If your best friend, the person who you have called your soulmate since nursery, is finally getting hitched, and you have been asked to be maid of honour, you are probably terrified and excited in equal measure. There’s nothing more thrilling than helping your pal move into the next chapter of her life, being an integral part of her big day, and helping her enjoy the best day of her life with as little stress as possible. But, you might also be wondering what a maid of honour actually does. You want to do an incredible job, but you don’t want to step on any toes.
The majority of the wedding planning has to fall with the happy couple. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be getting involved when asked. Being a maid of honour is more than being chief bridesmaid. You need to be a support, a guide, a help and a shoulder to cry on, vent to and laugh with. Take a look at this essential guide to being the perfect maid of honour.
One of the major aspects of being a maid of honour is ensuring that you remain a voice of reason. You need to be measured, sensible and offer an honest critique on every aspect of the wedding. Remember, this is not your big day, so don’t try and sway the forthcoming bride with your ideas, but you do need to let her know your opinion when she presents you with the potential wedding breakfast menu, the seating plan or the photographer shortlist.
When you head dress shopping with the bride, you will probably be in a group of giggly girls ready for a good time. The bride’s mum may be with you, and everyone is probably ridiculously excited at the prospect of choosing the attire that your friend will be wearing as she walks down the aisle. Make sure that you are honest but not brutal. If a dress isn’t particularly flattering, don’t be blunt. Instead suggest another dress that fulfils her criteria but doesn’t have such a drastic plunging neckline.
Try and organise the bridesmaids and people with the bride when dress shopping, keep the champagne flowing and organise a pleasant lunch for afterwards. You will quickly realise that organisational skills are imperative for a maid of honour.
Another way to flex your organisational muscles is to get involved with the timeline for planning. Offer your time to help when selecting the photographer, the wedding cake or the venue. For some of these, the couple may want to go it alone, and that’s ok, but just being present will be comforting for the bride.
Always remind the bride of impending forthcoming deadlines. Help her select wedding invitations from Pure Invitation, whether she wants to go formal or retro or art deco or floral. You may be one of the contacts on the RSVP so ensure that you keep tabs on the guest list and keep the bride informed of this.
The Hen Do
Hen dos are much more sophisticated than they were a decade ago. While it was once a night on the town, hitting the clubs with L plates and a tutu, hen dos are now weekend long affairs that often involve overseas travel and much more expense. As maid of honour, you need to be in charge of organising this hen do.
Ask the bride what sort of hen weekend she would like. Just because you fancy hiring a stripper and watching her squirm a little bit, this could ruin her evening and she may hate it. Put yourself in your friend’s shoes and organise something to suit her wants and needs, not your own. You could spend the weekend holed up together in a country house partaking in some clay pigeon shooting, a cookery course, some rally driving and enjoying a meal out or two. Alternatively, your friend might want to go all out and have a full blown girlie weekend in Las Vegas. Just make sure that those friends who don’t have deep pockets never feel isolated or left out when it comes to hen party arrangements.
Help The Bride Get Ready
On the actual wedding day, you will be up at the crack of dawn with the bride, helping to calm her nerves, being the voice of reason if doubts begin to creep in, and helping her to get ready with her hair, makeup and dress. Be sure she has a good breakfast so she won’t feel faint with the alcohol flowing. Make sure you take delivery of the flowers, you sort the final tweaks of her bouquet, and you ensure that all of the bridesmaids are present and correct. Don’t forget to make sure the bride’s mum always has a drink in her hand and has plenty of quality time with her daughter before she gets hitched.
Your main job on the wedding day itself is to keep the bride calm and shield her from any last minute hitches. She will be nervous enough without anything to add to her stress. As the perfect maid of honour you need to be in charge of the organisation of the day, and be the point of contact for any issues that may arise.
Make sure you don’t forget your speech. This is your chance to tell those guests gathered to help celebrate the nuptials just how happy, proud and delighted you are for the happy couple. Keep it short, funny, a little soppy and sweet. Speak from the heart. No matter how nervous you might be public speaking, you can always have cue cards and your words will be heartfelt, so don’t worry too much. Encourage the audience to raise a glass, show a slideshow of pictures of the happy couple and reminisce. Just ensure that you don’t say anything to embarrass the bride too much!
Follow this essential guide and you stand every chance of being the perfect maid of honour helping your best friend to have her perfect day!
Until next time ♡
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