My little sister is engaged. She asked me to be her Maid of Honour. Immediately I was all like, “YUSSS”—
And then, “Wait. How do you do that?”
I’ve never been in a wedding party. I’ve only been to a handful of weddings, mostly family. I’m not really sure how to start. All of a sudden it’s weird I don’t have a Pintrest board about cute wedding ideas, of which there are like a million. When is everyone Pininterting these things? Maybe I’m missing something. But maybe it’s because, personally, I don’t aspire to get married or have children.
Sure, I can remember being a little girl and fantasizing about a wedding imagining the flowers (orchids), the dress (PRINCESS), and the thought of my husband waiting for me at the altar (Eric from The Little Mermaid). However, that fantasy started to lose it’s allure as I entered puberty.
Even when I was in a long-term monogamous relationship, I was never itching to walk down the aisle. If someone would ask if he and I were going to get married I’d usually say something like, “We pretty much already are. We live together. We share everything. Basically we just haven’t had this big party.” I meant it. I did feel like we were married. The only thing missing was the marriage license and cake.
Now that I’m currently single, these questions gets a little tougher to answer, “Don’t you want someone to take care of you when you’re old?” Ugh, life is not The Notebook, and statistically speaking; if I married a man he’d be dead years before I kick the bucket.
“Don’t you want to get married?” I feel when this question is posed, if I say no, the burden to argue against the institution as a whole is somehow placed on me (don’t even get me started on the not wanting kids thing, another post perhaps). As though I’m saying marriage is bad. But that’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is the traditional notion of marriage, as I understand it in Western Culture, specifically for me as an ex-Catholic Torontonian, is not for me.
I’m fine with being alone. I’m fine with the idea of spending a long time with a partner. I don’t think all relationships that I’ll have are going to last, “til death” and I’m somewhat dubious about why there’s so much pressure around tying the knot. I do believe in love, but I don’t really need the marriage or wedding thing—and if I did ultimately get married, I think it would be for other people (family, friends), legal reasons, or to maybe even to finally get a Kitchen Aid mixer as a wedding gift.
To me, marriage is more like a distant country I’m not particularly keen on visiting (Antarctica. Not hatin’ just sayin’ and you’re a continent, I know) or a television show everyone else is obsessed with that I just can’t get into (House of Cards—I’m the WORST). I know I’m poking fun here, but I’m not putting any judgment on people who get married and humans who place importance on it. This is just how I feel.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love going to weddings. I fucking adore planning parties. There are really wonderful weddings and truly successful marriages. It’s a beautiful thing to want to be part of someone’s life so intrinsically, so fully, that you stand up in front of everyone you know and love just to let them know. Hell, the last wedding I went to I almost starting bawling the moment I saw the bride. She was so beautiful and so in love and I can’t wait to see that for my baby sister, and more friends and family who get married in the future.
That being said, I understand being a Maid of Honour is not the same as choosing to have a wedding and I’ve gone on a little bit of a tangent about myself, but let’s keep talking about me and back to my original question:
What does it mean to be a Maid of Honour?
Starting from the basics, I decided to literally find out what a Maid of Honour is. I looked it up in ever so up-to-date Merriam Webster dictionary:
“ an unmarried lady usually of noble birth whose duty it is to attend a queen or a princess”
Unmarried: Check. (SEE ABOVE)
Noble Birth: What year is this?
Attend a Queen or Princess: I say this in the best way possible: my sister is a princess.
Just in case you were wondering, the “Matron of Honour” is someone who is married, because we really must ensure that a woman’s marital status is constantly defined because if we don’t know if she’s married or not how do we know if she belongs to someone?
The last couple of weeks of looking through bridal magazines, online forums, and Women’s Health (apparently) for the duties of a MOH (we short form, we busy) it appears that my main responsibilities are to help organize, plan, co-ordinate, and ensure it’s a good time.
Also did you know the MOH gets to:
“Make sure you taste everything for the caterer. Go to all bridal fairs and cake tastings.”
SO, eat a bunch of free food and cake? However will I manage to struggle through it.
“Help shop for dresses (the bride’s and the bridesmaids’). And the MOH pays for her own entire wedding outfit (including shoes).”
I like shopping. I’m really excited to help my sister find the dress for her. Not gonna lie, I’m pumped to pick out a kick ass dress for myself. The paying doesn’t bother me, I mean, weddings are expensive so I don’t mind buying a dress, as long as it isn’t hideous (vain!).
I love the emphasis here on paying for the entire outfit –including shoes! Like there’s been someone who’s like, “Okay, I’ll buy this dress but I mean, you’re making me where my OWN shoes for this!” Who are these people who draw the line at footwear?
Uh, yeah duh, sounds awesome. Planning parties? Getting people together? Serving up miniature food and specialty cocktails. This is my jam. I’m so ready.
The downsides seem to include:
Apparently my mother is going to turn into a monster and she needs to be medicated.
And finally, what most articles suggest is that the stress of holy matrimony will send my sister spiraling into a kind of stress frenzy where she is constantly overwhelmed and it is my duty that she be, “kept hydrated”, “feed”, and helped to get dressed and go to the bathroom. I also need to make sure to “plump” and “shake out” her dress, and keep people from talking to her for too long at the reception line. I know my sister is an adult and is going to manage this just fine, but it makes me giggle to think of her turning into some kind of deranged infant in a unmanageable dress with some kind of anxiety disorder who you mustn’t try to spook.
Even though I would appear to be ultimately unqualified given my personal perspective on marriage, my inexperience with weddings, and my apparent irreverence and ignorance, I will try my very best to make sure to not be a MOD (Maid of Dishonour) about any of this. Like, say, making one of the happiest occasions in my sister and my fiancé-in-law(?)’s life all about me in a blog post? Oops, sorry won’t be such a navel gazing piece of shit, it’s all about you from now on, okay?
With that, I reiterate my answer to my sister’s query if I will be a supportive, loving, excited, and not so sassy right-hand unlady to her at the event she is so thrilled about and deserving of—regardless of my own personal issues—if I can be there with her through this process and celebrate her love: