The dust has settled from the Royal Nuptials of Prince William and Princess Catherine and I am left with one lasting impression: they had the absolute best man and woman at their sides to ensure the day went off without error. This is important. It may seem more important for an internationally televised event than a casual affair but, every wedding is important and your day could be ruined by even the slightest amount of drama. The lesson for the day is to make sure your maid of honor and best man have got your back!
I’ve given tips to being the perfect attendant…unfortunately not all bridesmaids and groomsmen got the memo. In order to avoid embarrassing mistakes do yourself a favor and go through this checklist (asking yourself who is best suited for this job) before you make your final decision.
Maid of honor responsibilities before the wedding:
Coordinate the bridesmaids.
Host a Wedding Shower with the other bridesmaid’s help
Host, plan and arrange a bachelorette party also with the help of the bridesmaids.
Accompany you when you are gown shopping
Maid of Honor responsibilities during the ceremony and reception:
Assist the bride in getting dressed
Hold the groom’s ring
Arrange bridal gown train at appropriate moments.
Hold flowers during part of the ceremony
Sign the marriage license, if needed.
Arrange the receiving line
Toast the bride and groom
Be available during the reception to assist in the bathroom.
Best Man responsibilities:
Help choose tuxes
Plan and host bachelor party
Organize a group gift from the groomsmen
Assist groom on the wedding day ( also known as running interference)
Hold the bride’s ring
Toast at the reception.
In truth, these don’t sound like terribly daunting tasks. Add some work pressure, a few kids, possibly financial stress and you have the potential for disaster. So even though closest family is usually delegated to the titles of maid of honor and best man, if you have siblings who are unreliable and come with a lot of baggage, you may want to re-consider bestowing the title on them. This may sound extreme and perhaps selfish but in some cases there is so much baggage that even Delta couldn’t handle them. Maybe you don’t have siblings and you have to choose among two friends. Have a frank conversation with that preson before you tell anyone else. You can be very nice about this and phrase it so that it is not hurtful. Explain that you don’t think they need the added pressure. They will understand. In fact, they may not realize it immediately but you will be doing them a favor. The worst thing you can do is hide behind your feelings. “I’ve decided that I am asking Sarah to be my maid of honor because you have a lot going on right now and I want you to be able to enjoy the day” See how easy that was? It may be a conversation you want to have in private or with your fiance in tow but, if it must happen, do it sooner rather than later.
Another option would be to split the honors of the best man or maid of honor between two close confidants. For instance, “Holly will be hosting the bridal shower and Patricia will be hosting the bachelorette party.” Make sure you have the divisions set up equally or this will cause bickering. I don’t really advise this except in rare cases. It will probably cause more work and stress for you.
Lastly I would like to urge each bride and groom to consider which is more important; hurt feelings for a few days (maybe minutes) with your closest friend or a possible fiasco at your wedding… on video… for eternity. Something to think about, definitely.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago