Back. Sally's wedding last Saturday was just...everything. We arrived at the beach on Monday April 6th (with three pups in tow) and the rest of the week - leading up to the ceremony and reception on April 11th - was a total sprint of activity. As the Maid of Honor, I made it my mission to absorb as much of Sally's bridal stress as possible. I learned a lot. Some things I did perfectly but hindsight is 20/20 and there are parts I wish I had done differently. I thought I'd pass along my MOH findings today because, why not?
What I did well:
.Say Yes. I’m not typically a “yes” person (it was one of my huge downfalls in the corporate world). I am stubborn, I question everything, and I’m a slave to my own needs and schedule. But whenever my mom or Sally called and asked me to do something wedding related my answer was always, “Yes.” Even though this wasn’t my wedding, I knew the stress of planning everything from states away and it was easy for me to want to help. I ran errands, mailed invitations, took care of the bridesmaid dresses, and was always available when my mom or Sally needed to vent or get an opinion about something. The week of the wedding was an “all hands on deck” situation…as much as I wanted to sneak away to the beach, I never could have done it when I knew how much stuff needed to get done.
.Be The Fixer. In the final days leading to the big day, lots of things can go wrong. Sally was unpacking her bag and realized that her wedding shoes – a pale blue suede version of these – somehow got stained by something that leaked in her bag. No problem, I immediately ordered her a new pair. The thank you notes that are suppose to go with the programs are slipping out and there’s no way to make them stay. No problem, let’s get some gold paperclips. What I’ve learned from being in a big family and working in several high stress environments is that when there’s a problem, the worst thing you can do is waste time complaining or playing the blame game…it’s so much easier to offer a solution and then be the one to execute it.
.Put The Bride First. This was easy for me. Because Sally is my sister and best friend, I wanted to make sure she was 100% take care of. Whether that meant me telling the manicurist that her nails needed to look the best they ever had, always making sure she was fed and drinking lots of water (a hydrated bride is a happy bride?), or forgoing putting on my own makeup so that I could get her out the door and where she needed to be – it was my main priority that she feel absolutely incredible for all the wedding-related events.
.Get Bossy. Someone has to be the bossy one and I figured it was better that I be the “Psychotic Maid of Honor” than Sally be a “Bridezilla.” I gave orders, delegated tasks, got Type-A on just about every situation, and was a general control freak. The result was exactly what I planned: I became the no-nonsense police and Sally was a very relaxed and happy bride.
.Be Prepared. Easier said than done. I wish I could take credit for having everything on hand that the bridal party could have needed but it was really Pinch Provisions and their amazing kits that saved us in many situations. I had my Skinny Minimergency kit with me all week and was able to offer ponytail holders, chapstick, and a nail file on the fly. But it was really the Bridetasktic kit with 101 wedding essentials that killed it in the preparedness department. Just a few examples of what came in handy: nailpolish remover pads so Flower Girl Grace could get a mani touchup, bobby pins for attaching Sally’s flower crown at the reception, bandaids for the obvious blisters, deodorant towelettes for perspiring bridesmaids (you know it happens), and stain remover for a groom that got a little something on his white dinner jacket. My mom and I constantly looked over at each other and said, “what would we do without this thing,” in reference to the silver tote we brought with us everywhere during the day-of. If you’re in a wedding party or a bride-to-be, I really, really suggest investing in one of these things and keeping it glued to you during the big day!
.Lashes. I talked Sally into having lash extensions put on before we left for Florida and I’m so glad she got them. Not only did Shelby at Lashing Out do an amazing job, but after getting about a 75% volume coverage of extensions, Sally didn’t have to worry about wearing mascara the whole week and she legit looked like an angel. I didn’t feel like I needed extensions (because I’m a slave to using these products!) but I got my lashes tinted and it was the best tint job I’ve ever had done in my life…Shelby uses an all-organic formula and for the first time ever I didn’t have a ton of black dye all over my face and around my eyes. We almost scratched our plan to treat our lashes due to time but I’m really happy we gave them some attention because it made for less worry when it came to wedding time!
.Write The Toast. I had planned on writing my toast/speech for the rehearsal dinner weeks in advance. Haha – my procrastinating personality would never have let that happen! I briefly thought about winging it and just getting up without anything written down but after eating quickly, I took about ten minutes with a pen and pad of paper at the rehearsal dinner to write down what I had outlined in my brain for weeks. I’m sooo glad I did this…not only did I get to say everything I wanted to, but having it planned out meant I didn’t ramble. I’d also think that an audience listens better when they know the speaker has something prepared (:
What I wish I had done:
.Test the Bustle. I wasn’t at Sally’s final dress fitting where they explained and demonstrated how her bridal gown was suppose to bustle. I guess I figured my mom could walk me through it at the reception…but mama doesn’t have the best eyes (bless her heart) and her explanation of, “you hook the loops to the buttons,” was less than helpful when I didn’t know where said loops and buttons were located. Basically, I bustled the dress incorrectly and I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for not figuring out how to do it properly ahead of time.
.Stay on Time. Keeping a wedding party with eight bridesmaids and ten groomsmen on task is not easy. Because I was so hyper focused on taking care of Sally, I totally neglected making sure that the rest of the crew knew where they needed to be and when. Whoops! Everyone got down the aisle on schedule (which is what really matters) but I def let angry Maid of Honor out of the bag in the process of getting everyone on the bus that took us to the chapel, and for that I am sad. I wish that my mom and I had made really detailed itineraries (with maps) to prevent a lot of miscommunication…but maybe we can do that for my wedding someday.
.Take Phone Photos. Being the paparazzi I am, I’m ashamed by the lack of photos I took on my phone of the Bridesmaid Luncheon, Rehearsal Dinner, and Wedding Day stuffs. I felt pretty overwhelmed most of the time and forgot to snap pics of all the prettiness happening…not ideal when you’re wanting to reflect back on everything and get some Instagrams up. At least we had Leslee capturing everything with her cameras! Can’t wait to see what magic she has in store for us…
I’m sure there are more things that I’m forgetting but the above are definitely my biggest Maid of Honor take aways. Maybe they’ll be helpful? Either way, Sal and I are looking forward to sharing more details from the wedding as we get photos back!