Let us start off by saying that being chosen by your bestie to be her maid of honor is just what the title implies, an honor. However, with every role we play in life there comes a number of unexpected obligations and unforeseen frustrations, this being no exception.
That’s why we here at Modern MOH feel it’s our duty to not only focus on the positive and exciting, but the difficult and demanding aspects of this unique assignment. To give you a bit of a heads up on what you can expect, and how to handle these situations best, we’ve put together a list of the five most common challenges faced by maids of honor.
1. The term “bridezilla” is very much a real thing
No matter how long or close of a relationship you have with the bride, you can never anticipate the effect that planning a wedding will have on a future Mrs. The stress leading up to the big day can turn even the most calm and collected into nervous wrecks and temper tantrum-throwing divas.
Unfortunately for you, it’s common for brides to take this stress out on the people they’re closest to, even when they’re undeserving of such treatment. Whether your bride blames you for something that you have no control over or she snaps at you for something you did or didn’t do, you should certainly be prepared for a few meltdowns along the way.
Now as you read this you may think to yourself, “no way will this happen to me” or “she would never treat me that way”, and perhaps for some of you that proves to be true. But trust us when we say that the term bridezilla is a very accurate and real description, so it’s better to aware and able to handle your beauty when she turns beast.
Our advice is simple- stay as calm, rational, and unaffected as you possibly can. Allow your bestie to express her feelings and exhaust her emotions without interfering or arguing. Yes, we know it’s no fun having to hold your tongue from defending yourself, but remaining neutral will guarantee the situation does not escalate into a friendship-threatening blowout (Dramatic? Yes. Totally possible? Hell yes).
Most importantly, continue to constantly remind your BFF that this is a once in a lifetime experience for her and that all her hard work will be worth the emotional roller coaster she’s been strapped into.
2. Being the head bridesmaid is no piece of cake
As we mentioned in our list of maid of honor roles and responsibilities, it’s your duty to be the H.B.I.C. Translation: you’re in charge of a group of girls, all with differing personalities and opinions, and will be held accountable for keeping each one in check throughout the entire planning process.
While that might seem a bit exaggerated and excessive, do not underestimate the level of skill it takes to keep an entire bridal party amicable and drama-free. Let’s just say it’s damn near impossible. No matter how well you may know each of the bridesmaids, or how close their relationships are with one another, there’s bound to be a few heads butting along the way.
To keep the tension and the cat fights to a minimum, it’s up to you to make it very clear who’s in charge and how important it is to the bride for her gals to be pals. Think of yourself as a mediator of sorts, always ready to settle any arguments with proper conflict resolution.
If you happen to find yourself caught up in any bridal party drama, take our earlier advice and remain neutral. Yes, we know it’s easier said than done, but for the sake of your bride you must take the high road. Always, we mean always, remember that you are doing this for her and her special day, so any bumps along the way will be well worth it.
And if you can’t keep your big mouth shut and happen to let a few harsh words slip out? Say you’re sorry and squash it. Nothing will ruin a wedding day more than a group of bridesmaids with unresolved issues.
3. This is a full-time job from the moment you say “yes”
In theory it sounds simple- host a boozy bridal shower, throw a ballin’ bachelorette, deliver an award-winning speech and you’ve done your job, right? We’re here to tell you just how mistaken you are. If you want to be a mediocre MOH then you’ve come to the wrong place. Our goal is to help you be the absolute best maid to your Mrs. and to do that takes lots of hard work and a ton of dedication.
No, we aren’t saying you’ll have to quit your day job. We’re just preparing you for the extra hours you’ll have to put in as your bestie’s right hand woman. From answering countless texts about color schemes and flowers to attending bridal gown shopping and subsequent fittings, you’ll be a busy bee leading up to and during wedding day.
If you find that being a maid of honor interferes with your professional or personal life in any way, we have a few suggestions for you. One, be honest with your bride. Let her know that you feel overwhelmed with how full your plate is and that you need to take a step back.
Two, ask for help from the rest of the bridal party. Just because you’re the maid of honor does not mean you need to do everything on your own. And three, make time with your bestie outside of wedding planning. While a lot of your get-togethers may be wedding related, make sure to slip a few wedding-free girls nights in there.
4. There may be times when you feel unappreciated or ignored
As we’ve mentioned time and time again, the planning process is an extremely busy time for any bride-to-be. Most of their free time leading up to wedding day will be spent meeting with vendors, deciding on decorations and coordinating every last detail. In the midst of this controlled chaos, it’s common for brides to get caught up in their own problems, often causing the maid of honor to feel overlooked or undervalued.
Before we go any further, let us make one thing clear: By no means is your BFF intentionally out to upset you, her hectic schedule is simply an unfortunate consequence of planning such an extraordinary celebration. Nevertheless, the thought of being taken for granted can eventually lead to feelings of resentment and hurt on your end.
In order to keep these emotions from escalating, it is up to you as maid of honor to be honest about the feelings you are experiencing. While this conversation might prove a bit awkward or uncomfortable for you both, we guarantee your bestie will be glad that you brought it to her attention. Remember- her want for you to enjoy your time as maid of honor is just as great as your want to be the best bridesmaid you can be.
On a final note, we have one last piece of advice: Make sure you snag a moment or two alone with your bride during the reception, whether it be a bathroom break or a dance to your favorite song. Trust us when we say your bestie will be bouncing in between guests all night, she is the center of attention after all, so having a shared moment is something you will cherish forever.
5. Being a maid of honor is expensive
Sorry to burst your bubble, but we’re here to tell it to you straight. No matter how well you plan, save and attempt to cut costs, we guarantee you’ll spend more money as a maid of honor than you ever imagined.
Between buying and altering your bridesmaid dress, hosting the bridal shower, planning the bachelorette and purchasing wedding gifts, your bank account is sure to take a hit. Not to mention the potential time off from work you may have to take to attend these pre-wedding festivities.
Before you start to panic over all of these unavoidable expenses, let us assure you that there are always ways to save yourself some money. To help you do so, here are a few simple tips we’ve learned along the way:
- Hold the bridal shower at a friend or family member’s to avoid venue rental fees.
- Keep the bachelorette party local to avoid lodging and travel costs.
- Ask the mother of the bride and groom to help pitch in any way they can.
- Split costs with your fellow bridesmaids.
- DIY as often as possible (gifts, decorations, etc.)
If at any point you feel overwhelmed with how expensive it’s all becoming, it’s imperative that you be honest with your bride. Lastly, and most importantly, remember that every dollar you spend is paying for the experience of a lifetime and these memories you’ll make along the way are truly priceless.
WHAT’S NEXT: Maid of Honor vs Matron of Honor: Who Does What?