S: Being Maid of Honor
FC: Being Maid of Honor By Caroline Exum
1: Being Maid of Honor Copyright 2010 Printed in USA Raleigh, NC Exum Publishing Company Meredith College
3: When my sister got engaged in December of 2007, she asked me to be her Maid of Honor, or, as I eventually shortened it to, her "MOH". Of course I accepted this honor with excitement and joy. I was thrilled with Hannah (I call her Han) and Jack's engagement, and wanted to be as supportive and as helpful as possible. That lovely December afternoon, as I accepted her request, I had no idea of the responsibility I was taking on. I soon realized that just being there for her emotionally would not be sufficient. There were engagement parties to attend, photo shoots to be there for (mostly to hold extra "stuff"), and envelopes to lick.
5: The next few days I spent many hours Googling "duties of the Maid of Honor". I had never been one before, and I wanted to make sure I did everything right! Obvious tasks were that I was to make a toast at the reception or at the rehearsal dinner (or both), help her dress before the ceremony, and plan the bachelorette party. But, since my sister and I are so close, I soon began to understand that I was going to be the official "runner byer". As she started the planning process, my Gmail account filled with messages and chats concerning basically everything from, "you need to be looking for bridesmaids dresses and shoes!!" to, "which dress do you like for the rehearsal dinner?" to "M. is crying because I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid." I was her main confidante throughout the process. I also ended up being the main photographer for many of the engagement parties and other events leading up to the big day.
7: The months leading up to the final month before the wedding were extraordinarily busy. I was home from college basically every weekend of the fall semester leading up to October 18, 2008. All of my professors knew that I had a sister getting married, because I had to alert all of them to the fact that I would be missing some classes. If it was not an engagement party, it was a photo shoot. I spent several nights at my sister's house sealing envelopes and eating ice cream with Jack, while Hannah worked on the more complicated tasks.
9: On the day of Hannah's engagement photography session, I skipped my afternoon classes to jump in teh car with my mom and meet my sister at the mall where she was having her makeup done. We waited while she finished up, and then we all got in the car together and headed to Elon, where the photographer works and lives. When we arrived, Han put on her wedding dress. This was the second time I had seen her in it, but the first time it did not fit correctly and some other changes had also been made. As corny as it sounds, I teared up a little when she was all dressed and ready to start the shoot. It was the first time I had actually had a little bit of time to reflect on everything that was happening, and seeing her in her dress made it all seem more real. the pictures took a very long time because the photographer took some in his studio in Elon, and then everyone headed to Chapel HIll to take some on UNC"S campus. This was a bit random since Hannah did not attend UNC (she is a Meredith Angel like me!), but the photographer told us that he takes most of the brides he shoots there to take engagement photos because the campus is so beautiful. The scenery was beautiful, but everyone was tired at the end!
11: One of my major tasks was planning the bachelorette weekend. It turned out to be a great time! I had help from two of my sister's best friends in the planning of the weekend, since, as a sophomore in college I did not know a lot about the process. I was so thankful that they were willing to help out, and we had a lot of fun planning together! All of the bridesmaids plus a few other girls went to Wilmington for a long weekend. I was in charge of ordering koozies (Han's Bachelorette Bash" was printed on each one), and organizing and assembling the gift baskets, among other more minor tasks. We all spent time together at the house, went out to eat a lot, and did tons of shopping. Everyone had an excellent time, even though the weather did not allow us to go on the beach at all. Of course there was a lingerie shower, which could have been awkward for me, but it urned out to be fun and Han got a lot of cute gifts!
13: With the big day approaching, Hannah stayed fairly calm. She is a great planner, and always thinks ahead, so nothing was left until the last minute. The rehearsal dinner was very nice. There was a slide show of pictures of Hannah and Jack with pictures of them from when they were all ages. Bridesmaids and groomsmen made heartfelt toasts which caused a few tears. Overall though, the mood was cheerful and fun. Afterwards, at the same location, there was an 80's party that was, in my opinion, the best part of the whole process! Everyone dressed up in bright colors and crazy dresses and danced the night away to a great band. I wore footie pajamas because I was only a baby in the 80's, and my younger brother wore a cardboard thought bubble because he was not born yet in the 80's (his idea).
15: On the morning of the wedding, Hannah and I went to our hair appointments first thing. It took until early in the afternoon, so we ate cheeseburgers before we went home! I remember being really happy about this time that I got to spend with her just before everything got crazy. We talked over everything, and prayed that it wouldn't rain, since the reception was being held in our backyard at our house! By the time we got home, it was time to start going across the street to the church to dress and get ready for pictures. I helped my sister into her dress, the photographer took around one million pictures, and then we rested until the ceremony. Eventually it was time to walk down the aisle. The ceremony was beautiful, and I only cried a little bit!
17: The rest of the night was a blur. It did rain, but everyone was able to be in the house or in the tent so it turned out o.k. I had such a wonderful time talking to all of our friends and family. However, there were so many people to talk to and great aunts to kiss that I barely saw Hannah or Jack until it was time to make toasts. I was extremely nervous, especially since I hadn't written anything down to look at, but I made my toast with a smile on my face. I talked about how I consider Jack a part of our family,and have since basically the first time I met him. I told everyone how I know that there are no two people more suited to each other than the two of them. I vaguely remember telling an embarrassing story about my sister, and then I turned it over to Jack's younger brother.
19: After the toasts were over, I socialized with everyone and finally got to eat some of the delicious food! Hannah threw the bouquet off the balcony to one of her friends down below, and soon enough it was time for the newlyweds to leave for a bed and breakfast in Beaufort. They stayed there the first night and then came back home before leaving for their official honeymoon. Jack carried Hannah down the steps to his Tahoe, while everyone laughed and cheered. After they left, everyone else stayed round for a while before heading home. I enjoyed the quiet house and spent some time talking with my family before heading to bed. I was so tired physically as well as emotionally, that I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.