3. I'm a maid-of-honor. What do I have to do?

Being the maid-of-honor is like being bridesmaid extraordinaire-congratulations! But what does that mean and what do you need to do? Here's the 411:

    1. 1. Above all else, you are the ringleader of all the bridesmaids. It is YOUR job to make sure they do everything that is required of them, from getting their dresses to showing up on time. What's the best way to do this? Send out e-mail reminders with all the pertinent information to all of the bridesmaids on a regular basis. That way they can't say you didn't tell them about a particular detail. It is also quick and efficient; no need to call and repeat information to each and every 'maid.

      2. You are also the liason between the bride and everyone else who might want details, ranging from inquisitive guests who want to know where the couple is registered, to random relatives who might corner you at a shower or engagement party and ask for other information. So, be sure to stay informed.

      3. Help the bride with WHATEVER she needs you for. Some brides rely more heavily on their MOH than others, requiring their assistance (and hand-holding, and comforting words or gushy praises) for everything from picking out gift registry items to looking for bridesmaid dresses. By the way, if you do accompany the bride when she chooses the dresses, think of your bridesmaid compatriots, and encourage the bride to choose something flattering.

      4. Throw a pre-wedding shower and bachelorette party. This is a biggie, and is where lots of MOH's feel helpless. No need to despair! Simply ask the bride, in a friendly way, what she would like. Maybe she wants a big shower, maybe she wants a small one. Maybe she doesn't even want one at all (Lucky you...). Respect her wishes and then plan the best bridal shower and/or bachelorette party you can (click here for our party-planning advice).

      5. You also have to attend all other wedding-related events, such as engagement parties and a rehearsal dinner. No excuses!

      6. On the Big Day, it is YOUR repsonsibility, again, to make sure all bridesmaids are present and accounted for. During the ceremony itself, you'll probably be called on to hold the bride's bouquet or adjust her train, for example. And, before the ceremony begins, you may be the one enlisted to help the bride deal with layers and layers of satin when she needs to use the ladies' room. Aren't you glad she picked YOU for this honored role?

      7. Look out for the bride! Make sure she has something to eat, something to drink, and hand her a napkin to wipe her brow when if she glistens during the dancing. And, if any problems of any kind arise, help her deal with it. This is YOUR job more than any of the other bridesmaids.

      8. Give a toast (this may happen at the rehearsal dinner rather than the reception, but in either case it will happen at the same time the best man gives his speech). Not sure what to say? Nervous and tongue-tied? Keep it short and sweet and from the heart. If you're no comedian, stay clear of fall-flat jokes, and just say how happy you for the couple, and relate some endearing stories about how they met, when you first met the groom, etc. And most importantly, use good judgement in relating potentially embarassing tales. If you question whether it's appropriate or not, it probably isn't.

      9. Be a shoulder for the bride to lean on. Even though this is the happiest occasion in her life, she may occasionally be stressed out, angry, teary, what have you....Do your best to comfort (and humor) her. Remember, she loves you and counts on you, and that's why she picked you in the first place!

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