How to Prepare to Be the Maid of Honor

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The good news is you've been asked to be the maid or matron of
honor. You are truly honored to be chosen--your friendship has
passed the test of time. The bad news is you've been asked to be the
maid or matron of honor. It's a big job and the pressure's on. Don't
worry, though--good friends always rise to the occasion.

  • Start saving. You'll be shelling out big bucks on your dress, shoes, shower and bachelorette gifts, airfare and hotel costs.

  • Talk to the bride and see what she has in mind. Ask what her expectations are up front and how she would like you to help her. Ask what kind of shower she would like and whom she would like to invite.

  • Get the measurements of the other bridesmaids to the bride when she needs them for the dresses.

  • Keep in touch with the bride about RSVPs. Offer to contact invited guests who haven't responded by the requested date. Also offer to mediate between bickering family members or friends.

  • Send frequent e-mail messages to update the bridesmaids as well as the bride. If nothing else, it'll reassure her that you're on top of things.

  • Plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party (see 337 Plan a Shower and 332 Plan a Bachelor or Bachelorette Party).

  • Help the bride get dressed on the big day.

  • Toast the bride and groom (if you want--the best man usually does this).

  • Point out key people to the photographer to make sure the bride gets photos of everyone she wants.

  • Arrange for safe delivery of the wedding gifts.

  • Make sure the bride and groom get something to eat and drink during the reception. Offer snacks and water before the ceremony.

Tips & Warnings

  • Donate bridesmaids' dresses to charity after the wedding, if they won't be used again. Some organizations, such as Fairy Godmothers Inc. (fairygodmothersinc.com), collect dresses to distribute to girls who cannot afford a prom dress.
  • Put together a bridal emergency kit for the wedding. Include an extra pair of stockings, tampons, dental floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste, breath mints, hair spray, tissues, needle and thread, stain remover, small scissors, nail polish in her chosen color, aspirin, lip gloss, ibuprofin, bottled water and an energy bar.

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