A good maid of honor isn't hard to find, but it's even easier to accidentally choose a bad one. Why? Because most women have several best friends, each of whom has her own positive qualities. One friend might be your party wing-woman, always willing to stay up late with you, while another friend might be the one with whom you share budgeting tips, and work on balancing your expenses together.
In your group of besties, you have several friends with great qualities who would be a lot of fun to have as a maid of honor, the trick is to identify which friend would truly be the best supporter throughout your wedding planning and on the big day.
Here are five qualities to look for when you're choosing the maid of honor:
1. While she's fun to party with, she doesn't NEED to party to have fun. That means she'll stay relatively sober during your wedding events, including the bachelorette party, to make sure things go smoothly and you're safe the entire time. Don't underestimate the importance of a designated sober chaperon when things are likely to get wild.
2. She's creative, and full of ideas and suggestions when you want them, but she's not going to be offended if you don't agree with her choices. She'll happily help you track down the EXACT dress you both liked in a magazine for the bridesmaids, but she's not going to be demanding about the color and style you ultimately choose for your girls to wear. You won't have to worry about whether the bachelorette event will be something you think is fun, because she knows what you like and she'll plan it around you.
3. Deadlines mean something to this friend, and she's going to be all over your other bridesmaids to get their measurements to the dress shop before the ordering deadline, so that they don't all get hit with extra rush charges. She'll be there helping you stuff invitations into the wee hours so that they're mailed at least eight weeks in advance. She'll even help stalk mutual friends for RSVPs.
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4. She doesn't need to be the center of attention, and is happy to let your big day be all about YOU. She won't bring her relationship problems to your wedding, and she'll try to buffer you from anybody else's drama. Her toast will be meaningful and memorable, but she won't roast you with stories from your shared past in front of your new in-laws.
5. Most importantly, she's the detail-oriented organizer. She'll either host a bridal shower for you, or make sure another bridesmaid is doing it, and offer her assistance. She'll make sure all the bridesmaids have the right color shoes, and the wedding weekend schedule, well in advance. And she'll make sure the bridal party is ready to head down the aisle on time, even if the champagne is flowing.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.