Woohoo! You’re reliable, loved, and carefully chosen to be the bride’s Maid/Matron/Man of Honor. You know you have an important job ahead, but where do you start?
Before the Wedding
First things first, celebrate! Keep in mind that the initial thought of wedding planning might be overwhelming for the bride, so while getting started with planning, be their personal organizer and voice of reason.
Celebrate + Be There for the Bride
ICYMI, celebrating is the first and most important order of business. If your MOH status was granted early on – you may be part in planning an engagement party. This is not your duty alone. There will likely be family and friends helping with this one.
Try to learn what the bride needs or is expecting. Is she feeling overwhelmed? Has she had her wedding planned since she was little? Is she lacking family support? There’s a ton of questions you could run through but just try to get an idea of what YOUR friend needs, not necessarily what the “norm” is when someone first gets engaged.
Discuss Wedding Budget + Must Haves
Help the bride figure out her budget and non-negotiables. This can be important to establish in the beginning so that you can get an idea of what you’re working with for the events to come and to help keep expectations level as the bride and groom start to invest in their wedding. Here are just a few budgets to chat about:
- The wedding day! This is the biggest one and includes venue, food, DJ/band, photographer/videographer, etc. You don’t need an *exact* number but try to discuss a ballpark so that you can potentially help with researching vendors and other necessities
- Wedding dress. This may be the most important one for you to keep in mind as it’s easy to search for and fall in love with dresses outside of the original budget. If the bride has a strict budget, encourage them to only look at shops and dresses within that. If their budget is more flexible, you can be too.
- Bachelorette party. This will be important to discuss with the bride and the other bridesmaids. Find out what each person is comfortable spending. A great way to organize this is through a Google doc survey! Send out a questionnaire to each bridesmaid to get a better idea of the average budget everyone is comfortable with.
Rally the Other Bridesmaids + Create a Group Chat
Maybe you know all the girls, or maybe you don’t. Either way a group chat of some sort is a must! Creating a shared chat with the bride and other bridesmaids keeps everything organized, supports the bride, and helps eliminate miscommunication. Plus, it’s a good way to get to know each other better and potentially make some new friends.
Wedding Dress Shopping
*pops champagne* *adds drop of orange juice*
This is a big day for your girl – show up with love and grace. Shopping can be tough in general but wedding dress shopping is sometimes even more difficult with how tough we can be on our appearance and bodies. I mean, this is the dress.
Honest opinions are welcome but be mindful of how you are saying things and how the bride is feeling in dresses that she loves, even if you don’t.
Order Your Dress
If you’re ordering your dress from an online store (which seems to be the norm right now), I think it’s best to order it as soon as a dress has been picked. This allows plenty of time to either order a different size if needed or get alterations. Plus, the sooner you order, the less the bride has to worry about who may or may not have ordered their dress. Here are two of my favorite online shops with dresses made for everyone:
Plan a Bachelorette Party
Once you’ve gotten an idea of what your bride and other bridesmaids are comfortable with for a bachelorette party, you can start curating some ideas – the options are endless! Are you looking to throw the party of the year with a fun destination, huge celebrations, and fun outfits? Try looking at places like Miami Beach, FL or Nashville, TN. If you want something a little more tame and just want all your people together in the same place, I recommend booking an AirBnB in the Colorado or North Carolina mountains. Lastly, if budgets and timelines are tight – find your nearest city and party it up for a night or two.
A bachelorette party should be a fun get away. Try to find a plan that works for everyone looking to attend!
Prepare a Wedding Survival Kit
Or, as I like to call it, an “Oh Sh*t Kit”. This can be small or big, just make sure you have essentials that make sense for your bride. Here are some of my favorite things to include:
- Bride’s lipstick
- Bobby pins
- Makeup remover
- Deodorant/lady wipes
- Hair ties
Start Writing Your Speech
Another task that was taken into consideration when choosing you for this day. You know the bride and groom well, they love you and the friendship that comes with, so they know you could rock a speech about their life and love.
Public speaking is not everyones cup of tea, so if this is something you don’t love, take a breath (or a shot) and always print off a copy ahead of time. Here are my tips for the best MOH speech of all time:
- Keep it short and sweet (under 5 min)
- Read it to someone ahead of time
- Keep it light + maybe throw in a joke or two
- The main subject should be the bride and groom
- Minimal inside jokes
- Thank everyone for being there
Ask For Help
Whether your friend is eloping or throwing the 300 person wedding of their dreams, being MOH could potentially feel like a second job. You DON’T have to do it alone – ask for help if you need it! The best part about weddings is everyone coming together to celebrate two people they love – so don’t be afraid to ask for some extra hands.
Day of the Wedding
Be the Point of Contact
Let people know to direct questions/comments to you instead of the bride. Best case scenario is the bride doesn’t know about all the things that could/did potentially go wrong throughout the day. We also want to intercept any vendors or guests from bombarding the bride with things, so step in when you can!
Bonus: The bride hired White Loon as their day-of coordinator and the only person you need to worry about getting around you is a mom who thinks it’s *her* day again.
After the Wedding
Post-wedding blues are real, check on your bride with some uplifting vibes and keep the celebration of love going.