As maid of honor, it's no doubt that you've been crazy busy helping the bride while she's been wedding planning. Now that the wedding day is finally here, it's time to take charge so that she can sit back, relax, and soak in the moment. Make sure everything goes off without a hitch by adding these 12 things to your wedding day to-do list.
1. Keep everyone on track
The maid of honor should receive a copy of the wedding day timeline and familiarize herself with the day's agenda, including wedding day hair and makeup appointments and pre-wedding moments with the photographers, notes Florida Keys wedding planner Lynn D'Ascanio of Dasignerevents.com. The bottom line: Everyone needs to get to the ceremony on time.
2. Act as the point person
No wedding planner? No problem. The maid of honor should share her phone number with all key wedding vendors and family members in advance of the wedding day 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," notes 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."
The bride might not have a proper meal until the reception later, so a little A.M. sustenance will go a long way on this marathon day.
4. Be on drunk patrol
If the bridesmaids plan on sipping some bubbly with the bride while they get glam, it's the maid of honor's duty to make sure everyone enjoys the moment but doesn't overindulge, says Arizona-based wedding and events planner Matiana Gregory. Make sure there's water and snacks readily available, too, notes Gregory. "It's never a good idea to let the champagne flow without a good amount of getting ready munchies around!"
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 or treats on hand to help take the edge off of any nerves. Even if she doesn't have much of an appetite, there's no way she'll be able to resist nibbling on some of her faves. "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
It's no small task to assist the bride as she gets into possibly the most expensive and elaborate gown she'll ever wear in her life. 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. Keep her partner's ring safe
During the ceremony, typically it's the one of the duties of the best man to hold onto the wedding bands until it comes time for vows to be exchanged. But there's a good chance you'll be in charge of safekeeping one of those precious rings at some point on the big day—so be sure to guard that thing with your life! Geissinger recommends wearing it on your thumb for safekeeping.
8. Write your speech
Even if you only jot down some talking points, at least you'll have something to guide your maid of honor speech later, notes wedding planner and founder of Pretty Pear Bride, Shafonne Myers. It's going to be an emotionally-charged day, and having some thoughts organized in advance will help you maintain your composure when it's your turn in the spotlight.
9. Drop off any reception items
If things like toasting flutes, the couple's registry book, candle lighting, seating cards, or wedding 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.
10. Act as a gatekeeper
If there are family members or friends that you know can seriously stress out the bride, it's your job to keep them on the sidelines and away from the bride as best you can, says celebrity wedding planner Donnie Brown of Donnie Brown Weddings and Events.
11. Make sure the bridal suite is spick and span
Once all of the bridesmaids are done getting ready, it's the maid of honor's job to make sure they clear their belongings 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.
12. The bottom line: Be there for her 110 percent
The reason you were asked to be her maid of honor in the first place is because she trusts you, loves you, and knows she can count on you—which is exactly why she wants you right by her side during this ultra important (and incredibly emotional) day. Amid all of the action, don't lose sight of priority number one: the bride. Focus on being present for her, holding anything she wants close to her (but might not have pockets for) including her cell phone and some touch-up makeup. And always have a few tissues at the ready!