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5 Ways to Help an Engaged Friend Get Ready for the Wedding Day

Published Wednesday, Dec. 15th, 2021

Those special words: "Will You Marry Me?"

Someone you love is getting married! How can you help? 



You just heard the exciting news: Someone you love is engaged! 


Whether it’s a best friend or beloved family member, your first instinct might be to offer them as many ceremony planning tips and suggestions as possible, as soon as possible… But wait! 


Newly-engaged couples can get overwhelmed quickly by the large amount of wedding advice that’s offered after they announce a date. Everyone’s excited -- aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, neighbors, and friends (like you!) -- and everyone has an opinion on how to make their wedding the best ever. 


As sweet as this is, all of this input can be a lot for a couple to sift through. That’s why we recommend taking a hands-on approach to helping instead.


From going with the flow, to assisting with the tasks and tools that are needed most, here are 5 simple suggestions to help make the days leading up to the wedding -- and the ceremony itself -- less stressful for your loved ones. 




1. Go with the flow


Many engaged couples face pressure from their families to include certain traditions and people in their wedding day, and to leave out others. Unfortunately, this can create unnecessary conflict and stress during the planning process, and it means couples don’t always end up with the ceremonies they truly want.


That’s why one of the most helpful things you can do is go with the flow! Support whatever wacky, original, out-of-the-ordinary choices your loved ones make about their special day. Their ceremony should reflect their personalities, their relationship, and the things they value most in life… all the things you love most about them. You’re just along for the ride! 





2. Prepare a meaningful toast or speech


Speak from the heart and create a lasting memory! A great reception toast or speech is the perfect way to tell a couple how much they mean to you, and how happy you are to see them starting this new chapter of life together. Receptions and afterparties offer an informal and festive setting, which can lessen the stress of public speaking, making this a great choice even if you’re on the shy side.


 If you’re not sure where to start when writing a wedding toast, check out:





3. Offer to be a back-up wedding officiant


A back-up officiant is like the understudy in a play -- you’ll step in to save the day if the ‘lead’ wedding officiant has an emergency at the last minute and isn’t able to perform the ceremony. Back-up officiants are incredibly important, but some couples don’t even know they need one! 


To prepare, get your online ordination credentials. (Minister ordination ensures that you’ll be legally authorized to sign their marriage license.) Then, practice the wedding script out loud with your friends so that everyone feels comfortable with each part of the ceremony. Who knows, you might do such a great job in rehearsals that your friends ask you to officiate! 






a young man proposes to a young woman while their friends watch and smile

Sweet proposals make us swoon.



4. Give a kickass (and useful) engagement gift


Wedding planning is less stressful with the right tools. Instead of giving an engagement gift that’s cute but doesn’t serve much purpose, consider gifts that solve common wedding planning challenges, or that will quickly reduce your friends’ stress levels -- such as a written vow journal, a cake-tasting party, or a trusted wedding planning guide.


Find more suggestions for thoughtful engagement gifts here:





5. Help with errands 


There will be plenty of pre- and day-of wedding errands to take care of, and your favorite engaged couple can only get to so many of them at a time. Decide which of these tasks you’re qualified and willing to help with, and then volunteer your time! 


For example, you might: Address and mail wedding invitations and save-the-date cards, pick up the wedding clothes before the ceremony, transport friends or family members to and from the airport, watch unruly children or pets during the ceremony, or prepare day-of snacks so that the wedding party stays fed and focused.  




**Bonus: Send an online ceremony planning resource


One of the best ways you can help? Send your friends the link below!  



AMM has hundreds of articles to help couples plan the perfect wedding ceremony, from writing their own wedding vows, to working well with their wedding officiant, to choosing a unique wedding reading or non traditional unity ceremony.


We've put all the wedding and ceremony planning advice they'll need in one convenient spot, so it's easy to find when they're ready for it. 


There’s something for every couple in our article archives. 




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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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