Planning a wedding is stressful. Most brides will look to magazines, Pinterest boards, and their friends who have gotten married before them for inspiration and guidance on how to make their day perfect. But no one tells you how to be the first of your friends to plan a wedding. You have to navigate that all on your own and hope that your friends can learn from what you experience in planning your day.
I was the first person in my friend group to get engaged, plan a wedding, and get married. Flash forward a year, and three of my closest friends are engaged, and a fourth isn’t too far behind. I have been so lucky to have experienced two sides of the wedding industry through my own wedding, and now working with The Southern Social, and now I can now add a third dimension in helping my friends plan their big days as a bridesmaid.
This unique situation affords me a great deal of wisdom to offer my friends in their wedding planning. My best friend was supposed to get married the first weekend in June but pushed her wedding back due to COVID-19. Helping her with her wedding has really opened my eyes to how two people getting married in the same town can have vastly different experiences.
The perfect example is in hiring a wedding planner/coordinator. Being the first of my friends to get married and knowing that my parents and I hadn’t been to a wedding in ten years, we opted to hire a wedding planner to help with planning my wedding. My best friend’s parents have planned many a large event, so she opted to not hire an external planner and instead use her venue’s coordinator to assist in planning her big day. It has been so interesting to see how that effected our planning experiences. My planner set up our vendor meetings, introduced us to vendors I would have never met otherwise, and helped our day go so smoothly. I have seen my friend struggle to choose vendors, to find who she wanted to use, and to get some vendors to contact her back and I think part of that reason could be due to her choosing to forgo a planner. On the flip side, conveying my ideas to my planner and trying to convince her of what I envisioned at times was frustrating because she didn’t always agree with my thoughts, whereas my friend has been able to do a lot on her own with her parents to get exactly what she wants.
The hardest thing to keep in mind when going from bride to bridesmaid is that everyone has their own opinions, wants, and vision for their wedding day. That has been such a struggle for me to grasp and keep in mind when helping my friends plan their days because we are different people, and we have different opinions on just about everything, AND THAT’S OKAY!! The role of a bridesmaid, maid or matron of honor, junior bridesmaid, or house party attendant is to support your bride and give her the most special wedding day ever. Remember that you were chosen to help celebrate their day for a reason, just like they helped you celebrate yours! Making this my focus has made the transition so much easier and made me realize how to give my friends an amazing experience through planning bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and everything in between that I can’t wait to get into next time. Until then, happy planning and remember to enjoy and celebrate your friends finding love, the same way that they celebrated you!