The first step towards planning the wedding is choosing your attendants. Your maid of honour will have the most responsibility of all the attendants, so you should make her feel extra special about honouring the invitation. You need to begin thanking her for her contribution to your wedding from the start -- things can get quite stressful before the big day.
Where you choose to ask the special person to be your maid of honour will depend on how much money you are able to spend on the occasion and exactly how big of a deal you want the event to be.
If money is tight, you may consider cooking her favourite meal or dessert in your home and inviting her over to ask her. She does not have to know it is a special occasion until she arrives.
Her favourite restaurant or a restaurant where you two shared a special memory together is also an excellent choice of locations. Having the wait staff bring a card or note asking her to be your maid of honour during the meal is a nice touch.
If there is a local band or performance that the two of you would enjoy together, it may be possible to have the announcer or performers ask her from the stage before, during or after the performance. If someone else does the asking, make sure you have any cards or gifts you would like to present to her handy when they make the special announcement.
Ask your maid-of-honour-to-be to meet you at a local formal dress shop. When she gets there, ask her which dress she would most like to wear as your maid of honour.
Invite your potential maid of honour to a bridal fair. At an appropriate moment during the modelling of attendants' attire, ask her if she would accept the honour.
Rent a wedding-themed movie, such as "My Best Friend's Wedding." After the two of you laugh and cry your way through the film, ask her if she would do you the pleasure of being your maid of honour.
If your friend lives out of town or a sentimental affair is not for you, have a delivery made to her of flowers, a teddy bear, candy or balloons with a card asking her to be your maid of honour.
A Written Memento
A card or note given at the time you ask her will be a keepsake of the event for her to cherish. Some companies specialise in wedding cards and have cards designed for this occasion. You can also have a custom card made or make one yourself. A personal note about your friendship, a poem or suitable song lyrics make great additions to these cards.
A scrapbook of your friendship with a blank page in the back for the two of you at your wedding is an item she will treasure forever.
Jewellery and flowers make excellent gifts for this event. You can also have items printed with her name and "Maid of Honor" printed on them, such as a tote bag, T-shirt or coffee mug.
A handbook on being a bridesmaid is a useful gift at this time. Online bookstores have good selections of these books.
For a simple, inexpensive gift for the occasion, have a picture of the two of you printed and framed as a gift.
Share Your Feelings
No matter how you choose to ask someone to be your maid of honour, it is important to tell her exactly why you chose her. You may think she already knows, but it is nice to hear anyway. Whether you tell her these things in person or write them in a note or letter, it is important that they be said.
Tell the person you have chosen to be your maid of honour what your relationship means to you. Explain to her why she is so special to you and what her friendship means to you.
Share special memories you have of the two of you spending time together. She may have forgotten some of the things that you cherish about events that happened over the years.
Tell her why it is her that you want to be by your side on the special day. Tell her why she will offer you the most support and comfort at that time. You do not tell her this to put pressure on her, but to make her understand how important she is to you.