As much as my wedding day was a total blur, the night before is even hazier. I remember getting all of my bridesmaids gifts in order, making sure my dress was steamed, doing my makeup and hair, me and my fiancé rushing to the church for our rehearsal. It was a total s***show. As to be expected. But I was the bride, yes, I had a lot of responsibilities and things to take care of before I said “I Do” the next day, but for the most part, everything was buttoned up and ready to go - I could seemingly chill out and get excited, while leaning on my Maid of Honor (my little sister) if any unexpected issues popped up.
She, on the other hand, had a lot to remember and really couldn’t relax during the rehearsal at the church and dinner to follow. Sorry, Steph, I’ll be returning the favor in October, with a 1 ½ year old sidekick wreaking havoc in the background. (photo above from Taylor and Frankie's 3000k wedding)
Anyhow, the MOH is truly the HBIC the night before the wedding. She kind of steps into the role of wedding planner, to keep things going smoothly and as stress-free as possible. And this is all after she’s already planned and hosted a bridal shower and epic bachelorette outing, mediated any issues between bridesmaids, spread the word about ALL the wedding things between the couple and their wedding guests, family and friends.
The night before the wedding, she’s basically Monica in the two-episode Phoebe + Mike wedding arc on Friends. You know what I’m talking about…
“Please... honey, leave the details to me. Now I wanna make this day as special for you as I can.” Obvi we know that M.Geller Bing was kind of psychotic (she’s later fired and then re-hired in the episode), but she definitely kept things running like a well-oiled machine, and it was necessary.
To all the MOHs out there, who are just a few weeks away from the wedding, you need to live by Monica’s words - leave all the details to me - live it, breathe it, eat it, dream it. She is your spirit animal. If anal retentiveness doesn’t really vibe with you, though, we put together a list of things you need to be sure you’re doing the night before the wedding. Keep them in mind, and you’ll be 👌.
Get everyone to the rehearsal on time
Yup, this one is pretty important. Whether your bride has a big or small party, you’re in charge of communicating with everyone to ensure they all manage to make it to the church or venue on time for rehearsal. So, if you know that a few of them are notoriously late for the party, tell them to arrive 30-45 minutes before start time. The VIP couple has too many things to worry about before heading over, so it’s your responsibility. Group texting, Facebook messaging, email chains, starting at 10am, they’re all your friends. Just get everyone there, at 6pm, not a minute later. You got this! 😉
Photo: Kara Michelle on Unsplash
Commit the wedding day timeline/itinerary to memory
My fiancé (now husband) did a great time by putting together an itinerary for our families and bridal party members - I was shocked 🤯- he made sure to hand off copies to my sister, for everyone, and she distributed at the rehearsal dinner. This was a game changer, and something that every MOH should do. Basically huddle up the bridal party before everyone disperses for the night, give them an agenda/run of show for the next day, and reiterate all of the details - a few times for clarity. Then, because some of the bridesmaids and groomsmen will inevitably lose the sheet of paper, it’s your job to memorize all of the arrival times, bookmark the vendors names, add their contact details to your phone. As I said before, basically become your bride’s cruise director. You’re in charge of making sure that boat stays the course, without issues of Titanic proportions.
Handle any gift exchanges for the couple
The Maid of Honor is the ultimate unicorn for all she can do before the wedding, during and after, but she can’t fly. End of story. So, if the bride and groom want to exchange gifts / love notes the morning of the wedding, sometimes it’s easier to facilitate the hand off the night before (obvi with the caveat that gifts will be reserved for the next morning, noooo peeking) - especially if the couple is getting ready in different places - sometimes even 10-15-30 minutes apart. Making the MOH cart things back and forth is cruel and unusual punishment. So, she should just go about things on Wedding Eve. This is also a great time to take possession of those rings - if the Best Man isn’t totally trustworthy…
Slay the speeches
Now, this one is totally optional, but sometimes the MOH or Best Man will prepare a ‘preview’ toast to the couple at the rehearsal dinner. It’s more of a welcome to all of the pair’s guests for being there and a thank you to the bride and groom for including them in their wedding in such a special day. If it’ll help you ease into the bigger speech you have to deliver the next evening, then by all means, get up there and drop some poetry. If not, no big deal! But, as you’re getting ready for the rehearsal events throughout the day, and before bed, make sure you’re putting final touches on your own speech and rehearsing it for flawlessness. The next day will be out-of-control crazy, so taking some time to fine-tune your speech the night before will be a total life saver.
Photo: Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Collect any money+get that emergency kit ready
Since the morning of the wedding is total chaos, I tried to knock some things off my list the night before - with my sister’s help. She helped collect tip money for my glam squad from all the bridesmaids. Which was HUGE, because I couldn’t deal with counting cash and having my hands smell like money that morning. We also got things ready for an emergency kit. Filled with bandaids, bobby pins, static guard, stain remover, safety pins, blister pads, granola bars, etc. DIdn’t have to use it, but ohhhh you better believe that if we didn’t have one, there would have inevitably been some sort of disaster. Maids of Honor: this is all you. If you can handle this, you’ll have no issues packing lunches, recital go-bags, and first aid kits for your own kids later on. Practice 👍
And this one’s just a bonus - but please, make sure you cut yourself off if you’re getting a little too tipsy. Same goes for the bride and other bridesmaids. You’re on drunk girl duty. Nothing’s worse than waking up on the wedding day hungover AF. You won’t win. But you can; however, make sure you have all the things for morning mimosas and bellinis prepped - champs, schnapps, juices, etc. - while you’re not drinking. 🍾