Food & Fitness

How to throw a party and a maid of honour’s duties

My best friend from high school got engaged last winter.


She is getting married in March 2011.


She asked me to be her maid of honour.


The bride chose a different wedding dress in the end, but we have ordered the dress I'm wearing for myself and the 2 bridesmaids - imagine it in dark blue and actually fitting me (seriously, dress stores seem to think every woman stands at 6 feet tall!)

Discounting being a flower girl at my cousin’s wedding about 15 years ago, I have never been in a bridal party.

…uh oh…

March 2011 is approaching quickly.

…uh oh…

And I have no idea how to throw bridal showers or bachelorette parties or really what I ought to be doing as maid of honour, besides agreeing with everything the bride says.

*cue Puss in Boots eyes in a plea for help*

If I look at you with eyes like that, you'll offer tons of suggestions and advice, right?

Does anyone have some advice for me? What should I keep in mind when throwing these parties? How far in advance before the wedding should they be happening? What duties should I be doing that I might not have thought of? Any tips, advice, or stories from weddings that you have been involved in would be awesome!


  1. fd

    aw, fun! and congrats to your friend! In my experience the job of maid of honor or bridesmaid is far easier than the job of best man! Helping the bride out on the day with dress changes, makeup, spare tights, deodorant, basically solving all problems that arise. in terms of duties before that, i think it depends a little on what’s practical, practicable and what she herself wants.

  2. the Bag Lady

    Fun!! That’s what you need to keep in mind.
    My niece was recently in a wedding party and, instead of taking the bride to the bar for her bachelorette party, they went to several houses for an extended dinner party (appetizers at the first house, main course at the second, etc., ending with the gifts and drinks at the last house) Apparently, they had a blast.

  3. Ashley

    Hmm…how far in advance I think really depends on the bride and how long her engagement is. My roommate’s sister had her bachelorette a few months before her wedding, but they wanted a ski-themed party in winter and her engagement was really long. All the various events were fairly far apart. My other roommate (who I was a bridesmaid for) had her bachelorette party three days before her wedding, which was fine for her, but would be much too close for many people.

    As for things to keep in mind…I would say that when planning the bachelorette party, you need to keep in mind what both the bride (and her soon-to-be husband) would think is appropriate for a party. For some people, a wild and naughty night out is exactly what they want, but for others, they might not be interested in that (or their fiances might not be and they might want to respect that).

    Oh, and for the bachelorette…one thing to keep in mind is transportation. If you’re planning on staying all night at someone’s house, that’s easier, but if you plan on going from house to house or bar to bar you’ll have to consider transportation, ESPECIALLY if people plan on drinking.

    I would say the main thing is that if you’re planning these things, you have to take control. I know people that have tried to let everyone have their say and participate in planning (i.e., all the friends and relatives) and it really becomes difficult to have so many people trying to decide on so many things. Too many cooks in the kitchen. It’s good to get input from people on what you should do, when and how, but in the end you just have to make the decision.

    Let me just say, it’s a good thing there’s only 3 of you in the bridal party, because my roommate had 6 bridesmaids and it was tough to coordinate that many girls and get everyone to agree on things.

  4. Geosomin

    It’s not so evil…trust me. The main thing is to make sure the bride has help she needs when she needs it. She’ll jsut want company to pick out stuff, look at things… destress coffee escapes are critical maid of honor duties 🙂
    Usually there’s a bridal shower about a month before the wedding…her mum will know all the family to invite. If she doesn’t mind, have a few games to play (when I did one a web search for shower cames turns up zillions of ideas) and I liked when there was a wish book where people can offer advice or leave a note at mine. It’s kinda fun to have a just friends shower too…like a lengerie shower/sexy toy party if she’s really relaxed about that sort of thing. Then there’s the hen night…depending on the bride this could be a fun day out…say at a spa or something. I went to a day out at a ranch once – that was great – riding and supper and relaxing around a campfire. I’m not a bar person so I can’t really speak for the party down hen night…
    Day of the wedding the maid of honour just helps keep the bride sane…:)
    My best advice is just ask her what she wants…It’s a lot of fun 🙂 You’ll have a blast…

    1. Ashley

      I agree with Geosomin on the wish book. My roommate had one at her bridal shower and it was really neat! Everyone there just wrote down some advice on marriage and relationships. Most of them were really hilarious, but also quite true. And its a nice momento of the day.

  5. Dan

    Apparently I need to read Living in the Real World in order to keep up on all the high school gossip. It’s been noted. As for the friend (I assume we aren’t naming names on here otherwise you would have), good for her and give her my best.

  6. Dan

    Well it’s a good thing I know a few people who alert me of such things. Now that I know that, perhaps in the future I’ll check in here myself every once in a while to support the cause. Also, as if I missed the word “Healthy”. Major brain fart.

  7. Pingback: The problem with weddings | Living Healthy in the Real World

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