You gladly accepted the role. You have the best of intentions. You want to make these next few months all about the bride. But being a bridesmaid or maid of honor for a close friend, relative, or sister comes with lots of pressure. Not to worry! You’ve got this.
Here are a few tips to keep things on track and make sure everyone (the bride especially) stays blissful during this season:
1. Ready, set, go!
The bride probably asked you to be an honored part of her wedding several months in advance of the big day, but don’t use that as an opportunity to procrastinate. Instead, get going as soon as you can getting some foundational pieces in place. Gather the bridesmaids’ contact information in a centralized location and give the whole wedding party access. Start to put together a budget for yourself and for upcoming showers, the bachelorette party, etc. Getting a head start will not only keep things lower stress, it will also help you identify snags or issues early so you can deal with them and put them in your rearview.
2. Keep your bride in mind.
Sure, most movies portray bachelorette parties as male stripper-laden, throw down, night-on-the-town events, but that might not be your bride’s style at all. Consider her personality and interests when planning this event. Maybe a weekend yoga retreat would be more up her alley, or perhaps a winery tour would fit the bill. These are definitely not one-size-fits-all events.
3. Leave the bride out of the behind-the-scenes stuff.
At some point during these months leading up to the wedding, there will probably be some type of frustration. A fellow bridesmaid won’t pull her weight. Someone will take the reins and want to control a shower. Deal with these issues sans bride. She has enough to worry about without fretting over her bridal party getting along.
4. Divvy out tasks.
Even if you have the distinguished role of maid of honor, you don’t have to shoulder all of the wedding prep responsibility. Have a conversation early on with the whole bridal party (minus the bride, of course) and start to talk about ways you can split up tasks so everyone gets to be involved (hopefully in a way each person feels excited about) and one person isn’t left with a mile-long to-do list.
5. Plan for your toast.
Don’t let this big moment sneak up on you! The bride is going to remember what you said (and it’s likely going to be preserved on film for all to see for generations). You know, no pressure. Even if you could gush about the bride and your memories with her for half an hour, pare things down to about three minutes and keep it meaningful yet to the point. (Oh, and be sure to mention how you and the bride know each other. Guests love to know that!)