How To Be a Good Maid Of Honor

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Napkin Ties - Credit Ashleigh Nicole

The definition of a Maid of Honor is “Maid Of Honor: An Unmarried Woman, Typically of Noble Birth, Attending a Queen or Princess.” I really love this quote.

On the 2nd of May 2013, my sister got married. The day she asked me to MoH was a wonderful day. She didn’t actually ask me in person – she sent me a lovely card in the post, requesting that I be her MoH. Of course my answer was yes.

Never having been a bridesmaid or MoH before, and only ever having been to one wedding (My uncles) I did some research into what would be expected of me. I didn’t find anything of use. So I’d like to offer up my own advice in the hope of helping someone else. It can be quite an overwhelming job.

First of all let me just say that I can’t help you if you have a horrendous bridezilla. The bride in question was amazing. She was kind and thoughtful throughout. There were no tantrums and as much as she wanted have an amazing day herself, she also wanted her guests to enjoy themselves. Who knows though – some of my tips may help any situation! Also, I should mention that she is my only sister and we have no brothers. We are very close and know each other really well, so that helped!

From the day I found out  I would be her MoH, I wanted to do everything I could to help! So, I hope this set of rules and tips help you in the lead up to the wedding!…

  1. Know your bridesmaids – First of all, make sure you actually know them. I was lucky. My sister had her soon-to-be-sister-in-law, her best friend from her childhood and one of her other best friends whom she had known for years. This meant I had met them all on several occasions and knew them all quite well. If you don’t know them, get to know them! You need to figure out if any of them are going to cause problems. I know what you’re thinking, surely the bride wouldn’t pick someone like that. But I’ve heard stories of people picking someone because they were close to them or because they’d known them their entire lives and regretting it for various different reasons. So find out who might be a problem, and do all you can to prevent any possible problems! You then need to figure out who will be good for what… who has a car and doesn’t mind being a chauffeur… who can sew… who has a skill that can be utilized. Finally, pick a second in command! I choose my sisters soon-to-be-sister-in-law because she’s close to both the bride and groom, she gets straight to the point, is great at arranging stuff and finding good deals and because – and these are her own words – she likes to boss people about! You might not need someone like this, but I feel that it makes things easier to have someone you can rely on and turn to when you need something so that you don’t always have to bother the bride! Life would have been loads harder without her, but to be honest with you we were very lucky with the bridesmaids here and they were all amazing.

  2. Do you have any skills – Think hard, they might not be so obvious. On the other hand, they might be very obvious. Either way, utilize them if you can! I made all the wedding stationary – save the date cards, invites, RSVP cards, menus, name place cards, order of service, table name cards and seating plan. This saved them a lot of money and made things a little bit more personal. (One of the bridesmaids, my second in command made some gorgeous, very professional looking shrugs which she hand stitched and the bunting that decorated the head table!) Trust me, she’ll appreciate anything you can help with!

  3. Know everything – Every step of the way, every decision that is made – unless it is one that the bride doesn’t want you to know – take note! Other people will expect you to know things, plus if and when things start to get crazy, you’ll be useless to the bride if you don’t know anything!

  4. Take interest – From the day the wedding is announced, the bride will most likely want to talk non-stop about it. Some people will be quite happy to do this, some won’t. One of your most important jobs is to make sure that with each and every plan, with each and every decision, you take interest.

  5. Give your opinion – There is a good chance that the bride will consult with you about everything. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t like something or agree with something. But remember that it’s not your wedding, so if she doesn’t take what your say on board, that’s okay. She’ll appreciate your input and you might even inspire her! Don’t forget though -you might have very different tastes!

  6. The dress – Not the big white dress… your dress. If you’re really lucky – like I was – you’ll be allowed to pick your own dress. The other three bridesmaids had lovely long dresses, and I picked a shorter one that had a different shape to it, because I didn’t feel like I would suit the other dresses. My sister was completely fine with me doing this and our dresses all looked brilliant together! If the bride is determined to be in charge of which dress you have, she’ll still probably pick one that looks lovely on you. Don’t be afraid to say if you really hate it though.

The Hen Do

I started thinking about the hen do straight away. I wanted to make it a surprise. You might not have this. Your bride might know exactly what she wants to do, in which case sit back and enjoy.

I teamed up with other bridesmaids and some of my sisters friends to plan her hen do. She picked the city and one activity. We picked the rest. We choose a cocktail making class, a spa and had some t-shirts designed with her picture and our names on the back. They were amazing. My second in command contributed a great deal to this – she found loads of great deals and did a lot of organizing. We had the most amazing weekend away! (let’s not forget the great champagne afternoon tea we had!) Important things to remember include thinking about what the bride will really love doing, whilst keeping in mind that not everyone may necessarily like to do the same things. Think of a way to please everyone, whilst ultimately giving the bride the time of her life!

The Day

I imagine what time the wedding takes place, determines what kind of day you might have. This one in particular took place early afternoon. From the moment we got up, it was all go. The hairdresser and the make up artist was there first thing so we set to! The bride was pretty on top of things up until about five minutes before we left for the church – this is where your job becomes important! Make sure you know who needs to be where, when. Make sure everyone has everything. Make sure the bride is happy!

For the rest of the day, I recommend that you make sure you know what’s going on, and make sure everything runs smoothly so that the bride can just enjoy herself! But make sure you have fun too!

Also, try not to get too drunk, just in case the bride is on the tipsier side of life and needs a hand out of her fiddly dress!

All in all, make sure it’s a fun experience!

Just remember – you’re job is to be there for the bride, to do everything you can to help and to have fun!

Be prepared to have a whole number of horrendous wedding nightmares and wake up regularly in a panic, only to feel relief that it’s not real. Also be prepared to have to regularly reassure the bride that you have several contingency plans should any of these nightmares come true, no matter how ridiculous they might be!

Finally, if you’re anything like me and my family, be prepared for lots of happy tears, and major post-wedding blues! I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do about that though… it’s just human nature!

Thanks for reading and good luck with the wedding!

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