Whether she's the maid of honor or not, the bride's sister usually ends up being one of the most helpful people on the wedding day. Not only can she be the peacekeeper and the timekeeper in the bridal suite, but the bride's sister can also provide much-needed moral support and serve as the go-to person for everyone from family and friends to big-day vendors. In order to fully embrace your duties as the sister of the bride, here's what you can do to be especially helpful.
Start the day by her side.
It sounds simple enough, but having the support of her sister from the moment she wakes up will mean a lot to the bride. Spend some time alone with your sister before the craziness of the day really begins, maybe over or coffee or breakfast. Check in to make sure that she knows she can count on you to be the calming force and smiling face she needs when things get hectic.
Be ready to step in.
There are a number of little things and that can add stress to the bride's big-day experience. Be smart about when to step in, as it's not necessary to get involved in every little bit of drama. Some brides and their sisters even have a secret code that they use on the big day should the bride need to escape from a conversation or step out of the room for some alone time. Come up with a way to communicate from across the room in case she needs your help throughout the day.
Serve as the point person.
Even if your sister has a wedding planner, she'll need someone to field calls and questions from family members, like your parents and cousins, the groom and groomsmen, and any vendors. Step in and take these calls, texts, and visits when you can, and be ready to (kindly) kick anyone out of the bridal suite who doesn't belong—well-meaning aunts and college friends may actually leave the bride feeling more stressed out than relaxed.
You don't want the bride or any of her bridesmaids to head into the ceremony hungry, so plan to have snacks and drinks on hand throughout the morning. A light, healthy lunch is always appreciated, and your sister will be grateful if you organize bites for the entire group.
Call ahead for housekeeping and turndown service.
If you're getting ready at a hotel, specifically in the bridal suite, be sure to call housekeeping to have the room cleaned and turned down before the bride and groom return at the end of the night. Hotel rooms get really messy with all those women getting ready, and the newlyweds will be grateful to return to a clean suite later in the night. If the bridal party is getting ready at a home, be sure you're ready a little earlier than everyone else so you can do a quick clean-up before departing for the ceremony.
Watch the clock.
Someone needs to keep an eye on the time, and even if there's a wedding planner or venue coordinator in the mix, a punctual sister helps ensure everything goes off without a hitch. Remember that your sister has put in a lot of work to create a timeline for getting ready and for the wedding itself, and helping her stick to it is one of the best things you can do. You shouldn't have to worry about being the timekeeper once the ceremony starts, but do your best to keep everyone on schedule earlier in the day.
Hold on to her things.
You don't have to hold onto everything for her, but stash her cell phone, lipstick, and any emergency must-haves, like bandages and pain relievers, in your purse so she can access them easily. You can keep a larger emergency kit in the bridal suite or with the wedding planner.