More than half a year ago, my sister confirmed her engagement. We were all happy for her, but truth be told, I dreaded the announcement. Being the frugal, stubborn, indecisive,and hands-on person that she is, I’m sure she will not employ a wedding coordinator. And as her one and only design savvy sister, I’m almost a hundred percent sure I will have to step into the role, on top of being the maid of honor. It was bound to be stressful, and, given my dislike for big family affairs, I was sorely tempted to back out.
Sorry sister. I didn’t think I was willing to work that hard for you. But of course even I’m surprised that I am. 😉
Anyway, that was more than 8 months back, and time went by so fast. One month came after the other, and thankfully, I was able to prepare, though it didn’t make the occasion any less overwhelming. When the day came, however, it felt like I’ve been at it all along. Being her maid of honor wasn’t all that different from being her sister.
There was much to pick up from the novel, albeit stressful, experience. Take these from my first, and maybe last, maid of honor stint.
It’s HER DAY.
I guess the reason MOH-ing didn’t feel different from being the bride’s sister is that the occasion is hers. And it kind of always been that way since we were young, whether she agrees or not. She always had the spotlight, was everyone’s favorite, no matter how stubborn or occasionally annoyingly noisy she was. She charms everyone, and though that wasn’t easy to swallow, I got used to it. Being maid of honor on her special day is just bringing that setup to a bigger stage, so it wasn’t much of a stretch.
There’s no room for being a diva on a wedding day where you’re playing support. She and the occasion should be the priority. Kahit mainit o naka-heels ka, if you need to run somewhere to get something for a her, do it. Kung nagtataray na siya, huwag mong sabayan. Gawan mo ng paraan. And if you’re a bridesmaidzilla or anything like that, keep your problems to, and solve them by, yourself. Don’t give her anything more to worry about. Ngarag na ang bride and, chances are, mangangarag ka rin. But it’s her day; in her behalf, make sure na lang that everything is taken care of and going well. Ibalato mo na sa kanya; it’s just one day.
Be ready to rise to the occasion.
Kung may coordinator, swerte mo. At least you can relax a bit. Kung wala, iyak na lang. 😂😂😂 Seriously, though. Regardless of her having one or not, you will have to rise to the demands of the occasion. There’s bound to be lots of mishaps, and you have to be ready to attend to them. Be it her need for a bottle of water, safety pins, and other wedding essentials, or the guests’ clamor for a fun yet short night, you have to have them all in check.
I’ve had my briefing months before, when she brought me along to see all the wedding suppliers. She had me choose the flowers, the arrangements, and the color motif; heck, even the style of her own wedding dress! When we went to get the mock-ups and see the couturier, I had to wear a dress in the same shade as her motif so we can make sure that we got the right color.
So, yes. The occasion, apart from the bride, has many demands of its own, and some of them will come up on the spot. Be ready to face them.
Tips, anyone? Here’re some of mine:
1. Bring a bag containing:
Checklists of everything needed at the wedding
USB with all wedding -related files (audio, video, images)
Copy of wedding flow and program
Pocket wifi (especially handy if she doesn’t have a coordinator, for the last-minute file downloads of AVPs and audio or whatnot)
*Remember to make room for small wedding gifts and notes, though. Pretty sure friends will hand them to you for safekeeping.
2. Wear platforms. Heels are off limits when you’re doubling as runner. Opt for platforms to get height and comfort.
3. Always be on stand by near the entrance, both at the church and the restaurant or events place. Because yes, people will be looking for you to do shitloads of stuff.
4. Have your game face on. The wedding might have games or other activities. As MOH, you need to participate. Mandamay ka na rin, while you’re at it. Kawawa naman si bride, baka mapahiya.
Those are my tips, so far. Will add more if and when I remember other stuff.
Let her shine.
It’s a given that she should take centerstage. The MOH should always think of complementing the bride and not outshining her. Paano? Idaan sa pagsunod sa color motif. Keep makeup light and natural, hairstyle soft and feminine. Wear fewer blings than she does, and dapat iba talaga ang cut ng damit nyo. If body hugging sa kanya, go ka with the flowy style. And! Never show a lot of skin, huy. Kasal to teh, what’s more, kasal ng soul sister, bff, Basta, a very special woman in your life. Hindi ito okasyon para magmaganda ka.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t shine.
Let’s face it. On the wedding day, you’re the primary PA to the bride. But it shouldn’t be a reason for you to look shabby and haggard. At a wedding, everything should look perfect, including you.
Luckily for me, despite the challenging MOH duties, our HMUA of choice, Naturale by Nins, kept us looking perfect all throughout the event. Sa wakas, nakatikim din ng artistahing makeup ang lola mo! And let’s not forget the gown. Couturier Paul Santos of Coutuba Couture did an amazing job with our gowns. Finally, lahat ng di ko naranasan sa prom at grad ball, nabigay lahat on the wedding ^_^ needless to say, we looked and felt stunning during the wedding. Winner!
And you will shine, as you do everything with love. Not anyone can be MOH to the bride, and the fact that she chose you means you are important to her, and she to you. So as you carry out your many duties, ngarag as you are, do them all with love.
As much as I didn’t want to be all panicky and busy on the day, I thought, if it were my day, my sister surely would have done the same. So despite the apprehensions, it’s really a go. And when you’re already there, even you will be surprised at what you’re willing to do (e.g. Run around the church and sing a not-so-well-rehearsed special number)just to make things great for the dear bride and everyone she loves.
Your time will come.
I’m single with a lot of personal issues to contend with, and attending a wedding and doing so many, many things for someone whom I’m always compared to is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It’s draining and frustrating to be maid of honor at my current state of mind and heart. But I’m not just her MOH. I’m her sister, and when the day came, as other days did, that mattered more.
If you’re frustratedly single or impatiently waiting to become a bride yourself, and then you’re thrusted into the maid of honor position, enjoy the moment. I understand how hard that can be but it’s a once in a lifetime event you’re lucky to be a part of! 🙂 Go! You’ll have your turn one day.
It gets old, I know. But don’t ruin the day just because you have that “kelan naman kaya ako” etched at the back of your head. I have been waiting 23 years, frustratedly, and I made it a point to enjoy the day–her turn, and the succeeding days, until I get mine.
And I am excited for when I finally get there. If catching the bouquet is any indication, then maybe I won’t have to wait that long anymore. Haha. Fingers crossed. 🙂
It doesn’t end at the wedding.
MOH-ing to the sister is a lifetime thing for me, and I have come to terms with it so many times. God willing, I’ll be around for more milestones. Hopefully, less stressful this time hahaha. And of course, God willing, she’ll be around when I have mine, too.
Wedding’s over, and though I hate to admit it, MOH-ing is pretty fun. Sa mga friends ko na ikakasal sa future, please get a coordinator if ako ang maid of honor hahaha. Yoko na pong mastress.
For now, I’ll take a breather. Been an honor (and also a horror hahaha) to be maid of honor. Now officially relieved of MOH duties. 🙂 But as sister and friend, it’s obviously not the end.