Maid of Honor vs. Made Of Money

Posted on August 8, 2013. Filed under: Couples, Family, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dear Lora,

My younger sister is getting married and has asked me to be her Matron of Honor.  Although I feel privileged to be asked, I am a wife and mother of three.  Not only is money limited, but so is my time.  She’s expecting me to throw her a shower and I’m afraid I don’t have the time or funds to make it happen.  Is there anyway I can still be a part of the wedding, without hosting a shower, or should I back out altogether?

Dear Not Made of Money,

Let me guess, your sister is the baby of the family, so the fact that you have been married long enough to produce three children means she can’t even remember your wedding.  I’m also guessing whatever she did before, during and after your ceremony, your mom and dad paid for — including the push up bra needed for the super cute bridesmaid dress you picked out, am I getting warm?  Making matters worse, she probably has no idea what the cost analysis of a bridal shower is, right?

Trust me, I can feel your anxiety all the way over here!  Grab a glass of wine and let me put your mind at ease:

As a close family member of the bride, you are not actually supposed to host the shower.  You read that right, you’re not supposed to!  That’s because the guests might feel like you (family) were pressuring them to bring gifts.  Here’s a link to the goddess of all things wedding, Emily Post, who does an excellent job explaining why:

Now, how many of us would have lost that bet in Vegas?  I’m guessing the majority.

Take if from me, it’s good to follow ol’ Emily’s advice, otherwise things may be on a path to disaster.

My first trip down the aisle, I was given a shower by my ex-husbands immediate family members, needless to say, that union barely lasted long enough to write the thank you notes.  If EP was reading the tea leaves, based on the shower alone, she would have likely thought it was doomed before it even got started, and she would have been correct!

Honestly, it was downhill from there — trying to be agreeable, I let my ex talk me into allowing the groomsmen to each wear a different colored bow tie, so they could look like a “rainbow” (his description).  That was followed by reluctantly giving in to a rum flavored wedding cake, which I didn’t even like and everyone else complained about.  Then came the realization my ex didn’t even know the Lord’s Prayer until the actual service when his lips weren’t moving!  Good gravy, I wish I was making this stuff up and wish, at times, I didn’t have a memory like an elephant — but I digress.

After my practice marriage, as I call it, came the one that counts, marriage #2 (which is #1 in my heart).  This time, following EP’s book of etiquette to a T, both of my showers were given to me by friends, no relatives of either myself or my husband, Scooter, involved.  Needless to say, the rest of the wedding went smoothly, with black-ties, a tasty vanilla cake with butter-cream frosting and a hubby that even knows the words to the doxology!  The only rainbow that day was in the sky, where it belongs.

Basically, if you stick with EP,  you can’t go wrong.

Now, with that said, if you win the lottery and hire two nannies to take care of the kids, perhaps then you could offer to help physically and financially with the shower, but remember, you are under no obligation as Maid of Honor to do so.  She needs to understand the true duties of the MOH, it’s more of an assistant versus a wallet.

As the MOH, you get to do some pretty cool stuff, like help pick out the bridesmaid dresses, which is huge, we all know what a bridezilla thinks you should wear — lavender dotted swiss with empire waists – UGH!  Also on your list: witnessing the marriage certificate, assisting your sister during the reception, etc.  All stuff you can handle AND afford!

Feel free to share my story with her of what happens when you stray from the EP path.  Basically, when you mess with the tried and true, you may end up with more than just something blue.

So do yourself and your sister a favor, avoid the rum and rainbows and grab a copy of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette.  Put a post-it on the page which explains the MOH duties, give it to your sister and happily accept the position.



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Showered With Demands

Posted on April 11, 2012. Filed under: Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Dear Lora,

I am the maid of honor for my sister’s wedding.  While I’m thrilled to be part of her special day, she’s treating me like dirt!  On top of that, she expects me to plan AND pay for the entire bridal shower!  She also wants to tell me who, what, when and where it’s going to be.  She keeps talking about having 50 friends meet for cocktails at a super expensive bar, where drinks can cost $15 each.  I keep telling her that’s what bachelorette parties are for, not showers, but she won’t listen. 

Showered with grief

Dear  Showered with grief,

Whoa!  Sounds like your sister may have a black eye to go with that white dress if she keeps this up!

I totally feel for you, there are few things more upsetting than feeling like you’re being taken advantage of.  Instead of being showered with kindness and gratitude, you find yourself showered with demands as the maid of honor (MOH).

In the back of your mind, you try to keep the sound track of life tuned into something positive like the old Lou Rawls song “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around…”, but the needle keeps skipping on the record and all you seem to hear is “this is so unfair, what does she keep making that hissing sound???”  Right?

We’ve all heard of the term bridezilla, but seeing one in action is like seeing Linda Blair’s head spin around in that gawd awful movie The Exorcist.  It’s upsetting and leaves you with the same gut wrenching feeling – it seems nothing short of divine intervention can stop the madness.  In fact, you’re pretty sure you’ll need to call the priest to conduct a different type of mass before the wedding, IF she makes it that far!

What makes a bride turn into a big hot mess anyway?  We could blame it on Disney for making all of those princess movies about how we’re all going to get our day in a glass carriage and marry a man who’s not only perfect, but also a Prince!  Going through the process of planning a wedding makes one realize, this isn’t an animated fairytale with talking animals after all, in fact, it actually seems more like a bad dream full of creepy clowns.

Let’s start out with her side of the story, or at least what I imagine to be her side:

The pressure on a bride is huge!  She’s usually surviving on celery sticks and watermelon in an attempt to fit into a dress she ordered 2 sizes smaller than what she really wears.  At the same time she’s trying to figure out a way to keep her future mother-in-law from going with her to Bed, Bath and Beyond to register because she doesn’t want a gnocchi maker or her grief!  On top of all that, she’s constantly worried her husband’s bachelor party, which is taking place in Vegas (as they always do) will end with him falling madly in love with a stripper named Sable, which also happened to be the make of his first car.

Now that we understand why your sister is such a flipp’n mess, let’s focus on how to handle all the “noise” as I call it.  Taking the lead from the country’s leading wedding experts, I’ve boiled their advice down to 4 main points you may want to share with her.

First, let me point out that it’s actually a major faux pas for a family member to host or pay for a shower, because is can appear the family is trying to better it’s status or being greedy by requesting more gifts.  This may be old and antiquated, but that’s the way it is.  The only time it’s okay to bend this rule is when the relative is part of the wedding party, such as yourself.  Basically, you already need to treed lightly.

Second, the MOH is allowed (if desired) to do the bulk of the planning, i.e.: location, decorations, etc.  However, the entire bridal party should help with the costs, which should be determined based on everyone’s budget.  For example, one person isn’t allowed to plan an event the others can’t afford, unless, of course, they want to foot the bill themselves.

Third, showers are considered an intimate event, with no more than 35 guests, so bridezilla’s idea of  happy hour at a bar with four dozen friends it out!

Fourth, but most importantly, the bride is NOT to weigh in.  Like her crock-pot and blender, this is a GIFT.  Tell her to consider it a surprise party where she knows the place, time and who’s coming – that’s it!

Cut her a little slack, and then cut off all communication about the shower!

Keep in mind, there’s a reason the wedding march goes: dum-dum-de-dum…that’s because, given the stress they are under, brides aren’t always the brightest crayons in the box!

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