Problems with planning, MOH view

beebee77April 22, 2010

I was asked to be the maid of honor in my friend's wedding some time ago. She had moved away from home a few years ago and didn't have many friends she kept in contact with back home (besides me), so I said yes. I'm not that close with the bride, so I felt that this could be a way to become better friends. Unfortunately, she's using her mother to take care of all of the MOH "duties". She even went as far as to ask me when I was going to plan her wedding shower because her mother was starting to get worried that I wouldn't take care of it (the wedding is in December, it's April now). She and her mother picked the venue, the reception hall, the menu, the dress, the decorations, etc etc etc. I feel a little left out but, on the other hand, I don't know her well so I don't really mind her mother stepping in if that is what they want. Besides, I'm happy her mom wants to help because there are things that I need help with (Ie: I have NO idea who to invite to the shower, because I feel like I barely know the bride!)

My problem is that the bride continues to get upset with me and say that I'm "not involved" and "not interested". I'm confused because I repeatedly ask her about all of the details, if she needs help planning, wants help with invitations, etc, and her reply is ALWAYS, "My mom and I already did that" or "my mom is going to do that". How can I "help" when things are already being taken care of, without being pushy? And further, how can I escape the bride being upset with me when I'm not doing anything wrong??

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For the shower, pick a couple Saturdays a month or two before the wedding and ask her which would work best for her. She might actually need to know that day quite early if she is traveling back home for wedding prep and Thanksgiving and such. Nailing down which days she will need off from work might be a real concern even though it seems like a long way off.

For the rest, ask her specific questions so that she can gush a bit. End your e-mails with 'let me know how I can help'. I supect she is quite happy planning things with her mom, but needs some reassurance that someone has her back if/when she needs it. You might even offer general help to her mom directly. Maybe Mom is getting overwhelmed but not really comfortable letting Bride know, though Bride might well sence that something is wrong.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 11:40AM
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It is a fallacy to assume that the MOH MUST be involved in the wedding planning, host a shower, plan a bachelorette party and all the other things that go with a wedding. Do what you can afford to do and have time to do. I assume the wedding will occur in your home town, and not where the bride currently lives, which makes it more difficult for her. Dickie has given good advice on ways to approach the bride and her mother. It may be that mom knows her daughter's taste and it is simply easier for her to do many things, but she may appreciate your assistance, at least with some things.

The bride and/or her mother can provide a list of people to invite to the shower. If the bride is coming home for Thanksgiving, that weekend might be a good time to plan a shower unless the wedding is in early December.

Do what you can do and what the bride allows you to do and don't become stressed about what her mom is doing. It will all work out in the end.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:43AM
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I wouldn't expect the maid of honor to be involved with planning the wedding. The bride/couple and family/ies do that, and that's what they are doing. Perhaps you'd participate in choosing attendants' dresses, but did you really expect to be involved in choosing the venue, the flowers, the reception menu? Unless they are co-hosting the wedding, attendants don't plan the wedding and reception. It's nice to volunteer to be of assistance with anything they might need, but I certainly don't think they are snubbing you or marginalizing you by doing the planning themselves.

The thing I do think they did wrong was to tell you they expected you to host a shower. But I may be reading that wrong, too -- perhaps you had already offered to do so, and Mom was just asking you WHEN you were thinking of doing it? Nothing at all wrong with that; they have to make sure they keep their calendars clear. It may have been simply that, not a push -- can't tell from the facts given.

As for the bride complaining that you aren't interested or involved -- well, maybe she just feels like you aren't as excited about it all as she wants you to be. Of course you're not -- no one is going to be as interested as she is -- but she seems to need someone to share her excitement. I think that's the most important (really, the ONLY real) job of an attendant: humor the bride and groom through this temporary insanity and help them and their families have a happy time of it. That can be a lot more work than addressing invitations, by the way!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 2:26PM
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Little rule of thumb: don't be a MOH for a bride you don't know well. That rarely works out.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:58AM
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scarlett, I couldn't agree with you more! I was MOH for someone I knew as an acquaintance not a friend and ended up pushing a cat in a stroller down the isle in a dress I hated. My husband and daughters sat in the back of the hall trying to cover up their smirking faces but I could still see them standing up front. The whole thing was a disaster. It was horrible! So I learned a word I very seldom said....NO! I think beebee is getting off pretty good from where I'm standing. LOL NancyLouise

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 7:31AM
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NancyLouise, you have mentioned the cat in the stroller story before, but it cracks me up every time I read it. What in the world was that bride thinking. I feel sorry for the poor cat (and you).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:38PM
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Yeah SP, it was horrible. The poor cat didn't like it either. He tried jumping out of the stroller a few times. The FOB finally took pity on the poor thing and just held him for the rest of the ceremony.
Try having a bridal shower and none of the invited guests show up! It was just me, her mother, the bride to be and the one other brides' maid. Total disaster! And the marriage only lasted 1 year. She filed for divorce. Wayne and my daughters still tease me about it.
Maybe we should ask for a new forum on GW. Worst Wedding disasters. Do you think I would win?! lol NancyLouise

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Wow, I haven't heard the cat in a stroller story - is there more? And why a cat in a stroller?

As the wife and sometime-assistant of a photographer, I have seen a lot of weird stuff: dogs in the wedding, kids who screamed through the entire ceremony and once a fistfight at the altar, but never a cat!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 3:13AM
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First let me apologize to beebee for hijacking her post. I'll keep it brief.
Met this woman through girl scouts. My daughter and hers were in the same troupe. Chatted a few times, the girls had same friends, saw each other at birthday parties, etc. She became engaged, left a message on my answering machine that she had some very important question she would like to ask me. Called her back and she asked me to be her MOH. Said I was very flattered to be asked but wouldn't she be happier with a family member or closer friend. Nope it had to be me. So silly me said yes reluctantly. Had one shower at my home for her...well attended people actually showed up. Her mother had a more intimate wedding shower at her one showed up. Wedding date is getting closer. Week and a half away. Let's me know that I'll be pushing her cat down the isle in a stroller. Her cat was very old and had been like another child to her. Didn't want to leave him out of the ceremony. My jaw dropped but not wanting to rock the boat kept quiet. Come the wedding day down the isle I walk pushing the stroller with the poor old cat in it. I smile so as to not wreck the pictures being taken. But inside I was dieing of embarrassment. And yes we do have pictures and NOOOO I'm not posting them! lol. I can laugh about it now, sort of. So as I said before I totally agree with scarlett's post. It rarely works out. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 10:20AM
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I am late to chime in here bee bee, but I just hosted my daughters bridal shower last month, assisted by her MOH, who lives across the country.
It was easier than you may think. We did it all by email. I did all of the leg work, but I didn't mind. She is my only daughter. I left the contacting the bridal party up to her. She initiated the group emails and collected the $. She asked my opinion on themes, menu and locations. I made suggestions and luckily she loved them. We went with a Breakfast at Tiffany's theme as my daughter is a huge Audrey Hepburn fan.
Each girl volunteered for a specific job and I did the decor since I am crafty. The MOH had a timeline for the shower, and kept it going, with all guests engaged. It was lovely. I got to sit back & enjoy.
Also, don't forget to include the Mother of the Groom in the planning. She is important too and may be a good resource and want to help out. Ours made all of the florals!
So, I suggest you ask the bride for her mom's email and any other bridesmaids to plan the shower & bachelorette.

As far as your role in planning the wedding... your job is to be there to be a sounding board for her ideas and shoulder for her to cry on when she has her meltdowns about the wrong shade of chartruse or green beans almondine instead of asparagus : p The day of the wedding it will be your job to try to keep preparations rolling on time and keep her stress free.

So, as a Mother of a Bride in 18 days (and Groom 4 weeks later, yikes!),it is my opinion that it is not the MOH job to plan the wedding! My daughter & I have happily planned everything together. I say let me savor those last few moments with my little girl, before she is all grown up. And I bet her mother may be feeling that way too.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:16PM
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