These basic guidelines will prepare you for this important role.
bride posing with her twin sister

You've been there for the bride through it all, which is why she's asked you to play a major part in her journey down the aisle. As maid of honor, there will be many exciting moments-and a few challenges, too. Regardless of any bumps in the road, it's important to maintain a "can-do" attitude, which is easier to pull off when you walk into your role prepared. That's why we've compiled a few basic maid-of-honor rules that will assist you along the way. Stick to these guidelines and your best friend will be forever grateful that she trusted you with this job.

Be the bride's biggest supporter.

The wedding-planning process is often an emotional one for the bride. There's a lot going on: With wedding dress fittings, vendor consultations, and guest list drama, she's going to have a lot to talk (and in some cases, vent) about. It's your responsibility to help her her through those stressful scenarios, familial conflicts included, so she can enjoy this experience. That means making yourself available to her regularly, ready to listen.

What the bride wants, she gets.

Some battles are best left unpicked-when a bride is concerned, that would be pretty much all of them. Considering said emotions, you are not in a position to protest decisions the bride makes unless she asks for your opinion. Remember, you know the soon-to-be newlywed better than most. Be sure to gauge her moods and only make suggestions when you know she'll respond positively or appreciate your input.

Be prepared for some not-so-glamorous responsibilities.

As maid of honor, you'll be required to perform a few behind-the-scene duties which aren't always fun. Case in point: the bathroom dress lift.

Watch out for any out of control guests.

Should there be a loose (or drunk) cannon among the wedding party or day-of guests, you will be required to babysit. No matter how long it takes, keep this person fully occupied and entertained so he or she doesn't come in contact with the bride-especially during crucial moments, like the first dance or cake-cutting ceremony. You might have to forfeit your good time on behalf of the bride, but put on a brave face and be a good sport-she'll appreciate your efforts.

Start writing your speech early.

You saw this one coming: A speech is a maid-of-honor requirement. Do not-under any circumstances-wait until the last minute to tackle this responsibility. Your toast should include an introduction, expressions of gratitude, personal memories, and a sweet sentiment about her relationship. Feel free to make appropriate jokes that prompt good-spirited laughs from the crowd, too. For years to come, the bride will appreciate your thoughtful words, so make sure this is a performance you'll be proud of.


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