Being asked to serve as maid of honor in a family member or friend's wedding is a big deal, not only because of how meaningful the role is, but also because it requires a great deal of work. For a first-time maid of honor, it can be an overwhelming prospect. To make the process less stressful, we asked Carla Friday, founder of Details Made Simple, to share must-read tips for every brand-new MOH. Take on your new title with confidence and make your best friend proud.
Be on top of the email chain.
Whether the bridal party is large or small, someone needs to take the reins. The bride herself already has a lot on her plate, so it's important for the maid of honor to handle as much of the group communications as possible. "Being the point person everyone talks to for details on all the wedding festivities is key in helping the bride stay stress-free," says Friday. Additionally, as the leader of the email chain you also become the de-facto buffer between any potentially insulting (intended or not) squabbles and concerns from the rest of the party, keeping the bride out of any drama.
Be ready to plan the bachelorette party.
Planning the bachelorette party is one of the maid of honor's largest undertakings, so starting early and staying organized is crucial. Start by chatting with the bride about her expectations. Does she have a location in mind? A guest list? Does she want to choose the activities or be surprised? Remember that this is about planning something that reflects what the bride wants, not catering entirely to the rest of the group. Once you understand the vibe and size of the bachelorette party, it's time to get to work. If you have a large group, coordinating dates can be nearly impossible. Scheduling sites can be a great resource for getting everyone on the same page, but make your expectations clear from the start: Whether it's "majority rules" or there's only one weekend that works for the bride, the date won't change once it's been selected.
Finally, when it comes to payments, do as much as possible to get things paid for upfront. Whether it's a price-fixe dinners, activities, or money for supplies, collecting ahead of time ensures everyone knows exactly what the fun will cost them. Plus, when the day arrives, everyone can focus on fun instead of funds.
Connect with her mom.
There's another right-hand-woman to keep in mind throughout this process: the bride's mom. Every family has their own traditions and expectations when it comes to who does what for a wedding (is the bridal shower your responsibility, or will her mother plan it?), so don't be afraid to open the lines of communication with the mother of the bride and work as a team to keep the process running smoothly.
Provide emotional support.
While the other jobs are important, your number one priority as maid of honor is to be there for your bride. When it comes to lending a helping hand, Friday suggests offering to do specific things instead of lobbing out generic offers like, "Let me know if you need anything." Whether it's setting up dress fitting appointments, helping stuff invitations, or picking up décor, see what you can to do take one more thing off her to-do list. Just don't be surprised if you find what the bride needs the most is you. "The wedding planning process can be overwhelming and being there for your bestie is an invaluable asset!" Friday insists.