We all know it’s a huge honor to be asked to stand beside a friend or family member on their wedding day as a bridesmaid, but we also know there’s a lot that comes along with that role. If you’re asked to be the maid (or matron) of honor, that role becomes even more important and potentially demanding.
While I’ve been a bridesmaid in a few weddings already, I recently had my first experience as maid of honor. I wish I could say it was all smooth sailing — while, at the end of the day, it all worked out fine and the wedding day was beautiful, there are moments I wish I had handled differently, and I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to go back and fix a few mistakes that I made.
With that said, I reached out to the experts to gauge some of the most common mistakes they witness maids of honor making, often without even realizing it.
You’re not communicating with the bride
While this may seem like an obvious point, especially considering that if you’re taking on the maid of honor role, you’re likely pretty tight with the bride-to-be, but this is not always the case. Cali Pitchel, the Director of Marketing for Joy, a free wedding planning app, pointed out that “not communicating clearly and often with the bride” is the biggest frustration they hear from their brides about their MOHs.
“The bride is getting pressure from all sides and trying to meet other people’s expectations can cause a lot of anxiety,” Pitchel adds. “That kind of stress increases the likelihood of mis-communicating, especially in more subtle, non-verbal ways.”
If you’re taking on this role, you understand that wedding planning can get very stressful. Make sure you’re maintaining an honest and clear relationship with the bride, and you’ll be in the clear.
You don’t understand the big picture
We’ve all heard stories about someone we know turning into or having to deal with a “bridezilla.” While I think it’s safe to say that is never the bride’s goal when planning her wedding, it’s understandable that, at some point, the stress of it all is going to build up. Eventually, it may seem like she’s getting a little crazy over what is likely a very small detail.
“The maid of honor has to understand this larger context — and keep it at the front of her mind for all decision making, big and small,” said Pitchell. “The bride freaking out about a minor detail would be annoying under any circumstance, but when the maid of honor can see that freak out in the context of a larger, more stressful moment, she can be more gracious, and ultimately, be a better support for the bride.”
You order the guests around
While it is often expected that the maid of honor and fellow bridesmaids are helping to play hostess during the reception, like ensuring guests know where to sit, where to place gifts, and reminding them to sign the guest book before the end of the evening, this doesn’t mean they’re running the show and ordering guests around.
“I have had two different maids of honor yell out for the guests to rise for the bride before I had a chance to say it,” said Jenifer Gay, owner and wedding planner of Blue Flamingo Weddings. It is likely these maids of honor were just excited for the bride to be seen and got ahead of themselves, but Gay pointed out this made her (the wedding planner) look like she didn’t know what she was doing and that the guests were dumb for just sitting there. Despite how excited you may be to see your bestie walk down the aisle, just wait for the officiant to direct the guests, and meanwhile, keep smiling for all the photos you know are being taken.
You try to take over the rehearsal
It may be your job to help keep things running smoothly for both the rehearsal and wedding day, but let’s get clear that it is not your job to commandeer these events. Gay spoke of instances where the maid of honor would attempt to override her suggestions at the rehearsal or make unauthorized changes on the wedding day, as if it were her own. “Most brides are overwhelmed at this point and just ignore it,” she mentioned, “which leaves it up to me to rein them in.”
While there may be opportunities for suggestions during the rehearsal, the wedding planner knows the flow of the event. She has been working with the bride and groom to ensure things go as smoothy as possible, and in the way they have envisioned. Listen up and let them communicate to the group so everyone is clear on the plan for the big day.
Read more: http://www.thelist.com/96327/mistakes-never-knew-making-maid-honor/