Calling all maids of honor! You've been crazy busy helping the bride for the past year, but now's the time to really let her sit back and relax and soak in the moment. Take charge and make sure your best friend's big day goes off without a hitch by adding these 12 things to your morning-of to-do list.
1. Keep everyone on track.
And keep track of everyone! According to Florida Keys wedding planner Lynn D'Ascanio of Dasignerevents.com, the maid of honor should receive a copy of the timeline and familiarize herself with the morning protocol, including hair and makeup appointments. That way, she can keep everyone on schedule and get them to the ceremony on time.
2. Act as the point person.
No wedding planner? No problem. The maid of honor should give out her phone number to all of the key vendors and family members in advance so she can help field any questions for the bride that morning, says Tracie Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events. This will ensure that the bride remains relaxed and stress-free on her big day and that everything goes smoothly.
3. Feed the bride (okay, not literally).
"The morning of the wedding can be a fast and frantic experience and some brides simply forget to eat," points out Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. "The day has to start with good health and nutrition, as blood sugar levels can run low, resulting in irritability." And let's be honest, no one likes a cranky bridezilla.
4. Be on drunk patrol.
If you plan on enjoying some bubbly with the girls while you get glam, it's your duty to try and keep the bride and bridesmaids to a one to two glass max, warns Matiana Mitchell of Matiana Mitchell Designs. "It's never a good idea to let the champagne flow without a good amount of getting ready munchies around." Have lots of water for her and everyone else to drink throughout the day as well.
5. Have the bride's favorite treat on hand.
Speaking of munchies, Mindy Home, senior events manager at AE Events, suggests having some of the bride's favorite snacks on hand to help calm her down in case of a possible freak-out. "Lately, most of my brides have wanted dark chocolate bits, but this can be anything," she says. "Another bride just wanted Tums!"
6. Help her get dressed.
Getting a nervous woman into possibly the most expensive, elaborate dress she'll wear in her life is no small task. You'll want to be certain everything is laid out in advance, from undergarments to shoes to jewelry, so there's no last minute scrambling to find those heirloom earrings or an extra pair of hose, advises wedding planner at L.A. Botanicals and florist on BloomNation.com, Joyce Geissinger. "And when the bride has successfully donned her beautiful gown, be prepared to help her into and out of the bathroom in the hours before the wedding. There will be a lot of lifting, fluffing, and rearranging involved."
7. Be at her beck and call.
"While your BFF, the bride, sits for hours getting gorgeous, she'll need your help fetching things, dealing with her phone and generally calming her nerves the whole time," reveals professional wedding planner Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques.
8. Keep the groom's ring safe.
Seriously, guard that thing with your life! Geissinger recommends wearing it on your thumb for safekeeping.
9. Write your speech.
Even if you only jot down some talking points, at least you'll have something to go off of, notes wedding planner and founder of Pretty Pear Bride, Shafonne Myers. Unless you're a seasoned speaker, we suggest you definitely don't wing it.
10. Drop off any reception items.
If things like toasting flutes, a registry book with signing pens, candle-lighting, seating cards or favors have not already been dropped off at the ceremony and/or reception venues, the maid of honor should add this to her list of things to do the morning of, advises Florida wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner.
11. Act as a gatekeeper.
If there are family members or friends that are known to seriously stress out the bride, it's your job to keep them away from her, as best you can, says celebrity wedding planner Donnie Brown of Donnie Brown Weddings and Events.
12. Make sure the bridal suite is spick and span.
Technically, this will happen later on in the afternoon. Once all of the bridesmaids are done getting ready though, it's the maid of honor's job to make sure they clear their stuff out of the bridal suite so that the bride and groom don't return to a messy room at the end of the night, says Domino.