PHOTOGRAPHY BY: UNIVERSAL PICTURES/COURTESY THE NEAL PETERS COLLECTION
The maid of honor is responsible for a lot of things—from planning a whirlwind bachelorette-party weekend to helping the bride shop for a wedding dress to answering a 2 a.m. phone call because the bride is having night sweats about napkin colors. Translation: The MOH is also the MVP of the wedding and it's a role that is not to be taken lightly. Here is our cheat-sheet to make you a stellar MOH.
Weddings are like elaborate business projects with a lot of team players who report to the CEO … ahem, the bride. You'll have to lend an ear when she needs to vent and also keep track of what's important to her throughout this period. Bonus: learn to read between the lines. Say, she casually mentions her obsession with Nutella and you make Nutella-frosted cupcakes for the bridal shower—major MOH gold star.
2. Be honest (most of the time).
Chances are you earned the MOH status because you're already super close with the bride. She trusts you and your opinions, so no need to lie that you adore the bridesmaid dresses when the style makes you look seven-months pregnant. At the same time, know when to bite your tongue if your opinion isn't going to help anyone.
3. Toast the bride.
Prepare to write a mini speech. The good news: you love the bride, so coming up with a speech about why you're happy for her shouldn't be hard. If public speaking isn't your thing, instead of picturing all the guests naked (or gulping down liquid courage), just focus your attention solely on the couple.
4. Channel your inner party planner.
You'll be at the helm of the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. Between working out all the logistics and scouting Pinterest for ideas, you're going to be quite busy.
5. Coordinate bridesmaid duties.
Prepare to email and text—a lot. The wedding party is a team and you want everyone to help the bride as much as possible. Just remember, you're not here to boss anyone around.
6. Keep emotions in check.
Even if you're level-headed, weddings tend to bring out a lot of emotions that have a tendency to ricochet. If a fellow bridesmaid is constantly "critiquing" your ideas for the bachelorette party, take a deep breath, remind yourself you're an adult and that you don't need to retaliate with an equally sassy comeback. Note: Happy tears are ok.
7. Be resourceful.
This goes beyond having an emergency sewing kit or stain-removing wipes. Before the big day, gather all important contact info—from the florist to the bride's mother in law—that way if something goes awry you can step in to help.
8. Take care of the bride.
Your mission: keep her happy and well-fed. Strawberries in Champagne don't count as a meal. You might have to run out and grab her a smoothie (a genius solution for a hungry bride who already had her makeup done), or perhaps calm her jitters if the officiant is running late.
9. Learn how to navigate that gown.
No one wants to spend an hour trying to figure out the intricate lace corset dress or a tricky bustle. Do a test-run at least the day before.
10. Have fun.
Yes, you're here to help, but you're not the bride's personal assistant. This is a super-special opportunity to have an amazing time strengthening your friendship.