“Will you be my Maid of Honor?” What a wonderful question to hear! Nothing quite solidifies a best-friendship or a sister bond like the request to be the Maid of Honor. I believe this to be a precious and treasured role, and I wish that I would have lived up to this role when I was the Maid of Honor for my best friend (I didn’t educate myself on what that meant). As you read on, I am going to give you a list of the ten things that I think this incredibly important role means.
I can’t help but share my disappointment in the way this role has been watered down over the years and my joy at now seeing women revive the role in weddings today. Being the Maid of Honor is not JUST a reason to buy a pretty dress and get gorgeous portraits with your friends. Yes, I mean, these are great perks, but the role itself is so much more! Women have an opportunity to support their best friend in a day they will treasure forever. So what DOES it mean, then?
First, it means that you are an esteemed friend. You have been selected PUBLICLY to represent all that makes friendship between women so great. Your relationship tells the groom and the witnessing world what the bride values in friendship and this also carries over into the traits she values in FAMILY. So forgiveness, support, love, accountability, and FUN should be on your list of priorities not just the day of the wedding, but in your friendship overall.
You are a maid. A maid or an attendant to the bride is there to SERVE the bride. She brings her water, fixes her veil, has tissues handy, helps her in any way needed. You haven’t been asked just to come and look pretty with her, you have been asked to serve her for the day. After all, it is her special day and you are there to be her best friend.
You are an encourager, defender and a buffer. No possibly stressful news or planning issues should reach her ears on the wedding day. If you overhear the venue staff talking about tables not yet set or the best man about rings that can’t be found, you smile and give her a hug and don’t let her know ANYTHING is amiss. You can send someone else to get the job done. You are there with HER. You encourage, defend, and shield her from those who might unintentionally bring on the stress.
You are another pair of eyes. You make sure her earrings are turned the right way, the veil is laying correctly, the train is as it should be. Watch some youtube videos on how to fix anything you might need to BEFORE the wedding day.
You are graceful, generous, and loving to the bridal party, family and guests. Thank her parents for years of welcoming you into their home (if this isn’t your story, that’s OK, but thank those you should who ARE there). Love the children involved in the wedding and give them hugs and hi-fives frequently. Be the peacemaker with EVERY bridesmaid there. If you have anything between you and another bridesmaid, deal with it, forgive and be reconciled BEFORE the wedding day.
Give a stellar toast. It isn’t a performance or a competition between you and the best man. You may not even need notecards or you phone. But please prepare. You know it is coming and honestly, it is your chance to give the couple a beautiful send off. Stay appropriate and keep jokes and stories short, simple and funny but tasteful. Go over it with one of the other bridesmaids long before the day comes. The last thing a bride wants on her wedding day is to feel humiliated by the person who is supposed to be their best friend, whom they asked to take on the role KNOWING a toast was involved. Sweet tears, fun memories, and compliments are all appropriate and endearing!
Get people excited! If there is dancing involved at the reception, practice beforehand if you need to, but give the bride what she wants! If she wants DANCING, then get up, kick off your heels and dance! If she wants a ballroom soiree, then grab your best guy and perhaps take classes WITH the bride and groom before the wedding.
Be the Maid of Honor from the moment you are asked! Your role starts long before the wedding day. Watch some of your favorite getting married movies together. Go shopping for the dress. Go shopping for everything else together. Read a book together about marriage. Attend a women’s Bible study together. Share a podcast you love. Spend hours dreaming, planning, and spending valuable time together. Get excited about it long before the day comes. If you are a matron of honor, talk about marriage, what it takes and how much it’s worth it!
Plan the bridal shower. Work with her mother, mother-in-law and the other bridesmaids to plan the shower and make it special. Special doesn’t have to break the bank but it does have to emphasize the things that make her smile.
Help with the practical things. Address thank you cards, count RSVPs, go to the wedding planner with her. BE A GREAT FRIEND! (and perhaps plan a big reveal like Brittany‘s bridesmaids did???)
Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Virginia Wedding Photographer, Charlottesville Wedding Photographer. She is also a Washington DC Wedding Photographer and a Film Photographer serving couples with weddings in all destinations.