How to nail the role of “Maid of Honour”

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So what’s involved when you’ve been hired to run the show?

Congratulations! You have been asked to be a Maid of Honour and you have an exciting time ahead of you; the bride has chosen you as the most trusted and capable person in her life to take on the role of her second in command. You’re going to have a lot of fun helping plan the wedding and support the bride with the upcoming nuptials but you might not know where to start or where your responsibilities lie.

To help you out, we’ve listed what the Maid of Honour is traditionally responsible for leading up to the wedding, during the wedding and even after the wedding. It might be helpful to sit down with your bride and discuss what she would like to you be involved in, being armed with the below information will give her confidence in you as well as cement her decision that you were are the right woman for the job!

Pre Wedding:

The MOH generally lends a helping hand and ear to the bride. As the wedding day approaches, emotions will run high so you might need to take the bride’s hand and remind her that you and the other bridesmaids are there for her and that everything will be ok… breathe and sip on some wine if it helps.

You’ll need to accompany the bride when dress shopping and fittings; most bridal shops require an advanced booking so offer your help to contact bridal stores that the bride is interested in visiting to make some bookings. This also applies to any vendors or suppliers the bride needs to contact, offer a helping hand and she’ll tell you what needs done; don’t forget to delegate to the other bridesmaids to help you out.

Lead the bridal party. As MOH, you will be the main conduit between the bride and the bridesmaids. First off, it’s a good idea to organise a coffee, lunch or dinner date with the bridal party in the early stages to meet and exchange contact details if you don’t already know them. This is also a good time for the bride to explain what everyone’s role will be i.e. the MOH will be the main contact and give guidance on what needs to be done.

Ask the bride to provide you with a list of all the vendors and suppliers she has booked with, this way if anything goes wrong or needs to be addressed, you can help take care of it for her. Also, get the details of any registries and be the point person, in case guests have any questions, you can direct them.

Host or co-host the bridal shower / kitchen tea. Generally the bridal shower / kitchen tea is hosted by the MOH, you and the bridesmaids should run the show here and let the bride enjoy herself unless she wants to be involved.

Plan the Hens party. Get the bridesmaids involved in planning the day / night and take into consideration the older generations in the bride and groom’s families. Just because they’re older and may not want to party, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve an invitation; allow them to decline rather than assume they won’t want to come. Many people also opt for a low key brunch or high tea in addition to the hens night to accommodate for mothers, aunts, grandmothers and even under age family members so that everyone gets to enjoy a celebration with the bride.

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The Big Day

Get prepared and dressed with the bride, bridesmaids and the bride’s mother. Enjoy the morning before the day gets crazy and keep the bride calm and relaxed. To help with this, make sure you are well versed in the day’s schedule from ceremony, photos and reception to help the day run smoothly. It’s also a great idea to prepare an emergency kit containing everything that could help resolve any kind of wardrobe malfunction and don’t forget to have all vendor’s contact information near by!

During the ceremony, attend to the bride’s train and veil when she arrives at the alter making sure that it looks perfect for the photos. Hold her bouquet whilst she exchanges her vows and sign the register as her witness.

At the reception, help bustle the bride’s train and veil before dancing, this includes going to bathroom too! These days many MOH’s also give a speech or a toast after the Best Man; it is up to you and the bride as to whether you would like to, it could be a nice touch. Make sure the bride eats and drinks, she will be famished and pulled in every direction so you may need to force feed her while she makes her way around the room…. joking of course! Lastly, help out with any last minute details at the end of the night, this includes making sure that the gifts are transported safely.

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Post Wedding

Your job is almost done but before you breathe a sigh of relief and put your feet up, you could help out with returning any attire that was hired and needs to be returned, ensure that the gifts have arrived at their destination safely and finally, remind the newlyweds to send out their thank you notes.

This may sound exhausting and quite a big responsibility but we truly believe that the more organised you are, the better and more seamless your job will be. If the bride to be isn’t very good at making decisions or delegating tasks, help her; that’s what you’re there to do. We can’t stress enough how important it is to communicate and coordinate the bridal party so that everybody knows what’s happening and what needs to be done; this will remove any “she said, she said” from the equation and help all of you have a lovely and happy time leading up to the wedding and especially on the day.

Good luck and happy planning!

Purple Orchid Brides

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Where to splurge & where to save

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Weddings are getting fancier, quirkier, larger and more glamorous. Just because you want to keep your costs low, doesn’t mean that it needs to look like a budget wedding. There will be things that will gobble up the bulk of your cash however, there are also some areas you can save money; the key is to shop around but know where to splurge and where to be frugal. Here are my top 5 splurges and top 5 saves… I’ve also thrown in a couple of don’t even bother’s, just for good measure!

Where to splurge:

5. The rings  – The rings will be one of the few things from your wedding, apart from the vows, that will last forever. Shop around but search for quality; we were quoted $5,000 for both our rings but shopped around until we got the same thing for the budget we had set. Stick to your guns, persistence will pay off.

4. Hair and makeup – Your hair and makeup need to last ALL DAY no matter the weather and you will have a gazillion photos of you and the wedding party. Make sure you seek several quotes but always ask to see a portfolio and get trials included in your package.

3. Wedding party attire – Like number 4, all eyes will be on your wedding party for the entire day. There’s a reason why the term “cheap suit” is used and not in a good way, you can see it a mile away and same goes for the dress. No need to go overboard, you can find gorgeous wedding gowns for around $2,000 to $3,000 and remember my last post? A smaller bridal party means you can have your bridesmaids and groomsmen in some nice quality attire too (assuming you’re fitting the bill of course).

 2. Music & entertainment – You want your wedding to look beautiful but you don’t want your guests yawning at their tables from boredom. Make sure that after the formalities are done, your guests can let their hair down on the dance floor and really celebrate the special occasion. You’ll also have a chance to catch up with people when you’re all dancing and having fun, everyone will talk about how great your wedding was so make sure your entertainment is quality and discuss the set list too.

1. Food & alcohol – This is number one because it’s the first question people ask when you’ve been to a wedding… how was the food? Make sure when visiting potential reception houses that they offer a tasting session. Also consider the portions in proportion to the alcohol served. You want your guests to be jolly but not plastered where there is potential for disaster. You don’t want to run out of alcohol either so consider the different packages the reception house offers and don’t be afraid to haggle; I did and got a good deal!

Where to save:

5.  Cars – Do you have a friend or family member with a nice car? They might be happy to drive you around for the day. Alternatively, check out gumtree.com.au for self-drive classic cars that are cheaper than having chauffeur driven cars. You can also contact specialised car clubs to find out if they would be happy to drive you for a small fee. We went half/half, one self-drive and one classic car with a driver.

 4. Flowers – This one can be a little tricky but you need to make sure you shop around. Have a good idea of what you like so that your quotes don’t end up being huge because they’ve included 14 different types of flowers and foliage. Pick about three of each and see how you go. Gumtree.com.au also has many “at-home” local florists that do weddings at a fraction of the cost of the mainstream bridal florists, worth looking into.

 3. Photographer and/or videographer – Your photos and video will be one of the most important parts of your day however you’ll need to consider what you would like to capture. If shots of you getting ready and artsy shots of dresses hanging on chairs are really important to you then shop around for a professional photographer; however if you really just want to capture the moments during the ceremony and reception, think about whether you have any friends or family who are avid photographers with good equipment… if you think about it, we all know at least one! Many people opt to have their friends take all the photos and then send them the snaps afterwards. With all the technology available these days you can get your IT nerd friend to touch them up for you.

 2. Cake – Think about the last 3 weddings you went to and describe each cake in detail……. Exactly. The honest truth is that no one cares! You’ll have 3 photos of the both of you cutting it and then it’ll be chopped up and thrown in bags. 2 tiered wedding cakes serve about 50 people and they can start at $500! If you know someone who can make a decent cake, ask them if they can help. Pinterest has some great inspiration for wedding cakes too.

 1. Invitations and/or save the dates – Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent 3 months in advance however many people are opting for mid-week weddings these days so a save the date would make life easy for your guests if they have to organise an annual leave day or day off school. Even if you are making your own invitations, you could save on paper and postage by sending your invitations 4 months in advance instead. Search online for invitation templates and wording; there are a plethora of options on wording from really traditional to fun and modern.

Don’t bother:

3. Bonbonniere / wedding favours – Many couples opt not to give wedding favours these days but it you do feel the pressure of doing something, a donation to an organisation that has special meaning is also a popular option.

 2. Gifts for the bridal party – If you’ve paid for their attire for the day, there is no need to get them a gift. Re-consider if you have asked them to purchase their own attire for the day.

1. Outfit change – Some couples like to have a “leaving outfit”, although that isn’t as popular anymore it’s better left for the old days. Getting changed will eat into your time celebrating and saying your goodbyes and besides, you only get to wear your gown for one day… keep it on for as long as you can.

These are my top 5’s however they may not be yours. Take a look at what’s important to you and apply the same principle, guaranteed you’ll be pleased with what you can save.

Good luck and happy planning!

Purple Orchid Brides