A Bride to Bridesmaid

It feels really good to get back into the grind of writing for my blog. It has been nearly a year but I will be making a conscious effort to post more, even if it’s not entirely about weddings and events. Let’s get to it! I want to discuss being a maid of honor and everything that goes into this role. During this year, I have had the wonderful role as being one of the matrons of honor for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I took this role VERY seriously not only because I missed wedding planning so much, but also because it was for my sister and I wanted to ensure everything went perfectly for her. My sister-in-law, Theresa, trusted my judgement and opinions on many topics during this process so it was that much more important that I delivered. I’ve broken down some tips and pieces of advice that helped me be a (good) matron of honor.

Be Supportive, yet honest. Now I’ll be honest, the supportive part was quite easy for me. I believe that you should follow your heart and what you want. After all, it is the bride’s (and groom’s) day, so why deter them from having what they want on their special day. You might be stuck in the middle between supporting the bride and what others may want, but stay true to what you know will make the bride happy. You were chosen to be her maid of honor because she trusts you and feels very close to you. That speaks volumes. The worst thing you can do is create chaos when the bride is stuck between a rock and a hard place. She will be looking to you to calm her nerves, especially as the day gets closer. Remember how important you are to her and be the sunshine on her bad days. Theresa’s wedding was a weekend event for us as it was in another state (about 3 hours away). I wasn’t able to get the Friday off of work for the rehearsal which broke my heart incredibly. After trekking through rush hour traffic in Chicago alone and finally arriving to the rehearsal dinner, I was exhausted and irritated (traffic sucks the life out of me, not to mention I got lost along the way). I put my feelings aside, venting only to my husband for a few minutes on the phone on my way there, and walked in with a big smile on my face. I wasn’t faking it either. Realizing that the big day was on Saturday excited me. I felt like we were getting married all over again and I couldn’t contain my happiness. Theresa told me something that Friday night that really touched me – she told me seeing me made her so happy. Simple words, but as a maid of honor, I really felt that simply being there was enough.

Alleviate stress. This is somewhat tough, because you aren’t a miracle worker. You can’t magically wave a wand and cause all conflict to disappear, but remember to be level headed. The bride is looking to you to keep her thinking clearly. There will be bad apples that try and knock the bride down. Instead of retaliation and getting upset along with the bride, remind her of what’s important. It’s okay to analyze a situation with the bride since you are one of her closest friends, but at the end of the conversation, keep it stress free. During most wedding planning processes, there will be stress or conflict and my sister-in-law’s wedding was no different. I remember listening to her vent about issues, giving her my opinion, and ending it with some sort of laughter. This makes a bigger difference than you realize.

Stay true to yourself. The dreaded speech – one that aspects of weddings most people are nervous about. Instead of writing a speech, I wanted to wing it, because I felt that it would be more heartfelt than if I read off a piece of paper (which I would have done if I wrote a speech). In my head, I had ideas of what I was going to say but standing there in front of hundreds of people, my emotions took over. I wasn’t so much nervous as I was emotional. I successfully said 1 or 2 sentences max before the tears flowed. Although it was a speech fail in my opinion, the audience seemed to like it. I didn’t finish the speech but I said it to her a few days later (via email of course). Speeches can be repetitive, but there are lots of options to make yours unique to you.

Depending on your situation, remember that you were specifically chosen to be a maid of honor, bridesmaid, etc. and that in itself is a special gift.

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