Help the Bride Find the Perfect Gown
This is my favorite part of being a maid of honor so I think it is the best place to start this list of responsibilities! You should tag along for as many of the dress shopping appointments as you can. Take photos of the front and the back of every single dress the bride puts on (be sure to ask permission from the store because some bridal shops do not allow photography). Taking photos of every dress will be a HUGE help because by the end of shopping all of the dresses will start to blend together and it is easy to forget your favorites. It is also helpful because the bride will want to pick a dress that photographs well.
Being kind yet honest is the best way to help a bride find the perfect dress. At the end of the day, the dress should be the one that SHE loves, not the crowd favorite. So it is best to first ask the bride what she thinks of the gowns and then share your opinion when she has narrowed it down to a few that she really likes. You can help by suggesting veil types or commenting on how the dress will look next to the bridesmaids dresses. You can also suggest before the dress shopping that the bride wear her hair up or down depending on how she would like it to be for the wedding. It will help her better visualize how the neckline of the dress will look against her hair.
Assist with the Bridal Shower
For the weddings that I have been in, the mother of the bride has taken the lead on the bridal shower. This doesn’t mean that you are off the hook, you should slide in as the assistant planner and share ideas for party games, offer to help prepare food, and be sure to write down the gifts and who they are from as the bride unwraps them so you can help with thank you cards.
For my sister’s shower, two of us bridesmaids made a bride and groom trivia challenge movie. We recorded clips as we asked the bride and groom a series of questions and then used iMovie to make it into a funny video. We played this video at the shower and it really helped get to know the couple and the joy they share!
Throw an Awesome Bachelorette Party
Getting a date on the calendar for an awesome Bachelorette party is one of the first things you should do when you are invited to be a maid of honor. It is important to ask the bride what type of party she wants. You should stick to her guidelines but make it as awesome as you can within her wishes. Some brides will not want a party, then you should look at spa days or art classes. Some brides will want a weekend getaway with their girls. Many brides will ask for no strippers and it is best to stick to their guidelines on these things because the day is for them!
I plan to write a separate post with great ideas for planning a bachelorette party, but in the meantime, I hope my travel posts will help if you’re planning a weekend getaway!
Help Select the Bridesmaid Dresses
This can often be very stressful for the bride because she wants everyone to feel comfortable in their dress but she also wants to create a beautiful color scheme for the event. You can help by making a Pinterest board of dresses you like. You can also help make appointments at a couple bridal shops and coordinate calendars with as many of the bridesmaids as you can so they can be there to try the dresses on in person. Lastly, you can help by collecting all of the measurements of the bridal party and potentially the groomsmen as well if the store you are purchasing from does not handle this on their own. Be sure to remind the wedding party to get their alterations done well in advance of the event.
Pack a Perfect Emergency Kit for the Big Day
You know how moms always have everything you could possibly need in their purse? It is time to channel your internal motherly instincts and pack the purse of everything! Bobby pins, tide to go pens, bleach pens, mascara, makeup wipes, advil, cold sore medicine, concealer, deodorant, hair spray, extra flip flops, dress tape, phone chargers, band aids, tissues, clear pony tails, tampons, a curling iron, a straightener, a hair dryer, mouthwash, perfume, snacks. What am I forgetting?
Make the Bride Feel Loved All the Way Up to the Big Day
Although most of the responsibility will fall on the groom for making the bride feel loved, I also believe the maid of honor can make the big day extra special for a bride. You can have the wedding party write letters to the bride and deliver them all to the bride’s hotel room the night before the wedding for her to read. For one wedding, I did a different twist on the movie making and I had all of the important women in her life record why they think the bride will be a good wife and their favorite qualities of the bride. I then combined them all into a movie she can keep forever. It was an awesome way to incorporate the groom’s sisters and mother into a loving gift for the bride as she becomes part of a new family.
Ensure the Bride Eats at the Reception
If you took a poll, I would bet you that the majority of brides would say that they didn’t even try the food at their own reception. This is often because they find themselves running around the party trying to get a chance to talk to everyone. When you see the bride chatting with friends or close family. Sneak her a plate of the easiest food to eat. She will thank you for it the next day even if she feels like it is a waste of time at the moment. Making it convenient for the bride to eat is the second best thing you can do for her at her reception.
Help the Bride go to the Bathroom
The number 1 BEST thing you can do for the bride during her reception is help her go to the bathroom. Have you ever tried to go pee in a tiny bathroom stall wearing a full-length, 15 pound dress that has 4 layers of tooling under it? It is not an easy task and it truly takes two people to master it! It may sound weird but here is the process you should follow. Step 1: Bride collects necessary toilet paper. Step 2: Maid of honor gathers all of the dresses layers in her arms behind the brides back. Step 3: Bride facing the wall behind the toilet straddles the toilet to pee. Yes, you read that correctly, the easiest way to pee in a wedding dress is to do it backwards and straddle the toilet like a horse with someone holding your dress behind you. You will thank me later
Assist with Thank You Cards
I think thank you cards are the most dreadful part of getting married. The more presents you get, the more thank you cards there are to be written. Throwing a thank you card writing party a few weeks after the honeymoon and inviting some of the wedding party can really help the process move faster. Design an assembly line and crank those suckers out.
Another great way you can help is by making the bride and groom a custom stamp. This is always part of my gift to a new bride is a personalized ink stamp with the couples new name and address. You can buy these for cheap on Amazon, Etsy, and I have even seen Groupons for them. This way the bride doesn’t have to pay for custom envelopes or spend the time printing her own return stickers.
Cherish the Memory
It takes over a month to get wedding photos back but when they come, you should be so excited to go through them with the bride. You could help create a photo book or a scrapbook for her to keep for years to come. You should also put a calendar reminder in your phone for their 1-year wedding anniversary so you can be the first to congratulate them on making it through the first year of marriage.
When you get your maid of honor dress altered you can ask your seamstress to keep the scraps. With the scraps you can have them sew a mini version of your dress about the size of your forearm. If you really want to make it special you can collect scraps from the bride’s dress and the groom’s suit to do the same. Then, without storing massive gowns forever in their closet, the bride can have the memory of their wedding party and their color scheme in a miniature version. This idea has been passed down through my family. I remember as a child my mom showing me what her bridesmaids wore by pulling out this little tiny green dress she was gifted after her wedding from her mother.