The end of spring time typically kicks off celebration season throughout the summer months for many of us. With graduations, bridal parties and weddings, let the festivities begin! If you are a maid of honor of a bridesmaid for a wedding this year, whether that’s official or in an unsaid capacity, I am here to help you with some tips on how to be the best maid of honor there is and help your bride to feel as stress-free as possible!
If you’ve been a bride before, you know that it is not all glitter and glam. Planning a wedding can actually become a very stressful undertaking. Having someone help take off some that load will go a long way and help the bride relax and enjoy the process leading up to her big day.
Become Your Bride’s Right Hand
What your bride needs more than anything is a second set of hands. This applies whether or not she has chosen to hire a wedding planner. While a wedding planner is a huge help, it is also costly, so your bride will rely on you to take on some of her wedding planning responsibilities. There will still be some follow up with the wedding planner, if that is the path she chooses to take. It’s always a great idea to sit down with your bride and make a to-do list and plan on how to tackle it.
Being her right hand may take on many forms. Physically, she will need help with ideas on where to begin contacting vendors such as the venue, photographer, videographer, decor, florist, dress shops, bakery and so on. The list is endless. She will also need someone to go on these appointments with her to help get second opinions and make decisions.
Don’t forget that she will also need you on her big day! Helping her get ready, holding her dress and bouquet, and grabbing her a drink. Basically making sure the bride is taken care of and has back up at all times!
The author Danah Shuli and her family helping her sister on her wedding day.
Securing dates and mapping out what your bride’s timeline will look like is another huge undertaking for which she will need your help. Being her right hand also means being there for her emotionally. Sometimes what we want and what is realistic do not align, and that can cause a lot of emotions and stress.
Being a bridesmaid is no easy task. It is a lot to take on and there is no need for you to feel the pressure of doing it all yourself. Reel in the rest of the bridal party, the bride’s closest friends or her sisters to help you with some of these responsibilities. If the bride has chosen you as the main lead, remember that and consult with her (as needed) as you delegate tasks.
With the right intention your help can be transformed into a form of ibadah, helping your friend in need as she embarks on one of the most important phases of her life! Remember that you can only do your best and don’t over-stress about all of the details and to-do’s. You are here to help the bride de-stress after all!
Regular Check-In’s and Being a Listening Ear
The months leading up to your bride’s big day can be an emotional rollercoaster. Not only is she planning her wedding and dealing with all the logistics but she may be preparing to leave her parents’ house (or if she has already moved out, readying to share space with her husband) and in some cases, move to another city, state or even country.
Your friend is going through a lot of emotions and being pulled in all different directions. What she needs from you is to sit down and listen. Sometimes all you need is for someone to hear you out who is not part of your immediate family, someone on the outside. Bring a favorite drink, or take her out on a coffee date, and let her spill her heart out.
Image source: Pexels
It’s also a good idea to regularly check-in with your bride on the latest with her wedding planning details, but also life and how she is coping with it all. Sometimes all you need is to think out loud and have a listening ear. Maybe she needs a hand with starting to pack her things or just someone to remind her of the to-do’s of that week or month. Being that person she can lean on will help her feel at ease and supported.
Capturing the perfect photo is great. But in my opinion, there is something special about looking at all that happened behind the scenes. Consider being your bride’s unofficial behind-the-scenes photographer by always having your camera or phone ready to capture her in the moment. Whether that’s during your planning sessions, appointments, party prep or even while she gets ready for her big day and any events leading up to the wedding.
Or, if this is too much to handle with your other responsibilities towards your bride, loop in another trusted friend and assign them behind-the-scenes photo-snapping duties! So many fun and poignant moments can be captured this way.
There is so much you can do with these candid photos that will make a beautifully sentimental gift. Take videos along with photos and combine your snippets into a montage for an emotionally-wrenching gift before her wedding. Get crafty and create a scrapbook with your favorite behind-the-scenes photos for her to look back on and remember all that went into planning this day.
Plan The Perfect Bridal Shower
Image source: Amras Ameen
This part of the wedding process is definitely a maid of honor task with the help of the bridal party. There are so many ways you can go about this, and just a quick search on Pinterest will unlock so many possibilities for you in terms of theme, game ideas, decor and set up. Previously, I’ve written a post on how to plan the perfect baby shower
. You can use this post as a guide and switch all things baby to all things bridal!
It’s also fun to think outside of the box. You can host a bridal brunch at your bride’s favorite restaurant or even at home. Instead of a traditional party or get together, plan a fun activity that your bride enjoys for everyone to do together. A guided painting class with light snacks and drinks, or an outdoor adventure – like canoeing with a picnic on the lake – if your girl is the outdoorsy type.
Even going out to a flower-picking field and hiring a photographer to snap photos of your bride and her besties is another great way to celebrate your special girl and have memories captured.
I hope this post has got your juices flowing on how best to support your bride-to-be as she embarks on this new chapter in her life. Having loved ones around us to support us in our most joyous occasions is truly an honor, so own that title and be the best maid of honor you can be!
Were you ever a maid of honor, whether officially or unofficially? What did you do to help support your bride? What did she especially appreciate? What would you not do again? Share all your tips in the comments below!