We receive questions almost daily and thought this question needed to be answered in a new post:
My name is Jamie and my sister chose me to be her maid of honor.. I am only 16!! I have only been to one wedding in my entire life and i was the flower girl… when i was 6!! I have no clue what to do or what to expect, I’m a nervous wreck. I blow it off like I’m not nervous in front of my sister, but inside i am all messed up.
- What do I do?
- What should i expect?
- How do you make a good speech?
- How can you calm yourself down?
First off, congratulations on being chosen to be a maid of honor! It is a special honor, although it can feel overwhelming at times. I understand your nerves, but just know that you can do this! Often the maid of honor puts more stress and pressure on herself than the bride would ever expect. Be determined to enjoy this experience and not allow stress to take away from the fun of it! The overall job of the maid of honor is to be a support and help to the bride in whatever area she needs. It could be anything from helping her make invitations to wedding dress shopping. Offer your sister your assistance, and let her know you will be there for her.
What do I do? – Typically, the maid of honor is the one who hosts and plans the bridal shower and bachelorette parties. You can throw the shower at your own home or a friend’s. Ask your sister who she would like to invite. I wouldn’t suggest making the list of invites on your own because you don’t want to risk leaving out someone important to your sister. Include where she is registered on the invitations. A bridal shower usually includes food, a few games and the opening of presents. Make sure you have someone writing down who each gift is from-this comes in handy later when the bride writes her thank you cards. The maid of honor is also responsible for throwing a bachelorette party-a celebration of the end of single-hood. This usually happens a week or two before the wedding. Often, it will be just a few days before and can depend on how tight the wedding week schedule is. Again, consult your sister regarding the best time and the list of guests. Usually, the bachelorette party is a smaller group, including the bride’s closest friends. Remember, you don’t have to do this by yourself! Feel free to ask the other bridesmaids for their ideas and help.
What should i expect? – On the day of the wedding, help your sister get into her dress. Also help with her makeup if needed. On her wedding day, the bride should not be bothered with extra details or questions. You are the barrier between your sister and anyone else. If you don’t know the answer to the florist/caterer/DJ’s questions, find someone who does (usually the wedding coordinator). All throughout the ceremony (especially before she walks down the aisle), it is your job to make sure that the bride’s train and/or veil are straight, and not a tangled mess. There’s nothing worse than a bride tripping on her own train! You will hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony. Oftentimes, the maid of honor is the witness in the signing of the marriage license.
How do you make a good speech? – Now, it’s time to talk about the speech. The maid of honor speech is usually given at the rehearsal dinner, the reception, or both. Let your speech reflect your personality. Everyone’s speech will be different; you don’t want to end up saying something that doesn’t sound like you. You can start out by saying your name and identify yourself as the bride’s sister. Most people will already know you, but there will be a few who won’t (especially on the groom’s side). You can talk about what it was like growing up together and/or your love and admiration for her. You can even include a fun story about the two of you. Then you can talk straight to her- tell her how happy you are for her happiness and that you wish her and the groom a life full of joy! Then tell the guests to raise their glasses and toast to (bride’s name) and (groom’s name). Remember, these are just suggestions, and keep in mind that a good speech doesn’t necessarily mean a long one. The most important thing is that it comes from your heart and represents you!
How can you calm yourself down? – Nerves can be hard to squash. If you are really nervous, I recommend writing the speech down and rehearsing it till you feel comfortable. If you want to read from the paper during the ceremony feel free to do so. Take some deep breaths right before the speech, and then go for it! Talk directly to your sister, without looking at the crowd, if that feels more comfortable.
Congratulations again Jamie! I hope you enjoy your experience as a maid of honor!