Maid of Honor Advice
Timeline Checklist of the Maid of Honor's Responsibilities
The following timeline checklist will help even the most disorganized maid of honor stay on track. From the moment the bride asks you to be her maid of honor up through the moment when the newly married couple leaves for their honeymoon, this checklist covers all the bases.
Six to Twelve Months Before the Wedding
The maid of honor should go dress shopping with the bride, for both the bridal gown and the bridesmaid dresses. The more you're available to give the bride input on the dresses, the more likely the dresses will be attractive, and the happier everyone will be!
As the bride plans out the wedding, be a supportive ear and a second opinion on everything from flowers to band to reception venues.
Order the bridesmaid dress (and possibly shoes), per the bride's final choice.
If the wedding isn't nearby, the maid of honor should book her hotel rooms and plane, train, or bus tickets.
Three to Five Months Before the Wedding
As soon as the bridesmaid dress arrives, it should be tried on and taken to be altered as needed.
The maid of honor should set a date for the bridal shower and send out invitations.
The maid of honor should also plan the bachelorette party and send out invitations.
One to Two Months Before the Wedding
This is when the maid of honor should have both the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Traditionally some people have opted to hold these events the weekend before or even the night before the start of the wedding festivities (rehearsal dinner and so forth). I believe that it's a lot less stressful for the bride, bridesmaids, and guests to hold these events a bit earlier. This is becoming more the norm anyway.
The maid of honor should offer to help address and stuff wedding invitations. Later on, the bride may enlist your help to call guests who have not yet RSVPed.
Now is the time to write and start rehearsing the maid of honor speech.
The Last Few Weeks Before the Wedding
Don't forget that the maid of honor, in addition to all her other responsibilities, is still a wedding guest (a very special one) and needs to bring a wedding gift. As an integral part of the wedding it's easy to forget this one little detail!
Pay particular attention to keeping the bride calm and happy as the wedding countdown winds down. It's also a nice time for the maid of honor to make the bride's day by sending flowers to celebrate "x number of days until the wedding!"
During the Wedding Festivities
Plan a last girls get together with the bride, maid of honor, and possibly bridesmaids on the last night before the wedding festivities start. You should let the bride decide, but something low key is usually a good choice (renting a movie, going out for drinks or dinner, for instance).
One or two more trial runs of the maid of honor speech are never a bad idea.
Make sure the bride has everything she needs, that the bridesmaids are in the right places at the right times, and try to help out wherever possible.
Check in with the bride frequently at the wedding reception to see if she needs anything (and especially to help the bride with her gown if she needs to use the restroom!).
Then all that's left for you to do is share the bride's joy as you successfully complete your term as maid of honor!