Maid of Honor – What You Need to Know to Be Awesome (Part 1 in Series)

Being an awesome Maid of Honor is hard work, takes lots of planning, nerves of steel, a bit of luck,  and often a thick skin.  Brides often assume that being an awesome Maid of Honor just happens.  But that is not so.  The individual the bride selects to serve as  her Maid of Honor can make a huge difference in the wedding. Our series of Maid of Honor articles provides you and your bride with all the information you need about being a Maid of Honor.  We include what to do, what not to do, how to support the bride, expectations, and more.

Maid of Honor, MOH, Bride, Wedding Planning

This article is Part 1 in our Maid of Honor series.  It focuses on things you can do to become an awesome Maid of Honor, providing the support and assistance your bride will need throughout her wedding planning.

In Part 2 we will address your role as Maid of Honor during the wedding planning phase.  To be sure you get the article when it is published, be sure to sign up for our email notifications below.

Part 3 will address the your role as Maid of Honor on the day of the wedding before the ceremony.

Part 4 will include the ceremony and reception.

We also plan to publish an article with your ideas, suggestions, helps and hints about your bridal party. Just email us or send in the comment section below to include your suggestions.

Why Talk About the Maid of Honor?

As a wedding officiant for more than ten years, I have seen far too many weddings where the bride and the Maid of  Honor (MOH) have very different ideas of the duties and responsibilities of the MOH.  This creates misunderstanding, frustration and even ill feelings between what are often best friends.  This is not the time to add stress to the bride, or her MOH, so we wrote this series of articles for you for two reasons:

A Realistic Perspective

We are providing both the bride and Maid of Honor with a realistic idea of the bride’s expectations of the Maid of Honor (and vice versa).

Bride:
  • Brides, we suggest you read this series before you select your Maid of Honor and then genuinely assess if the person you have in mind for the job will be willing and able to fulfill her (or his) duties to meet your exceptions.   If not, you need to consider if you need these duties performed at all, and who will perform them.  There are no required duties for a MOH, just traditions and things to do.  You will want to plan who will do what. If it is important to you to have this individual by your side at the ceremony, then you will just need an alternate plan for the other duties that she will not or cannot assume.
Maid of Honor:
  • Maids of Honor, we suggest you read the series and honestly assess if you are enthusiastically willing  to assume these duties.  Being a truly incredible Maid of Honor can be expensive both in terms of time and money. (Average costs for a Maid of Honor in today’s weddings are between $2,000 and $3,000 and countless hours of preparation, advising, cheer-leading and more.)  It is much more than just showing up on the wedding day and holding the bride’s flowers during the ceremony. ( I know that is the fun part, but there is much work to be done before you get to that point.)  Honestly asses if you are ready and able for the work and expense of  being the Maid of Honor before you accept the position.
  • I know, you are saying “She asked, I have to accept”. But I assure you that your bride will prefer to know up front that this position is beyond what you can do rather than to have you accept and then fall short of her and your expectations or back out later.  It is a difficult conversation but one that should be had early.

A Detailed Checklist

To provide a detailed checklist of items and duties expected of the Maid of Honor.  The list of duties we provide is extensive and may be beyond what the Maid of Honor does in your area.  Each wedding is unique and you can select the duties you want your MOH to assume.  If you have selected your Maid of Honor (or even before if you have concerns that she will accept without understanding all that her duties entail) sit down and review the list  together.  You can decide together what the Maid of Honor will be responsible for and what will be handled by others in this wedding. (No other weddings matter.  Just the one, so stay focused on what you want).   Now you both have the same expectations and there is less chance of things slipping by undone, and hard feelings.

What is a Maid of Honor?

When we use the term Maid of  Honor, it is intended as a generic term for the individual who will serve as the bride’s  chief bridesmaid and support, both during the wedding planning and on the wedding day.  You will participate in planning, herding the bridesmaids, wiping tears, and being the sense of reason in many decisions.) Pretty awesome list of tasks, don’t you think?  May the title should be Wonder Woman, or  Best Woman. Let’start a new tradition!)

The term Matron of Honor is identical to Maid Honor with the exception that the Matron of Honor is married.  And before you ask, yes, many brides include both a Maid of  Honor and Matron of Honor in the wedding party,especially when they have married and unmarried sisters. It is up to you, just be sure you clearly delineate the duties of each to avoid overlap, forgotten duties,  and stepping on toes.

If you select a male for this honored position, all duties are the same, (possibly with the exception of helping you in the bathroom) and he is referred to as the Man of Honor.

Preparing to be an Awesome Maid of Honor

Start a notebook

Maid of Honor, MOH, Wedding Planning, Bridal PartyOne of the keys to being a successful Maid of  Honor is organization  You need to be able to support the bride when she is a little rattled or  forgets details, be in the right place at the right time, and  be prepared to take on the role of “go-to-person” for answers when someone does not way to ask the bride.

You will need a notebook or digital folders dedicated the wedding.  You should have a tabs/sections for the shower, bachelorette party and wedding planning ideas.  Include ones  for what the bride likes, those she wants to exclude (No chicken-dance at the reception?), and those you want to research further.  Add any other sections that will help you to be organized.  It helps to have everything in one place and at your fingertips when the bride calls.

  • Set up a section to jot down random notes and ideas, things you need to remember and reminders.
  • Include a calendar, so you can note important dates you and the bride agree upon, and any meeting, etc. you will need to attend.  You may also want to include the bride’s schedule so you will know when she is  not available.
  • Record the contact information for each bridesmaid.  You will need to follow up with them about dress appointments, pre-bridal parties, and an entire host of things.
  • Record information about the best time to contact them and their preferred method of communication – a call, text, email, message, etc.
  • Be sure to establish a primary contact where you should look for all answers concerning any children in the wedding.  You do not want to get caught in the middle of disagreeing parents.  Then never go to the other parent for an answer. You’ll be amazed how much stress this removes for you and the bride.

Set up a Wedding Only Email Address

Maid of Honor, MOH, Wedding email, bridal partyWhen you set up a separate email address for wedding planning communication, you will be able to focus your time  on wedding planning when you need to do so, and ignore it when you do not.  You will also find that vendors and others who do not know you will respond quicker when they see the association with the wedding.

Use soemthing like MOH-MielkeWedding@gmail.com   or Rita_BoyleMielkeWedding@gmail.com to quickly identity that you are part of the wedding.  This reminds vendors and those you do not know you why you are emailing them and they will respond more quickly.

You will be more comfortable signing up for wedding related emails without getting swamped in your regular email.  You can cancel the address when you no longer need it after the wedding. It’s a great organizer and time saver and it’s free.

Suggest to the bride that your wedding email address be included on the wedding website and provide it to vendors as a backup and to address questions you can respond to.

Assemble An Emergency Wedding Day Kit

Maid of Honor, MOH, Wedding planning, Bride, The emergency wedding day kit contains last minute items the bride and bridal party may need on the wedding day.  You can purchase  pre-maid kits, but it is also an opportunity to personalize your kit for your bride. (it makes a great shower gift too.)

We are currently compiling a separate article on Wedding Day Emergency Kits, and will post it when complete.  If you want to be sure to receive a copy sign up for our email notifications at the bottom of this article.    Check out this great bag for your kit-personalize it too. 

 

Prepare Your Toast to the Bride and Groom for the Reception

It is so tempting to wait until the last minute to create your toast.  Major Mistake.  You will be so busy in the days of leading up to the wedding you will end up postponing until the last minute.  You, the bride, and the guests will quickly see that you did not dedicate time and effort  it takes to write an awesome toast worthy of your bride.  Now is the time.

Don’t just  think about it, actually take the time to jot down thoughts, think about the tone you want to have (funny, sentimental, etc.) and get it all written down.  Have your speech prepared in advance. You can update and change as the wedding draws closer.  (Having the foundation is a major stress reliever for you.) You really will not have the time after the rehearsal or on the morning of the wedding to prepare the heartfelt message you want to deliver. (That is when most poorly thought out Maid of Honor and Best Man speeches are written.)  Enough said.  Get out your pen.

The Series – What The Future Holds for You as the Maid of Honor

This is the end of Part 1- Preparing to be an Awesome Maid of Honor.  It is the beginning of your journey as a Maid of  Honor.

In Part 2 we will address your role as Maid of Honor during the wedding planning phase.  To be sure you get the article when it is published, be sure to sign up for our email notifications below.

Part 3 will address your role as Maid of Honor on the day of the wedding before the ceremony. (Lots to do here, so don’t this one.)

Part 4 will include your role in the ceremony and reception.

We also plan to publish an article with your ideas, suggestions, helps and hints about your bridal party. Just email to us  or send in the comment section below.

There you’ll have it, all you need to know about being an awesome bridesmaid.  Please be sure to follow the entire  series.

We Want to Hear From You

Maid of Honor, MOH, Bridesmaid, hear from you, your input

This series is for for you – the bride and Maid of Honor.  We also know that you have great ideas that will help others on their wedding  journey. And would like to hear from you.  Please share your ideas to help other brides  and  Maids of Honor.   We would like to share your tips and ideas –  things that work for you; OOPs! -things you wish you skipped; or something you wish you knew earlier. Please share in the comments box below or email your suggestions to us.  If we use your idea in a future article we will give you credit (and thanks) for the idea. (Send a picture by email and we will include that too.)

Other Articles You Will Love

11 Questions Brides Should Ask Before Choosing the Wedding Party

Dealing with That “One” Bridesmaid – You Know Who She Is

Wedding Planning Stress Relief (Part 1)

Buying Your Wedding Dress – What No One Told You 


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Please follow our Pinterest Boards.  We love it when you repin and follow our  boards and share with friends.  We have included lots of ideas, tips, hacks, DIY, ceremonies, receptions and vows, and plans to make your wedding Meaningful.  Magical.  Memorable.  Visit often, we update daily.

Enjoy your wedding planning and please contact me if you have any questions.  rita@ceremoniestolove.com

I would love to see your wedding and planning pictures and will share on my blog, and Pinterest with your permission.  Email them to me.  (Please.) 

Hugs,   Rita

 

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