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As the maid of honor, you're bestowed with many responsibilities. The bride-to-be has entrusted you to help make her wedding day as beautiful as she always dreamed. Here is a time-lined checklist to help you meet all of your MOH obligations.
Go dress-shopping with the bride: The wedding dress may be one of the most important decisions for the bride-to-be. Show your support by accompanying the bride while she shops for and tries on dresses. Offer your trusted opinion on colors and styles, but ultimately be supportive of the dream gown she picks for her big day. Don't forget about accessories. Help the bride select a veil, jewelry, shoes, and other additions to complement her dress. If you have time, it's helpful to accompany the bride to the alterations and fittings.
Book hotels and flights: Once the wedding day and location is finalized, request any necessary time away from work. If the wedding is not nearby, it's best to book any flights and hotel rooms well ahead of time to ensure the best rates and availability. Share the information with bridesmaids and other guests.
Plan the shower: As the maid of honor, it's your responsibility to plan and pay for the wedding shower. Consult with the bride to see where she would like the event to be held. Confirm the guest list and start to prepare invitations. Also, include information as to where the bride and groom are registered in the shower invitation.
Employ some help: You can't do it all yourself! Employ the help of your fellow bridesmaids to ensure the bride's day is picture perfect. First, gather the contact information of each bridesmaid and share the list with the group. Consider the schedule of each bridesmaid when you're assigning tasks.
Coordinate the bridal party: Determine the color and style of dress the bride would like for her wedding party early on to give each bridesmaid time to try on and purchase her dress. Later, coordinate all dress fittings and other tasks designated by the bride.
Offer to help with invitations: Invitations can be a huge task for any bride, particularly if she's occupied with other wedding planning concerns. Offer to help her address and stuff the invitations. Later, you can help the bride contact guests who have not RSVP'd and solidify the guest list.
Host the bachelorette party: Traditionally, the bachelorette party has been held in the week before the wedding day. However, more often, brides are opting to hold the party earlier to alleviate some of the stress leading up to the big day. Communicate with the bride so you know when she is most comfortable having a party or whether she wants to have one at all.
Host the shower: As the gracious host of the bride-to-be's wedding shower, it's your responsibility to make sure all guests feel welcome and comfortable at the event. Greet each guest with a smile and direct the day's events. If the event is hosted at a special location, handle all payment and logistical issues behind the scenes, so the bride can focus on herself, her family, and her big, upcoming day.
Keep track of gifts: The maid of honor should jot down the gifts received at the shower and who gave each gift. This way, the bride will be able to write thank-you notes easily to each guest once the festivities are over.
Confirm the wedding day itinerary: Consult with the bride on any last-minute updates. Make sure the bridesmaid party is ready with their dresses, shoes, and jewelry and coordinate transportation to and from the wedding rehearsals and ceremony, as necessary.
Help with rehearsals: Your attendance at both the wedding procession rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner will help to alleviate much of the bride's stress the day before the wedding. Direct the wedding party through the wedding ceremony walk-through and help guests find their seats at the dinner. Be prepared with a short toast to the bride and groom.
Offer emotional support: Many brides experience wedding-day jitters. Help her feel cool and collected by offering words of support and congratulations. A wedding-day emergency kit is also an excellent last-minute gift; stock it with safety pins, shoe insoles, makeup, and other necessities.
Be the bride's right-hand woman: Arrive at the wedding venue early to make sure every detail is in place. Be available for any last-minute venue or wardrobe fixes and emotional support. Hold the bride's bouquet during the ceremony and sign the marriage license as a witness, along with the best man. Finally, act as a gracious host at the post-ceremony reception, receive any gifts, and direct guests to the guest book.
Give a toast: Deliver a thoughtful toast before or after the best man gives his toast.
Decorate the getaway car: Per the bride and groom's wishes, gather the wedding party and decorate the car in the minutes before the couple leaves the ceremony. Wave the happy couple off, and return to the venue to help clean up or continue the after-party.