by Jen Carreiro from Something Turquoise
Being asked to be a Maid of Honor is such a privilege, only bestowed upon the best of the best. At the same time, it’s a huge responsibility, a ton of work, and can be very expensive. All the fluffy feelings, happy tears, and floating heart emojis aside, this role is no joke… and so we thought we’d paint you a picture of the dirty truth behind being a Maid of Honor…
You hear that your best friend just got a huge rock placed on her finger and your stomach flutters with anticipation, happiness, and all the great things ahead. Will she ask you? Will you be the MOH or just a bridesmaid? You hear the voice in your head say, “she better ask me to be the MOH and not so-and-so… I deserve it, and I’d be the best MOH ever!” Then the phone rings, and she’s crying, and yes, she asks you to be her Maid of Honor!!! So you scream, “YES!!!” and immediately start gabbing over ideas and plans. You are just thrilled. You go to bed beyond excited and dream of everything to come… but sadly those dreams slowly turn into bridezilla nightmares…
Remember that Friends episode when Monica finally gets engaged to Chandler and Rachel ends up being her MOH? Typical Monica busts out a serious wedding binder and literally doesn’t take a breath for 30 minutes while she’s sharing her ideas. It begins just like that. Your friend comes over and just starts going off about everything she’s planning, and you think what? really? no? no way? omg? what did I get myself into? You gently throw out your ideas, and she squashes them, reminding you that it’s her day and she knows exactly what she wants… and she is SO glad that you are going to help her do everything – yay!
The demands start: she wants you to give a speech at the engagement party and wear a specific color dress (because she wants all the bridesmaids to be set apart, and she thinks this is a great idea for all the rest of the wedding events as well). Then she wants to immediately plan shopping days, craft nights, a bridesmaid meeting happy hour, and breakfast at the venue, and she wants you to help her do her hair and makeup for their engagement pictures in a couple weeks… Oh! and can she borrow her favorite nail polish of yours; you know that pale pink one?
On top of all that, she expects you to create and pay for all the games and prizes at her bridal shower and bring five bottles of champagne (plus OJ) along with wearing another coordinating bridesmaid outfit. But it doesn’t stop there: you are 100% in charge of the bachelorette party, and she warns you that by that point she’s going to be in desperate need of a vacation and so let’s make it a three-day getaway trip, maybe a cruise to Mexico, and you have to make all the arrangements for 15 girls. By this point, you are the one in desperate need of a vacation, a massage, and a cocktail (all at the same time), but you can’t afford it because all you keep hearing is dollar signs racking up…and she hasn’t even touched on the wedding day itself!
The engagement photo shoot is in three different locations with three different outfits, and of course she wants you with her for all of it. You go and make sure she looks perfect the entire time while acting as a human clothing hanger. While hanging around, a bum in an alley is convinced that you are an actress and asks you what movie you are shooting. You assure him that he’s mistaken and kindly try to avoid further questions, but no; he follows you. The photographer tells him to back off, so he cusses everyone out and tells you that you’re a horrible actress. Awesome.
The shower goes on according to plan. You bring the necessities and run the games, shouting over laughing aunts and others who couldn’t care less. It’s super hot; you are sweating in your seat as the bride proceeds to open presents for, like, three hours. She has you sit right by her side (directly in the sun) and makes you write down what she got and who the gift giver was – to make writing thank you cards easy for her, of course. You get sunburned, and she remarks that you’ll have to work on getting rid of that tan line before the wedding because she won’t stand for it in pictures. At the end, the groom comes, packs up all her gifts, and takes her home, leaving you and her aunts to clean up the mess. At least there is booze left.
Now for shopping and planning dates. You are so busy with wedding planning that you are starting to wonder if you are actually the one getting married. Constant phone calls, text messages, and emails bombard you all day long. The other bridesmaids live all over the country; only you and two gals actually live near the bride, meaning you guys get to do all the work. You meet for lunch before dress shopping, and one bridesmaid is complaining of a migraine and the other is so loud and pushy that you are worried, period. Being the organized MOH that you are, you bring information that you and the bride have been working on, and you share dress and shoe ideas that the two of you have been pinning. The other two make fun of you for being organized, and tease that they sure are glad they aren’t MOH. Nice. You’ve even called ahead and had a special champagne-and-chocolate-covered-strawberry greeting set up at the bridal salon to celebrate the occasion. Surprise! The loud bridesmaid’s mom shows up and drinks the majority of the champagne. Who the heck invited her? Bridesmaid with the migraine tells everyone that chocolate makes her headaches go away and uses that as an excuse to eat just about all the strawberries. She doesn’t care that neither you nor the bride ate even one. Not even a crumb. Your stomach is rumbling. And the dresses? Well, you know who dominates that conversation: loud bridesmaid. Uughhh… really? Of course she makes a big deal and convinces the bride to pick the one that makes her look like a movie star. Great.
The craft nights are just another treat to tack onto the list. The bride is a crafting nightmare and knows that you are a whiz. She leaves the direction, glue, scissors, and supplies up to you – more $$$. The first couple go ok because the wine is flowing and the projects are easy, but, for the most part, she leaves you with the difficult, tedious tasks like cutting and tying hundreds of ribbons and washing over 100 jars to fill with candy. She also repeatedly pins and tags you in the comments saying, “OMG, we have to make this!” Add it to the list, sister. Then she wants to make her own invitations, and by that, she means she wants you to make them – and you do, but it turns out she’s not quite happy with them. She takes it out on you by lagging on getting you the addresses. It takes her so long, in fact, that it delays their sending, and she tries to blame it on you! She actually tells people that it’s your fault that they have gone out so late. Now your blood is boiling. Oh, and when people don’t RSVP, she wants you to call them to ask if they are coming because it would be weird for her to be the one who calls. Yippee.
So now it’s finally time for the bachelorette party, and you are exhausted, overworked, and over budget. But, of course, since it’s her wedding, there is no expense spared. You get to the cruise terminal and everyone starts to check in. Her friend who is pregnant is getting some major flak from one of the clerks saying she’s too far along in her pregnancy to travel. What!?! You personally checked with the travel agent and had her bring a Dr.’s note. They won’t let her go – and everyone acts like it’s your fault. You all have to wait for almost two hours to get someone to come down to the cruise terminal to pick her up; spirits are drastically low as everyone waves goodbye to her. Walking onto the ship is like walking into a funeral… because after all it’s your fault she can’t go. So you buy everyone shots at the bar to liven things up, and order champagne to the room to get the party started. And boy does everyone party… mainly because the captain makes an announcement during boarding that, unfortunately, due to the bird flu, they can’t dock in Mexico and are just going to float around in the water. Are you kidding? Nope. So it turns into bridesmaids, sisters, friends, and cousins gone wild, making out with bachelor party guys at the pool, disappearing completely, getting wasted and barfing in the hallway, and stripping and getting kicked out of a cruise ship club. You stay semi-sober because your credit card is attached to all the rooms, and you are worried for some of the girls’ safety. It’s a wild weekend you’ll never forget. To top it off, once you get back home, you are not only ‘land-sick’ and dizzy from the environmental change but also have a HUGE phone bill because you had no idea that you needed an international cell phone plan while on a cruise ship. It can’t get much worse, right?
Now you’re thinking, out of everything that’s gone wrong, the wedding day has to be amazing! It has to be, or you might just have a heart attack. The rehearsal is nice, no major drama but another ‘coordinating outfit’… and one of her uncles won’t leave your side all night, yuck. You are all supposed to get spray tanned that evening by your favorite tanning gal, which you set up. She gets lost, can’t find the hotel, and ends up being more than an hour late. Of course loud bridesmaid thinks this is unacceptable and demands a discount, and it’s hesitantly given. You apologize in secret and pay her to make up for her loss.
Finally the day is here and so is another coordinating outfit for getting ready in; at least she actually purchased half of it (the tank top), but everyone has to have matching black sweatpants and pink flip flops too. You, of course, help with her hair and makeup… and paint her nails… and as you are finally getting ready yourself, she jumps for joy (because it’s her big day) and messes up her hair. Back on duty. Pregnant bridesmaid throws a fit because there is no non-alcoholic champagne for her to drink and just feels so left out from the cruise ordeal. You go and get her Martinelli’s so she feels better and shuts up. Portraits go smoothly but the bride’s sister has been drinking all morning, and you, of course, are trying to cover it up and shove coffee and a snack down her throat in between takes. She’s also crying (a big fake cry) and remarking that she can’t believe it’s her sister’s wedding day, sob, sob sob. During the ceremony, two bridesmaids behind you are laughing incessantly because their heels keep sinking into the grass; so do yours, but you just leave them there. They are making fools of themselves as you try to keep it together and completely ignore the interruption. Now onto the portraits and dealing with the guys who have been drinking quite a bit. All you want is to make sure that the portraits turn out beautifully and you make it to the reception on time, but they are laughing and joking around so much that the photographer is getting sidetracked. You have to keep him on schedule and must become a drill sergeant, which the guys so aptly name you and continue to call you for the rest of the night.
Finally, it’s time to relax and enjoy the reception. You look for your parents and husband throughout the space to see where they are sitting, only to find she’s placed them in the very back – so far away you can’t even see them from your seat at the head table. Fun. Now the grand entrance; where are those two chuckling bridesmaids? Nowhere to be found. You have to tell the DJ you’re sorry but you have no idea where they are. Thank God he’s not announcing everyone. Right in the middle of the first dance, here they come – with beers in hand. When the bride asks you if they were present, of course you lie to spare her feelings.
You get to the head table and the Mrs. of the Mr. & Mrs. signs on the backs of their chairs is broken; the ribbon and sign are just hanging there. You have a Band-Aid in your purse, so you whip it out and ‘tape’ the sign back together, wipe your brow, and sit down. The food is served and you are so glad because drunk sister needs to eat! You make sure she actually is eating while all the guests are staring at you and smiling. That’s right; everyone is just staring at you because, after all, you are the MOH. That was something you weren’t ready for. Then here comes the bride’s uncle from the night before… and now he’s drinking… and keeps repeating that you need to save a dance for him. You remind him that you’re married, and he says, “But it’s one of the duties of the bridal party to dance with the guests!” Seriously, drunk uncle, get a hint. No. At this point you are already exhausted, and now you have to give your speech! It goes well and people applaud, but the entire time you are just pray that yucky uncle doesn’t yell something out, that drunk sister doesn’t barf, that your parents can hear you, and that the guests can’t tell from the tone of your voice that you are so over being MOH!!! Other than helping clean up the reception and packing your bags, your job is done and you are so happy that when you wake up in the morning you will no longer be The Maid of Honor.
All stressful situations aside, the extreme love you have for the bride will absolutely outweigh all the drama, tough decisions, expense, irritation, and bad that could happen. Take it from us; we know. It might be a long road leading up to that fateful day, but it will all be worth it. At the very least, you will have an awesome story to tell. We wish you the best of luck as you take on this special task, doing the hard work of standing next to your best friend on the happiest day of her life.
All images from Universal Picture’s movie, “Bridesmaids”.
What is the worst Maid of Honor situation you’ve heard/been involved in?