Maid-of-Honor Dilemma: When to Step in on Behalf of the Bride
Helping the bride navigate tricky situations is one of the unofficial aspects of your job.
In the job description for the maid of honor, nowhere does it include "act as a referee between feuding relatives" or "speak up when the bride is too stressed out." Even so, you'll find that you'll occasionally be asked to step into that role. On the wedding day, tensions are high and everyone wants the celebration to go off without a hitch. When something unexpected happens-like the bridesmaids' bouquets turn up with peachy pink roses instead of the all-white arrangements that the bride selected, or else the mother of the bride is unnecessarily picking on the woman of the hour-the bride may become overwhelmed or upset. At what point should the maid of honor step up and intervene? It all depends on the exact situation. Here, we offer some examples for when it's time to support your bride, plus what you should do.
When there's unnecessary fighting between two relatives.
Whether the bride and her mom can't stop bickering or two sisters who are serving as bridesmaids are in the middle of a heated argument, the maid of honor should step in to defuse the situation. If you're a relative of the bride's, you'll probably have an easier time breaking up the fight. Take the feuding parties aside and see what you can do to end the behavior.
When there's a last-minute crisis.
Whether it's the shuttle bus driver that didn't realize he needed to make repeat runs to the hotel or that the best man can't find the rings, the bride shouldn't be privy to any last-minute drama. As the maid of honor, you should take it upon yourself to switch into problem-solving mode. If you need backup, call in support from other bridesmaids, groomsmen, or the wedding planner, but don't clue the happy couple in.
When the voice of reason is needed.
Maybe one of the bridesmaids hates her hair and is gearing up to throw a fit with the hairstylist. Before she causes chaos (and stresses the bride out), see what you can do to intervene. There might be a way to address the issue together, or else perhaps you can help her calmy discuss what she's not happy about with the pro. Maybe the bride suddenly thinks she hates her wedding dress. Telling her how beautiful she looks, reminding her that she's loved this gown all along, and encouraging her to take a deep breath and see beyond her nerves could be all it takes to calm her down. Staying relaxed and using a calm voice will help everyone.
When two people seem to need a little time apart.
If two bridesmaids can't stop arguing or someone seems to be making the bride a little crazy, you'll want to step in and take someone out of the equation-even if it's just for a few minutes. Walk one of them to a different room-the bathroom is fine-so they can cool down. You should ask another calm, rational bridesmaid to stay with the bride or the other party involved in a dispute.