Do’s and Don’t’s for a First-Time Maid of Honor

My first experience as a bridesmaid also happened to be my Maid of Honor debut at my sister Katie’s wedding this September. Now that wedding season is officially over, I’ve had a chance to look back and come up with a list of do’s and don’t’s I learned along the way:

DO recruit help from others (and Pinterest).

When planning a wedding shower or bachelorette party (or just helping the bride with preparations for the big day), you’ll feel much more confident if you scour the internet and poll your friends and family for ideas. Although it usually comes down to the MOH to act as official party planner, you are not at all alone. The other bridesmaids, Katie’s friends, and our family were all instrumental in pulling everything together. Someone close to you is bound to have done this before, so make sure you seek their help and advice.

Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

DON’T make it about you.

Ok, duh. But it’s not always as easy as it sounds. As the youngest child and a performer, I will admit I enjoy the spotlight, but I was careful to keep reminding myself that this day was not about me. I sang at the ceremony and gave a speech at the reception, but these moments were not “my time to shine” – they were opportunities to highlight Katie and Ray’s beautiful day, share in their celebration of love, and add to their memories.

Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

DO keep a positive attitude.

This goes along with not making it about you. If your makeup isn’t perfect or you don’t have time to hit the open bar before your speech, it’s your job to let it go and smile for the happy couple. Whatever happens, put aside any negativity, at least when you’re in the bride’s vicinity. She wants to remember the excitement of getting ready with her bridesmaids, not the pouty look on your face because you’re the last one to get your hair done.

Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

DON’T add anything to the bride’s plate on her wedding day.

Something will inevitably go wrong the day of the wedding. Hopefully it will be a minor detail, but even if it’s not, it’s important to keep the bride calm and deal with the issue out of her sight. Offer to take her phone and answer any calls/texts for her so she doesn’t have to worry about responding. Advocate for her if you need to – you can be a jerk to people getting in the way of her wedding day, but don’t let that burden fall on her. Despite feeling pushy, I made sure no one interrupted Katie and Ray’s “first look” before the ceremony, openly shooing a couple of gawking kayakers out of the photos (someone had to do it!).

Excuse me, sir... Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

Excuse me, sir…
Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

Much better. Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

Much better!
Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

DO remind her what the day is all about.

If she ever appears stressed or nervous, remind her of who she’ll be walking down the aisle towards. After this hectic day of being the center of attention (whether she likes it or not) and greeting what feels like every person she’s ever met and then some, she’ll have a partner she loves to share her life with, and that’s what it’s really all about. Make sure she pauses to breathe and take it all in!

Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

Photo Credit: (Once Like a Spark) Photography

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: LIZ WING

After earning my Bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in 2012, I returned to my New England roots to start my career at a digital advertising start-up in Boston. I recently completed a two-month road trip around the US, and have since begun an exciting new role as an Account Development Manager at Forrester Research in Cambridge, MA. In my free time, I enjoy singing, going to concerts, traveling, and outdoor activities. By contributing to Women’s iLab, I hope to share some insight into balancing personal and professional goals, and reflect on my own challenges in these overlapping areas.