The most important person to attend your wedding is that man in the suit across from you, but we'd guess that you care about the woman standing on your other side just as much. Asking someone to serve as your maid of honor is exactly as the name suggests: an honor you extend to a friend, sibling, or relative who has had a major impact on your life. And while we wish that leading lady could be an all-star in every department, chances are pretty high that she'll struggle with some part of her MOH responsibilities. But how do you tell her when she's not just slipping, but really, really dropping the ball and causing you even more stress? Here, the delicate way to approach the topic.
Though you might not want to print off a detailed job description, it's important to be clear about your expectations for the MOH right from the start. Take the advice of psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., and set aside a time—probably over dinner that you pick up the bill for—and outline what you'd like her to handle for the big day. This may include everything from planning your bachelorette party to helping out with a bridal shower. On her end, she needs to communicate her availability both from an emotional and financial perspective. During this convo, Dr. Martinez suggests being considerate and truly listening to what she's expressing in terms of her role as MOH.
Come from a place of friendship.
Before there was the man, the ring, or the wedding, there was your MOH. She's been by your side through every twist, turn, meltdown and celebration for years upon years, and though you may be frustrated with how she's handling her pre-nuptial duties, you have to stop placing her in your mental "wedding" bucket and put her where she belongs: at the center of your friendship circle. "She is one of your best friends, and you chose her because of that. Be a friend to her and find out what is going on," Dr. Martinez says. You may quickly realize that she's dealing with a big life event herself or that she's having trouble chatting with the other bridesmaids.
Help her delegate.
While you're more of a type A woman, your bestie or sister could fall much further down the alphabet of personality types. Opposites usually attract and balance each other, but in terms of checking items off of her MOH to-do list, she may be far less punctual than you'd like her to be. This is where Dr. Martinez suggests playing to your MOH's strengths and then kindly acknowledging her weaknesses. "If there are tasks they feel too overwhelmed to handle right now, reassign them. This will make both of you feel better," she says. Say for instance, one of the bridesmaids is super creative and she's offered to help design favors for the shower—let your MOH know that that's one less thing she has to worry about. Or if your MOH isn't a foodie and is not picking the best restaurants for your bachelorette, invite the pal who is always introducing you to new cuisines to take on the duty.
Try and remember the big picture.
Once the whole shebang is said and done, you'll have two things: a new husband and an old best friend or sibling who will keep on standing by your side. Dr. Martinez says that sometimes brides can get too wrapped up in the details of the big day instead of seeing the big picture. While it is a once-a-lifetime celebration, you also have a once-in-a-lifetime MOH who is celebrating your love. Don't let the minor details she's dropping the ball on make or break a strong friendship or connection.