Maid (or matron) of honour is more than just a title. If you’ve been asked to perform in this role, it means that the bride sees you as a close and trustworthy friend who can be counted on to be there when she needs you.

Being a maid of honour is a labour of love with far more work than glory. You are expected to take on the background work that will help the bride shine on her special day. If you don’t feel close enough to the bride to put in the effort, or if you aren’t willing to stand in her shadow in regards to her wedding, then you should politely decline the offer. If you do love and support the bride and are ready to help in any way you can, here are some important ways to be an amazing maid of honour.

Get to know the bridesmaids.

Consider yourself the coach of the bridesmaid team. It is your job to make sure that each bridesmaid knows her role and gets any information she needs. Start by reaching out to each bridesmaid, especially if there are some you don’t know. Make sure you know how to contact everyone and create a social media group or e-mail list to keep in touch. You will be the person who helps coordinate shopping trips, reminds bridesmaids of fitting appointments and makes sure that everyone knows when to be at the hair salon. Having a good relationship with each member of the team will help tremendously. It will also help to introduce yourself to and develop a friendship with the groomsmen and both sets of parents.

Plan a shower and a bachelorette party.

Throwing a wedding shower is a traditional duty of the maid of honour. You can pair up with someone else to co-host a shower or get the bridesmaids together to have one. As the maid of honour, you will probably be the one to plan the party and assign everyone a task. Any bachelorette festivities will also be your responsibility, and the bridesmaids should be helping. Start by asking each person how much money she is comfortable spending and create a budget that will let you know how big the party will be. Then give each person a job.

Be mentally supportive.

Every bride needs someone who will listen to her talk about her wedding. Be that person. Even if it’s the fiftieth time you’ve heard her drone on about how her hydrangeas have to be a particular shade of blue, keep nodding your head and smiling. She needs you.

Offer to help with everything.

There are a thousand little things to do when it comes to planning a wedding. From addressing envelopes to assembling wedding favors, the bride probably has a lot to accomplish. She may need someone to go with her to order flowers or taste cakes, or she might need some guidance choosing her earrings. Ask her what you can do to help and don’t be too proud to take on the tiniest or most annoying tasks. Even if something doesn’t seem important to you, treat it as a priority if it’s important to the bride.

Run interference for the bride.

The bride is likely to be stressed out and overwhelmed as the wedding day approaches. You can help by thinking ahead and taking on problems. Take notice of anything unusual or troubling and try to distract anyone who is seeking too much attention from the bride and groom. Attempt to extinguish any drama before it makes its way to the happy couple.

Be the woman who has the emergency supplies.

Weddings are all about needing stuff at the last minute. Pack a bag of items like tissues, safety pins, nail clippers, bobby pins, aspirin, hairspray, snacks and anything else you can think of that the bride and bridesmaids might need. Be ready with a coloring book that will entertain a grumpy flower girl or a stain remover in case something gets spilled. Taking on any issues will be a huge gift to the bride.

Notice the details.

Keep your eye on the bride throughout the wedding day and let her know if something is amiss. Make sure her hair stays in place and bring her some lipstick if hers is wearing off. Arrange and rearrange her veil and dress as she’s having her pictures taken. Think of it as your responsibility to make sure she looks good.

Have the answers.

Take it upon yourself to know details like where the restrooms are at the venue, where guests are expected to sit or stand, where bridesmaids should gather and any other information that people will want to know. Make everyone aware that you are the person who will be answering questions so the bride can concentrate on enjoying her wedding.

Being asked to be the maid of honour is a true compliment, and it shows the trust the bride has in you. Before accepting, ask yourself if you are ready to make the bride’s wedding a priority and to put in the time and effort she will need from you. And when you do tell her that you will be her maid of honour, be sure you are committed to helping her create a magical experience.

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