There is no greater privilege than being asked to be a maid of honor, a distinction I feel qualified to make as the winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, three Emmy awards and the Dean’s List for three out of seven semesters, non-consecutively.
My best friend and cousin, Chloe, appointed me as the most f*ckable bridesmaid (that’s what we call it in the ‘biz) after accepting her beau’s proposal in July. I’ve never been more excited or felt more up to a job, except for when I worked at a hot dog stand one summer but that’s only because it was a really good hot dog stand.
As her best friend from childhood, I was poised and thrilled to accept Chloe’s offer to be the maid of honor, no matter how close the date of her wedding fell to my birthday. Chloe, our cousin Tammy, and I celebrated a few weeks later at a backyard barbecue where our aunt was selfishly trying to steal everyone’s attention by being “recently injured in a roller skating accident,” which was pretty rude. I was impressed at how cool-headed Tammy was about the maid of honor thing – it must hurt to be beat, especially by a woman who has accepted high-end hot dogs in lieu of monetary compensation, but she was dealing with the ego blow with grace.
“I’m so happy you two are my co-maids of honor,” Chloe said, taking a swig of the only wine we could afford. Tammy nodded with excitement, and I’m not sure what I did because my blood froze in my body and to be honest, it hasn’t moved since. Ha!
“Co?” I asked, very cool. Tammy nodded, smiling. Do I not love her? Maybe I don’t love her.
“None of us live in the same city anymore, so it makes the most sense,” the ‘bride-to-be’ said, completely oblivious to the fact that the temperature in the yard had just dropped thirty degrees. Does she know the divorce rate? “I told you on the phone.”
She had lobbed the all-confusing ‘co’ syllable when we were on the phone around, but I assumed it was an abbreviated phrase as in “cough, maid of honor don’t tell Tammy” or, “cool, you and only you are perfect for the job.” But apparently she meant ‘co’ as in “co-operative,” as in “two people to do a one person job,” as in “I never loved you but I couldn’t just say that, instead I had to personally injure you with my actions.”
“It must hurt to be beat, especially by a woman who has accepted high-end hot dogs in lieu of monetary compensation, but she was dealing with the ego blow with grace.”
I’m going to be documenting my journey to being the ultimate maid of honor – sorry, co-maid of honor, it’s a two woman job! Not usually, but in this case. My nose is bleeding! – until the big day next year, the work already begun.
This month’s column is about boundaries – as a maid of honor, whether you can be trusted to accept the full position or not — just kidding it’s a big responsibility I understand but I’d like to remind everyone how responsible I am I was the vice president of the National Honor Society from 2009 to 2010 and was my cousin Tammy uhhhh no she was not,— you’re going to be dealing with bridal boundaries quite a bit.
Here are my tips for the maid of honor who’s looking to knock it out of the park!
It’s not about you. Though it can be a tough pill to swallow, it’s important to remember that your best friend’s wedding isn’t about you, no matter how close it falls to your birthday. This is her big day, and you’re just here to facilitate it! Well, you and one other woman, but you probably have the more important responsibilities and veto power, a subject you may not have broached yet but seems like a reasonable request.
The key is to frame your thoughts and criticisms just so. For example: instead of saying “That dress color isn’t for me,” say “Why don’t we look at some fall colors that aren’t brown? Who wears a brown dress? People who are ashamed of their bodies and are willing to make a stand on nothing, that’s who!”
Instead of saying “The idea of a photobooth at a wedding is hacky and overdone,” try “Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if you chose one maid of honor, why can’t you just make a big decision for once? Besides getting married I mean?”
Ultimately, you’ve got to respect the bride’s boundaries. If you’re in a tight spot, remind her that it’s almost your birthday.
Don’t get all up in someone’s business. A lot of the modern wedding planning takes place on Pinterest, so you’re going to want to make sure that your account is up and active so you can work with the bride on important things like tarp colors and whether you should take wedding booth pictures with live chickens or not. Though Pinterest is a useful tool, brides and co-maids of honor alike should be sure to keep things confined to the wedding board and not snoop around on other people’s profiles.
Hide Your Flaws. Make sure to make your Pinterest boards on your own interests (like “taxidermied animals in sports cars” and “cool quotes about being an independent lady!”) private before wedding planning commences! Unfortunately, some people are very judgy. But seriously, no one has anything to say about my co-maid of honor’s freakishly large pancake art Pinterest board? NO ONE LIKES PANCAKES THAT MUCH.
You’re a person, too! Hey, if you want to bring your own birthday cake, and maybe even encourage a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday to You, Jamie, the Maid of Honor, Did I Forget to Say Co? I’m So Sorry! Well, We’ve Already Said It, No Use In Self-Editing Now,” then go for it.
It’s your day, co-maid of honor! No matter what. And if it doesn’t go the way you want, there’s always the hot dog stand.