You'll hold her flowers, you'll straighten her veil, you'll cater to her every whim. Ahhh . . . the joy of being a maid of honor (or matron of honor if you've already made it down the aisle yourself), and we do emphasize the word "maid" because you'll be doing all the work. In this time-honored and often thankless role, it's your duty to act as a support system for the bride in her time of chaos. Anyone who has ever been remotely involved with planning a wedding will tell you that it takes tons of preparation. After dealing with details like choosing which color icing to use on the third tier of the wedding cake and who is going to be seated next to smelly cousin Steve at the reception, it's enough to make any couple hop on the next flight to Vegas and get it over with as quickly as possible.

To prevent this from happening to your best friend and her hubby-to-be, you'll need to step in and help the bride with all aspects of the wedding. As the maid of honor, your role can range from helping the bride choose bridesmaids dresses to helping her find some good drugs when she has a nervous breakdown. Maids of honor are chosen for their emotional stability and composure, so be sure to stay positive every step of the way. Speaking of steps, here are a few designed to make you the best maid of honor the state of matrimony has ever seen.


While the bride is busy making honeymoon plans or stressing over the fact that there are only four groomsmen to escort her 16 bridesmaids down the aisle, you'll be the lucky person that guests and wedding party members look to for straightforward answers and information. The two main groups of people you'll be dealing with are the guests and the bridesmaids.


Let's start with the easiest responsibility: introducing yourself to future guests at pre-wedding events (like the engagement party or the bridal shower) and letting them know how they can contact you if they have any questions about the wedding. Since they might not want to bother the bride or her family with minor details, guests will be happy to flood your email inbox or fill up your entire answering machine tape with extremely important queries like, "Does the couple already have a George Foreman grill?" Know all the places the bride and groom are registered and encourage guests to buy gifts from their registry. If the bride expects a lot of out-of-town guests, be knowledgeable about hotels in the area and be ready to provide visitors with directions and appropriate places to stay.


It's also up to you prep the bridesmaids on what's going on and make sure they show up for any wedding-related events or practice runs. This includes all pre-wedding parties, rehearsals and dress-fittings. If the wedding is out of town, make sure the bridesmaids have adequate transportation and a place to stay for the big day. Think of yourself as a coach - you're in charge of the bridesmaids, and the wedding will run much more smoothly if you have a well-rehearsed team on your hands.