HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR ‘MAIDS
Hello you luscious B.LOVED girls,
Chances are that the weird and wonderful world of weddings will be all new to you – isn’t there just so much to learn, yikes! And if, like me, you’ve never been a maid of honour or bridesmaid (I know – ironic given my job, right), you may not quite know how to choose your bridesmaids and what their roles should be.
There are fantastic sources that list all individual duties, step by step and divided into maid of honour and bridesmaids, so I shan’t waste your time just repeating them here. How boring would that be! And, in no particular order (as Dermot would say), one of the guides I find the most helpful is the Debrett’s Wedding Guide. To the point and ridiculously helpful and readily available from a bookseller near you.
So I’ll tackle this more from a personal perspective. Bear with me?
First of all, the best bit of advice I can give you is to pick someone who you know is organised, reliable and, even better, someone who has already been through the process. Without wanting to sound judgemental, some of the ‘best’ maids of honours and bridesmaids I’ve seen in action have been the ones that are already married. They know what they most needed from their ‘Team Bride’ on their day and are therefore able to support you that with that little bit more foresight and understanding.
Having said that, my little sister was my maid of honour and she was utterly uh-may-zing on the day! She always knew what I needed next (most of the time way before I even did: lipstick top-up, handkerchief, shawl, politely stopping the best man from repeatedly standing on my dress – the list is endless).
I know ‘politically & diplomatically’ it isn’t always possible to allocate roles based on skill-sets, and I’d never advocate to sidestep your little sister or best friend just because their organisational OCD levels don’t quite match Martha Stewart’s. At the same time though, you’ll be doing no one a favour by appointing your notoriously unreliable sister as maid of honour when she couldn’t organise a bun-fight in a bakery. Both of you will only feel anxious for months, you about her not stepping up to the plate and she about disappointing you.
As I’ve so often said (and sound like an amateur therapist every time): the key is communication. So before you run out and buy the ‘Will you be my Maid’ cards, firstly think about these two areas when you put together your ‘Team Bride’: how (and how much) would you like each one of them to support you in the run-up to your wedding day and what jobs would you like them to take over on the day itself. Allocate jobs (and titles) to those best suited to them and then talk to them about whether they are happy to take on the responsibility.
Who knows, they may be due to go through a mahoosive promotion at work, planning to restore an ancient cottage, about to hand in their notice to become a yoga instructor or be 8 month pregnant on your wedding day. Either way, there might be things happening in their lives that may prevent them from doing as good as job as they’d like to but they’ll be too scared to tell you. Seriously, who refuses to be a part of ‘Team Bride’, right? It’s such an honour, how ungrateful would it be to just say no.
I’ve pretty much experienced the full scale. On one end are those honourable maids who have been by the bride’s side from the very start, attending supplier meeting and dress fittings, hosting Team Bride evenings to help make decorations and whipping the ushers into shape to, of course, planning the hen do and attending the rehearsal. On the other end are those who have taken more of a backseat role, mostly getting involved as and when the bride asked them to, especially for those brides who want to keep it all a little more low-key. In my book, there are no right and wrong ways to go about it as long as both sides are clear about what they expect and what they can confidently take on.
If I had a penny for all the times when just a little bit of forward thinking and a lot of communication could have avoided sticky situations, I would SO be writing this from my very own house boat in San Francisco.
And with that in mind, I shall now leave you to ponder and appoint. May the wedmin force be with you!
Love, love, love,
— Mrs b&g