As a bride, you have a lot to do to plan a wedding. There are vendors to deal with, locations to book, invitations to get out, registries to register for – the list goes on and on. And through it all, the bridesmaids are there to support and help you whenever possible.
Choosing a maid of honor is an important task for the bride and needs to be handled as such. She will lead your team of bridesmaids, organize events for you and ultimately stand next to you on your big day.
Although you might love to have your closest cousin do the duty, if she isn’t the right type of person for the job the maid of honor choice could create more stress then it alleviates. Remember, you can always incorporate people into the ceremony as bridesmaids or perhaps even have them read something special. When choosing the maid of honor, keep it to the person best qualified for the job from your friends and family.
Every bride has different expectations of the maid of honor and be sure to know what yours are before choosing a maid of honor. You’ll need to communicate these expectations as well, and it’s probably a good idea to do so when asking her to be your maid of honor. In any case, there are certain qualities that a maid of honor needs to be successful and really help you through the wedding process.
Here are the seven must have qualities for a maid of honor:
1) Responsibility – The maid of honor will have a lot of responsibility. She’s your right hand, your confidant and the person who will arrange for those forgotten elbow length gloves to arrive just minutes before the wedding ceremony. The maid of honor has to not only be a responsible person, but one willing to take on this large load. If you don’t think she can, for whatever reason, then consider choosing someone else.
2) Organization – Planning your bridal shower, a bachelorette (if you are having one), and keeping the bridesmaids in order are all responsibilities of the maid of honor. Plus, you may need her to keep track of other things as well, such as quotes received, invitations sent, etc. Her ability to organize work is important. Besides the obvious skill of keeping everything straight, also be sure that she can remember key times, dates, documents, etc.
3) Teamwork skills – Ultimately, wedding planning is a team sport. It involves all the participants – bridesmaids, groomsmen and families – working together to create the day of your dreams and in your vision. Your maid of honor needs to be at the forefront of this and be able to play nice with others (such as the other bridesmaids), even if she isn’t that fond of them.
4) Leadership qualities – Leadership is synonymous with the maid of honor position. She’s the number one bridesmaid. Having someone who can inspire others without being too bossy or arrogant is necessary. She’ll need to be able to use her organization skills and teamwork skills to lead the bridesmaids through various wedding related activities.
5) Financial availability – Getting married is a costly affair to you and unless you are willing to foot the additional bills of a dress for your maid of honor, the cost of your bridal shower and/or bachelorette and any additional incidentals like hotel rooms, accessories, etc then your maid of honor needs to be in a financial place where this responsibility won’t leave her eating canned corn and mac and cheese for months.
6) Emotional availability – Wedding planning is stressful. Really stressful. And you need support during the process. Things will go wrong. There will be disagreements and differences of opinions. There will be hard times. All this is a given. From your maid of honor you need emotional support. More importantly, she has to be emotionally available to you. If she’s in a difficult emotional time (dealing with loss, disappointments, etc) this may be hard for her and in turn it’ll cause stress on your relationship. Be sure that your friend is going to be able to be there for you.
7) Physical availability – An absentee maid of honor who can’t find the time to answer phone calls, lend a hand and be there and on time is no good to you. Having a long distance maid of honor isn’t a problem so long as she can help from her location and make the time in her schedule to help you out.