8 Tips to Be the Best Maid of Honor Your Friend Could Ask For

Being maid of honor is an opportunity for you to serve your friend in a unique and selfless way.
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Being maid of honor is an opportunity for you to serve your friend in a unique and selfless way.
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Art Credit: Taylor McCutchan

Being named the maid of honor is, well, a huge honor. Out of every female in the bride's life, she chose you. And you want to help her big day go as smoothly as possible. Follow these tips to become the best maid of honor she could ask for.

01. Talk to the bride up front about what she wants you to do pre-wedding.

Modern weddings don't necessarily follow standardized rules of etiquette about specific maid of honor responsibilities. So go ahead and be a straight shooter when it comes to what she expects from you. Would she like you to plan the bachelorette party? Host a bridal shower? Just show up to the wedding? Knowing what the bride thinks of your maid of honor duties will put both your mind and the bride-to-be's at ease. Talk it out.

02. Make checklists with her.

She probably already has a huge to-do list started for her wedding planning, but she needs an outlet for the billions of ideas flying around in her mind. Having someone to bounce ideas off of falls to you, so help her organize her thoughts and check things off from that long list. Take the time to think of the little things that will probably slip her mind. For example, if you know the bride can be a bit forgetful on a normal day, you can go so far as creating a packing checklist for her honeymoon—she is probably too busy to remember she'll need her toothbrush.

03. Prep an emergency pack for the wedding day.

What could go wrong? Oh, just about anything. Be prepared with a few essentials: sewing kit, mints, deodorant, double-sided tape, ibuprofen, tissues, water bottles, Band-Aids, scissors and snacks. One of the biggest wedding-day emergencies is her blood sugar crashing. Pack easy snacks, like granola bars or a bottle of orange juice. Think no-mess, no-fuss.

04. Calm her nerves.

The wedding day is go time. Minutes before the ceremony, you're often tucked into a back room for hiding. Take this time to reassure her that you're confident in your ceremonial duties—you will make sure her gown is adjusted, you'll grab her bouquet when needed, etc. Pray with her. Make her laugh. Reminisce.

05. Draft a killer speech.

There are many philosophies about giving a good MOH speech; ultimately you have to find a style where you feel comfortable. We've heard our fair share of disaster speeches over the years, but there have been some real winners as well. The best ones seem to remember that this is not the time to be a comedian. Hold off on any embarrassing stories (no one needs to remember all the boys the bride dated before!), and keep the focus squarely on the couple. Talk about what an amazing person the bride is, draw in a great story about the couple and why you're excited for their future together, and end on a happy note.

06. Snap pictures.

Sure, she probably has a photographer capturing her every move. But you may have insight, access, and angles that the professional does not. As long as it isn't distracting, taking discreet pictures can be a sweet way to help document the bride's special day. And you can use these photos for a sweet post-wedding gift.

07. Be the first on the dance floor.

Shy wedding guests? Break the ice, and bust a move. This small gesture will reassure the bride that her guests are enjoying themselves and that the DJ was not a colossal waste of money. When the guests see you on the floor (you may want to drag someone else out, too), they will pick up on the cue.

08. Plan to be her runner post-wedding.

The wedding is over, and she's off on her honeymoon! But wait, what about her dress? Shoes? The groom's tux? They won't be needing those items on their honeymoon. Most often the bride and groom will have a night before they jet off, so be prepared to pick up her possessions the next day. Discuss where she would like you to drop everything off.

Yes, being a maid of honor is a big deal for you, but at the end of the day, it is so much more than that. Being maid of honor is an opportunity for you to serve your friend in a unique and selfless way. If your attention is focused on your friend, any maid of honor business is bound to be a success.