Being chosen as a maid of honour is a special, meaningful privilege. However an hour in to your new title, you may find that the burdens of the job are a little daunting. The stress and worries of the bride-to-be are now as much your problems as they are hers. That’s why we have spoken to those experienced in the business, to find out what you need to do in order to be a medal-worthy Maid of Honour;
Meet the experts
Leah Cagwin is from Southern Bride & Groom. She told us; “This role is a credit to your relationship with the bride, and therefore you should take every step possible to ensure it is the most amazing day of her life.” We then spoke to planner and Chaplain,
Dr Alan Viau, who said; “You are there to lend assistance to the bride so it’s not about you. There is a lot going on and you are key to being the one who can run interference for her.”
Caitlin Kenney, the founder and editor of Ultimate Bridesmaid advised;“No matter what, the Maid of Honour’s number one job is to be there to support the bride.”
Know your duties
The bride-to-be has just popped the question, ‘be my Maid of Honour?!’; what now? The initial engagement and organisation can be daunting for the bride to be. Leah predicts that with the engagement sinking in, you should expect that “she’ll call you in the early hours of the morning freaking out. She’ll question her choices of colours, dress, and hors d’oeuvres”. All you need to do at this stage is keep her as calm as possible, so have your calming method prepared, be it a massage, a cocktail or a detailed list of why her fiancé is the ideal man!
Help with planning
Though it won’t be you making colour-scheme, culinary or centre-piece decisions, you still need to be alert and organised during the wedding planning. The best way you can help here, according to Leah, is to organise the bridesmaids; “The bride has a lot on her plate, and she knows you do, too, but take charge. Once the bride has chosen a style for the bridesmaid gowns, make sure the other bridesmaids don’t wait too long to order their dress, and that they get properly measured”. Caitlin emphasises that to make this duty run smoothly, it’s wise to take numbers of the bridesmaids; “you’ll be ready to track down tardy bridesmaids or call for missing hair spray!”
The Hen Party
Traditionally, the Maid of Honour organised the bachelorette party. If this is the case for you, be sure to listen to what the bride wants. You probably know her better than anybody, so Caitlin advises that you “try to pick a theme that means something and matches her personal style—not every bachelorette party has to channel Girls Gone Wild!”. Have a look at WeddingDate’s posts for Hen Party inspiration.
On the day
Once the day arrives, this is when your role is most important. You need to keep the bride smiling, calm and prepared. The duties on the big day are simple, but vital, so take note!
Caitlin runs us through the ceremony itself; “Once the bride is dressed, you’re also in charge of making sure her look stays perfect throughout the photographs and the ceremony. The MOH carries the bride’s bouquet and the train of her dress and steps in to adjust her hair or a slipping strap during photographs. During the ceremony, make sure her train (if she has one) is nicely arranged behind her, and then hold her bouquet as she says her vows. After the ceremony, the maid of honour and best man traditionally sign the marriage certificate.”
Aside from being the bride’s stylist, makeup artist and general helper, you also need to toast to the newlyweds. This could be a traditional raised glass to a long happy future, or you could take a more creative speech (if you’re lacking inspiration, take a look at this musical number). Though food and wine will be in abundance, it’s also important to make sure the bride gets the chance to enjoy it too! As Dr Viau says “Often with all the excitement, they forget to eat and drink enough fluids.” So be sure to keep her energised!
The bride will feel the most relaxed, when you’re relaxed; so smile and have fun and she will too! Take note of the Maid of Honour Checklist and find further advice from these experts on the House of Fraser Blog.