Ask the Wedding Maven: A Helpful Maid of Honor

by Marta
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Dear Wedding Maven,

I am the MOH in my best friend's wedding and I am just clueless on what is actually needed to make this her special day. I've never been a MOH before so I'm trying to do my best.

I think the biggest problem is that the bride is on the west coast, the 2 MOH's (including me) are on the east coast, I don't know where the other bridesmaid is, and the wedding is in the Midwest. So we will not be able to go to cake tastings, and the bride will have to rely on pictures of our dresses because she won’t be able to see them in person.

So far it seems that we are doing okay as far as pricing everything and trying to get as much information together as possible in terms of caterers, dresses, and venues. The budget for the wedding has not been determined, the style of the dresses has not been decided (except the color), and the bride has not decided what dress she is going to wear. When were are talking about the wedding she starts telling me things and that is what I run with, but then she actually talks to her finacé and things change.

I am confused and unsure of what I am doing. I want to give her a good day and try to help out as much as possible, but it just seems that I must be lacking something or missing something because it feels as if nothing is getting done.

What else can I do to make this run smoothly? What things are actually needed to make a non-traditional, small wedding do-able on a small budget (probably less than $5,000)?

Any and all advice, suggestions, and plain help would be really appreciated. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Confused MOH

Dear Confused,
You seem like a helpful, take charge kind of gal. But here’s the thing, this isn’t your wedding.

It isn’t up to you to go to cake tastings, find caterers, wedding dresses and venues. It isn’t up to you to determine the feel of the wedding or pitch ideas. That is all the job of the bride and groom.

The easiest and best thing for you to do here is also the number one thing that would solve most bride/bridesmaid problems. CALL HER! The bride chose you to be her Maid of Honor, and you accepted. Presumably, that means that the two of you are very close. You should be able to simply say to her “Carol, I love you, I want to help you with your wedding but I have absolutely no idea what you want me to do. What do you want me to do?”

Many brides really don’t want their maids of honor to do anything except listen to them, while others need her to take a more active role. You need to determine what she wants from you, and what roles you are comfortable accepting. Because neither you nor she lives in the same city as the wedding, it would be good to suggest that she find a point person in the wedding location to help with local arrangements.

As the wedding gets closer make sure to find out what exactly she needs for you to do at the wedding itself. How far in advance do you need to be “on location”?

Given how spread apart the wedding party is, I’d also suggest getting the bride signed up for Wedding Pre Party. It will let you all exchange ideas, photos and suggestions in a private atmosphere. The bride can use our customizable checklists to assign you and the other bridesmaids tasks, and you can all keep notes so that everyone is on schedule and sees what the others are doing.

Good luck to you and your bride