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Inspiration Detail | Happy to Help

Happy to Help

You have just been asked to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor at an upcoming wedding. After the tears of joy and squeals of excitement, what’s next? You’ve been invited to be a part of the bride-to-be’s wedding day – one of the most exciting and significant events of her life. Whether you’re a bridesmaid or maid of honor, there is a list of responsibilities associated with each role. Chances are, you may have questions regarding etiquette, responsibilities, attire and duties for the big day. So we have put together an easy-to-follow guide for potential bridesmaids and maids of honor to help you ace your role! 

As either maid of honor or bridesmaid, you are considered to be one of the bride’s closest friends or family members and while there are some general guidelines for you to follow, every bride has her own idea of what she expects from her maid of honor and bridesmaids. From pre-wedding activities to day-of responsibilities, you may be unsure of your specific duties. So before jumping into the role of being a bridesmaid or maid of honor, sit down with the bride to discuss her expectations. Be upfront with her if you have any financial concerns. The bride will appreciate you taking the time to be certain you are both on the same page. Here are some general guidelines to follow if you have been asked to be a part of a bride’s special day.  

BRIDESMAID
Help with pre-wedding planning. When the bride is preparing for her wedding day, she may ask her bridesmaids to help with a number of tasks in preparation for the big day. This could include stuffing envelopes, making wedding favors, helping with DIY projects and addressing invitations. 
Buy bridesmaid dress and accessories. While some brides may be able to purchase the bridesmaid dresses and accessories for her entire bridal party, it is traditionally the bridesmaid’s responsibility. The bride will pay for your bouquet and some brides may pay for hair and makeup. Remember, if you have financial concerns, it is important that you discuss those obligations with the bride.   
Assist with planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower. While this is generally a task left for the maid of honor, an aunt or a friend, bridesmaids are always welcome to lend a hand. 
Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Even if you are an out-of-town bridesmaid unable to attend the bridal shower or bachelorette party, it is important that you are in attendance at the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner to get all the important details from the bride about the wedding day. 
Assist with out-of-town guests. The wedding party can be a big help to the bride in making any out-of-town guests feel welcomed. This may include meeting guests at the airport or possibly preparing and delivering gift baskets to guests’ hotel rooms. Welcome baskets or totes may include a personalized note, a map of the area, important phone numbers, a list of area activities and a few of the bride and groom’s favorite local goodies.
Assist with last-minute details and errands. The bride cannot easily run last-minute errands on the morning of her wedding day. Offer to take care of those errands and to assist with final details with wedding vendors.  

MAID OF HONOR 
Help with pre-wedding planning. Serving as the maid of honor is both a great honor and a great responsibility. You are the bride’s right-hand gal during the entire wedding-planning process. So be willing to help her in any way you can. This could include attending hair and makeup appointments, dress fittings, setting up appointments and even doing a little wedding-planning research. 
Plan the bachelorette party and bridal shower. While the bridesmaids often assist with planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party, the primary planning is done by the maid of honor. Talk with the bride to make sure her wishes are fulfilled and the parties go off without a hitch.   
Handle wedding-day details. It is important that the maid of honor be aware of the wedding-day timeline to keep everyone on schedule – from hair and makeup appointments, to the ceremony details to the final dance. The wedding day can be very stressful for the bride, so to alleviate stress, be willing to keep everyone on track and act as the contact person for the day. 
Assist the bride during the ceremony. During the ceremony, it is the maid of honor’s responsibility to be sure everything runs as smoothly as possible and the bride looks her best. This can include making sure the flower girl and ring bearer make it down the aisle, repositioning the bride’s train at the altar, holding the groom’s wedding band and holding the bride’s bouquet during the vows. 
Make a speech at the reception. As the maid of honor, you have a special relationship with the bride that likely will grow even closer during the wedding-planning process. You will be by her side through all the preparations and you will stand beautifully next to her during the ceremony. The bride will be deeply touched as she listens to your reflections on your friendship as you toast the happy couple. 

Whether you are the maid of honor or a bridesmaid, you are an essential member of the bride’s support system as she is planning her wedding. There is no doubt that she will appreciate your love and support through the ups and downs of the planning process. Just remember to listen to the bride, make her laugh, tell her how much you love her and always be supportive as the big day approaches. You will both look back on this unique experience with great love, affection and the fondest of memories. |NWD|