun…

Bridal Shower (and Bachelorette Party), Here We Come!

First thing’s first: the bridal shower is one of the most important duties of the MOH. Start planning as soon as possible, honestly, and create a checklist of what needs to be done before the fact:

  • Picking a venue
  • Choosing décor 
  •  Sending invites
  • Creating and ordering a delicious menu
  • Brainstorming activities for the shower

This is where the MOH can turn to the rest of the bridal party for some support! When in doubt – delegate it out. 

Likewise, the MOH and rest of the bridal party will also be putting together a bachelorette party. And whether you’re planning a destination party or something closer to home, keep the bride’s personality in mind. Just don’t forget the champagne! And some type of embarrassing but super-fun, LOL game. 

When it comes to pre-wedding parties and festivities, plan to be at each one, and with the vendor’s contact information at hand. Keep in mind, the bride’s goal should be to relax—not stress over last-minute details! The MOH should help communicate with vendors, catering companies, hired entertainment, etc. when need be.

Be the Bride’s Saving Grace

 Reality check: there are tons of mini-emergencies that can occur before the wedding, during the ceremony, throughout the reception, and any time in between. It’s ultra-important to be prepared ahead of time; for everyone’s sake! 

The MOH should be ready with a wedding-day emergency kit filled with items that may come in handy. Consider stocking up on:

  • Breath mints
  • Bobby pins
  • Safety pins
  • Lip stick / gloss
  • Aspirin
  • Tampons
  • Anti-shine wipes
  • Fashion tape
  • Face powder 
  • Band-Aids

Aside from the material items, the MOH should keep everyone in check on the wedding day, making sure that clear timelines are set for everyone in the bridal party and that each person is where they need to be and runs as smoothly as possible.

Deliver an Award-Worthy Speech

Once the hustle and bustle of the wedding ceremony is over, it’s time to relax a bit during the reception! Delivering a maid of honor speech is optional, but definitely a classy touch!

The maid of honor would usually give a speech after the best man. It’s even ok if the speech is relatively short… as long as the message delivered is one that comes from the heart <3. Try touching on your love for the bride, your respect of the new couple’s relationship, and some aww-worthy memories you’ve shared together. 

It’s true – not all super heroes wear veils. Or capes, for that matter. Sometimes, the biggest and most helpful members of the crew wear bridesmaid’s dresses.

Just remember to enjoy the ride and honor of being someone’s maid of honor. Take deep breaths, think things through, have an immense amount of fun, eat the wedding cake you helped pick out… and pack a few extra aspirin in that bridal emergency kit for yourself!

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