This article was written by our guest blogger Morgan Gray. She is the maid of honor at her sister’s upcoming wedding and is giving very helpful advise on how to lower the stress lever of a bride-to be.
By Morgan Gray
Weddings are beautiful days, and no matter how much planning goes on, there is sure to be stress that comes with the event for the bride, the groom, the maid of honor, the best man – you name it. But if you’re the maid of honor, it’s your job to help keep the bride cool, calm, and collected. The main thing I learned from my first wedding party experience: be prepared. Here’s some advice to help keep the bride relaxed and as stress free as you can.
Before the Wedding Day
Make sure the bride gets to relax! After all, the bride has a lot that she’s going to be doing: invitations, figuring out the caterer, her dress, the venue – the list is endless. That’s where a maid of honor comes in, to help however she is needed. What I recommend is setting up a coffee or lunch date where the two of you will meet. Whether that is weekly, bi-weekly, or every month, it helps to have some scheduled time to chat and for the bride to talk with her best friend. Yes, that may turn into venting time, but that can also help the two of you figure out problem areas and what you can do to help.
I know that I ended up scheduling a lot of what the bridesmaids did, and a lot to do with when people were coming in and where they would stay. If the reception hall doesn’t have a hotel big enough to accommodate everyone, make a list of surrounding locations and send that out to everyone who needs a place to stay still. Also, make sure everyone knows how to find the bride’s wedding registry so that they aren’t worried about what to get them. Instead of waiting for something to be missed or the bride to freak out, stay on top of your game! This means scheduling and knowing everything, from when the invitations are sent out to helping manage the guest list or planning the bridal shower/bachelorette party early. If you leave things to the last minute, everyone will feel the stress.
The Night Before
Here’s where it all begins: the rehearsal dinner. Make sure everyone that is going to be at the church knows what time they need to be there at. Once everyone gets their practice lap in, it’s time for the dinner. I have been to a variety of rehearsal dinners. One I went to had an open bar, prime rib, and 50 guests. Another one was just ten people at a restaurant for a small dinner. No matter what size the event is, make sure things are going to run smoothly. If someone is giving a toast, be sure to have everyone seated and make sure no food is brought out before they finish. After dinner, stick around and help the bride say goodbye to everyone and clean up if needed. Now is the point where it really starts to feel real for the bride: tomorrow she is going to be a married woman. Be sure to keep her calm and help her reflect on how wonderful it is she got here.
Day of the Wedding
Make sure everyone starts early: bridesmaids, bride, and yourself. That starts by trying your best to make sure everyone is on time. Also it is essential for everyone to eat a good breakfast, even if the bride says that she does not feel hungry at all, make sure she has something. Be sure everyone knows what time the hair and makeup people are going to arrive and where they have to be. Also, it doesn’t hurt to bring some extra hoodies and loose fitting shirts in case people forget them. No one wants to get their hair done only to have to take off a tight fitting shirt and ruin it.
Setting up the reception hall can be a project in itself as well, if people in the wedding are helping out make sure they know when they have to be there and what they are bringing. Also be sure to take a minute for yourself to breath and reflect. One of your best friends or sisters is about to get married and they wanted you right by their side.
The Emergency Kit
Be prepared and on your toes, too. I cannot stress enough how important it will be to have an emergency wedding kit. Some of the items on my list were: nylons, clear nail polish (for nylon runs), mini sewing kit (with small scissors), oil blotting sheets, nail polish (in the color you are wearing for touch-ups), shoe pad inserts, heel traction pads, advil, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, floss, breath mints, gum, safety pins, chapstick, lipstick, tissues, powder compact, concealer, waterproof (waterproof is KEY here) mascara, a pair of flats, tweezers, makeup remover towelettes, q-tips, cotton balls, nail clippers, bobby pins, travel size hairspray, travel size perfume, tampons/pads, stain remover, a lighter, water, and energy bars. Yes, I sound absolutely crazy, but I ended up using about 80% of those items.
After the Wedding
The bride and groom have been married and exhausted from a fun reception! Now is when they can truly relax and let everything sink in. After all is said and done make a toast to yourself for all your hard work. Being a maid of honor is not easy, but the bride will always remember how much effort you put into it.