The maid of honor is a bride’s most trusted friend. Equal parts assistant and emotional support system, the maid of honor helps the bride plan the wedding without going crazy. It’s a fun role, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility.

If a friend or family member wants you to be maid of honor at their wedding, take a moment to celebrate! Then, refer to this list as you take stock of your new responsibilities. Here are 10 basic things every maid of honor should do for their bride.

1. Plan the Bridal Shower

As maid of honor, you’ll likely take on the task of planning the bridal shower. This party usually happens a few months before the wedding, so you should start thinking about the shower as soon as possible.

You’ll be responsible for setting the budget, picking a date and location, providing food and sending out invitations. Feel free to throw a relaxed shower if that’s what she would prefer, too. If the bride feels loved and appreciated, you’re doing just fine.

2. Help with Dress Shopping

Wedding dress shopping can overwhelm some brides. Your friend may want you to help guide her through the process. Luckily, even novices can help with dress shopping.

Start by talking to the bride about her expectations for a dress. Familiarize yourself with the wedding’s style and the bride’s taste. Then, you can help by looking for sales, accompanying her to appointments and providing reasoned but compassionate support as she tries on each dress.

3. Memorize the Schedule

Before the wedding day, you can assist your bride by committing the entire schedule of events to memory. This ensures that at least one person in the wedding party always knows what’s going on.

By memorizing the schedule — and keeping extra copies on hand — you take pressure off the bride. As an expert, you can keep her on track and field questions from confused guests and bridesmaids.

4. Herd the Bridesmaids

The maid of honor often serves as the unofficial director of the wedding party, since they’re so involved in planning. In the days and weeks leading up to the wedding, you can support your bride by ensuring the bridesmaids have everything they need.

Your job as head bridesmaid might include picking up dresses, handing out bouquets, answering questions and arranging last-minute transport if cousin Becky’s car breaks down.

5. Give the Bride a Memorable Gift

The maid of honor should consider giving the bride an extra memorable wedding gift. Instead of relying on the registry, you can show your friend how much you treasure her by adding a personal touch.

Some examples of memorable gifts could include a sentimental photo album, a day together at the spa or a special piece of jewelry to complete her wedding outfit and remind her of the day for years to come. If you’re planning on giving her an emergency wedding day survival kit, you may want to consider gifting her a tote bag to carry everything!

6. Help Her Get Ready

One of the first things you’ll do on the wedding day is help the bride get ready in the morning. You’ll get to help with her dress, hair and makeup, ensuring she’s ready to walk down the aisle on time.

Also, make sure you know how to bustle her wedding dress ahead of time so she can dance at the reception without tripping over herself. Employees at her bridal boutique can teach you if necessary.

7. Keep Her Fed and Hydrated

It’s easy for the bride to get so caught up in the wedding that she forgets to eat. As the bride’s friend, you can keep her safe and happy by reminding her to eat and drink water throughout the day.

You might do this by carrying around a bottle of water or bringing her a snack for when she gets a break between greeting guests.

8. Answer Questions from Guests and Vendors

You want your friend to enjoy the wedding day. The maid of honor can help keep the bride relaxed by answering any technical questions from guests and vendors on the day of the ceremony.

Last-minute questions come up. If you know the answers, you can handle them yourself instead of passing them onto the bride.

9. Protect Belongings After the Wedding

In all the excitement, newlyweds can easily forget about valuable belongings and keepsakes. At the end of the night, help them by hanging up the bride’s dress, distributing payments to vendors and packing up the gifts. You can return their things when the couple returns from the honeymoon.

10. Remember to Have Fun

Though serving as a maid of honor can take a lot of planning and responsibility, it’s ultimately an opportunity to celebrate a milestone occasion with a close friend.

Your bride will appreciate all your hard work, but she’ll also want you to have fun at the wedding. So, make sure you find time to breathe, drink a glass of champagne and share a congratulatory hug with the bride.

A Great Maid of Honor

Being a maid of honor takes a great deal of responsibility and effort. However, when you see the difference it makes in your friend’s wedding experience, you’ll find all the work was worth it. Use this list to prepare for the wedding and become the best maid of honor your bride could imagine.

Content written by Kacey Mya