In the end.. it’s all about Love

I’ve stepped back a bit from posting and BFFbridesmaid duties in the past few weeks to spend more time with my 3 kids and my husband. Things were getting very off-balance and a very good friend of mine reminded me where my priorities should be and how important it is to make time to make memories, to make sure the family and friends you have know how much you love them and enjoy each day instead of cramming in tasks that ultimately don’t really matter much.

My friend lost his own father and his boss / father figure, Junior Seau in the same month. It was and still is a heavy loss for him.

It made me really think.

Sometimes our day to day lives sweep us away like a great flood of appointments, parties, work, vegging out on the couch, hobbies, sports and we forget to just stop and take account of who and what is around us. We forget to say “I love you” to the dearest ones around us until it is Mother’s day or Christmas. We look ahead towards the future waiting for life to begin when life is already happening all around us.

Especially with wedding planning, I see so many brides get so wrapped up in such small details of the wedding and so stressed out with the bridal party and even their fiancee that they forget that the essence of what they are doing is all… about… love…

Most weddings will not be perfect.

The wedding is only happening if you and your fiancee make it to that day. So be kind and patient and loving to one another.

Bridesmaids, the bride chose you because you are that special.. that important in her life. That is an honor despite whatever little dramas are happening. Never let bridal drama destroy your friendships.

For my friend, today’s reality involves playing over and over in his head his last words and last memories with his loved ones. If, God forbid, the last thing you did or said to a loved one ended up being the very last exchange you had with them. Would you regret your actions/words? Would you be asking yourself if they knew how much you cared about and loved them?

You, unlike my friend, have time to change that.

The Bridesmaids Revolution

I SAY WE TAKE IT BACK

For those who’ve been a bridesmaid before or (gasp) a Maid of Honor, being asked by another bride incites a host of muffled internal groans and shivers accompanied by ill-forgotten memories of the drama they went through before.

Bridesmaid has become a dirty word and I think we need to take it back.

It was an honor that dates back to Roman times when laws required ten witnesses so a marriage could be legal. The bridesmaids and groomsmen dressed identically to the bride and groom to confuse any evil spirits looking to do harm to the happy couple. Nowadays, it has often become a contest for who loves the bride most and a sometimes a heavy burden of being “the bride’s bitch.”

Can being a bridesmaid ever return to its place of honor so that being asked to accompany a girl on her bridal journey can be a fun, bonding experience instead of a possible drain of time, money and patience. Is there anything we can do to make the change? In the words of our president, YES WE CAN…

So follow me as we chant our Bridesmaids Manifesto…

We WILL NOT be the bride’s slave but rather her guide and right-hand gal.

We WILL NOT go broke but rather plan, save and organize so that every penny is managed and spent well.

We WILL NOT shell out hundreds of dollars on a dress we’ll probably never wear again, that we didn’t have any say in and whose color does not become us. Rather, we will let the bride know what our budget is in advance and ask the bride if she can keep us in mind during the process of choosing so that we can all make an adult decision about what we will look like.

We WILL NOT drop everything when we are called out-of-the-blue to run errands and go on appointments with the bride. The bride can schedule in advance and communicate her calendar with me and let me volunteer to be there when I can.

We WILL NOT allow the brides manifesto “But it’s my day!” manipulate us.

We WILL NOT perpetuate the stereotypical cat-fighting women. We will work together, communicate and be direct and honest with the other bridesmaids.

 

We WILL rise to the position of honor that has been bestowed on us by the bride.

We WILL do everything in our power to strengthen and maintain the bonds of friendship between the bridal party.

We WILL shine on her wedding day, but NEVER outshine her.

Bridesmaids of the World … Unite!!

Resources

http://www.marriagemissions.com/wedding-traditions-and-folklore/

Not Maid of Money: The Burden of Being a Bridesmaid

Not Maid of Money: The Burden of Being a Bridesmaid.

Provided by Mint.com

Being a Bridesmaid is not cheap. What do you think about the estimated costs in the image and article? I think the amounts for me were pretty spot on except I spent probably over $1000 on the bachelorette party alone (I was Maid of Honor).

What about for you? How much did you end up spending? What were the biggest expenses and money related drama?

The Biggest Reason You’re Not Married

Your younger sister/cousin/niece, etc. is getting married.

The dread starts to sink in as you think of all the aunts and family friends who will hug you at the wedding reception and then stick the knife in your back by asking,

“Why aren’t YOU married yet?”

I recently had a good friend plead on FB for us to give her some good comebacks to this question. Most people went the funny route and I’m posting the top ones here. Please add to the list if you can think of a witty comeback to the dreaded question,

“So, why aren’t You married yet??”

1. Oh, I’m not but my boyfriend is…

2. My therapist says I’m not ready yet.

3. I’m just lucky.

4. Coz, I already have a dog. That’s enough for me.

5. Didn’t you hear? Marriage is the leading cause for divorce.

Check out this cool article on this topic:

The Biggest Reason You’re Not Married.

5 Ways to politely Say “No” to a bride

Maybe you don’t have the time?

Or in this economy… the money. (Welcome to the club!)

Or maybe you just don’t want to!

How do you say no to being a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor and not hurt the brides’ feelings and ultimately ruin the relationship?

 

Should she have said no?
                                 http://collider.com/bridesmaids-review/90677/

Should she have said no?     

 
 

#1 Be honest but be kind

Remember the bride has only wedding on the brain and maybe no reason you give her will be a good enough reason for you to miss her big day- even if you are pregnant and due to give birth on her wedding day! However, you owe it to her to be honest and bow out if you truly cannot afford it, are too far away, or feel that you won’t be up to all the tasks that will be expected of you.

#2 Be grateful for the request

This is a day she’s been dreaming of since she was a little girl and you have to be sensitive to that. Maybe she’s been picturing you by her side as she says her “I Do’s” since she was 5 years old. The fact that she’s chosen you above all her other friends and family to be part of her wedding is a great compliment and you should acknowledge that.

#3 Offer other ways of helping or being a part of the wedding

If your location, schedule or finances bar you from serving as a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor, you can still help out in other ways. Offer to attend fittings, help find resources on the internet for her, use your networks to find discounts, help with addressing invitations or making favors. Show her that you still care.

#4 Attend the pre-wedding and wedding events

Even if you can’t be a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor, you should still try your very best to attend at least one pre-wedding event like the bridal shower or bachelorette party. If you can’t afford a gift, be honest and come anyway. She’d rather have your presence there without a gift than having you stay away because you’re embarrassed.

#5 Offer support

This is one of the  happiest but most stressful times in the brides life. You can do her the biggest favor by just being there to comfort her, checking in by phone or email and trying to help her keep perspective. Ask her to come out for a pedicure, let her vent over coffee, rent movies and just stay in your living room talking about nothing wedding related. She’ll need a break from all the wedding craziness and having someone outside of the wedding party to act as an oasis will be greatly appreciated.

Remember, you don’t want to be the cause of wedding drama and you definitely don’t want to contribute to the breaking up of friendships over wedding duties. Sometimes saying No is the best gift you can give to a bride…

How can you tell if she may become a Brideszilla?

Bridezillas, you know them… you love them…ON TV!

But what if they were in your own backyard?

With the holidays over and a shiny ring sparkling on many newly engaged brides, bridesmaids proposals are in full swing. After all, the Bridal Bazaar and other wedding expos are coming and the bride needs her full army, a.k.a. the bridesmaids, with her to navigate the treacherous waters of the bridal expo.So how do you know if that innocent question, “Will you be my bridesmaid” will be the most dangerous question ever asked?

Take this quick survey to find out if your friend or relative has the potential of becoming hell on heels once she puts on that wedding gown.

1. Can your friend go from 0 – Bitchy in less than 3.5 seconds?

2. Are other friends already warning you?

3. Is your friend a type A personality: super-organized borderline OCD, driven, dominating, out-spoken or brash?

4. Does your friend have expensive or very particular tastes?

5. Does your friend criticize your taste in clothing, men, everything….?

6. Overall, do they have princess syndrome or have a very high opinion of themselves?

7. Is your friend passive-agressive and manipulative?

8. Do they demand being the constant center of attention?

9. Does she have low self-esteem?

10. Is it difficult for her to make a decision or communicate?

Results

0-5   Yes answers: Proceed with care. She has some warning signs that she may be a difficult bride to work with. Stress can aggravate things that usually appear minor and it can lead to full-on drama.

6-10 Yes answers: Run for the hills! J/K.. but you do need to be warned and take necessary precautions to reign in the brides expectations. Be clear and direct on what you are and are not willing to do. Be wary of manipulation and “But It’s My Day!” syndrome.

                     http://www.weddingbycolor.com/princessd/milestones/16913 

The Bridesmaid Misunderstanding

While sitting around waiting for presents to be opened on Christmas day, the subject of weddings inevitably came up and as soon as I mentioned the word “Maid of Honor,” my cousin grimaced in the most tortured way.

When I asked her, she said that to this day, almost four years after the wedding, she was still not talking to the bride. She said that being her Maid of Honor had torn their relationship apart. As we discussed this, each person in the circle brought up the numerous instances that they knew about of friendships biting the dust in the wake of pre-marital event planning. Even my brother said that most of his female friends that were in the bridal party for various weddings said that they were still upset with someone in the bridal party or with the bride herself.

The next day at my in-laws home, I broached the same subject to a group that had in that year thrown three weddings for two family members and a friend. Everyone unanimously agreed that the stress of planning such a big event had put a strain on many of their friendships and relationships. Most of them said that they never wanted to be a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor again.

This is so sad. It should be a privilege and honor. Since when did being a bridesmaid become a divisive and drama-filled position? Why should something that should be pulling people together, be so successful at driving them apart?

I have collected their thoughts and now I’d like yours. What is making being a bridesmaid such a drag? Why are people hiding out, hoping that their friend will not ask them to be a bridesmaid?