50 Tips for the Maid of Honor

Calling all MOH's! From core responsibilities to little-known duties, here's what you need to know to make sure your BFF gets hitched without a hitch. (You are the star of the bride's wedding entourage, after all!)

Updated 02/08/16

Hayley Bray

Being asked to be the bride's maid of honor is the kind of question that warrants a glass of champagne and a giant pat on the back! You're about to transform from friend or family member into the bride's right hand gal pal, her on-call therapist, her party planner, and — above anything else — her dose of reality when all the wedding stress seems to get out of hand.

After all the excitement has passed, you may find yourself wondering where to start and what comes first. Do you jump right in and start planning the bachelorette party? Should you reach out to her family and see who is going to handle the bridal shower? How about reaching out to and rallying the other bridesmaids? You'll easily find yourself with a homemade to-do list of tasks that seems longer than a family of four's grocery list!

So before you find yourself making this maid of honor role your second full-time job, it's important to take a deep breath, have a quick meeting with the bride, and start mapping out a wedding timeline and to-do list with her right from the start.

But in order to make sure that nothing gets overlooked and you're there for the bride in ways you didn't know you'd have to be there for her (we're talking about helping her pee in her wedding dress or even offering to dance with her borderline-inappropriate great uncle), we're here to help! We've got your back with the ultimate list of 50 tips you should remember from start to finish. Consider these your core responsibilities, your big-day-saving guide, and everything in-between. You'll be the star of the bridal party with these 50 maid of honor tips.

01 of 50

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

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Before kicking off any planning for the bachelorette party or bridal shower, have a chat with the other bridesmaids to see how much they can afford to spend on these events. Don't assume they'll be able to cover the costs after you already have a girls' getaway to Cancun scheduled in the books.

02 of 50

Give Your Fellow Bridesmaids Options

Jack Looney Photography and Ashley Twiggs

When planning wedding events like the bachelorette party, give the bridal party options of different activities and ask them to (privately) submit a vote so you can get a feel of which activities they are most interested in. This is a great way to get them involved and excited about attending.

03 of 50

Coordinate Calendars

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Before deciding when and where the bridal shower and bachelorette party will be, ask the bride for a list of dates she's available and then send out an online survey to the bridal party, so you can gage when the most people will be available to attend.

04 of 50

Take Charge of the Bachelorette Party

Christa Strick Photography

Take responsibility of this event as soon as you've been crowned MOH. Follow through with itineraries for the weekend and book fun activities for the group of girls attending.

05 of 50

Be the Go-To Gal for the 411

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Absorb as much wedding information as you can and let the other bridesmaids, the bride's family members, and even guests turn to you with any questions that they may have. This will save the bride a lot of time and stress of having to respond to text messages and emails about where and when events are taking place.

06 of 50

Set a Budget for Yourself

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When you're a MOH, you may find yourself spending out of pocket for little things here and there throughout the wedding adventure. As soon as your duties begin, set a budget for how much you can spend per event and stick to it. Always stay true to your savings account!

07 of 50

Act as a Liaison for the Bridesmaids and the Bride

Tucker Images

Let the bridesmaids know they can come to you directly with any questions, comments, or concerns and then you can jot them down, filter the ones you can answer out, and bring the rest to the bride when she has less on her plate.

08 of 50

Order Your Dress on Time

Jack Looney Photography and Ashley Twiggs

The last thing you want to happen is to find out that your dress won't arrive by the wedding day. Be sure to order it as soon as you can so that it arrives early for alterations and quality time in your closet.

09 of 50

Be Available for On-Call Therapy Sessions

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Whether for the bride, the bridal party, or even the bride's family members, open yourself up to listening to people's concerns about the wedding with judgment-free vent sessions.

10 of 50

Send a "Getting to Know You" Email

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Connect all the other bridesmaids with an email icebreaker that introduces each of you and includes everyone's contact information. That way, everyone can get a taste of who's who before the bachelorette party comes around.

11 of 50

Avoid the Dreaded Email Chain

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Try to be concise with your communication to the bridal party and avoid long email chains with lots of reply-all's. Encourage bridesmaids to reply to just you so that you can manage their responses.

12 of 50

Be On Time

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Set a good example and arrive early to every wedding-related event. The bride could always use another pair of hands to help her set up, or just a friendly face to calm her nervous jitters.

13 of 50

Delegate Wedding-Related Tasks

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Don't feel like you need to be in charge of everything, always. When planning something like the bachelorette party, it's okay to reach out to the other bridesmaids and assign each one an activity or a meal to be in charge of and help plan.

14 of 50

Ask for Help When You Need It

Chantal Andrea Photography

If you're feeling overwhelmed, swamped, or out of ideas, don't be shy to ask for help. You shouldn't feel as though you're a one-woman show throughout this whole adventure.

15 of 50

Find Out What the Bride Really Wants

Touchstone Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Take the time to chat with the bride about what her ideal bachelorette party or bridal shower looks like. It's okay to keep some things a surprise, but if she says no strippers, honor her wishes.

16 of 50

Write Your MOH Speech Ahead of Time

Jill Thomas Photography

Start jotting down ideas months before the wedding and then spend a few weeks before the big day finessing it and putting everything together.

17 of 50

Practice Makes Perfect

Dove + Sparrow

The best way to read your MOH speech without feeling suffocated by nerves and stress-sweat is to practice ahead of time. Read it out loud to yourself several times, or record it so you can hear your tone and pace.

18 of 50

Block Out Weekly "MOH-Time"

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To help make sure you're not becoming a full-time maid of honor, block out a little bit of time every single week where you can take care of any planning, emails, or other wedding-related tasks that need your attention.

19 of 50

Encourage Fellow Bridesmaids to Speak Up

Caroline + Ben Photography

Ask the other bridesmaids if they'd like to give a speech or any other kind of planned presentation for the bride. You can have them do this as a surprise at the rehearsal dinner, or — if it's not PG-rated — at the bachelorette party.

20 of 50

Save the Day with a Wedding Survival Kit

Evermine

For every wedding event you attend, bring along a pack of bridesmaid essentials like Advil, Band-Aids, hair ties, safety pins, and other last-minute mini-emergency items that are frequently needed.

21 of 50

Become the Bride's Point Person

Christian Oth Studio

Let the bride know that you're here for her before her wedding and on the day-of if a task or last-minute challenge pops up. Reassure her that you're there for the fun moments but also the stressful ones, too.

22 of 50

Spread the Wedding Registry News

Katelyn James Photography

A lot of people will want to know where the bride is registered, so be sure to spread the word amongst wedding guests and fellow bridesmaids.

23 of 50

Attempt to Attend All Wedding Events

Laura Murray Photography

Try to be available to attend all the pre-wedding parties, especially the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. If you're unable to attend, let the bride know as soon as you do.

24 of 50

Keep the Timeline Flowing

I Found the Place

On the day of the wedding, help make sure that everything is running smoothly and on time, including hair and make up appointments for the bridal party.

25 of 50

Hold the Rings for Safekeeping

Birds of a Feather Photography

Before the ceremony, hold on to the bride and groom's wedding bands and keep them someplace safe and easily accessible, so you can hand them off during the ceremony.

26 of 50

Offer Help with the Bridal Shower

Inkspot Photography

If the bridal shower is being planned by the bride's mom or another family member, offer to help with any loose ends that need tying up.

27 of 50

Play Matchmaker Between the Bridesmaids

Angie Silvy

If you're aware that a certain bridesmaid doesn't know anyone, step in and make sure everyone is introduced and no one in the bridal party feels left out.

28 of 50

Simplify Those Thank-You Notes

The First Snow

At the shower, grab a pen and paper. When the bride opens her gifts, you can jot down who got her what so she can write her thank-you notes later on.

29 of 50

Offer to Go on Wedding Appointments

Eliza & Elizabeth

Let the bride know that if she needs a gal pal to accompany her on any vendor appointments (especially cake tastings!), you'll be there in a heartbeat.

30 of 50

Keep the Bride Laughing

Cassi Claire Photography

Even when things get stressful or overwhelming for you both, remember to keep the bride laughing and make the situation — and the whole wedding adventure — as enjoyable as it should be.

31 of 50

Hold onto the Bride's Bouquet

Caroline + Ben Photography

When the bride and groom go to exchange vows, grab her bouquet and hold onto it until she's ready to walk back down the aisle again as a married woman!

32 of 50

Help the Bride Say Yes to the Dress

Azzura Photography

Whether it's for her wedding dress or the bridesmaid frocks, offer to be an extra pair of eyes to help with all the dress decisions.

33 of 50

Choose the Tunes

Ahava Studios

One of the final things the bride will have on her to-do list is coming up with a reception playlist. Make a fun girl's night out of the task, where you blast some tunes, drink some wine, and de-stress.

34 of 50

Make Sure the Bride Eats and Drinks

Amber Gress

On her wedding day, her mind will be everywhere else but on her stomach. Remind her to eat throughout the day and schedule in glasses of water between all that champagne.

35 of 50

Introduce Yourself to the Wedding Planner

Laura Murray Photography

Say hello to the wedding planner or the day-of coordinator and let them know that you'll be one of their points of contact throughout the day if they need anything.

36 of 50

Grab Her Clutch

Rebecca Yale Photography

During cocktail hour, offer to hold onto the bride's clutch while she goes off to greet guests. When the reception starts, place it on the bride's chair for her to grab later in the night.

37 of 50

Be the Bride's Personal Restroom Attendant

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FYI: She might need help lifting her dress to use the bathroom throughout the night&

38 of 50

Round Up Friends and Family for the Wedding Photos

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Trying to gather family members to take posed shots before or after the ceremony can get hectic. Offer to be an extra hand in moving the process along.

39 of 50

Bring Along Chargers and Extension Chords

Saltwater Studios

Because there are never enough outlets or chargers on the day of the wedding, round up any that you have in your apartment and stuff them in a tote bag for emergencies.

40 of 50

Have Resources on Hand

Courtesy of Minted

Bring the invitation, the day-of timeline, and any other important information with you on the wedding day. That way, you can reference it easily if anyone has questions.

41 of 50

Have Your Hair and Makeup Plan Ready

Corbin Gurkin Photography

Arrive on the wedding day with your beauty look already approved by the bride and have example photos for the stylists. That way, you can guide other members of the bridal party on how they should look to help move the whole process along.

42 of 50

Pack Snacks

Rebekah Westover Photography

The wedding day is one big rush of events and constant movement. Have a bag of snack on hand in case anyone needs a quick bite.

43 of 50

Offer to Pack for the Honeymoon

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If the bride is overwhelmed the week before her wedding, offer to help her out with any last-minute items on her to-do list, such as packing her honeymoon suitcase or running out to the store for an extra bikini or bottle of sunscreen.

44 of 50

Ward Off Those Wedding Day Jitters

Christian Oth Studio

Beware that the bride might have some butterflies in her stomach as the big day approaches. Be there to take off some of that pressure and stress that comes with throwing the party of the lifetime.

45 of 50

Chat with the Groom

John Robert Woods

Be sure to have a conversation or two with the groom and relay any information that he should know before the big day. And on the morning of the wedding, offer to pass along any gifts to or from the bride, as well.

46 of 50

Assist with the Post-Wedding Breakdown

The Nichols

Just because they've said "I do," doesn't mean your responsibilities have ended. Offer to help take down decorations, sort through gifts, or write thank-you notes.

47 of 50

Don't Be Scared to Raise Concerns

Natalie Brown Photography

If you feel the bride is crossing over into bridezilla territory, don't be afraid to sit down with her and chat about any concerns that you or the bridesmaids have, whether it's about bridal party expenses or the bride's stress level.

48 of 50

Bring Tons of Energy

Christian Oth Studio

People feed off excitement, so try to be a cheerleader for the rest of the crew throughout the entire wedding adventure.

49 of 50

Honesty is the Best Policy

Abby Jiu Photography

When the bride turns to you for your opinion, know she's asking you for advice and the best thing you can do is be honest with her. Remember that more than anything, you are friends first and she values what you have to say.

50 of 50

Never Forget Why You're Doing This

Angela Shae

Even though there might be days when you feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do, remember that being a maid of honor is an honor. Don't forget that you're there because of your love for the bride. And have fun! (It is a wedding, after all!)

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