Modern weddings are ripe with opportunities to create drama and misunderstandings especially when it comes to the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved. This is most prevalent in the bridal party where tasks like the bachelorette and day of preparations fall on the maid, matron or man of honor who gets to serve as a valet, butler, and lady in waiting for the bride. As the right hand person, you become the commander of the troops which you must rally and keep in line to make all the couple’s expectations about their day come true.
Here are the commandments and tips to make sure you are 100% prepared for whatever lies ahead.
- It is all about the bride – Remind people it’s about her and the groom’s day. Don’t like something, too bad!
- Sowing kits are not optional – Wedding dresses will get ripped, torn or may require quick alterations. Tape and other tools might help. Don’t know how to sow? Learn. You are the one person tasked with saving her day. Don’t blow it!
- Always have a Plan B – Weather changes, things fail, and services can fall short of expectations. Know what to do in case there are last minute changes. Be prepared for a change of venue, catering or protocol. You can’t anticipate everything but you can definitely plan for success.
- Enlist your significant other’s or plus one’s help – This is one of the few saving graces of having a date for the event. I’ve had to use my husband to hold doors, direct guests and even run for supplies at friend’s weddings. While you and the bridesmaids take care of the bride’s needs, this person can make miracles happen, at your direction.
- Give each bridesmaid and groomsman a task – If the bride and groom haven’t already, assign wedding party folks tasks to complete. Be it handling the photographer’s demands, taming a future mother in law or something as simple as doing a coffee or food run. Idle hands…
- Make sure the bride (and groom) eat a hearty meal before getting prepared – People get so caught up in hair, make up and other pre-ceremony tasks that they forget to have food. Hanger can lead to fainting, and fainting can lead to suffering. Also, Clcarry snacks and save some appetizers for later, especially if there will be heavy drinking involved.
- Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate – Act as the go between whenever the bride needs to make changes, has questions, or needs the planner to redirect efforts. Be prepared to ask people, nicely, for favors or assistance. Sometimes you will need to proactively make decisions for the bride’s sake, like removing guests or firing services. Diplomacy is your friend.
- Keep it classy – This job will require you to deal with negative juju. Stress can turn even the most nicest person into a bride or groomzilla, and bridesmaids or groomsmen may fly off the handle. At all times keep your cool and keep the peace.
- Never leave the bride out of your sight – Aside for the obvious safety in numbers considerations, the bride will require your presence for a myriad of things. Make yourself readily available to her. Depending on the dress, venue and her needs, the bride will need help to wrangle her train, put it up or away, and assistance when using the loo. If you can’t perform any of these, see item #3.
- Enjoy! – By managing the top 9th commandments well you should be able to have fun, let lose and dance the night away.
Like any list, there are many more things you can do to be successful as a maid, matron or man of honor. In the end, the goal of this exercise is to discuss with the bride and groom what must happen to meet and exceed their expectations for the day. Do your best to manage accordingly, and don’t blame yourself if things go awry. Great friends don’t hold grudges; excellent friends will be grateful you showed up and did your best to turn their wildest dreams into reality.