In my younger years, I was a miserable Maid of Honor. I mean, I held flowers, fixed trains, gave one great speech (out of 5), and showed up on time. I once flew all the way to Australia for MOH duties, but I was more or less moral support. (It did launch my self-proclaimed life coach career, however.) Truth is, at the time, I had NO idea what I was expected to do (and let's be fair, I was between 18 and 20 years old). It never actually crossed my mind that I was supposed to do things like organize bachelorette parties or be helpful in any way (I didn't exactly grow up like a typical girl, dreaming of weddings and sparkles...). Now, after going through my own wedding and being involved in several others, I've figured out some pointers that would have been so helpful to me all those years ago, and to the poor brides who felt compelled to honor me with this title.
#1: BE CHILL. At every moment. No matter what. This is the number one rule because IT IS THE NUMBER ONE RULE! It's actually the only reason I was still loved after I fulfilled no other MOH duties. I'm very good with pressure situations, crazed emotions, and emergencies. Your main job is to be the best friend or the best sister and allow (with force if necessary) the bride to enjoy herself. Your job is to keep the cool, remind her to hide her crazy, and calmly and efficiently fix glitches without her ever realizing how bad it could have gone.
#2: BE PREPARED. Keep a bag with hair pins, safety pins, fashion tape, lipstick, and flip flops. Flip flops are key and you will reach goddess status with them.
#3: DON’T GET DRUNK. At the rehearsal and the wedding day, don't get drunk. I repeat. Do. Not. Get. Drunk.At least until after the happy couple rides off in their carriage.
#4: IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU. I can't tell you how many brides I've met who are annoyed at the turn their parties took because they told the MOH what they wanted and then were not listened to. She wants a quiet night with close friends? Done. Strip club? Super. Loves games? Get creative. Hates games? FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SACRED DON'T MAKE HER PLAY GAMES.
(Also, in case you missed this like I did.....you are responsible for organizing at least the bachelorette party...)
#5: LOVE YOUR DRESS. Tell her how you can't wait to shorten it and wear it again. It's the best bridesmaid's dress you've ever seen. Ever.
#6: RUN INTERFERENCE. Crazy mother in law? Drunk best man? Catty bridesmaids? Ignorance is bliss. She is never to know.
#7: MAKE LISTS. Every bride LOVES lists. Show up at her door with matching, decorated binders. Even the tips of her hair will tremble with excitement.
#8: KNOW WHEN TO STEP AWAY. Some brides may need a litle quiet time with their thoughts or might just want to use the bathroom without an audience. Help to giver those times.
#9: FEED HER! Make sure she eats before the ceremony, even if it's just a little. But during the reception, make SURE she gets any hors d'oeuvres that are around and gets to eat the dinner that she picked out and is presumably excited about.
#10: KEEP THE FLOW. During the reception, the bride and groom will be working the room, trying to speak a little bit to each guest. Every now and again...they'll get stuck. And usually with the one guest they barely know and only invited as a favor. Develop a plan, or maybe a code word, to help extricate the couple so they can politely move on.
#11: DON’T COUNT ON THE BEST MAN. Just because you are the Maid of Honor and your counterpart is the Best Man...probably don't rely on him to do any of the above. If you must delegate, go for it, but be prepared for the fact that the Best Man can be easily distracted.
#12: DON’T WING THE SPEECH. Winging it pretty much never works. And it really pretty much never works twice. No one wants to hear all your inside jokes from high school and daddies only want to know so much about their little girls. Write down your thoughts and run it by others. Or better yet, let the folks at Laugh Staff do their thing.
So, suffice it to say, this isn't just a position bestowed upon you so that everyone knows you're the bride's favorite (even though you clearly are). Done right, you'll be busy until you fall into bed at the end of the night. But there's something very special about being such an integral part of such an amazing day. Follow these rules and the bride will gush about how perfectly everything went...and you'll be the only one to know the truth!
**Special Thanks to Clare from The Book Whore-der's Delights, check them out on Facebook
Read more of their blog at http://whoredersdelights.blogspot.com/