Congratulations! So you’ve been asked “Will you be in my bridal party?” Sure, you can put on a dress, carry a bouquet and be escorted down the aisle by a handsome groomsman, but if you agree to be a bridesmaid, you should realize this honor also comes with responsibilities. Knowing ahead of time what is expected of you will help get you through this very special, emotional, and memorable time ahead. It may help to remember that your responsibilities as a bridesmaid only last a short time, but the memories will last forever!
The Maid of Honor
In addition to performing the role of bridesmaid, the Maid or Matron of Honor (MOH) has additional wedding tasks. You are the sounding board for the bride (and groom) when wedding planning becomes too stressful, and the referee for the bridesmaids if the bride becomes unbearable. You are the glue that keeps everything running smoothly. The bride chose you from her friends and family for many reasons, but one is that she trusts you will take on the task and help keep her, and everything else organized.
Once you accept the mission to be the MOH, know that you are now the bride’s on-call person. You know your friend’s personality best, but understand that even the most level-headed bride may have their moments, ranging from “My mother is evil,” to “The bridesmaid dresses were supposed to be coral, not orange!”
You will also be responsible for hosting a shower for friends of the bride and groom unless a family member is hosting one
Look to the other bridesmaids for input on shower ideas and try to keep a budget that is reasonable for everyone.
Traditionally the bridal party throws the bridal shower. The maid of honor and other bridesmaids meet to set a date, decide on a theme and coordinate shopping and decorating for the event.
Bridal Shower Duties
- Set a date — If the shower is to be a surprise, you’ll have to coordinate the date with the groom and mothers of both the bride and groom.
- Create the guest list — If the shower is to be a surprise, ask the groom and the parents of the bride and groom for a list of family and friends and be sure to include co-workers.
Who should be invited? It’s bad form to invite someone to the shower who won’t be invited to the wedding, so it’s best to limit the guest list to close friends and family members.
- Create a theme — Once you decide on a theme, you can purchase invitations, plan games, the menu and decorations.
- Address and mail invitations — If there are many, the whole bridal party can help out. Invitations should generally be mailed 30 days prior to the event. You’ll want people to RSVP within enough time for you to shop for the event.
- Locating a venue — Traditionally showers are held in the home of a close friend or relative. It’s becoming more and more common nowadays to hold the shower in a restaurant or catering facility.
- Plan menus, appetizers, favors and select a cake.
- Decorate before the shower.
- Greet guests — Guests typically arrive 30 to 60 minutes before the guest of honor
- Introduce guests — Many times this is done with the help of some ice breaking games
- Greet Guest(s) of Honor
- Coordinate activities so there is no lull.
- Keep track of who gives what gift (so the bride can write specific, particular thank-you notes)
- Help the bride and groom take their gifts to their final destination
In the midst of all the busy planning, enjoy your time and duties as a bridesmaid for it is indeed an honor to have such a special role in the couple’s wedding day!