So, your best friend just popped the question. She’s getting married and you get to be the Maid of Honor! Now, to get to Pinteresting and planning. But where to start??
While it is a wonderful experience to stand by your best friend, being a maid of honor can be very stressful: you want to support your best friend, throw some great parties, and deliver a killer speech!
Here’s a step by step outline of how to navigate those sometimes choppy waters.
First, of course, have a celebratory dinner or drinks and just talk about the whole experience. How the proposal happened, look closely at the ring, talk about wedding ideas like what colors she is thinking for the wedding, who the other bridesmaids are, etc.
When the two of you are ready to get down to business, plan an evening with notebooks (or computers) in hand, maybe a bottle of wine, and ready to get a start on the planning of wedding festivities!
Ideally, this will be after the wedding date and possible wedding venue are picked out. The focus of this conversation will be to nail down some details of the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and any other responsibilities that are unique to your situation. Prior to this, consider your own budget for the wedding and a general budget you expect the other bridesmaids to have. Every situation is different, but these serve as guidelines that can help planning run more smoothly, and ultimately can even help the friendship in the end.
Some must have talk points for this conversation are:
The bride might have everything figured out to a tee. She might be sure that she wants a variety of specific details.
She might have no idea where to start with what she wants!
In a perfect world, she would have ideas of what she wants with flexibility to change. However, this isn’t always going to be the case.
The goal here is to get a general idea of what she wants for the bridal shower, and bachelorette party. There can always be follow up conversations at later times.
Consider asking the following questions about the bridal shower:
If you could have your bridal shower anywhere (within reason), where would you like it?
How many guests are you intending to invite?
Are there going to be separate bridal showers for friends and family, or one big one?
If there are going to be separate showers, am I expected to help with the family shower?
Do you want certain games?
And the Bachelorette Party…
Do you want it to be an overnight or whole weekend?
Intimate or bigger party?
Do an event like a paint and wine night or bar hopping?
Close location or destination?
Decide what the dates will work for the bridal shower and bachelorette party as early as possible. This helps to set a framework and enables you to start looking for venues ASAP.
I’m sure she’ll be excited to talk about her color scheme and decor she wants for her wedding. Use this for inspiration for the parties you are throwing for her! Depending on the decor for the wedding, you might even be able to use some of it for the bridal shower. This has the plus of creating a very cohesive look to the whole bridal experience as well as getting extra mileage out of the decor.
Saying NO…This is a tough one. You want your friend to have the bridal experience of her dreams…but at the cost of being a bridezilla?? No thanks. There may be times where your dear friend is getting so wrapped up in the details she may start loosing sight of the meaning and point of it all. This is a great time to step in, point these things out, and work towards a resolution.
How many times have you heard of a Maid of Honor being kicked out of the wedding because of feeling like the expectations were to high or not communicated?
This is certainly not a fun part of the Maid of Honor duties, but one that could potentially save your friendship in the end.
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No one likes talking about money. I’m sure you don’t want to feel like a cheapskate with your best friend. However, not talking about the cost of things can lead to disparities between she and you. Don’t expect to have a final budget at this point, but it is certainly wise to have a general idea of what you are able and willing to spend. If you are planning to spend $500 but she’s expecting you to spend $5,000, there will be some problems if it isn’t discussed.
At this point, it is helpful to begin to determine what you are responsible for, what you are not responsible for, and what is yet to be determined.
Some costs to consider:
Hair for the wedding day
Makeup for the wedding day
Nails for the wedding day
Bridal shower venue
Bridal shower decorations, favors, food, and games
Generally, the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids are responsible for the dress. Other than that, costs depend from situation to situation. It might be up to you to figure out hair and makeup or the bride might be covering the cost. She may allow you to do your own hair and makeup. these specifics do not need to be figured out immediately, but it is it helpful to be aware of what the expectations are so as to plan accordingly.
Sometimes the bride’s or groom’s families will help with some parts of the bridal shower. The bridesmaids should definitely contribute to this party financially. Often times, the Maid of Honor does end up filling in the gaps of things forgotten at the last minute. No worries, it happens! It’s just best to be prepared. Ultimately, this is a time to make your best friend feel loved and super excited to usher in her next stage of life!
As for the bachelorette party, this is almost always the complete responsibility of the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids. I have heard of situations where the mother of the bride hosted or funded the bachelorette party, but these situations are few and far between.
It’s always best to assume the cost of these items unless it is stated by the bride or or someone else who intends to pay.
Once you have established the basics of what the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids are responsible for, it is easier to plan the parties with the rest of the bridal party.
As the Maid of Honor, it is usually going to be your responsibility to initiate the the contact about planning with the bride, bridesmaids, and the mother of the bride and mother of the groom.
There are many ways of communicating with the bridal party. My personal favorite is creating a Facebook page as most people get on Facebook multiple times a day.
Other options include: a basic group text, either through your phone texting or a messaging app like Facebook Messenger or Groupme. Google docs or Google sheets are also extremely useful tools for
The bridesmaids will really appreciate it if you put forth the effort to initiate contact and keep them all in the loop. This is especially important if long distance bridesmaids are involved.
Once all the bridesmaids have been asked to be in the wedding and you have covered these basics with the bride, gather together with the bridesmaids for a brainstorming session. Ask them all to consider the expectations of the bride as well as their own personal budgets. It will be so helpful if everyone is on the same page!
Last, but certainly not least…
Support her and have a BLAST!
She asked you to be her Maid of Honor, because of the past friendship as well as the future friendship. She’s going to need a lot of logistical and emotional support as she navigates the craziness of wedding planning. Sometimes, being the MoH just means lending a listening ear. Sometimes, it’s being the voice of reason. Sometimes, it’s just shouting the HOORAY!
Obviously, being the Maid of Honor is, as its name indicates, an honor. However, it certainly is not without its confusion and stress. I wish you the best of luck in planning events and creating memories with your BFF to last a lifetime during this journey.
What’s been the best part of being the Maid of Honor in your friend’s wedding? The most challenging part? Share in the comments below!
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