From Bride To Bridesmaid: Chapter Two
You're a chosen one. You are the rock for one of your besties on the most important day of her life. And here is how you should prepare:
So you've already received your official ask from the bride; what now? It isn't too soon to start your duties, so here ya go....
Maid of Honor
- Work with the bride to gather all bridal party contact info. The bride should make the initial introduction if everyone doesn't know one another, but make sure you're making the master list and keeping contact information handy.
- Plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party with help from the bridesmaids. Assign leadership and pray that everyone gets on board or takes a back seat.
- Divide and conquer. You could allow people to volunteer for stuff, but that doesn't always end up as planned. Create an excel sheet and allow people to sign up for predetermined tasks; or my personal favorite: have everyone pitch in a certain $$, you handle the tasks and purchasing (with a sidekick, if necessary) and redistribute the remainder at the end of each event.
- Speaking of leadership . . . make sure you're following up with the maids to ensure everyone has their dresses, hair, makeup, jewelry, hotels, etc. so that the bride can focus on her own tasks.
- If you're not assertive . . . you might want to try it out, as you may need to put your foot down in a few situations. Whether its bridesmaids wanting to "help," or MIL's insisting on art direction and event planning, make sure you're speaking on behalf of the bride. "I got this, thank you" or "That sounds like a good idea, but we have it covered," will go a long way.
- As the MOH you should be attending all pre-wedding parties, sans excuses.
- You are an extension of the bride. Some maids (especially being close friends of the bride) will want to go directly to her for questions. Do your best to intercept and involve yourself in as many processes with maids as possible so that the bride doesn't get bogged with with stress.
- Be prepared to wear all of the hats: therapist, wedding planner, excel sheet master, florist, etc. You are there for the bride night or day, bridezilla or bride-angel.
- Buy presents: shower gift and wedding gift. Even though it isn't expected, you're still not exempt from getting something the couple asked for. All of the maids could even coordinate together to get a larger gift and save a few dollars.
- Offer (and be expected to be told) to help out with pre-wedding tasks. If there is something you'd like to do specifically, let the other maids & bride know. Ex. "I'm a graphic designer and would LOVE to help with bridal shower invites & signage." Do not be upset when the person in charge respectfully declines your offer (see below.)
- Help plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party. If the bride has chosen someone (probably MOH) to lead the charge, let them. Offer to help, but also know when to take the back seat.
- Do your best to make it to all events. You should do everything in your power to be at each event she asks- dress shopping, showers, bachelorette weekends, craft night, etc.
- Learn to smile and nod. Unless you're asked (and really not even then) does your opinion matter. Do you like your dress? YES. Is the cake good? YES. Are you having fun? YES.
- Don't assume you're getting a plus one to the wedding. In fact, it's best not make any assumptions. Let the bride make important decisions regarding her day.
LETS TALK MONEY
Everyone's favorite topic. Whether you're planning your own wedding, are in 64 other weddings, just had a baby, hit the lottery, or whatever the case may be, listen up.
At no point is it okay for you to disclose to the bride how much you or others are spending at any point of this process. I'll say it once more: DON'T TALK TO THE BRIDE ABOUT YOUR MONEY PROBLEMS. This girl is probably dishing out tens of thousands of dollars on the most important day of her life, so your money (priorities) may need some reassessing.
Most weddings and parties happen months from when you're asked to be a bridesmaid and there are many avenues you can take to save and prepare yourself for bridesmaid expenses. For example, if said pre-wedding activity is too much money, you have several options: go offline with the planner and discuss payment options to pay them back, offer to help find something cheaper (only if it checks off all of the brides boxes), or plan to sit this event out.
SOAK IN THE MOMENTS
If you need a mental or physical break from your friend's wedding, make sure to take it. Taking care of yourself should be a top priority so you can be on point when needed. Also, make sure you're really taking the time to enjoy your friend's day(s) and let her shine in the spotlight. Going through an experience like this together is going to bring you even closer.
Kelsey Haywood Lucas