Your bestie is getting married! Maybe you were surprised to get the call, or maybe you plotted with their now-fiance for the big event. Either way, they asked you to be their maid of honor (MOH), of course. And, of course, you’re going to say Yes! If you and your BFF are in a long-distance friendship, it can be hard to stay in touch every week, and you definitely miss being there in person for special events. (Like, for example, and engagement!) So if you’re nervous about being a long-distance maid of honor and a best friend—we’ve got you covered.
Before you start your planning and research—celebrate with your friend! There will be plenty of time for wedding planning later; right now, you need to focus on commemorating this special moment. Once the champagne is gone and they start talking about wedding ideas—start taking notes. The best way to be the best long-distance maid of honor is to make it all about your friend.
You may have your own vision for a bachelor(ette) party or a shower theme, and maybe you two planned your own in middle school. But make a video call date and ask your bestie what they want. Because if they have a blast and feel special, your job is done. Then, after you have some notes, it’s time to start planning!
Have a local point person
Planning a local party or wedding shower can be tricky from far away. While most of the organizing can be done online (on Eventective) or via phone (from anywhere), having a local planning partner means you can get the inside scoop of what’s best around the area. Sometimes, the local favorites aren’t online—or they are, but they won’t be in the top search result.
Plus, a local point person can help with pick-ups and other errands that you can’t be there for. And if any part of your long-distance maid of honor planning is a surprise, you can ask to ship wedding-related items to your new friend. That way, you’re not bringing a suitcase full of shower decorations on the plane!
Bonus Tip: Ask your friend who they recommend.
While parents and siblings are good planning partners, always ask your friend to recommend someone. You certainly don’t want to step on any toes if they have more than one close friend who didn’t get picked to be the MOH! Even more, their parents may be too busy with work, or their siblings might be long-distance, too.
Choose video calls over phone calls
No, you don’t have to video chat every time you talk to them about wedding stuff. But if you have a lot of questions, or want to show them ideas for invitations, venues, and games—make it visual. As a long-distance maid of honor, video calls have three important benefits.
First, video calls are more personal than a phone call. While hearing their voice is personal, hearing their voice and seeing their face is even more personal. Plus, you’re not tempted to multitask and make dinner or play fetch with the dog while you’re video chatting. (After all, they’ll be able to see you, and they’ll call you out on it!)
Second, they can show you makeup, hairstyle, and dress options. Instead of sending a photo or a link to the website, you can exchange ideas and give live feedback. Overall, it’s a smoother process and way more fun than texting or sharing photos.
Third and final, you can read your BFF’s facial expression. Do they really like the venue you chose for the shower? How stressed is wedding planning making them? Sometimes it’s hard to tell how someone is feeling over the phone. But when you can see how they’re doing, you can be a more supportive long-distance maid of honor. Use your video chats to check off to-do items, but also to check in and see how your BFF is doing. They may need a break and a silly video chat with their bestie!
Do extra research
Being a MOH takes a lot of work, whether you’re across the country or across the street! But when you’re planning events from far away, we recommend doing a little extra research, to make up for your inability to drive by the venue or even see it in person. That doesn’t mean hours of extra online digging, of course. When you’re choosing venues, caterers, and anything else—take extra time to read reviews, look at photos, and visit their social profiles. You can even ask your bestie or your planning partner if they have any experience with your top choices.
Bonus Tip: Ask your bestie if there’s anywhere they specifically don’t want to go.
While your bestie might have recommendations, don’t expect them to do it all for you. You can still plan an epic shower and bachelorette party from far away. It may be helpful to ask your BFF what they don’t want—instead of what they do want. Many brides and grooms don’t have a vision of their perfect shower or bachelor(ette) party. But they definitely know what they don’t want it to look like!
Plan your travel early
Which events are you going to? Bachelorette party, wedding shower, dress shopping? Establish those expectations early on. If you live within driving distance, you may be able to attend them all. But multiple flights can be expensive, including the time you have to take off. Decide when you’ll be physically there, and when you’ll be supporting from afar.
Discuss wedding travel, too. Will you arrive a few days before the wedding? Will your BFF need help setting up, making centerpieces, or doing last-minute checks? Don’t come super early if they don’t need the help—they may feel like they have to entertain you, because you traveled for them. Just make sure you’re honest about expectations (and that you can keep yourself busy if you’re a little early!)
Reach out to the bridal party
Many wedding parties don’t meet until the bachelor(ette) party or wedding shower. But don’t wait until then to connect with your fellow ‘maids! Maybe you know all the other ‘maids, but maybe you don’t. Or, perhaps the gal pals don’t all know each other. By creating a group chat, everyone can get to know each other—resulting in a more fun and less awkward first meeting.
Start a Facebook group where everyone can share photos, tips, and chat with each other. Plus, you can video chat the group if some can’t make it dress shopping, or you want an opinion on a gift idea.
This also helps to establish you as their go-to for wedding-related questions. As the MOH, you are the buffer between the bride or groom and the rest of the wedding party. The other ‘maids and ‘men should come to you or the best man with questions and concerns. If you don’t have the answer, you can ask the couple—but you probably have the answer. And if everyone is already comfortable talking to you before the big day, they’ll be more likely to go to you on the big day.
Be ready to work at the wedding
Wedding days are a lot of work for the happy couple, and they’re a lot of work for the MOH, too. While this is true for any MOH—it’s especially true for a long-distance one. You won’t just be performing your day-of duties; you’ll also be learning about the venue and the surrounding area. It’s important that you’re ready to hustle all day, at least until after your speech.
For example, you probably haven’t seen the venues, and aren’t familiar with what’s around. But you can’t rely too much on your BFF—they have more important things to do! You’ll need to navigate the area that you’re in without much outside help. Plus, you’ll also need to help the other ‘maids and your bestie whenever possible during the big day.
Your BFF asked you to be their long-distance maid of honor for a reason! They wouldn’t have asked you if you couldn’t handle the responsibility. (Really, they have so many other wedding tasks to worry about; planning their shower with you is not one of them!) But, of course, you still need to do your research, communicate often, and be prepared to hustle on the wedding day.
What are your concerns about being a long-distance maid of honor? What are you excited for?