Wedding Pearls: Tips from a Maid of Honor

Morgan Gray was recently asked to be her sister’s maid of honor.  The wedding isn’t until next fall, but she and the other bridesmaids are already hard at work making the bride’s dream day come true, and having a pretty good time, too!  She shared a little bit about her experience, and the pearls she’s gleaned, so far:

A very special moment has recently occurred in my life: my sister asked me to be her maid of honor, and I said yes! We are right in the midst of the planning process and have chosen a barn venue, established her registry, and are finalizing catering plans. Some of our closest mutual friends have also been asked to be her bridesmaids, and they have been so eager to help me with my maid of honor duties.  I can happily say that coordinating and collaborating with the girls has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the experience so far.

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Each month, we get together for what we call a “bridal check-in brainstorm.” We all come together with wedding-related ideas and a willingness to help execute those ideas, and then reward ourselves afterward with a movie and dinner “date night.”  Here are a few of my favorite tips for being as awesome a bridesmaid as these girls have been:

 

Give a Meaningful Gift

In addition to all the ways you’ll help and support the bride, it’s also nice to give her a special gift that will remind her of the day, and the role you played in it. You’ll likely be giving the bride and groom a more formal gift from their registry as well, so your bridesmaid gift can be something personal, unique, and inexpensive. Aim for something memorable.

Buy the bride a nice bottle of wine – one that hasn’t aged yet – and add a note instructing her to open it with her hubby a few years into their marriage. It’ll be a great way for them to revisit their wedding! Or, if you’re a DIY type, try out this cute repurposed sweater craft.  If you want to keep the groom in mind, consider giving the bride a gift that can be displayed in their house. Some wall art, like this customized cellar sign that I got for my sister from her favorite wedding gift site is a wonderful way to honor the couple’s marriage. The other girls also had the cute idea of a more experiential gift: we’ve all ripped the same date out of our day planners and crafted a big invitation card to a post-honeymoon girls’ day and night, planned out hour-by-hour. For us, sticking together, no matter the life changes we face, is our top priority.

 

Make the Shower Awesome

The coordination of a bridal shower is one of the key responsibilities of bridesmaids before the wedding.  As a bridesmaid, you’ll be expected to split the cost of the shower with the other girls, but don’t panic! Some of the best bridal shower ideas are the least expensive. Don’t necessarily throw all your imagination into the venue itself – it can be as simple as your favorite tea place, or even picnic-style in a park. Focus on making the event fun and personal. Planning a little game for the bride and her girls is customary and sure to have everyone giggling. For example, you could set up a trivia contest about the bride and groom’s hometowns, with inexpensive doodads as prizes. There are also a ton of free printable bridal shower games, like this one, where everyone tries to predict the bride’s word associations. In the end, the shower isn’t about the gifts or venue; it’s about the bride spending time with her girls and having fun. For ours, we plan to rent out (surprisingly cheaply) a small wine tasting room that has the desired rustic feel. This way, we will be able to have the room to ourselves after being treated to a tasting – a perfect mix of a structured icebreaker to start, and ample free time to bond and have fun afterwards.

 

Prepare for the Big Day

Being a bridesmaid isn’t just about buying a dress, especially as the day draws closer. There are a lot of things you can do to help the bride prepare for her wedding. These may be simple tasks, such as running errands for the bride, or more creative and complicated duties, like planning wedding favors. The bride may also want your help when it comes to accomplishing the DIY tasks she has planned for the wedding. Crafts like this chocolate butterfly are fun, unique, and inexpensive. There’s great potential for bonding time between the bride and her girls when it comes to wedding crafts!

We’ve already had craft nights now that the venue has been chosen and so far, have made string-lights and tied bundles of baby’s breath together to line the aisle. There is much more to be done, of course, and all of us share the same anxieties: what if something she really wants just can’t realistically happen, or what if something just doesn’t go as we planned? Heck, what if all the guests have a terrible time! While we don’t truly think something like that will happen, it still creeps into our minds from time to time.

 

We all love my sister dearly and just want everything to be more perfect than she could have dreamed. But, in the end, we remember what our biggest responsibility is to be a friend who supports and cares for her.  If you’re embarking on the same adventure as me, just remember that you’re there to help make her day stellar. Keep a positive attitude and have fun with the experience! Even if you hate that bridesmaid dress, your experience can be tons of fun and super rewarding, especially when you see how happy the bride is on her big day.

 

Have you been in a wedding recently?  Have you been a bridesmaid a bazillion times?  Are you in the planning process now?  We want to hear from you!  Send your pearls of wisdom to Caroline@Lighthousemags.com.

 

Photo Credit: SHUN [iamtekn] via Flickr.

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