In Her Majesty’s Service

To Be in the Wedding Party…or Not

While it is an honor for a bride to ask you to be the maid or matron of honor, you would be wise to consider the many responsibilities that go with this honor. 


As maid of honor – the bride’s chief attendant and personal confidante – you have to keep things organized and under control as well as being her “crisis counselor.”  maids of honor are chosen for their emotional stability and composure.  You will offer moral support and assist with virtually every aspect of the pre-wedding planning all the way to the end of the wedding.  Part of your job is to make the entire process as stress-free as possible. 


You will be expected to give her your full attention on the day of the wedding and be ready to handle anything that comes up. 


Once you have been asked to serve, have a meeting with the bride and ask her to define what she expects from you.  The key is to “ask.”  Be clear about what she expects and be honest with her if you do not think you can live up to her expectations.  When necessary, step in and take control of any stressful situations.  Anticipate any needs the bride may have and take care of them in a positive manner.


Once you accept the honor, try not to ask too many questions unless it is about something very important.  This only adds to her frustration level.  The bride is counting you to take care of pretty much everything.  Be a shoulder she can lean on when things become to overwhelming to bear.  This can take a lot of time, energy and requires lots of preparation.  Be cool, but never outshine the bride. 


You will act as a liaison between the bride and the bridesmaids from the beginning through the reception.  You need to set the tone among the women in the bridal party.  Prep the bridesmaids and make sure they know their duties and show up “on time” for the rehearsal.  Think of yourself as a coach.  You are in charge of the bridesmaids and with their cooperation the wedding will run more smoothly. 


Bring tissues, extra makeup, pantyhose, nail polish, breathe mints and anything else that she might need the day of the wedding.  Put together an “Emergency Checklist” to make sure to avoid any crisis that might come up. Prepare a “beauty bag” (emergency pouch) to bring with you on the big day.  Hold her flowers, straighten her veil and train before, during and after the wedding and especially during the wedding pictures.


One of the most important traditions of a maid or matron of honor is to give the bride a toast at the reception. The best toasts include funny stories growing up with sentimental friendship and love.  Don’t get too wordy.


And finally, if other commitments prevent you from giving the bride the attention she deserves, you may be a better candidate for a bridesmaid. 


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