Maid of Honour, Chief Bridesmaid, Best Woman…whatever you want to call it, being the Bride’s right hand (wo)man is a tough job, there’s no two ways about it. For all the giggles and glasses of prosecco there will also be moments of mind-bending stress and emotional turmoil because you, beautiful MOH, are about to become head girl in the school of bridal counselling, wedding planning and crisis management.
We’ve got a breakdown of your duties so that you can make sure you absolutely nail your job description and ensure that dear old Bridey has the best time of her life.
1) First up, offer your services for everything and anything wedding related, from addressing envelopes to shopping for outfits. Your bride needs to feel like you are 100% on her side, no matter how mundane the activity. Don’t, however, pressurise her into thinking you need to be part of everything – remain aloof but available, objective but understanding.
2) Make sure your phone is on 24/7 to lend an ear. You’re probably going to have to listen to her rant about the wedding venue ripping her off, or a stubborn mother-in-law, or a freak out about the ribbon colour of her bouquet not matching the colour of the bridesmaids dresses. You may, in fact, have to hear the same rant on many different occasions. Just suck it up, offer soothing words, tissues or violent retribution as necessary.
3) Be in no doubt that you’re in charge of all the other bridesmaids. You need to make sure they all know what they’re doing (you can read our guide here) but feel free to pull rank and delegate activities at any time. Become militant about everyone’s time-keeping when it comes to dress fittings; filter all queries about shoes/hairstyles/possible pregnancies so that the bride only has to deal with the most important matters; issue schedules for all important dates (hen party, wedding rehearsals, hair and make up call times) to make sure you have no weakest link in your team.
4) Obviously you’ve got a hen party to plan. This is a simple task of coordinating about a dozen or more women who all have different agendas, schedules and tastes whilst trying to create a memorable experience for the bride that she’ll actually enjoy and simultaneously fending off any back-stabbing that occurs when the other hens decide your plan is too expensive/exclusive/outrageous. No big deal.
5) On the morning of the wedding, you’ll need to make sure that Team Bridesmaid are all singing from the same call sheet in order to get everyone through hair and make-up in time (and filter out any complaints about how they don’t like how they look), get them dressed, have time for a little cry at the thoughtful gifts the bride will give you all, shepherd them all into the appropriate transportation and get them to the ceremony on time.
6) Even if your heart is pounding in your chest as you arrive at the doors to the wedding ceremony, make sure you arrange the bride’s train and veil before she heads off down the altar. Give her a reassuring word in her ear. Tell her how beautiful she looks. Then repeat it all again when you get to the altar.
7) During the ceremony, you might need to hold the bride’s bouquet for her. You might be entrusted with holding the wedding rings. You may be required to witness the signing of the register. You will do all these tasks seamlessly and elegantly, with a glistening tear of emotional pride in your eye at all times (for photo purposes).
8) Make sure you’re on hand to round up bridesmaids for photos. Feel free to delegate to an usher to be the gofer for fetching guests into pictures too.
9) Don’t let the bride go hungry. Shove a few canapés in her face between photos and make sure she doesn’t spend so much time mingling during the wedding breakfast that she forgets to sit down and eat. Adrenaline will only keep her going for so long!
10) Help the bride remove her veil and/or bustle the train of her wedding dress. She’ll need to be able to sit down and dance at some point, so you need to be like a ninja in transforming her outfit accordingly.
11) You’re also going to become a toilet attendant, because no bride can pee alone and many need help finding the loo beneath their dress. Just saying.
12)At some point, you’ll end up being a tourist information point as you direct guests to the bar, their rooms, the toilet, the guestbook, the table plan and so on. Of course, you’ll be the most enigmatic, polite and witty tourist information point there ever was.
13) Although usually the job of the best man and/or ushers, you might want to keep an eye on any wedding presents/cards that need to be collected and kept in a safe place. Not everyone will notice the lovingly handmade wedding postbox or quirky vintage suitcase that’s been immaculately styled to receive gifts, so you should make sure everything gets to its final destination.
14) MOST importantly: don’t take it too seriously. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine and can alleviate the biggest stresses and nerviest brides. Make sure you’re on hand to keep her giggling because she’ll remember that the most out of all the other Herculean tasks you do.
Good luck Maid of Honour, we know you can keep this wedding seamlessly together!