It may seem like such an obvious choice, but when it comes to minimizing drama at your wedding, your final decision in choosing a Maid of Honor is of monumental importance.
While en route to cater a lavish destination wedding this weekend, I had the opportunity to get to know one of our newer staff members. We navigated one hairpin corner after another as we crept closer to picturesque Shelter Cove, and Natalie shared keen insight about the importance of choosing the right Maid of Honor. She explained that we often think of our sister as the ultimate woman to bestow this privilege upon, when in fact, sisters can sometimes be the absolute wrong choice.
Natalie, a 2011 sociology grad, had never attended a wedding with less than 500 guests until she started working with our boutique catering company in northern California. Her extensive family is rich in custom and tradition, and a large wedding is naturally part of the festivities. Having witnessed many loved ones’ efforts to prepare for the big day, she has noticed, “a best friend is better suited to handle the stress and months of planning which go on behind the scenes. “
I hadn’t given it much thought (maybe the fact that I have six brothers and nary a sister in sight has something to do with it) and when we talked more, I realized that Natalie has a point. Brides need to remember that sisters should be free of the drama which, often only a best friend can forgive and forget.
Think about this: when you need a listening ear, who is the first person you call? Don’t think too much about it; she’s likely the first person that popped into your mind. Does she know you best, hold you tight even when you’re crying like a baby and staining her shirt with mascara? Does she stand beside you even when you’re in your most hideous state of mind? Can she tolerate your sniveling (yes, ladies, we all do it!) and your grouchy Midol moments? Can this woman take a road trip with you, get lost, change a flat in L.A. traffic, and break her favorite heel en route to the restaurant and still be your BFF when all is said and done?
Let’s face it. Weddings can bring out challenges and emotional growing pains in a way that little else will. When you can isolate the mover and shaker when you’re immobile, the voice
when you have none, and the serene goddess who can face a blizzard with the grace of an island breeze, then you know you’ve got the perfect Maid of Honor. Treat her with kid gloves. She’s a treasure!
When it comes to minimizing drama, give your sis a break. If she’s also your best friend, then perhaps she will be the exception to this suggestion. I have a few friends whose BFFs are their sisters, and they are undoubtedly smiling while reading this. For the rest of us, let our sisters be one of the special guests shedding a tear of joy from the comfort and privacy of the front row. Best friends are key players in life, and should definitely be honored as such on the biggest day of your life.
So when we talk about all that behind the scenes planning, what does a Maid of Honor do? In my experience, the Maid of Honor can throw a bridal shower and help plan a bachelorette party. She holds the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony, standing by her side during vows. Beyond that, her role will vary according to the couple’s needs and desires coupled with the maid of honor’s abilities to assist the bride and groom with details of the big day. Most of it can be delightfully fun-filled bonding moments, from selecting invitations and party favors to arranging play lists and fine tuning menus and flower arrangements.
Depending upon the groom, most details can be handled like any party, but let’s call the kettle black. Truth is, we want to believe our men are just as wiggling with excitement over choosing china patterns and cumberbunds as we are. In reality, men and women generally have different interests. I absolutely promise you a happier engagement if you ask your fiance what he wants to help with, and then respect his answer. Most men will shrug their shoulders or say “whatever you want babe!” and truly mean just that. He’ll be as pleased as punch if you pick his favorite entree and beverage at the reception. In trade, agree to a weekly update where you get to share all your accomplishments with him over dinner. If you trust me on this single detail, I swear that you’ll be among the minor few who walk down the aisle to greet a serene, truly elated fiancé dying to seal your union with a kiss (more on that in our next article).
This is where your Maid of Honor shines. During the moments leading up to and following the ceremony, she can be your liaison between caterer, photographer, musicians, minister, and florist. Any odd little challenges will fall to her once you and your beloved are in the throes of dressing, rehearsing, fine tuning, and hair styling. The reception becomes her baby as you greet guests and snuggle with your hubby on the dance floor.
It is a great compliment to be selected as your Maid of Honor– and with it comes a sense of duty and seriousness not to be taken lightly. Choosing her should include some reflection. The ideal candidate will allow you and your fiancé to savor this enchanting engagement period. Give it some thought today. I just know you’ll be glad you did!
Do you have ideas for how to pick the maid of honor? Chatter about it below.