Something very remarkable happens when enter your mid-late: everyone starts getting engaged.
For the most part, I have merely been a lowly guest at my friends’ recent weddings, with no responsibility except to show up, eats lots of food, consume lots of wine and dance like nobody’s watching.
Then it happened. My little sister got engaged and I was lucky enough to be chosen as her Maid of Honor. For those of you who haven’t experienced this wonderfully stressful time period, here are 7 things that happen when that day comes.
1). New, forced friendships
It’s the MOH’s job to befriend everyone in the wedding party, get their deets, friend them on Facebook and coordinate meet ups and icebreakers to make things run more smoothly. If you think getting along with your family is difficult, trying getting along with the people who are both ridiculously excited for the wedding and elated that they have very little responsibilities except to participate in the bachelorette party, show up to the wedding, hold flowers and look pretty/handsome.
Pro tip: Make a special point to get to know the Best Man, grab a beer, and commiserate about your wedding-related future.
2). DIY for days
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge DIY-er. (I would be an even bigger DIY-er if I didn’t have a full time job that required me to be in the newsroom every day and drained all my energy.) I think doing it yourself is a great idea and definitely ends up saving you money in the long run. But if I have to hot-glue one more piece of lace on a burlap bow, I’m going to throw up.
Pro tip: Outsource your DIY project to the kids you babysit, your students (if you’re a teacher) or younger siblings.
3). Dress shopping (aka meltdown duty)
When it’s time, the MOH has to be on her toes, prepared with snacks, drinks, tissues and an arsenal of “How do you feel in that dress?” “That’s breathtaking” “I’m not sure if it hits you in the right places/flatters your beautiful figure” comments to keep the bride off the edge. If you maintain a calm exterior, time the snacks and tissues correctly, you should survive. But you should be prepared to take a stand in defense of the bride when her mother/aunt/opinionated college roommate butts in.
Pro tip: Marathon “Say Yes To the Dress” during the week leading up to the appointment to prepare yourself for any and all possible scenarios.
4). Plans on plans on plans
Are you good at planning? Scheduling? Organizing? You’re about to be. Get yourself a colorful planner/download any of several wedding planning apps and learn your stuff. You are about to become the bride’s right-hand woman, and if you don’t have your stuff together, it’s 100% going to be your fault when the bride ends up walking down the wrong end of the aisle and Uncle Frank shows up two hours late to the ceremony.
Pro tip: Have the bride prepare a schedule of when and where she wants things to be done in preparation for the wedding, enter it into the calendar on your phone with reminders set for a week ahead of time. Make it a goal to be more on top of the details of her wedding than she is.
5). Pinterest for days
Shared Pinterest boards are a God-send for bridges and their MOH’s. Pin often and aggressively, and make sure you pay attention to what she does and does not like. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled upon a rustic-themed outdoor wedding decor page that seemed perfect for my sister’s wedding, only to have her completely nix every detail.
Pro tip: Over-pin. It’s not going to hurt to share some out-of-the box ideas with the bride.
6.) It’s not your wedding
How exciting is it to Pin a million wedding pages? Don’t lie, we all have that secret Pinterest board in preparation for that day. It’s healthy, don’t be ashamed. But the MOH has to remember that this is not her day, it’s the bride and groom’s day. Whether you are prepared both mentally and physically to help the wedding run smoothly, at the end of the day it all comes down to what they want (even if you think those shiny purple vases seem tacky).
Pro tip: Smile and nod. It will get you so far.
7). Marathons in heels
Can you run in heels? Can you hike up stairs in ballgowns? If you can’t, you better start practicing. You’ll be up down those stairs checking on flower arrangements, scheduling conflicts and guest accommodations. You may not be the wedding planner, but you’re the one who knows the bride best and if a missplaced name card is going to ruin her special day, you best be on it.
Pro tip: Start working out now. You need to be in shape for the wedding anyways, so you might as well start working those calves!
All things considered, being chosen as someone’s Maid of Honor is one of the exciting, humbling moments in a woman’s life. You get to be the person the bridge confides in, the one who can stand back at the end of the day, proud of your hard work and happy the couple can simply enjoy the day.