So, my roommate is getting married in a few months, and I’ve offered to help her out. I’m a bridesmaid, not her maid of honor, but I’ve worked in catering for a few years. Once her boyfriend proposed, I offered to give her a hand with planning and preparation. Fast forward and I’m really worried for the wedding. It seems like she’s way behind on everything. She doesn’t have a plan for the food. Invitations haven’t been sent out. Things like dress code haven’t even been decided yet . Some of this is stuff my friend claims her sister will do, but her sister doesn’t seem to be taking care of anything. Her sister is nice, but she’s really young and seems totally over her head. I know you don’t need these things to get married, but they’re all things my friend has said she wanted. Now it seems like all she wants to do is think about her wedding, but won’t do anything. I’ve worked on stuff like this to know how long it takes to plan a big celebration, and I don’t want to see my friend’s wedding fall apart. After all, I did promise to help. How can I help her with these problems without coming off as crazy?
Your friend certainly has found herself in a pickle, and being pickle-adjacent can often leave one with the distinct, vinegary taste of concern (sorry). Maybe she thinks she is going to DIY her wedding, but DIY is expensive, and requires more planning and preparation than a typical wedding. Maybe she’s just stressed out, and doesn’t want to deal with her problems head-on. Your problem is a delicate one. She has asked you for help; she hasn’t asked you for unsolicited advice. How do you bridge the gap, and transform advice into aid?
First, take some action yourself. In other words, don’t wait for her. You mentioned that she doesn’t have a plan for the food, but fortunately she has a caterer friend who has generously offered her assistance. You can look up caterers in her area, make an estimated budget, and advise her on the questions to ask when booking a caterer. You can phrase this in a friendly way, “hey, I was thinking about your wedding and I did a quick google search…” After all, this is your area of expertise. Follow up your food conversation with an action item — “You know, I can call caterers if you want.” This is an easy area where you can help.
Helping her put a dress code together is another natural area where you can help. Since you are a bridesmaid, you will have to buy a dress, and you probably want to know which dress she will pick out sooner rather than later. You can be very straightforward about this, “Hey! I want to know which dress I will be wearing for your wedding. Want to look at dresses?” Get a glass of white wine (or coffee, whatever your prefer), and spend an evening online dress shopping with her. You have to admit, online shopping is fun, and shopping with a friend? Even better.
You may want to have an honest conversation with your friend about what you see as her sister’s shortcomings, but this is a little trickier. You should approach the topic in the best possible terms. Martha Stewart Weddings has a list of all the Do’s and Don’t the Day Of, and #1 is “Do: Respect the Bride’s Choices.” She probably wants her sister to be part of her wedding for all of the right reasons, even though little sis may be a little over her head. The way to approach this is in the most positive way possible, “I love you little sister, and I’d love to work with her to help plan your wedding as part of the bridal party. Is it ok to reach out to her?” If your friend says yes, reach out in a friendly way, with very actionable items that you can help with. She may just be feeling a little overwhelmed. Often, a small nudge can work wonders.