Maid of Honor Duties
The Privilege and Obligation as a Maid of Honor
Your best friend is getting married, and she asks YOU to join the celebration as her maid of honor. And, of course, you accept with a *gasp* and gleeful praise. Then after your phone or dinner conversation, you're left with the question, "What have I gotten myself into?"
The first step into becoming the maid of honor is to consider your role and realistically. Not only do you need to plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party, you must also be there every step of the way, while she's fitting her dress or shopping for the wedding. Planning a wedding can be a very stressful situation for anyone, expecially the bride, so it is up to you to be supportive and help take the load off her shoulders.
Here's a list of duties that you may be asked to perform:
- Plan a bridal shower
- Plan a bachelorette party
- Help with wedding invitations
- Be there for her fitting, and yours also!
- Assist with shopping- whether it's shoes for the bridesmaids or centerpieces for the reception
- Give an opinion, be honest but NICE
- Give a toast at the reception
- Make sure she's having the time of her life!
A bridal shower is thrown for the bride by her chosen bridesmaids or a close family member. Normally you would invite her close friends and family, but ask for a guest list of who she would like to attend, just in case.
The cheapest way to make invitations is to create them on your computer and print them. If you don't own a printer, look around for stores that carry already made invites, you might find a good deal. There is also the option of purchasing them online, but keep in mind that in most cases you will have to pay for shipping.
To find the "right" invites, ask the bride what her wedding colors and flowers are. Also make sure to ask her what day is okay for her to attend. My friend's colors were pink and green, and her flowers were tulips, so we bought designed printing paper at walmart and made a pink tulip to fade in the background behind the words. You get the idea!
The main information you will need to provide is the time, place, and date of the location, who it is for, and a phone number and/or email address to RSVP.
You can ask the bride for her wedding invitation list to know who to invite, but the downside to that is bridal showers are meant for close friends and family- another tidbit I did not realize until after the fact. You learn as you go, right?
An easy way to find decorations is to hit the Dollar Tree (any local dollar store) or Walmart. Anything can work (cheap does not always mean tacky), such as fake flower petals, little wedding knick knacks, and of course crepe paper and balloons. It doesn't have to be too fancy, but fancy enough to recognize that it's a celebration. You may provide snacks and drinks, or have a cookout, whichever is convenient.
If you have your own place, great! If not (a problem I ran into), ask the other bridesmaids or find a building at a park that you can rent out. Make sure there is room for tables for all the guests, an area for food, and an area for unwrapping gifts. It's helpful to print out a map and directions to place in your invitations, especially for the out-of-towners, Also leave a phone number in case they are lost.
Seating doesn't have to be a big deal, but I would like to point out that the mother and to-be mother-in-law sits on either side of the bride. I didn't know this until one of the older ladies at the shower made a comment.
The ideal gift for a bridal shower would be something she could use when she moves in with her new husband. Kitchen and other household items are most wanted. Usually the bride registers (even online, so you don't even have to leave the house :D) so you can get the idea of what she needs and doesn't have. Be sure to ask her where she registered so you can add that info in your invitations and give everyone a heads up.
A Bacherlorette party is a very important event, considering the bride is tying the knot and will be with the same man for the rest of her life! It's up to the girls to show her a good time and take her our for the time of her life.
It's best to have the party a week before the wedding, not the day of. Having it the night before the wedding is a big no-no, we don't want the bride to have a hangover when she's walking down the aisle. Seriously.
It's okay to make invitations, but you'd save a little money if you chose not to. I used facebook and created an event so everyone received the invite. It's always good to call around just to make sure.
One of the most fun things to do is to pick out games and decor for the party. I went to Spencer's at our local mall and picked out several "dirty" items, including two games for everyone to play. You can also be creative and think about the time of year; my friend's wedding was in October, so we did a dirty pumpkin carving contest, which was very interesting! I had pictures, but still need to locate them! Not that I can post them here, haha.
Strippers are also fun (depends on her personality), but if they ask for no strippers, be respectful and DON'T DO IT!
You don't have to necessarily buy her anything, but you can be creative and fun if you choose to purchase a present. I ended up buying my friend her favorite beer, it was easy and simple. :)
If there is alcohol involved, be smart and safe. Plan to stay the night where you are drinking or have a designated driver. There is no excuse to be drinking and driving, you or someone else might get hurt.
A very memorable moment for the wife-to-be is when she tries on her wedding dress. It make take several times because of hemming and tightening/loosening the dress. You also have to be there for yours (duh!).
Ask the seamstress if it will cost you money for them to hem or refit the dress, ours didn't even tell us and just charged us extra money for a poor job. I could've hemmed my dress better than they did! Some might not charge you as a courtesy, but hey, you've been warned.
The bride might need help getting the dress on or just need your company. All you need to do is what you've been doing, being there and being her friend.
Making a toast might be one of the most nerve-wrecking things I've had to do. I was a maid of honor, and so was my other best friend. We decided to make a toast together since there was two of us, and although it was concocted at the last minute, it was perfect! It's helpful to surf the web for ideas, quotes, etc. We chose to keep it light and funny, and brief (which I believe is the best kind!)
Just be true to yourself and don't lose your personality, or it will sound like you're reading lines. I'll post our toast later when I find the other half to help those who need it.
If anyone has any questions, shoot me a message, I'm sure I've forgotten a few things. I'd be more than happy to help! And remember, it's all a learning experience, so don't be afraid. :)
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