Monday, December 28, 2009

How to be the best matron of honor EVER

Hey hey!

I have been reading your blog b/c you are just so lovely. My friend
Joy had linked to you during her stages of wedding planning.

Anyhow, so I'm writing because my sister JUST (as in, on Christmas Eve) got engaged! I got married 3 1/2 years ago and it was a wonderful experience, and I'm looking for some advice/tips on how to be the best bridesmaid, or rather, matron of honour, ever. What do I need to stay on top of? I've been a bridesmaid a couple of other times, but lived far away from both those brides so wasn't super involved. I'd love any help/assistance/advice you can give me!

Warm wishes to you from chilly Canada!



Mkay. I’m a little offended that you called me “lovely” when I really try to envision myself as badass. But since you are Canadian, I won’t hold it against you.


1. Let her vent. The groom will get bored with wedding planning. There will be entire days when he doesn’t want to talk about it. Also, as I learned when H-town and I were planning our wedding, if you complain about something to a man, he will try to fix it. Adorable, but not always helpful. Sometimes you just want to complain. So tell the bride to imagine that you have given her one of those red telephones. A direct line to you. And any time she needs to jabber or rant or cry she can call you.

2. Tell her the truth (90% of the time). If, for example, she is leaning toward a dress that is a) lame, b) not flattering or c) not her, for chrissake speak up! She needs to know she can rely on you for an honest opinion. But if you don’t get to see the dress until it’s bought and paid for, you love it. Obviously.

3. Whatever with the bridal shower…. Throw her an amazing bachelorette party. Mine involved bar-hopping in gold heels and a pink feather boa. Don’t tell anyone, but my girlfriends also made me wear a pink t-shirt that said “Buy Me A Shot, I’m Tying The Knot.” The NYC-single-girl-me would have been mortified, but the LA-about-to-be-married-me had the best time. Note: Skip the condom/penis veil. Come to think of it, don’t affix condoms or penises to any part of her body. Thx.

4. When the time comes, rip that to-do list out of her hands. This won’t be easy. She might cancel her mani/pedi so she can supervise the table set-up at the reception hall. Or you might catch her rearranging the flowers in the chapel when she’s already late for the m-effing portraits. But the more you know about what’s supposed to happen/what things are supposed to look like, the more you can help when it starts to get hairy.

Oh, and write your speech in advance. Cocktail hour won’t be any fun if you spend it locked in the ladies room scribbling on index cards.

(Photo by Brian Henry)


  1. handle your own shit. eg: don't call me the day of the wedding and tell me you don't have shoes.

  2. And please don't call the week before asking if you can buy a dress in a different color when the wedding colors have been specifically picked to accommodate the dress you're wearing as a bridesmaid in another wedding :)

  3. Just a couple of thoughts from personal experience....go with her to the seamstress to learn how to do her bustle and help her round up things she may need ex. Mason jars. Or look for white lights on sale...things like that. Have fun and congrats!!!

  4. I was recently the best lady (sorry, but i think maid/matron of honor sounds a little, well, stogy!) and your list made me giggle because my best friend couldn't give a flying eff about ANY of the details. In fact, my number one job was to intervene when people were forcing her to have an opinion on flowers, seating arrangements, etc.

    I will say that, no matter how involved/uninvolved your bride, your job is to protect her from any and all negativity on the wedding weekend. That one bridesmaid being a bit of a nudge? Be the ever-so-subtle mediator. Everyone dilly-dallying, and the bride is getting stressed about the time? Be the bitch that she can't/won't be, and get everyone MOVING.

    Pay close to attention to her emotions and needs, to what she is saying/not saying, and don't let anyone harsh her mellow. If they try, break out the nun-chucks.

  5. try not to complain excessively and don't call with a page-long speech about "how much work all of this" is and how you are "doing so much" for her, because she has a shit ton more to handle than you do and she probably won't want to deal with a big whiny baby. just so you know...

  6. i also think your badass, but a lovely badass (coming from a Canadian, so I'm forgiven too?? lol).

    My Lady, matron whatever's job is to just be there. she lives away and is planning her very own wedding.

    as a result, I have another friend who has been super helpful, but not officially the MOH, I might just give her the title of 'Kick-Ass Lady' as SHE has THE LIST of who to keep away while we're getting ready. Really, she has carte blanche.

    and there is no way in hell I'm wearing some t-shirt at the b-party. I told Kick-Ass Lady that all I wanted was to get trashed at a local pub and go dancin' with friends. BEER. Is that Canadian or what?? lol.

  7. I love this post and all of these comments!!!!

  8. oh! Liv just had a crush on the man with the veil.
    hm, should I be worried?
    (maybe yes i already put typos in the first comment,sorry!)

  9. Excellent list! I wish I´d had it when I was an MOH... I had no clue.

    As a bride, I´d definitely second Celia´s comment about not mentioning ´how much work it is´ -- planning a wedding is a shit ton of work for all involved. Being as accommodating as possible goes a long way toward making things flow smoothly.

    Also, remember that it´s HER wedding, and she will do things differently than you did, and that´s fine.

  10. yes, yes and yes! you pretty much nailed it. i had a team of specialists working to keep me sane and they were amazing.

    my bachelorette party involved wine tasting by bicycle in santa barbara (dangerous but a blast)... not a penis veil in sight.

    and on the day of the wedding i pretty much handed my friends a list and they took care of EVERYTHING. i love them.