This one is for all my maids of honor; grab some wine, a cozy blanket, plop on the couch and get ready for story time. Have you ever heard the saying " killing three birds with one stone”? Well, that’s pretty much the gist of the maid and the three hats. People truly underestimate what it is to be maid of honor. You are first and foremost the best friend, you may not carry the title explicitly, you could be a sister or cousin but make no mistake brides don’t choose their maid of honor lightly.
So, you're the best friend, by being the best friend it is IMPLIED you are helping plan the wedding. Next, you have been dubbed the maid of honor, now you have been officially assigned to help plan the bachelorette,the wedding, and guess what, if your bride didn’t hire a planner..... I now pronounce you the wedding planner (hat #3)! " oh but my brides mom is totally taking over, I’m not going to be allowed to do anything". Trust me when I say you are still the planner, you are now the brides voice and psychologist. Things will get hairy between mom and bride and its your job to keep your bestie calm and sway her mother so that the wedding doesn’t turn into her mom's second wedding. I have planned many weddings and have seen all kinds of mother daughter relationships; the story always ends the same.
Now that I have given you the prologue lets get on with the story. The day I told my best friend I would plan her wedding. Being best friends for 25 years ( hat #1) we had always fantasized about our weddings and how we'd help each other plan the special day. But seeing as in recent years I chose wedding planning as my profession it seemed obvious and only fitting that the task would be mine ( hat #2). We had big dreams for this wedding and said it would be the event of the year, which in our standards let me tell you, the bar was high. When she named me her maid of honor (hat #3) I couldn’t have been more excited/surprised. I happily took on the third job, considering hat #1 & #2 were second nature to me I figured it would be a breeze. And so, the wedding planning began. I planned the bachelorette weekend getaway, the bridal shower, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding and the brunch. Oh and somewhere in the middle of that year and half of planning I got pregnant!
At the point of finding out I was pregnant my best friend gave me the out. She said she completely understood if I couldn't plan the wedding or be her maid of honor. My heart sunk, because not only had I always dreamt of being by her side the day of her wedding, I was also getting to plan her wedding ! Although I knew she would never hold it against me seeing nature had thrown the fourth hat of motherhood on me, I couldnt let her down. So naturally, I told her she was crazy and that the ship was going to go full steam ahead with me as captain. I could not, would not allow my bestfriend to plan this wedding by herself.
So a month before her wedding I became a mom, and boy was it hard. Juggling my many hats of best friend, wedding planner and maid of honor became daunting. As a wedding planner I always tell my clients, " there is no such thing as a perfect wedding, a million things will go wrong ,but if you never find out about them, I will have done my job". On the other hand a maid of honor plans with her best friend telling her everything! I was stuck with wanting to tell my best friend everything, and then needed to keep her sanity so she'd make it to her wedding day. This is where I learned the secret job of a good maid of honor, just like a wedding planner fixes a problem before the bride finds out, a maid of honor must do the same all with the same goal of keeping the bride happy and excited for her big day.
As my best friend’s wedding day got closer, so many things started to hit speed bumps. Flowers missed their flights from holland (also meaning they didn’t make it on the delivery truck in time), Wedding linens were delivered to the wrong address and much more. I saw her beginning to get stressed and knew I had to bring calm and serenity back to her, or she wasn’t going to enjoy her big day as she should. Pro Tip to the future maids of honor, redirect all and yes I mean ALL wedding questions, comments, and changes to you and not the bride especially if she doesn't have a planner. Let her mind rest, ignorance really is bliss, keep your bride ignorant of the hiccups and I assure you not only will everything work out as it always does, but she will also be able to enjoy her special day so much more.
Second tip, DELEGATE, do not think just because you wear the hat you must do it all. I fall victim to always wanting to do everything, because obviously my way is better, BUT you can’t do it all. The hats you are wearing my dear girl are very heavy, you are not only working on keeping your bride happy and de-stressed you too must not get stressed. Your best friend will feed off of your energy, especially since I can guarantee no one knows you better than her so she can smell your stress a mile away. I can’t say I wasn’t stressed because I was beyond stressed, but you have wine and things tend to get better with a little wine.
Tip Three, remember the reason for the season. Why were you assigned all these hats? because the bride knew with you by her side everything would be okay, and it would be the happiest day of her life. So remember, the reason you are the maid with three hats is so the bride can wear her crown down the aisle without a care in the world, knowing you, her best friend would handle it all. And so, with that the bride, and the maid with three hats lived happily ever after.