We are fast approaching ‘Summer Wedding Season’, and there are lots of articles, websites and magazines for Brides to use for inspiration for their big day. But what is there for the Bridal Party?
The maid of honour & the bridesmaids are a massive part of the big day, you fill everybody with laughter, friendship & joy – but where do you get your guidance from? Look no further.
Maids of honour. You are the leader of the entire bridal party! You are there to guide the bride through every decision she makes. She cannot do this alone – she needs you by her side to make sure she is making all the right choices. You are also there to guide the bridal party, and to make sure that everybody is singing from the same page. On occasion, you may also be required to make a speech on the big day. This may seem like a massive responsibility and you may be worried that you cannot live up to the expectations of the bride, but with proper planning, plenty of organisation, and a calm loving attitude, this will all come together with ease, and your ‘daunting’ role will seem like a walk in the park.
The most important thing to remember – There is nothing set in stone. Every bride is different. Nobody knows the bride more than you. She may be a total organisation freak, and may want to do everything herself just with your guidance, but she may want you to take control as she totally trusts your judgement and loves surprises. The best advice I can give to you is never presume anything, and always ask the bride before letting your mind run away with itself.
1. Accompany your bride to her wedding appointments.
This doesn’t mean that you must hold her hand and accompany her to every single appointment as this may not be possible, but when it comes to the important stuff like choosing the perfect dress, she will most probably love you to be by her side giving her an honest opinion. If she doesn’t ask you, do not insist on going, but it’s always a nice gesture to offer. She may require your help to select a venue, to taste the food, to select the perfect décor. These are all part of the wedding planning process, and they can be made into fun days out for you to share with the bridal party, and create more fun memories together.
2. Involve the Bridesmaids.
The Bride has chosen her Bridesmaids – she may have lots of circles of friends, and this means that not all the bridesmaids are going to necessarily know one another. This can be very awkward when you are all brought together to play such a massive part of the big day as a group. My advice is to arrange to meet up before any wedding activities commence to get to know each other outside of the wedding activities you will be sharing together. One way to break the ice is always a group chat on Facebook, or Whatsapp. Introduce yourself to the rest of the bridal party, and maybe plan a meal out, a wine tasting activity, or even a spa day. Another great way to get the rest of the ladies involved is to involve them in the planning of the hen party. Give everybody the opportunity to put their ideas forward. You may think you know the bride well enough, but the other ladies in her life may have some ideas to take the pressure off of you that you may not have thought of. Although it’s always most useful to have someone at the helm, steering the event, it’s almost as important to delegate certain aspects to other members of the bridal party. One of the ladies may be a brilliant cocktail maker, another may bake amazing cakes, and another might be a beauty therapist and have some fun pampering ideas to throw into the mix. Discuss ideas and put something spectacular together. It will not only help the maid of honour, but it will also make everybody feel included, and you will feel that you have accomplished something as a team.
3. Throw a fun Hen party.
Traditionally, the maid of honour organises and plans the hen party, but that doesn’t mean the pressure has to be totally on you. Get everybody involved, take into consideration anything you may remember the Bride has suggested in the past, and have some fun with it. Remember this is the brides final night out / weekend away with her girls before she is due to be wed. Make it as fun as possible. Plan an absolute ball to see the bride off into married life with amazing memories. It is also tradition for the bridesmaids to split the cost of the bride between them, and be understanding that not all the bridesmaids will be able to contribute equally towards this. The bride may insist on paying her way, but this should be an occasion in which she can totally let her hair down without the burden of wondering how much things are costing along the way. If you are planning a trip away, then it is necessary to check with the bride before setting things in stone as she will most probably need to make sure she is available, and to arrange any childcare /pet care she may require to make the trip. Whether you are planning the hen party close to home, or away, it is wise to work out exactly how much the entire event is going to cost each person individually, including food, drink, travel, accommodation, activities. That way, everybody can relax and enjoy themselves knowing they have nothing more to think about. Whether you opt for a wild weekend away in Ibiza, an afternoon tea / relaxing spa day or an evening at your local hot spot, it will be an event that your bride will always remember.
4. Make the Bride enjoy her wedding planning!
There will be times when the bride will go over the same things time and time again. She may be unsure about her dress, she might not be able to pick a colour scheme as easily as she first anticipated. She may even be unsure as to who she is going to invite. She may drive you up the wall, but planning a wedding is an extremely stressful process. She needs you to be there to smile and nod, and listen to her going on and on and on until she is happy. Although, it is important that she does not get too carried away in the whole process. The last thing everybody needs is a Bride-Zilla! You are both aware of all of the appointments she needs to attend to get everything arranged, and all the of deadlines she needs to meet to make sure it runs smoothly – but make sure she takes some time out. Invite her over to watch a funny movie, remind her she isn’t the only person that has ever planned a wedding, and help her to chill out and enjoy the process too. Offer to help where you can, and don’t let her get too carried away with it all.
5. Be the Team Leader!
If you think scheduling one dress fitting is tough, imagine trying to arrange this for six ladies living in different parts of the country! Take control, offer to take over with certain things the bride could do without. Hair appointments, makeup trials, shoe fittings, nail colour suggestions. The bride will have so much to be thinking of for the entire day, these small details often take a back seat, and she will be grateful to have the pressure taken off of her. Find out exactly what the bride wants, and rely this to the other ladies, so she is not having to answer the same questions six times to different people. Another benefit of having a secret group chat with the bridal party is that you can all plan little surprises along the way. You may want to put a collection together to have some flowers sent to the bride’s room on the morning of the wedding, or you may arrange for a masseuse to pay her a visit in her room. All these little things add up, and make the bride feel extra special – especially when she knows her best friends are coming together and planning these little extras.
6. Go out of your way to make the Big Day extra special.
The bride may be a fully grown adult, but during this very hectic time she may not have had much sleep, she is most probably eaten up with nerves and is panicking that it may not all come together the way she wants, she may not even be eating properly. Remind her to eat a breakfast full of protein to keep her going, and make sure she stays fully hydrated throughout her wedding day. Assure her that you are there to take control during any emergencies, and that she can now relax and enjoy the biggest day of her life. Last but not least, encourage the newlyweds to take a step back and take in their surroundings. Look at what an amazing job they have achieved, and it is all for them! Everybody in that room is there to celebrate their love for one another. It is their big day, so they need to enjoy it more than anybody else. Make sure they get to spend their own time alone together. Allow them to step out of the room and look out at their guests, and to soak up the atmosphere. For this day is all about them and the love they share.
7. Being the Maid of honour is in the title. It is an Honour.
You are the person the bride trusts to take the lead, and to guide her bridal party on her wedding day. There are a lot of tasks ahead, but do not be overwhelmed. This is not a full time job. With the right planning and communication it will be simple and straight forward. Get to know the other ladies you will be alongside on the big day, and take this opportunity to build new friendships and memories. Remember that you are there for the bride, but she is also there for you. If in doubt, just ask her! She gave you your role after all!
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