This whole bridesmaid/MOH duties is a really hot topic and why you’re getting a lot of the responses you are getting.
I have to ask, when your best friend flaked out, and basically disappeared for months at a time, what did you do? Did you try to find out what was going on in her life? Or did you sit back and say well, Emily’s gone MIA again, I’m just going to let her call me when she’s “on” again?
I think many of us here have dealt with flaky friends. But did you, or do you, really knows what goes on behind closed doors 24/7? In other words, do you really know what was going on in those times where she’s gone missing and been flaky?
My Maid/Matron of Honor was one of my best friends that I’ve know since freshman year of college. Like all relationships, there were ebbs and flows. She got married before me and had a baby. She also worked full time so we went through a period where we did not have a lot in common because I was still single and don’t have any kids. However, when it was time to choose a Maid/Matron of Honor, there was no doubt I would chose her.
Around the time I got engaged, her marriage started falling apart. We had a really long talk because I didn’t want to make things worse by having all this wedding stuff surrounding her. She said she was honored to be my Maid/Matron of Honor even if she couldn’t be there for me all the time because of what she was going through. I never once thought of replacing her because there were better party planners in our group of friends.
Being your “right hand woman” means being there for you; it doesn’t mean attending bridal expos unless she offers to. I was probably a better friend for my Maid/Matron of Honor in that I listened to her vent and cry than she was for me during my engagement. But that’s what friends do for each other.
If you’re really that concerned that your friend is going to flake out again, why don’t you sit down and talk to her first? Don’t mention anything about her being your Maid/Matron of Honor, but ask her what’s going on in her life. I’m sure she would love to hear that you’re interested in what’s going on.
Unless you are super close with your mom’s friend and the best man’s wife, I would not ask either of them to be your Maid/Matron of Honor because then it really does look like you chose them based on what they can do for you.
And for what it’s worth, I’ve been a bridesmaid several times. There have been times where I’ve done DIY stuff and there’s been times I just show up for the pre wedding parties and the wedding itself. To be honest, those times I did the DIY stuff, I felt like unpaid labor. Even though I offered to help, I felt like I was taken advantage of my generosity. I like helping, but I don’t like being treated like I’m “expected” to help.
There is no “journey” for a Maid/Matron of Honor or a bridesmaid with the bride, at least for me, I’ve never personally experienced anything of that nature. That journey is for you and your Fiance.
I’m not saying any of this with snark. I think your expectations are based on your own experiences as a bridesmaid, and I hate to say it, it sounds like you went way above and beyond what you should have.
So temper your own expectations, and think if you would ask your friend to be Maid/Matron of Honor regardless of whether or not the best man’s wife or your mom’s friend offered to help. There’s your answer.