Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ask Ady: My BFF may not make a good MOH

Dear Ady-

My fiancĂ© just proposed in February and we have been working on selecting friends and family to be a part of our bridal party.  My lifelong best friend is the woman I would like to be my maid of honor, but I have a few reservations.  She always makes herself the center of attention, whether or not it is someone else’s special day.  I am very worried that instead of supporting me, she will make my wedding all about herself.  Also, my fiancĂ© and I are very thankful to both of our parents for the generous budget they have given us, allowing us to have an open bar throughout the entire reception!  My best friend, however, also has a problem with alcohol. She would argue that she doesn’t but she has never been able to control herself or stop after she has reached her limit.  This isn’t only a concern for being the maid of honor but also as a guest at our wedding. After all of the work, time and money our families will put into our wedding and engagement, we both want our wedding to be an event to remember for all the right reasons.  Should I choose someone else as my maid of honor?

Megan H., Columbus, OH

Dear Megan,

Well, this is certainly a tricky and emotional subject.  If you are concerned that your bestie will be a source of stress and not take her role of MOH seriously and respectfully, then you may be better off with asking another person to fill this important role, or perhaps not choose to title someone MOH at all.  However, you cannot make this decision without ensuring that you have clearly spelled out your expectations to your BFF.  Without having a conversation with her, a Pandora's Box of speculation will open for her to wonder WHY she wasn't chosen, as clearly a lifelong best friend is always the obvious choice for the role of MOH.  You need to be very upfront with her.    

This leads me to a deeper sounds as if you and your bestie have had years of these situations that seem to be unresolved.  Perhaps this conversation on the MOH topic will allow you to also share your frustrations with her as an attention seeker, and more importantly, your worry over her binge drinking.  If you are truly lifelong friends with mutual respect for each other, this conversation should make your relationship stronger.  If it doesn't go that way, perhaps you will have learned a tough lesson in friendships: As you grow older, QUANTITY does not always make for QUALITY.    

What I will caution is this:  You can never change a person, you can only change how you choose to let that person affect you.  Change must always come from within.  

Sending you lots of luck on this, Megan.  An honest conversation is your first step.