Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays : Confessions of a Maid of Honor

Lately, I have weddings on the brain. Not my own; my bestie's. I'm the maid of honor. (Technically, matron of honor, but no one better dare call me that!) The last six months or so, despite being 3,000 miles apart, I have been working hard to be the BEST best-friend-of-the-bride I can be. Which means I am part cheerleader, part counselor, part confidant. I listen, I advise, I encourage. As anyone who has planned a wedding knows, it is an incredibly stressful time, draining physically, mentally and emotionally. Weddings bring up all the feelings, good and bad. So I've been trying to help her navigate those sometimes rocky waters while also always being at least emotionally available (a phone call, text or email away) as her life boat, her life preserver, when the waves of planning, researching, budgeting, and overall decision-making get too much to withstand. While planning my wedding last year, I too, for different but likewise difficult reasons and circumstances, was often overcome by stress and sadness that seemed to push me to the brink. Marielle was there for me. It's my turn to be there for her.

At the same time, I've been trying to uphold my end of the party planning. I am throwing her bridal shower and organizing the bachelorette. Rough plans, ideas, themes have been in the works for months but the actual planning has intensified these last eight weeks as I try to coordinate with the bride, the bridesmaids and other party guests. The bachelorette—a long weekend in San Diego, kicked off with a day of wine tasting in Temecula—is finally booked as of Monday. Other than ordering some fun bachelorette shirts and making restaurant reservations, that party is done, planned. Now I can turn my attention back to the bridal shower, for which I have a venue, a (secret!) theme, some supplies and decor purchased, a general idea of the day's menu, and assignments out to the bridesmaids who are itching to contribute. My primary to-do at this point is to assemble, address and send out the beautiful invitations I ordered. (I promise I'll share all about the shower at some point, I just don't want to spoil the surprise!)

So just like when I was a bride planning my own wedding, being a maid of honor is both fun and hard. I'm excited and exhausted. But also like with my wedding, the thing that makes all the to-do lists and late nights worth it is LOVE. I love my best friend (of 22 years!) and even though she has learned and felt the truth that I discovered a year agothat planning a wedding can, more often than not, suck the joy out of what society insists should be the happiest time in a young woman's life—I want to give her at least a few truly joyful days where she doesn't think about the stresses of planning, the decisions left to make, how she and her fiancĂ© are going to pay for everything. My dear friend, the bride, deserves days where she just feels filled with happiness, celebrated by the people who love and support her.

Even though it's not always the case, that's what a wedding should be about.

(Photos by heidi-o-photo, bottom image of 
my bestie/MOH toasting G and I at our wedding)

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