Speaking from experience, being a maid of honor is a true honor, but it’s also great responsibility ‒ as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. And I was picked to be one for many reasons. First, the bride and I have been best since college and those truly are the friendships made to last. So, when she asked me, I was thrilled, though not surprised. I had been preparing for bridesmaid’s role for a long time. The second reason is my sense of style and my impeccable taste. The first thing you should know, if you are to take on this role, is that it is not easy and you will be spending more time with the bride than the groom-to-be will. As someone who has done this, I am here to share my pearls of wisdom, so you too can be the best maid of honor a gal can be to her bestie.
Plan ahead, keep your head above the water
She wanted to go with an ostentatious but kind of a minimalist theme – plenty of flowers, golden details, ivory table cloths, luxurious décor, so the venue, the decorations and the food had to reflect that. We made appointments with several catering companies, wedding decorators and musicians until we got it right. You have to be with your bride every step of the way because the variety of choices can be a bit overwhelming and you need to be the tie-breaker and make quick decisions when the bride gets a bit confused. When it comes to these major decisions, you have to book appointments months ahead because you do not want to find a perfect venue or caterer and find out they are already booked.
Small things matter the most
Yes, big things matter, but it is the details that make the wedding what it is, so dealing with the details is, believe it or not, an even more difficult and time-consuming job than all of the ‘big’ stuff. First on our list were the wedding invitations and save the date cards. They provide a sneak-peak, an insight if you will, to the type of event that this wedding is going to be, and therefore take your time and pay attention when selecting the right ones. You have to come up with an interesting text, pick the right type of font, paper, design, envelopes – and since the options are numerous and each seems more appealing than the other, choosing the one most similar to the overall look of the event can be quite a task. This is where I stepped in, with my assertiveness and my quick decision making, and you need to be the same because, as with big things, your bestie can get a touch overwhelmed and this is where you need to step up.
A thousand times no, before the final yes
I knew that this would be the most difficult part of helping the bride get ready to tie the knot. As I said, her taste is a tad over-the-top, too ostentatious for my taste, so it was my job to keep her on the right track when we went shopping for the right dresses both for the bride and every bridesmaid. If I had let her have her way, she would have been covered in ruffles, looking like a giant cupcake. The sales’ ladies will tell the bride she looks great in everything, so you’re the one who has to be real with her – she will thank you in the end, for not letting her walk down that aisle looking like princess bubble-yum. I must warn you though, brides can get overly sensitive, so you have to be very tactful and be able to steer her in the right direction without hurting her feelings. There were moments when I was on the verge of complete and harsh bluntness, but I bottled it up and managed to find a gentle but direct way to show her what was and wasn’t flattering her figure. Bridesmaid dresses can also be tricky – you have to bear in mind not only what colors and cuts look good on you, but what is flattering on different heights and body types. Make sure that every bridesmaid looks her best, and choose a color that will make everyone pop, not just you.
The night before the big day
One of the biggest ‘chores’ the maid of honor has is planning the bachelorette party. My bestie used to be a party girl, so I decided to go over the top with everything – and given her taste for luxury, I made the right call. She loves the ‘20s, so I threw her a Great Gatsby inspired party, and put her in a flapper dress, threw on a wig made complete with a feather and a bejeweled headband, and made sure everyone respected the dress code. All the other girls (including future bridesmaids) found inspiration for their outfits online, following the roaring twenties theme. I did, however, stray away from the theme just by hiring some male dancers – but hey, some bachelorette night traditions can’t be disregarded if you want your bride to have a memorable sendoff.
A toast to remember
When everything else is done, you need a quiet room so you can work on your tear-jerking toast. Giving a great speech is the icing on the cake, so you have to make it a speech everyone will remember. The key to a great toast is maintaining a balance between emotional and hilarious. Make sure to include a personal anecdote (keep in mind that it has to be funny but still appropriate for the parents and the husband to hear), and just say how much you love her and how happy you are for her.
Now the job is done, and hopefully you have survived. Now go, enjoy the wedding, dance, eat, drink, you certainly deserve it.