Question: I am the maid of honor at my girlfriends wedding...I am in TX she is in NC. All of the bridesmaid are coming from different states...she only has one local bridesmaid. I want to know what my role is and how do I plan anything this far .... we all have been asked to be in the area the Thursday prior to wedding...so it only give me one night since Friday is all wedding related. –Long Distant Bridesmaid
Answer: I can relate to this on a personal and professional level! I do find a number of our clients and their bridal parties face this obstacle as well. Just as you can plan a trip across the country with never being or visiting that location before, you can contribute and plan things for your girlfriend with the help of the internet, local friends/bridesmaids, family and believe it or not…the bride.
Before I tell you how to be a great maid of honor from another state, there are a few things that go without saying that you need to keep in mind. The main purpose of bridal party members is to offer strong emotional support and an understanding shoulder. Above all else, you must be there emotionally…and that might be enough for her!
The first thing I would do is talk with the bride. Find out what she expects from you in terms of responsibilities and realistic expectations. If she is realistic, then she will understand how hard it is going to be for you being as hands on with the process as you could have been as if you were there with her. Hopefully she has a wedding planner that will help her with the wedding details and planning in NC. If she doesn't, you might want to offer that you can help her with phone calls or researching vendors from where you are. Luckily with the help of email and internet you can do wonders with or for her.
Secondly, talk with the bridesmaid that is close by the bride in NC. Even though she isn't the maid of honor, she has been asked to be in the bridal party and also has some responsibilities prior to the wedding. Why not ask her to see what she can help with and communicate with you on duties and progress?
Third, you are still responsible for planning a shower/bachelorette party at the very least. With that said, try to plan a weekend you can all meet prior to the wedding. Maybe meet half way if you cannot make it all the way to her. Get in touch with the family, bridal party and friends and see what works best for them. They can help you find locations and firm up details prior to the party with your direction. If you cannot meet prior to the wedding, then you will have to settle and plan for the next best thing…do it the night you arrive in town for the wedding. You said Thursday right? So plan something for Thursday night or Friday afternoon. Keeping in mind you have a rehearsal and some last minute details to pull together on Friday…so no late night drinking and craziness! You owe it to her to host something! After all, you have a great honor of standing up with her as her right hand lady!
Fourth, if you feel bad about not being able to help and realize that the other bridesmaid in the same area is unwilling or unable, why not chip in with friends and family and gift her the help from a wedding planner? You would be surprised the amount of work removed from your and her plate with the help of a professional.
I hope that helps!!!
Photo by Turtle Hill Photography