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How to Be the Perfect Long-Distance Maid of Honor

You can still support the bride from afar! Read these tips.

There’s no denying that being asked to be someone’s maid of honor is, well, an honor, though some people may not love the responsibilities that are occasionally expected.

watters-bridesmaid-dresses-bride-in-off-shoulder-anne-barge-wedding-dress-maid-of-honor-in-different
Photo: Robert Evans for 5th Avenue Digital

There’s no denying that being asked to be someone’s maid of honor is, well, an honor, though some people may not love the responsibilities that are occasionally expected. On the other hand, you may be appointed as maid of honor and actually want to be involved in the planning process, but it can be difficult when you live cities, states, or even continents away from the bride.

blonde maid of honor in pleated sky blue dress holding bouquet while walking down the aisle
Photo by TimWill Photography

The good news is most women generally understand a long-distance maid of honor cannot be as involved as a local one, so expectations should be lower. (Although brides should remember that there should be no expectations beyond buying the dress and being supportive on the wedding day.) Yet we know that it’s hard not to get excited about a friend’s engagement, and being unable to help can highlight that sadness you may already have about living far from your close friend. Therefore, we have tips on how to still be an amazing maid of honor, even if you’re in different time zones!

- Stay connected. You probably keep in touch anyway, but try to do so a little more regularly.
- Embrace technology. Forget the bride – video chatting is your new best friend now. You two can even virtually go dress shopping together this way! Create a shared Pinterest board so you can offer suggestions and provide feedback on her ideas. 
- Choose your battles.  Figure out which pre-wedding events are the priority ahead of time. Is it more important to your friend that you attend the bridal shower or the bachelorette party? Let her know early on if the wedding is the only event you’ll be able to participate in.
- Use your location to your advantage. See if everyone is on board for a destination bachelorette party. If you happen to live in a cool city or near some world-class spas, perhaps everyone can come to you!
- Make calls. You can help with planning by booking certain vendors over the phone. Maybe you can’t stuff envelopes, but you can order them!
- Work with her mom. Get in touch with the mother of the bride; you may be able to cohost the shower together, or at least plan something special if you are not able to attend.
- Arrive early. Try to fly out a few days before the wedding to spend time with the bride and take care of any last-minute duties.

For more advice, discover the dos and don'ts of making a maid-of-honor speech, learn what to expect from bridesmaids and how to keep them happy, and see how to tell if you have too many bridesmaids.

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