Being a maid of honor is a huge responsibility. It's the biggest day of the bride's life, and you're playing a huge role in how it goes (no pressure!). Seriously, close your eyes and take a deep breath. You got this. Being the most amazing maid of honor ever isn't hard if you follow a few tried-and-true tips:
Be There for the Bride -- AND for Mom
This one is easy to overlook. But if the bride's mom isn't happy, she won't be either. Your duties involve making sure both the bride and her proud mamma are getting what they need. Some moms will want to be super involved, others will be more hands-off, but connect with them early and often, and on the day of the wedding, make sure they have everything they need and are kept in the loop.
Be a Good Listener
Being there for someone is all about being a good listener. This is doubly important on the wedding day, when things can get a bit hectic. Be quick on your feet, and try to find out what the bride will need before she needs it. Rather than just saying, "I'm here if you need me, let me know what I should do," offer to help with specific tasks the bride needs done. This will ease her stress of having to think of tasks to delegate constantly when she can barely keep up with her own. Being a good listener is what being a great bridesmaid is all about!
A great bridesmaid is a proactive bridesmaid. You can ask the bride beforehand if she anticipates certain things will need to get done, and make a note of each so you're ready when the time comes. On the wedding day itself, try to see what the bride's points of stress are, and offer to help with those specific tasks.
Don't Neglect the Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Party
One of your responsibilities will be to plan an amazing bridal shower. Sometimes, you'll have to plan a bachelorette blowout as well. Make it unique to the bride's personality, and think outside the box. Fun activities like an amusement park, beach day, or wine tasting are always great. Group spa sessions are amazing as well, but remember that it might be hard for some of the besties to afford certain things.
Sure, going for a half-day at the spa and a half-day of skydiving would be an unforgettable combo, but if some of the bride's closest friends might have to sit it out due to cost, you should think of more affordable options. Also, as the maid of honor, keep track of who gave what at the bridal shower. This will make the bride's life much easier when it comes time to start drafting those thank-you notes.
Help the Bridesmaids
One of your biggest jobs will be to take the responsibility off of the bride to micro-manage the bridesmaids. You'll be helping with dress fittings, organization on the wedding day, keeping them appraised of all the details regarding events before, during, and after the wedding, organizing their transportation and lodging, and keeping track of everyone for the rehearsal and other obligations.
Pack Some Tissues
Tastefully tie some tissues around the bottom of the bouquet, which you'll be holding during the ceremony when the bride exchanges vows with the groom. If you have a crying bride or a bawling bridesmaid, they may come in handy during those emotional moments!
Be There for Appointments Whenever You Can
From dress fittings to venue previews, wedding planning involves tons of appointments. Don't feel like you have to attend every one, but whenever possible, offer to help out at any of them you can. She'll never forget how you helped her with her dress fitting, gave her reassurance that she picked the right venue, or helped her taste those samples from the caterer!
That's all there is to it. Being a great maid of honor is a matter of being there when the bride needs it most. And it will strengthen your bond with her forever!