If you’ve ever watched any of those addicting wedding shows, you know that wedding planning isn’t all cake-tasting and rose-smelling. A wedding must be planned like any other big event; it takes a lot of time, energy, and often, frustration. Likewise, your role as maid of honor will take a lot of time and energy, and probably a little frustration, too. You have several events to plan, the shower and the bachelorette party, you are expected to be the glue that holds all the bridesmaids together, and you might even have to (GASP!) speak in public. Anytime you are charged with working with a group of people, there will be disagreements, and it will probably be no different in this situation. The best advice for you is simply to be prepared.
Do your homework and research everything: shower ideas, wedding gown shops, wedding toasts, and anything you are responsible for. When in doubt, Google it!
Stay on top of things and follow through with what you say you’ll do. If you are prompt and keep the bridesmaids and bride in the loop, there will be less room for discontent or talks of mutiny among your bridesmaid ranks.
Advice for Long-Distance Maids of Honor
Living far from the location of the wedding and/or the bride can be tough, and even tougher if you’re not in driving distance. If you’re not local, you simply can’t accompany the bride on dress shopping trips, vendor interviews and meetings, or lunches with the bridesmaids to discuss cake flavors or first-dance songs. It can feel horribly alienating to be the only one who feels out of the loop. If you are in driving distance, do what you can to schedule one trip into town early into the engagement to get together with the bride and bridesmaids and celebrate and discuss plans and expectations. If that’s not a possibility, absolutely get everyone’s email address and start an email circle. This is a great way for the bride to update you all on what she’s doing, and for you and the maids to discuss and plan the shower, dress shopping, and the bachelorette party. Be honest with the bride and the maids; if you can only afford to come into town for the wedding and one other time, let them know that. She’ll either decide that the shower and bachelorette party must be on the same day or understand that you can only be at one of them.
Keeping everyone happy
The maid of honor often has to act as a middleman to make the bride’s life a little easier, and sometimes she has to jump into action where she sees things that need to get done. There may be bridesmaids who feel like you are telling them what to do and resent that. That’s why it’s so important to really concentrate on being positive and diplomatic any time you communicate with them, especially when it’s a message to the entire group. You were chosen as maid of honor for this wedding, so that must mean you’re a lovely person. Just make sure that in the stress of being the bride’s right hand woman, you don’t lose that loveliness and become bossy and demanding.
As the head of the Bridesmaid Brigade, you’ll want to help the bride out by making sure the maids know where they’re supposed to be and when. Again, the email circle will be helpful for this. You can create a calendar in a word processing program and notate all the important dates on it, such as when the bride wants you to help pick out bridesmaid dresses, possible dates for the shower and bachelorette party, deadlines for when their dresses have to be purchased, etc. You can email this file to all the other bridesmaids to make sure everyone’s in the loop and knows what is expected of them when.