Post # 1
So I haven’t posted much around the boards yet, but I’ve got a big problem and really need some advice/perspective.
Here’s the story. My Maid/Matron of Honor got married last year in August. She and her husband were doing OK for awhile, but things started going downhill rather quickly and have now reached the point where divorce is a real possibility. I’ve known for a long time that things weren’t going well and that they weren’t happy and in light of that I’ve kept my wedding planning discussions with her to a minimum (beacuse I’m pretty sure that if I were in her shoes the last thing I would want to talk about is wedding stuff). This wonderful woman is like my sister and my heart absolutely breaks for her and I have every intention of helping her through this.
But here’s the problem…we are quickly approaching the 10 month mark and things need to start getting done. A lot of the DIY things I can do on my own and with help from my mom and Future Mother-In-Law, but you all know there are certain things that the Maid/Matron of Honor has to be involved in (dress shopping, showers, etc). Maid/Matron of Honor has told me that what she’s going through isn’t going to affect her "duites" but I can really tell her heart’s not in, and why should it be?
I love this girl so much and hate to see her in so much pain; I feel like the best thing to do would be to give her an out…allow her to step down if she wants. But the selfish part of my really wants her there with me. Plus I want to be there for her 150%, but between wedding planning, school and work, I don’t have as much time to give. I’ve been talking it over with Fiance who is great, but I really need some fresh perspective on this. I know there is no easy solution to this…but what would you do?
Post # 3
have an honest conversation with her. let her know all the options and that you would love you have her in the wedding but understand if it is too much. also, give her a few days to think it over. she may have so much going on that she hasn’t really considered how her feelings will mix with the wedding planning.
Post # 4
First of all, your post shows that you are a great friend. Clearly, you are very in tune to your friend’s feelings…and you know what…that is going to be exactly what she needs to be able to get through this tough time. As hard as it’s going to be for her to perform her Maid/Matron of Honor "duties"…I’m sure that she loves you as much as you love her…and your relationship with each other will help her get through things like planning your shower and dress shopping, etc. All you can really do is be a good friend to her…and it’s clear that you are already doing that. I would make sure to still include her when you can…because if you don’t (even if you’re just trying to protect her feelings!)…then she’ll probably feel even more guilty about the whole situation. The older I get, the more I realize how important good girlfriends are in life and I’m sure you two will help each other get through everything together!! Good luck! 🙂
Post # 5
Wow – what a difficult situation! Kudos to you for putting her needs before your own. i agree with having an honest conversation with her, and letting her make the decision about whether or not to step down. Is there another bridesmaid who could help you with some of the typical "MOH" duties? For your Maid/Matron of Honor, it may help her to have distractions such as DIY projects. It has been very theraputic for my mom who has been goign through a tough time. But maybe more of the emotional duties (like dress shopping) should be handled by someone else. But I would leave it completely up to her. Let her know that you aren’t kickign her out – you just want her to know it is okay with you if she wants to step down, or step back a bit. Good luck!
Post # 6
It’s so nice to see that you’re thinking of her. I would say to have the conversation, but also…re-evaluate your needs for the Maid/Matron of Honor. If you have more than one person in your bridal party, I’m sure that they would be more than happy to take on the planning of your bridal shower, bachelorette or go dress shopping with you. We girls love doing all that stuff, no matter our official role in the wedding! She can still be your Maid/Matron of Honor – and i’m sure your other girls would be more than happy to help!
Post # 7
Definitely talk to her. Maybe wedding stuff will be hard for her, but maybe not being able to be there for you as you plan your wedding will be worse for her. I think there’s no harm in asking if you do it in a sensitive and non-pushy way (sounds liek you would).
As for "duties", I think those are guidelines. There are no rules that say you have to strip your Maid/Matron of Honor of her title if she is unable to dress shop with you. My Maid/Matron of Honor freaked out when I went dress shopping b/c of a break up that happened longer ago than she had actually dated him (I did not anticipate this, and neither did she). Honestly, I would have preferred not having her there than having her their saying insulting things to my Mom, sister, and even me. I’m pretty sure my Maid/Matron of Honor is an extreme example, but I’m just saying you can reassure her that she’s your Maid/Matron of Honor b/c of how important she’s been in your life. And if she has to sit a few wedding-related things out, that’s okay.
Post # 8
It’s nice that you’re thinking of her. I also think you should talk to her and see how she’s doing and what she wants her level of involvement to be. My Maid/Matron of Honor has not really been that involved in my planning, so it’s not a definite that your Maid/Matron of Honor has to be super involved in your planning either.
Post # 9
Honestly, she doesn’t have to do any of those things. Regardless of her situation, I don’t think you can expect her to help with DIY projects and whatnot. I think you need to schedule some non-wedding related time with her, first and foremost. If she knows you’re not just focused on the wedding, she will probably be more inclined to help out with things that a Maid/Matron of Honor usually does, like planning the bachelorette party and shopping for a bm dress.
Your wedding is a big day and a huge deal to you, but she is also going through something just as huge and life-altering. I’d cut her as much slack as possible.
Post # 10
I agree, sit and chat with her. If she still wants to be involved, maybe it will help distract her. Although I’m sure it IS painful for her, but Im sure she’s still elated for you since she’s such a good friend.
Just make sure that you balance wedding activities with stuff that helps her heal. Be conscious of her situation (maybe she doesn’t need to hear ALL the wedding details and speculations, just the main stuff) and take her out to dinner and tell yourself no wedding talk. This way she isn’t always hearing about it, and you can keep her "duties" to the necesities. Honestly, my Maid/Matron of Honor and BM’s weren’t my right hand maids for everything–i went dress shopping by myself, assembled most things by myself, etc. But i kept them updated with emails on what i was doing and they helped me with invitations and whatnot. I just didn’t want to bombard them with wedding stuff. On the flip side she might really enjoy being helpful as a distraction. Maybe just don’t ask her to help you pick out vows =]
Post # 11
Thanks ladies for all the adivice!
I do want to say that I used "duties" as her words, not mine. I would be perfectly OK with her just being there day of; I have no expectations for my girls besides just having them by my side. Like I said, this woman is essentially my sister, and my biggest concern is that she is OK. I just worry that just the entire wedding process as a whole (emotions, events, etc) could become really difficult to handle. It would for me.
MayBee, you bring up a good point. She’s already expressed that she feels guilty for not being more involved, because I was very involved in her wedding planning. I’ve tried to assure her that I don’t in any way hold it against her, nor do I expect anything. I am so much more concerned for her well being than any "duties" that she might think she has. I just want her to be OK. But perhaps I am holding too much back..which is making her feel worse.
I feel like I am really walking a fine line with this whole thing. I want to keep her involved and if wedding planning is something that will take her mind off of what’s going on that’s great, but at the same time I don’t want to push it too far.
Sorry for the rambling response…my thoughts are kindof all over the place right now.
Post # 12
Absoluetly talk to her – do you have other bridesmaids who are aware of her situation? You could also just ask them to step up a bit without “displacing” her from her role.
Post # 13
I think displacing her from a role of importance like that would be potentially hurtful. I was divorcing when my bff was marrying btw. I even sang in her wedding. Helping her be happy helped me get thru things too and she stood by my side, even after her wedding, supporting me through one of the most difficult times of my life.
Btw, she’s my bridesmaid again when I get married this August!
Give your friend lots of love and hugs, she’s gonna need it and demoting her may not be the right thing to do. I know I wouldn’t be personally offended if my moh was divorcing, having a hard time doing some of the crafts or stuff that is a “duty” but would know my other bm’s would help and be kind and understand. It’s just that times life gets in the way of our weddings yanno?
Post # 14
If she wanted an out, I’m sure she’d be fishing for it already. Sounds like she wants to help more actually. I’d give her opportunities to help you! If she digs in, she may be using it to help herself forget about what’s going on. If she doesn’t take you up on it, fine, don’t mention it or feel guilty.