Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Wedding. Two Matrons of Honour.

About one month from now my very close friend Christine, or Tyn as we fondly call her, will be wed to Mond. Well, “very close” is an understatement. She’s much like a sister, not just to me but also to Cielo who’s my bestest friend. We will be her Matrons of Honour.

It has always been the three of us since college and personally I really want this wedding to be as stress-free as possible. I have attended a few weddings, had been a Maid of Honour once, and been married so I have seen all the possible and impossible things that can happen. We are helping Tyn with lots of things, especially with their suppliers. Their preparation period is only two months so everything is really on a fast break mode. Aside from the extended help, I want to be able to perform the duties of an MOH.

The role of the Matron of Honour (called Maid of Honour if she is single) is similar to that of the best man, with the difference being that her duties are related to the bride.

Like the best man, the Matron of Honour must be the closest friend or relative, this time, to the bride. She may be her sister. The closer to the bride she is, the better, as the two will understand each other better.

The Matron of Honour’s main role is to help the bride in planning her wedding and being the bride’s “consultant”. She must assist the bride constantly throughout the entire planning process, especially during the stressful times close to the wedding day, when the tasks start to breed uncontrollably. She must work hand-in-hand with the Best man.

Here's what's expected:
• Lead the bridesmaid troupe. It's the maid/matron of honor's (MOH) job to direct the other maids through their duties. Make sure all bridesmaids get their dresses, go to dress fittings, and find the right jewelry.

• Help the bride shop for dresses. And the MOH pays for her own entire wedding outfit (including shoes).

• Offer to help the bride with pre-wedding tasks, from addressing invites to choosing the wedding colors and nodding enthusiastically when she waxes poetic about wedding cake.

• Lend an ear. Whether it's about the planning, the marriage, or the registry, the MOH should assure the bride that she has someone with whom she can share her thoughts. Even if she seems to dwell on the same subjects repeatedly, the MOH keeps listening.

• Hosts or co-hosts a shower for the bride.

• Attend all pre-wedding parties.

• Keep a record of all the gifts received at various parties and showers (or delegate a bridesmaid to handle this).

• Plan the bachelorette party with the bridesmaids.

• See to it that all bridesmaids get to the rehearsal; coordinate transportation and lodging, if necessary.

• Make sure that all bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done, get to the ceremony on time, and have the correct bouquets.

• Hold the groom's ring during the ceremony (if there’s no ring bearer). Safest place to put it? On your thumb.

• Arrange the bride's train and veil before the ceremony begins and just after she arrives at the altar. The MOH might also need to help her bustle the train for easy dancing at the reception.

• Hold the bride's bouquet while the couple exchanges vows.

• Sign the marriage license as a witness, along with the best man.

• Stand next to the groom in the receiving line (this is optional; the bride may decide to have attendants circulate among the guests instead).

• Play hostess along with the other bridesmaids at frequent points during the reception: show guests where to sit, direct them to restrooms, tell them to where to put presents, invite them to sign the guest book, etc.

• Collect any gift envelopes brought to the reception and keep them in a safe place.

• Make sure the bride takes a moment to eat something -- refresh her drink, get her a plate of food from the buffet table, or instruct the wait staff to keep her entree warm.

• Dance with the best man during the formal first-dance sequence and possibly be announced with him at the beginning of the party. Also dance with other groomsmen, the groom, and others.

• Toast the couple after the best man. (This is optional, but it is a nice touch.)

• Troubleshoot emotional crises. In most cases, this will require lots of tissues, hugging, and hair-smoothing. The MOH continues to be a trusted friend, a good listener, and a smart advisor.

• Keeps the bride laughing. For the stressed-out bride, laughter can be as effective as venting.

Well, all of these are not always applicable to all MOH since not all weddings are alike, especially with the different cultures and practices of different couples in different countries. Some things mentioned above are not applicable to Filipino weddings.

The Matron of Honour is part worker bee, part emotional lifeboat. Chosen for our energetic, get-the-ball-in-motion qualities, we should also remember that listening to the bride, making her laugh, and offering emotional and logistical support are also part of our honor attendant package.

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