My sister just got married over the summer. She asked me to be her Maid of Honor and of course I happily accepted. Who would refuse a job with “Honor” in the title? I did not realize how much work goes into earning all of that Honor. What people see is the MoH holding the bride’s bouquet, fixing her train, and giving a toast at the reception. But in order to reach peak MoH status (which I was determined to do), so much more is required. Anyone who associates weddings with love, happiness, and contentment has never planned one. I am now determined to never get married because it is just too much work.
The first and least stressful of a MoH’s duty is to assist the bride in all of the decisions, both big and small. Wedding dress shopping, reception hall-hunting, and guest list-narrowing are just the beginning. There are a million things which go into a wedding which no one tells you about. With all of the weddings which take place every day, you’d think that society would have gotten it down better by now. But still no one thinks to warn you about all of the last minute details you are bound to forget. Between slideshows, ring pillows, guest book pens, signs and pictures for the reception hall, send-off bubbles, lighters for the candles, schedules for the DJ, the photographer, the videographer, the church coordinator, and the reception coordinator, playlists, center pieces, and bouquets, something is bound to be forgotten.
And if you decide to have any surprises for the bride, you make it ten times harder on yourself. I was brilliant enough to have three big ones. First was the MoH’s quintessential shining moment: the Bachelorette party. When you are planning a Bachelorette party without any strippers or alcohol, it is almost guaranteed to be lame. So to try to squeeze as much excitement out of tea, manicures, a scavenger hunt, and laser tag as possible, I hyped it up by keeping it all a secret. And I somehow managed to throw in little surprises along the way like a limo, “team bride” gear, and having the groom and his groomsmen meet us for the last stop of tactical laser tag. I’m still not sure if keeping all that a secret was worth the stress I went through trying to stop everyone from ruining it at every moment of every day. I swear, I felt like I was playing whack-a-mole, trying to keep everyone’s mouthes covered at once. As if that wasn’t enough, I choreographed a surprise dance number with which the groom and groomsmen serenaded the bride at the reception. Getting four grown men to sing and dance to a Disney song in front of all their friends and family is no easy task. The final surprise was a classic: Any even moderately adequate MoH must sneak off to assist in the decorating of the newlyweds’ car. Half way through the reception, I told my sister how relieved I felt to be unburdened of all the secrets, only to remember this last detail and simultaneously feel the anxiety return.
But of all of these tasks, none of them is the most important. The MoH’s most important job is to tend to the bride’s every need throughout the entire process. Is she frustrated with the program measurements? Make them for her. Are parents being too overbearing? Get rid of them. Is the seating chart just not working out? Uninvite a couple people, they won’t mind. Is she annoyed at the groom for no apparent reason? Make him apologize anyway. I couldn’t sleep the night before the wedding because my mind was racing with a million things I had to do in the morning but my sister slept fine. Make sure she eats at the reception, dances for at least a few songs, and has a couple moments alone with her new husband. At the end of the day, they will be married no matter what happens and that is what truly matters. In my opinion, the best definition of a MoH’s job is to not take any time to breathe so that the bride has a chance to, because she deserves to have one perfect, worry-free day. Well, to do that, and to always have an ample supply of bobby pins.