Editorial Category: 
Monday, October 28, 2013

Tips for the Maid of Honor

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Tips for Being a Great Maid of Honor

Honored does not even begin to describe the way I felt when my sister asked me to be her maid of honor. I was ecstatic and humbled and overcome with joy at getting to play such an integral part in her big day. Then, once the tearful hugs and sisterly squeals of glee had died down, I felt a new emotion: panic. How was I, a total fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants single gal famous for being both tardy and forgetful, going help make this important event—and all the planning leading up to it—a success while doing my part to keep this happy time in my sister’s life as stress-free as possible? I’ve been figuring it out as I go, of course, with some sisterly nudges and gentle reprimands from the bride here and there. Here are four things I’ve learned along the way that will help any maid of honor keep the bride’s pre-wedding stresses to a minimum.

Don’t Cause Stress

Creating conflict, putting your maid of honor needs and wants above those of the bride herself, or pestering the bride about every little detail of the wedding, will undoubtedly stress everyone out. As soon as you accept your role as Wedding Gal Friday, talk frankly with the bride about her needs and expectations. Some brides are great delegators and some aren’t. Don’t take it personally if the bride doesn’t give you a to-do list as long as your arm, and don’t get upset if she doesn’t take every single nugget of your well-intentioned advice about her nuptials. Find out what’s most important to the happy couple and focus on those details first, putting aside your own curiosity about what your maid of honor gown might look like and whether there will be a handsome best man to escort you down the aisle.

Be Proactive

A good maid of honor restores order in a crisis; a great maid of honor avoids crises altogether. Anticipate problems before they arise, sparing the bride the stress of putting out last-minute proverbial fires. Plan events like bachelorette nights or bridal showers well in advance, leaving no room for error. If the bride gives you a wedding-related task to complete, execute it promptly. A wedding favor in the hand, for example, is worth two stranded in the back of an unexpectedly snowed-in overnight delivery truck. If you hear muttering through the family grapevine about a feud brewing between oft-conflicting factions within the family, casually suggest the bride adjust her seating chart so the worrisome parties are at opposite ends of the room. If the weatherman is calling for rain and the bride refuses to accept that her outdoor ceremony may be marred by inclement weather, have some rental tents and umbrella-toting ushers on standby.

Use Your Talents

Soon after you’ve been named High Priestess of All Things Wedding-Related, assess your personal talents and strengths and suggest ways that you might be of the most help to the bride. Try to think of unique services that no one else in the wedding party or immediate family will be able to offer. You might find a special way to save the bride time, money and, of course, stress. If you’re a web guru, offer to build a wedding website. If you’ve always been the most punctual and organized of your siblings, offer to create and maintain a wedding-planning schedule. Are you a super shopper? Offer to help create the bridal registry from her favorite gift sites.

Know When Enough Is Enough

Sometimes trying to de-stress people can actually stress them out more. There’s nothing less relaxing than an anxious person telling you to relax every five minutes. If you want to treat the bride to a little pre-wedding pampering, for example, schedule a spa day at a mutually convenient time, but don’t follow it up with a yoga session the next day and a massage the day after that. Overbooking the bride and monopolizing her time as the wedding draws near is a good way to send her down the aisle a nervous, flustered wreck. Fifty phone calls a day asking her how she’s holding up and whether she’s sure there isn’t anything else you can do for her will have a similar effect. As for double- and triple-checking with her about every little thing? Don’t do it. Once asked, once answered should be the maid of honor’s golden rule.

Being a good maid of honor might mean taking on some extra stress yourself in order to allow the bride to focus on the joy of the occasion. Do this with a genuine smile on your face and love for the happy couple in your heart and watch the bride’s stress disappear.

~ by Guest Writer: Morgan Gray


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