My best friend of fifteen-plus years is engaged, and despite being a part of her life since the fourth grade, I’m having a hard time being excited about her big day. The bride-to-be asked me to be her maid of honor and our other best friend to be a bridesmaid, but she doesn’t seem to want much input from us at all. She asked us in a very impersonal way, and she hasn’t involved us in any conversations or planning. She doesn’t seem to want a bachelorette party, a bridal shower, or anything. Instead, it seems like she is rushing to plan her wedding in the next seven months and is not really enjoying the process. She and her mother seem to be planning everything on their own, and they also asked that they be permitted to approve my speech before I deliver it on the big day.
This is not the wedding I had envisioned for her. I am struggling to be excited about a wedding the bride doesn’t even seem to be excited about. And my heart is broken that the other bridesmaid and I, who have stood by her side since childhood, don’t seem to have more of a place in her wedding. What can I do?
—I wanted more for her
Okay. I think we need to back way, way up here. Your best friend of fifteen years is getting married, and you are the maid of honor. Just sit with that fact for a minute. I get so many questions from people heartbroken that they were not asked to be in the wedding party, or not even invited to the wedding. But that’s not you, at all.
You’ve just formulated a whole question about not having a big enough place in her wedding and you are LITERALLY THE MAID OF HONOR. We have never even met, and I am so sure you have more chill than this and you have just temporarily misplaced it. Which happens to us all from time to time, because we’re human. But I beg of you, please take a yoga class or do some coloring or meet me at the bar for tequila and karaoke, because something must change.
Your ultimate desire here is for her to have the wedding she wants right? You don’t seem to have any reason to believe she isn’t. She’s not Super! Excited! About! Her! Wedding! That is totally fine and pretty common. Hi, APW exists mostly because planning a wedding isn’t anywhere near as fun as it looks in the movies. She isn’t excluding you from the wedding activities. She just does not want a bachelorette or a bridal shower, and she didn’t see a need to do some Pinterest-explosion maid of honor proposal. That’s fine. Your job right now is to figure out what support she does (or doesn’t) want, and then to try to execute on those goals. In short, this isn’t about you; this is about you supporting her.
Because, true story. This isn’t your wedding, so why should you have input? She, her mom, and her spouse-to-be, seem to have a handle on this. It’s totally okay to just get on with planning a wedding in seven months because you don’t love this whole process and just make decisions with your mom (who maybe is paying) and your future spouse.
The running-the-speech-by-them thing is, not gonna lie, weird. So do your best to un-weird it! Send her an outline that follows this advice and go along with it. This is the way she wants you to contribute, so if you genuinely want to contribute and be involved, get with the program.
I’m getting a feeling that you had a very specific role you were excited to play in this wedding—trying on dresses! squealing! coordinated t-shirts! penis straws! And yes, I agree, all of that does sound fun to me too. But not, apparently, to her. And you have to find a way to be okay with that.
So, with all of your excitement and love and enthusiasm, how about you do something that doesn’t require her participation? A really awesome love-filled scrapbook? A decoupage picture collage of the two of you? A killer toast that she pre-approves? A series of postcards you send her that just have words of love and affirmation on them? I truly believe if you can let go of the hurt, you can use all of this energy for good. Her wedding is going to be how it is, and the more you internalize that this is something she is doing for herself and not against you, the happier all of you are going to be.
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