Congratulations! You have been personally chosen by the bride to be her maid of honour. Alongside the bride herself, you are one of the most important ladies of the day. It is your job to ensure your right-hand gal is happy and that everything is running smoothly.
Feeling overwhelmed? There’s no need. We’ve got your essential maid of honour duties covered, so sit back, relax and read up on our top tips on how to be the best maid of honour ever.
10 Tips to be the Best Maid of Honour
Even if weddings aren’t your thing, try to be enthusiastic when discussing colours, theme ideas and so on. You’d be surprised at how much wedding planning can take over your life, so try not to roll your eyes when the bride brings up table centres again. Offer her your honest opinion when she asks for it – ‘do whatever you want’ is not helpful when the bride has a million and one ideas running through her head!
Be her right-hand woman
The final few moments before a bride walks down the aisle can be her most nerve-wracking, so do your best to help keep her calm. Make it clear to everyone that you should be the first point of call when things go wrong, and only get the bride involved in true emergencies – she doesn’t need to know that the cake topper has gone missing or that the best man’s zip has just broken. Shield her from stresses at all costs and she’ll be eternally grateful afterwards.
The bride will want you to be honest with her, and as maid of honour it can fall to you to represent the bridesmaids in discussions. If the bride has chosen bridesmaid dresses that you all hate, for example, bring this up with her gently but clearly at the earliest opportunity. Be diplomatic – suggest some alteration ideas, and begin with ‘we would feel more happy and confident if…’
This is related to the first point. Your bride will always appreciate you making space in your diary for planning chats, and you should try your utmost to be available for all important appointments. If you can’t make it, be genuine and apologetic – try not to give the bride the impression that her big day doesn’t matter to you.
Organise the hen night
One of the maid of honour’s most important jobs on the run up to the big day is organising the hen do. If you have no clue where to begin, a good way to start is by asking the bride what sort of day she wants and who she’d like to invite. This can differ hugely – she might want a classy afternoon tea that her mother and grandma can come to, or a drunken night at a cabaret that’s strictly friends only – so it’s far safer to ask if you’re not sure. Once you know, take planning into your own hands and wrangle the bridesmaids into paying for various activities.
Read more: Check out our guide to alternative hen party destinations for something a little off the beaten track.
Be a bridesmaid ALL day
You are the maid of honour from the moment you wake up on the big day of the wedding to the moment you go to bed. Don’t forget about your duties after the ceremony is done and dusted – continue to be helpful throughout the reception and evening. You should be the one getting signatures for the guest book, making sure the suppliers have been paid and that granny has caught her taxi home.
Remind the groom
As a conduit between the bride and her groom, you can remind the him of romantic little touches that you know for a fact that the bride wants but is too embarrassed to ask for. Gently suggest that writing her a love note on the morning of the wedding would be a sweet idea, or that if he’s feeling flush that a little something sparkly wouldn’t go amiss!
Offer to pay
Although traditionally the bride should pay for the bridesmaids dresses, we appreciate that budgets these days have become a little tighter. If you know your bride is struggling with funds, offer to pay for a part of your outfit, such as the dress, shoes or accessories. Even if she insists on paying for everything, the gesture will mean you’re more likely to get the things you want and the bride will love you for your generosity.
Ward off jitters
Many brides will start to panic that they haven’t made the right decisions in the last few weeks. Banish all talk of ‘have I got the right dress?’ and ‘is the venue good enough?’ and reassure her that she’s made the right choices. If she’s seriously having second thoughts, talk it through calmly with her and make sure she’s thinking rationally before making any major changes.
Stock the fridge!
If you live close to the bride and groom, why not offer to buy a few essentials for the fridge for when the newlyweds return from their honeymoon? If you’re feeling particularly generous, you could always leave a bottle of chilled Champagne in there as a special treat!