How to be a Great Maid of Honour

As a bridal makeup artist, it might not come as a big surprise that I love everything associated with Weddings. Venue planning, creative design and stationary, hair and makeup, hen parties… the whole works. Being a bridal makeup artist means I get the opportunity to be apart of many of my best friends big day right from the first hour, making the bride all pretty for her special day.

When I hear the news of a friend getting engaged, I’m always just as happy and excited as she is. I love to get involved in all the planning…although maybe it’s because it’s not actually my own day, and I don’t deal with the stressful sides! Either way, 2017 is bringing many weddings my way and a whole lot of new brides-to-be to make up on their Wedding morning. And I couldn’t be more excited!

I’ve actually only been a chief bridesmaid – or Maid of Honour as they say in America – once. But luckily, my best friend gets married in August this year, and myself and my twin sister will be sharing the role. Now that we have a much closer countdown, the duties are rising and we’re pulling up our sleeves to plan the loveliest hen party, plus various other support. So how do you become a great maid of honour?

How do you work it so that you can help the Bride out as much as she needs?

I’ve pulled a list together of everything I have planned to pull of this incredible role. So if you’re in the same boat as me and my sister this year, the list may shine some inspiration your way!

1. Assist with Hair and Makeup

A Bride needs a second opinion, always. And who better to give it that her best friends? For this particular wedding, I’ve helped out by offering to carry out the makeup for the Bride and a number of the Bridesmaids, and wavered any costs as part of my Wedding gift.

If you really want to give a gift like this which not only helps the Bride out financially, but means you get to make her Wedding morning extra special and fun, you could look at taking a quick bridal makeup course so you can offer this. Only if you are genuinely interested in makeup though – I appreciate its not for everyone!


I’ve been taking the hard work off my best friend by pulling together mood boards of stunning makeup looks and hairstyles, so she doesn’t have to trawl Pinterest 24/7. As I’m not actually skilled in bridal hair, I’m going to go out of my way to find her a wedding hair stylist, so that the beauty side of her wedding preparation is as far from a stress as possible.

Remember, it’s always advisable to have a trial for both hair and makeup before the big day. So if you want to help out and pull some mood boards and look sheets together, remember to book the bride in for trials too!

2. Enjoy a girly day out to plan, plan…and plan some more!

Offer to take the Bride-to-be on an ultimate girly day out around 10 months before the wedding. If she hasn’t chosen her dress yet, plan the day around visiting various bridal shops, and extend it to reach designer shoe shops and accessories too. Afterwards, treat the bride to a coffee and cake, or afternoon tea session, to talk about the day, dresses, bridal outfits and everything associated with all the fun things!

The bride will love a day themed around her and all her fashion needs, so it’s a great day to plan as maid of honour.

If she has sorted her dress out already, hunt down a bridal fayre which gives inspiration on those extras she may not have thought about. This can cover adds on to the days, like photo-booths, invite designers, buffets for the evening guests, and all sorts of later-on arrangements.

3. Assist her with dress fittings

Offer to come along with the bride each time she has a dress fitting. It’s important the same set of eyes attends each fitting, as you can give honest opinions on how the dress and accessories are all coming together. Also, if the bride is trying to lose a bit of weight, you can be a support as you’ll have seen her progress for each dress fitting.

It’s also lovely to try on your bridesmaid dress along side her bridal gown, so she can get an idea of how the two of you will look side by side on the photos. You can then help the bride plan the colour scheme of the flowers, as you’ll have seen exactly how she will look.

4. Let her leave the party planning to you

A hen party is so much more fun when it’s a surprise to the bride. Make sure that the majority of the planning is left in your capable hands, so the Bride doesn’t have the stress of planning another party.

The main thing to do is to get an idea of what type of hen party she’s looking for. Once you gather her thoughts, it gives you the basics to start planning. Abroad trip, or UK weekend? A night out and a meal, or a properly planned party?

Get together her ideal guest list, and then make sure you get everyone’s email address and phone numbers. A hen party Whatsapp group of Facebook private event is a great way to discuss the plans so that everyone is always kept up to date. Weekends away can work out expensive, so it’s ideal to start these plans early so all guests have time to plan their funds.

For my duties, I’m planning a weekend trip to Benalmadina with a smaller group of friends, and then getting involved in a Manchester night out for all the brides family and wider circle of friends. Make sure you take into consideration decorations for the night, sashes for all the guests, name cards on the table if a meal is involved (and not everyone knows each other), and most importantly, take photos!

The hen won’t be worrying about snapping away on her hen party because she’ll be so busy mingling with everyone.

5. Offer to help with those small tasks

Those tasks like stuffing wedding invites into envelopes late at night, rounding up everyone’s postal addresses, finding recommendations for a wedding singer or band…. these are just some of the tasks the Bride might need help with, but may be afraid to ask. Just the little things like tagging a friend into a Facebook post of a lovely wedding harpest or violinist that might make an extra lovely touch. Or, if you see Pinterest photos of unique cocktails which could make a creative spin on the first drink handed out after the ceremony, share it with her.

It’s all about thinking outside of the box and going that extra mile for the Bride. I promise you – she’ll never forget it. And to end the post, here’s a lovely little photo of myself and the bride-to-be taken this weekend whilst I was on my important chief bridesmaid duties…

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