Maid of Honor Advice
Maid of Honor Wisdom: Understanding Bride Stress
Speaking as someone who has been on both sides of the coin, both maid of honor and bride, I feel particularly qualified to talk about dealing with bride stress. I know that some of the bride's biggest concerns and issues can seem ridiculous and extremely self-absorbed, even to the most patient maid of honor. I'm here to tell you that your feelings are normal (and probably somewhat justified), but in an effort to be sympathetic, let me try to explain further.
"But they're just flowers!"
To the maid of honor they may only be flowers, but to the bride they represent part of what society pressures you to believe is supposed to be THE perfect day. It can be very easy for the bride to lose her perspective and truly believe that whether she chooses the pink roses or the fuchsia carnations will actually impact the success of her marriage from her wedding day until the end of time. As her caring maid of honor it's up to you to help the bride keep things in perspective. But what should you do?
You need to understand that the bride is going to have good and bad days. Some mornings she may wake up and be completely miserable and stressed out. Some days, despite your assertions to the contrary, the bride may think her wedding day will fall apart if she does not choose a cake flavor or a first dance song then and there. Being a bride is a wonderful experience, but planning a wedding does legitimately put her under an enormous amount of pressure to present to the world the best wedding day ever. But again, what's a maid of honor to do?
Besides trying to understand what the bride is going through, there are a few other ways you might be able to make her feel better (and the bridesmaids too!).
Some days it's better to just let the bride vent. Although she may sound insane, sometimes silence is the best policy.
When the bride seems open to talking, gently remind her how lucky she is. She has found the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Just in case the bride loses sight of this, you're there to remind her.
Unfortunately there may be some instances where you'll need to step in as her trusted maid of honor and confront the bride and let her know her bridezilla behavior is unacceptable. Try to be firm and calm. Don't let the bride's high stress level affect you. She'll thank you later (or at least she should!).
My final words of wisdom to the maids of honor out there: You and the bride will get through this and have lots of fun times along the way. And, at the very least, that set wedding date does provide a light at the end of the tunnel when, for better or for worse, it will all be over and things can get back to normal!