12 answers

How to Be a Good Maid of Honor?

My lovely sister is getting married! She asked me to be her maid (matron) of honor and oh wow, I am so thrilled, but also nervous about doing a good job. She's in her 20s and so are her other bridesmaids. She's the first of her friends to get married. I'm 41, and I feel like I don't have a clue what to do. Do you have any suggestions? I want to be the perfect amount of support for her BIG DAY. I'm clueless about stuff like - do I give her a bridal shower or bachelorette party? or both? Oh, and how about the toast? Any tips?

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I'm considerably older than my sister as well and she asked me to be her matron on honor for her wedding 4 years ago. I also live 3000 miles away (California to New Hampshire to be exact with the wedding in Michigan).

I was in charge of the shower (helped by the other bridesmaids), but had her college roommates handle the bachelorette party since I am too old for that and my kids and I had a 7 am flight home the next morning. Everyone was fine with that solution.

The toast is up to you and the bridal couple. They asked if I wanted to give one, I said if they wanted me to, I would, but if it was my decision I would prefer to give one at the rehearsal dinner.

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There is a book out there about being a great Maid of Honor which cover a whole lot of stuff that you can do and also lets you know the basics...plus since the bridesmaids are young...it is probably best that you are the maid of honor.....I would call each bridesmaid up individually...after you feel comfortable with your part and introduce/say hi to them and get a take on what they feel is thier part in this wedding...you might also want to tell them what you'd like to do at maid of honor....you may have some that say..oh, I really want to help with that, to ..oh, I really want to throw the bachelorette party.....let them run with it..but help them or just make sure everything is covered etc...

Resposiblities of a Maid of Honor...

Shower

Other Showers..make sure bridesmaids know of them.

assisting bride with anything

day of wedding assisting bride and making sure bridesmaids assist bride

Help with wedding reception party favors

help bride plan a bridal luncheon

throw an engagement party

throw bachelorette party

assist bride in problems that come up

offer help to wedding coordinator

help with addressing wedding invitations

help with thank you cards

making sure the bride looks her best at reception...

there are many other responsibilities...and the above are not what you have to do..but suggestions...it all matters on what the bride would like...just offer and see if she wants you to do that. I'm from the south...so we tend to do things a little bigger and go overboard with weddings...best thing is to get a feel of what the bride is doing...as well as the abilities of the bridesmaids.

And also..HAVE FUN!

Hi J.,

I got married a little over 2 years ago and have been in a few weddings myself. From my experiences, the maid/matron of honor is responsible for planning the bridal shower or wedding shower. I agree with some of the others who suggest that you should have one of the bridesmaids (her closest friend) to take on the coordinating/planning of the bachelorette party. You're also responsible for making a toast at the wedding...and just making sure that you're there supporting the bride in any other way you can with going with her dress shopping, etc. Sounds like you'll you're on the right track with seeking advice! Good luck! and congrats!

I'm considerably older than my sister as well and she asked me to be her matron on honor for her wedding 4 years ago. I also live 3000 miles away (California to New Hampshire to be exact with the wedding in Michigan).

I was in charge of the shower (helped by the other bridesmaids), but had her college roommates handle the bachelorette party since I am too old for that and my kids and I had a 7 am flight home the next morning. Everyone was fine with that solution.

The toast is up to you and the bridal couple. They asked if I wanted to give one, I said if they wanted me to, I would, but if it was my decision I would prefer to give one at the rehearsal dinner.

Congrats to your sister! My best advice is be there for her. Offer to help anyway you can. Technically all of the bridesmaids throw the shower and bachelorette party. Maybe get the emails of the other bridesmaids so you guys can all talk about it. Usually it is the MOH that is the main planner for those 2 events. As far as the toast goes, don't tell too many embarrassing stories, welcome the groom into the family, etc. I've been a MOH several times so if you have any more questions you can send me a message!

dear J.: first of all, let me say congratulations to your sister...and well, unfortunately my sympathies to you.. lol.. not to be mean, but well, i was 20 when i got married and i asked my sister to be my matron of honor... she declined, so i went on to my best friend at the time. Needless to say, it was a DISASTER!!! my matron of honor not only did not do my wedding shower, she arrived OVER 2 HRS LATE! and on top of that, when she did do my bachelorette party, which SHE INSISTED had to be vegas, i sent her the list of girls i would like her to invite.. and well, she didn't, she invited her cousin and HER friends.. again, another disaster... my point here, make sure that what you are doing, wether it's the shower or bachelorette party or what not is what your sister likes..or atleast among those lines.. you know, you dont want to sit there and push things along. you are also supposed to be the "ring leader" for her bridesmaids, be involved in that. I wish you and your sister the best always, this will be a great bonding time between you both, and hopefully it will make an already close relationship even closer.

Bridal Shower and Bachelorette party are primarily the responsibility for the MOH planning wise. Of course, I would hope that the rest of the bridal party helps out as well. Since you're her sister, you might be the best one for the job, anyway as far as finding out what she'd preffer and delegating tasks to the rest of the party so that you're not stuck doing everything. For the big day, one regret that I have as the MOH for my sister (and she was mine) was making sure that she had something to eat. We were separated for most of the morning and I didn't think about it at all and I know she was hungry all day- I made sure to pack a goody bag with bobby pins, a sewing kit, safety pins. Anything that might have been forgotten by the others in the bridal party. Since the bride has so much to think about, I tried to remember things that might have slipped her mind.
Your sister might be able to tell you for the toast what she'd prefer. I for one, asked that any toasts be short and sweet and only those that wanted to give one had to. It's definitely not a requirement.

How fun! My advice is to go online and research wedding planning, just bone up and be the best resource you can be. You may need to do alot of 'bridesmaid wrangling', especially since you are the 'big sister'. You can help out so much by being organized, and by helping the other girls keep on track as well. Steer her towards a wedding coordinater (she's not a planner, but she will help you plan)- they think of all the little things you would never think about (when booking a venue- do the table linens go to the floor? Who lights the candles on the tables? Does the caterer supply coffee?) My coordinater handled the flowers as well as the catering and coordination of the day- it was wonderful! Good luck, and keep researching ideas!

How exciting! Well, I've been the maid (matron) of honor in three weddings. You are the one responsible for the bridal shower. As for the bachelorette party you can ask one of her friends to organize that if you think they'd be more in tune to what her age group would want. And, yes, I hate to tell you this, but you are responsible for making a toast as well! The toast shouldn't be too tough since she's your baby sis! Plus just be there as a support system and make sure she has everything she needs. Easy, huh? Hahaha.

Greetings J., Let me Welcome you into the most stressful time of your life. This cam be worse than raising teens depending on the maturity and wisdom of the bride and groom.
I say this as the mother of 4 of which have married & done weddings for a living for 35 years (200 of them, I have either done or cordinated with).
That said-- Becuse you have the advantage of a sister who loves you enough to ask you to share in her specialday this way it also tells me that you have the ability to influence her to common sence when her friends are encouraging her to do " Yuppie" & "Movie Star" things. You ill be able to help her set and keep boundries with her ideas so there is not wasted efforts and money. Recently I know of a wedding party all the bride maides(2 of which were married with children), the grooms men that all were expected to go on a weekend trip Bachlorett/ Bachlor party to Reno, some had to loose 2 days pay to go. The cost was horible and some felt they had to do it and went into debt for it as well as someone else being responsible for their children while they played. Everyone does not do this, it really is something that you read about in magazines so I know that it is not resonable esp. with so many that can't take time off work or spen money unwisely.
I do know that the Matron, is expected to give a shower. This can be with both families so they get a chance to intermingle. It can also be sone with the otherbrides maides so the cost is not all on you. This can be done as elegant or as simple as you wish.
I have know peoplle to do depending on the time of year, lage park gatherings& decorate the area, backyards( which is a great excuse to fix it up), or rent a room at the Community center or use a church.The best place is always in someones home as it is most personal.
***If you are going to serve any liquor, besure to check and see that everyone is able to drive home or plan on an alternative. I know of one case where the party giver was included in the court case of the accident becasue they had given the drinks(young woman was 24, so old enough).There is special insurance you can take out to protect yourself.
If you have any special family traditions this is the time for you as Matorn to bring them out. I saw one family set up a quilt frame and each guest was able to do a bit on the quilt that was being presented to the couple and the young bride was so thrilled she displayed it as the backdrop of the gift table at her reception. This is a wonderful time in the life of your family. I hope that it brings you all closer together-- not always the case if the bride becomes childish and selfish. I hope that you get a lot of pictures along the way so that she will have many memories of what its all about . Anything I can help answer for you please contact me.. Nana Glenda

Hi J.-
Being Matron of Honor means alot of work. I have done it twice. Once well, once not so well.
I will take a page from MY maid of honor 7 years ago, and tell you that without her, I would not have made it. She mailed and e-mailed me pictures of flowers and arrangements, of dresses, colors, anything she saw- she kept a note of. She organized ONE bridal shower, if there were more she attended if at all possible. As an attendee, she wrote down everything I received and who it was from.
She came bridesmaid dress shopping with me and tried on everything I asked, ugly or not. She helped with party favors and ideas, sent me bridal magazines with things circled that she thought I might like, and on the big day, had her mom (who did mary kay VERY well) do my makeup, helped with hair, etc. She planned one night out with the girls (bachelorette) for me, which was dinner, fun lingerie gifts, and a movie. Totally me. I am so not into the wild nights out.
For your sister, get a subscription to a couple of bridal magazines- or pick up a few here and there. Either sit with her or mail her pieces or like my best, the entire mag with pages marked. Plan an outing with her that her ladies can come too and do lunch, try on dresses- no purchase necessary, etc. Take her to see a florist, etc.
Basically, you become the planner and the helper with all the extra bits and pieces. Don't go over board, but be there for any ideas, and be excited with her. This is HUGE for her, and can be overwhelming- for you, too. So get a book for planning- or get her one- and make yourself a copy- my best bought one and filled it out and then gave it to me as a gift- with all the bits in it that we had searched through, tested, etc.
ALSO, take her to cake test. Depending on where you are, there is a fantastic little tiny shop in Bakersfield. It's called L'Amour Cakes. The owner is a bit eccentric, and the shop is a little quirky, bit the cake was phenominal and you can get full size test cakes to take home for $5 each.
The toast- something from your heart. How proud you are of her, how amazing she is, she looks, etc. What a wonderful life you wish the two of them...please no "what to expect from your lazy man" speeches. Men will leave their socks on the floor. Everyone knows this. Keep it positive, keep it focused on her attributes, and how great of a choice she made for a husband, and how lucky they are to get to spend their life with someone they love so much. What a blessing.
I think that's all I've got. Good luck, and have fun!

J.,
First off, anyone who care enough to post about this will be a wonderful maid of honor! Secondly, old school etiquette says that family members should not throw bridal showers because it is unseemly to ask for gifts for your family. However, I think people aren't so hardcore about this stuff these days. You could talk to other bridesmaids or close family friends about whether they know if someone is planning to throw a shower. Some other things to do depending on how close by you live: help with getting out invitations (stuffing envelopes, putting on stamps, etc.), keep a list of gifts received at any showers and address envelopes for thank-you notes, help (if your sis wants) to shop for the bridal gown and bridesmaid's dresses, accompany and support her (depending on how her fiance feels about this and without pushing your tastes) when she and picks out flowers and food, listen to DJs/bands with her, etc. On the day of her wedding, you definitely should give a toast. You might want to google wedding toasts to get good advice and even listen to actual toasts to see what feels authentic to you. Also, be sure to have an emergency kit for the big day -- sewing supplies (with thread to match her dress and the bridesmaids' dresses), bandaids, lipstick, fashion tape, moleskin or similar product for preventing/treating blisters, a Tide pen (for food stains) and a Clorox bleach pen if her dress is white, nail polish and polish remover, Q-tips for make-up touch-ups, bobby pins, hair spray, etc. Also, make sure she walks around the house in her bridal shoes while wearing socks to break them in a bit before the wedding. Finally, if it's not a formal sit-down dinner bring your sister food during the reception -- between socializing with guests and all the excitement, it's hard to remember/find time to eat. I'm sure you'll do a great job because it's clear that your going to be there for your sister.

PLease J.
Don't have her party the day before the rehearsal my girlfriend was getting married so we had a party batteralet party wow was it fun but there was alot of drinking so have it like a week or 2 before the wedding and don't stress just have a party for her with just the brides maids don't worry there's lots of fun games

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