Everything You Need To Know About Being A Maid Of Honor

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Dear Alimay, 

My best friend recently got engaged, and she’s asked me to be her maid of honor. My thrill pretty quickly turned to terror when I realized I have no idea what this entails. What am I supposed to do, exactly? And, will it cost me a ton of money? Of course, her friendship is priceless and all that, but a girl’s got bills to pay. What have I gotten myself into? 

(Hopefully) Maid in the Shade 

Dear Maid in the Shade,  First of all, take a deep breath. Your BFF wouldn’t have asked you to be her maid of honor if she didn’t think you could handle it. The bad news is, it’s gonna take a heap of elbow grease — and maybe more to-do lists than you’ve ever seen. But, there’s also good news: It’ll be super-fun, and what doesn’t kill a friendship only makes it stronger (we kid!). Your main duties fall into two categories: party-planning and organization. It’s likely your bestie will want to have a bridal shower and a bachelorette party, and it’s probably up to you to make those happen. Still, even though you'll be in charge, you don’t have to do it all on your own. Enlist the other bridesmaids to help, and delegate like a boss. (You’re allowed; it comes with the title.) And, it’s likely some of the bride’s family members will want to help out as well. Ask her who the key players are, and work out responsibilities with them. The shindigs can be as simple or elaborate as you like; just get a read on the bride’s expectations beforehand and make sure they reflect what she envisioned. You’ll also want to make yourself available for pre-wedding tasks, whether that’s tasting cake (best-case scenario) or addressing envelopes (not nearly as fun, but still your maid-of-honorly duty). As far as the bridesmaids go, consider yourself the ringleader. It’s up to you to wrangle the others, make sure they’ve got their dresses, and know where they’re supposed to be and when. Once the wedding begins, you’re not off the hook yet, so make sure you keep your Champagne consumption in check. You’ll hold the groom’s ring 'til it makes its appearance during the ceremony, and you’ll be one of the witnesses who’ll sign the marriage license (unless those tasks fall to the best man instead). You’ll also probably make a toast during the reception. (Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in that respect.) 

Now, let’s talk money. Being MOH will definitely cost you, but it shouldn’t break the bank — especially if the bride-to-be is aware of your financial circumstances. Plan to pay for your entire wedding-day outfit — dress, shoes, jewelry, the whole shebang. You’ll also need to shell out some cash as the host or co-host of the bridal shower; how much depends on what you’ve got planned. And, the bachelorette party won’t be free, but you would’ve attended that anyway. Hopefully, you guys live in the same town, so you’re not dropping wads of cash on airfare, car rentals, and accommodations. Above all, the maid of honor exists to provide moral support, constant cheerleading, and, if necessary, a shoulder to cry on. Thankfully, that doesn’t cost a thing.

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