Because who feels like playing wedding planner with the bride?
Weddings are my favorite type of celebration for the most typical and cliché reasons. They’re happy events celebrating love, and I am a sucker for anything that has to do with people declaring their devotion to each other. The fact that people spend so much time, money, and energy gathering the most important people in their lives (even the ones you don’t actually want there but invite out of respect) says a lot about a wedding’s importance. Everyone looks so elated, and it truly makes me tear up every time.
But there’s a big difference between attending a wedding and being in a wedding, and the latter is stressful—I know from experience. I’m only 23, but I’ve already been a bridesmaid three times—twice for my two sisters, and once for a close family friend. Finding bridesmaid dresses and planning showers is a pain, and of course, everyone has an opinion about everything.
The person who gets the worst end of the stick, though, is the maid of honor. We tend to think that being named maid of honor is the ultimate compliment. In theory, it’s sweet that someone adores and trusts you enough to give you the role...but then you realize that the job low-key sucks.
Being in a wedding in any capacity can be emotionally, physically, and financially draining, but being a bridesmaid beats the maid-of-honor job any day. For starters, you’re not obligated to plan alongside the bride in the event that she decides not to hire a wedding planner, and you usually have to do little to no coordinating for the shower (that’s what the maid of honor is tasked with, often alongside the bride’s mom and sisters). The maid of honor is often the first person the bride runs to with a crisis, be it an issue with the caterer, a dress alteration nightmare, or last-minute RSVPs. You want to be there for the bride, but who has time and energy for all of that emotional labor?
As a bridesmaid, however, you simply show up to all of the events, pay for all the requisite bridal party expenses, and smile in whatever dress the bride picked out (even if you secretly hate it). Your participation reaps nice rewards too, like gifts of appreciation from the bride and groom. (Thank you to my sisters for the lovely jewelry and clothes!).
So, the next time you’re asked to be a bridesmaid, remember that you’re obviously important to the bride, and it’s a meaningful role to accept. Don’t feel bad if you weren’t picked as maid of honor—you’ve been spared a ton of time, energy, and money.
Want more stories like this?