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So in October my best friend is getting married to a dude who is also a really good friend of ours. I am one of two bridesmaids, and my boyfriend is one of two groomsmen. I am really excited. I love a good party!

 

Her family is well-off so it is going to be a big to-do. It will be a Catholic wedding with a full Mass and a big reception.

 

Here's the thing: her sister is the maid of honor. Her sister is very flighty, and she doesn't like to plan anything. She also does not know how to have a good time (unlike some others who also happen to be in the wedding party ;) ).

 

Plus, she will be having her first child about 3 weeks before the wedding. My friend and her sister are not close, and my friend has already told me she wants me to take the reins, so to speak.

 

So a lot of the maid of honor stuff will fall to me by default.

 

What are my responsibilities? Also, since I am not only not-Catholic, but have never been baptized at all*, will I be struck down by a vengeful God during the Mass?

 

All wedding stories welcome and appreciated!

 

 

 

*When I was 13 I expressed a brief interest in church and specifically in being baptized (Episcopal church). My Mom effectively thwarted me by jokingly telling me that the baptismal would involve me standing naked in front of the entire Sunday congregation and then being doused with a bucket of cold water by the priest (or whatever he's called) while everyone chanted at me. At the time, totally ignorant, I believed her. I should have asked my Grandma.

 

For a 13 year old, the thought of public nudity was horrifying. But 4 years later, in high school for my senior prank, my stepbrothers' girlfriend and I stripped naked, donned a Yoda mask and a Chewbacca mask, and streaked down the Senior Hallway, female parts all a-jiggle, so I suppose it did not take me long to overcome my aversion to public nudity, at least as long as I could wear a mask. I was Yoda, by the way.

 

So should I get baptized now that I'm cool with it?

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I was going to come up with useful advice, but now I am stuck on the jiggly bit. ;)

 

I think it's relatively rare, in any church, for adults to be baptized naked - but in any case, since the bridesmaid's role has no religious significance, your status as a heathen is irrelevant. It might matter if you were going to be a godmother, but we haven't got to that part yet.

 

It used to be the tradition that a speech was made by the best man, culminating in a toast to the bridesmaids. Modern weddings have added the idea of the maid of honor making a speech too. Since the official maid is merely a pregnant sourpuss, but not actually incapable of speech, I imagine she will discharge that duty if required. The only thing which might fall to you, in the circumstances, is organizing a "hen party" for the bride-to-be, if she fancies it.

 

I imagine that would be right up your street.

 

Why do I know all this? Because I have been a best man three - yes three times. Never again.

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Episcopalian baptisms don't require dunking: water on the head suffices. (The Episcopalian Church accepts any denominations baptism as "counting.")

 

It couldn't hurt, and it would be a nice gesture to make to honor your friend.

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In the Episcopal and Catholic Church marriage ceremonies, the maid of honor and best man typically witness the marriage. Depending on how diligent the Catholic officiant is, you may be asked not to take communion if you have not been baptized in that tradition.

 

Other than that, I don't think there are any religious issues to be considered

 

 

Maid of Honor

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Bachelor party for sure. Maybe a bridal shower, although that is usually thrown by the bride's older female relatives.

 

Mostly I think your responsibilities are to listen to her bitch about every detail for 6 months and feign excitement. Go with her to try on dresses and ooh and ah (and direct her away from the hideous powder puff styles). Taste cakes. Etc.

 

The week before the wedding be there to take care of any stressful details that got messed up or overlooked, or just need to be taken care of, like picking up the cake. Even if the sister wanted to do this, with a 3 week old baby she would probably be no help. Day of the wedding be the pitbull who enforces the brides wishes. I spent the week before my sisters wedding caligraphying 200 place card settings because they had overlooked that detail. At the wedding I was the instigator of dancing, sitting, speeches, etc., when it was time to do those things. I made sure the signature book/plastic cameras on the tables got put in a safe place. I had words with the caterer when they tried to serve shrimp appetizers at a kosher wedding. That kind of thing.

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That's a good point. You probably shouldn't take communion if you're not a baptized (and indeed confessed) Catholic - but is communion offered as part of the wedding mass? I honestly can't remember.

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Communion will be offerred at a full mass, not a wedding mass. Full mass is longer.

 

You will have to be a part of planniong the bridal shower, usually along with her mother. Prob w the maid of honor ( most likely a matron of honor, if married) out of it, you'll have a bigger part of this. You'll have to give her feedback on her registry, like " people are complaining because you have nothing under $200 on your list". Dress, cake, florist advice, as much as needed depending on how involved the groom and mother is in the process. BTW, not really advice...just back up and agree w/ whatever she decided. A member of the party also usually plans a bachelorette girls night out, and this might also fall on you. It would be appropriate to reach out to another mutual close friend who will be invited tot he wedding to help you, since you are doing double duty if youplan the traditioanal shower. Showers are for gifts like mixers, Bachelorette parties are for gifts like lingerie and chocolate body powder

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What are my responsibilities?

To convince them to elope instead ;)

 

I am constantly astonished that people insist on "honouring" useless relatives at weddings whilst expecting their very good friends to pick up the slack. (If the Best Man isn't, why call him that? Is the guy who actually does the work the "Even Better Man"?) Insist on a proper title and full recognition, like "Maid of Dishonour" or summat.

 

Fly

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Right before the ceremony, she will have to go the the bathroom. You will have to go in with her and help pull up the dress without wrinkling it. There is no avoiding this.

The best man does that with the maid of honor, though, right?

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A few thoughts...

 

First, at a full mass (which will take a long while, at least an hour and perhaps more, so prepare yourself appropriately) communion undoubtedly will be offered. As there will be a great many guests there that are not Catholic, the priest will in all likelihood make some sort of announcement that goes something like this: "We now invite all Catholics to join us in taking the Holy Eucharist." The fact is that in the church, non-Catholics are not allowed to partake and, frankly, if you're not Catholic, there's no reason why you should. If you don't believe it's the body and blood of Christ, it's just bad wine and a hard little wafer that turns to paste in your mouth. But I'd be much surprised if the priest doesn't say something referring to the fact that you need to be a member of the church in order to participate in the sacraments. If you're not Catholic, you don't need to worry about joining in any of the religious aspects, such as reciting the prayers, crossing yourself, genuflecting, etc., although most likely you will be expected to, at the appropriate times, kneel along with the rest of the congregation. It will be easy to determine when to do this because absolutely everybody else in the church (with the exception of the priest, and other non-Catholic guests) also will kneel.

 

Second, regarding the duties and responsibilities of the bridesmaid/maid of honor... My daughter has, within the last seven or eight years, been a maid of honor three times and a bridesmaid at least five or six more. Several of these bridesmaid gigs have been in weddings where the maid of honor, usually an aforementioned "useless relative," was totally inept. My daughter is a very responsible and capable young woman and about halfway through the planning, was beseeched by the panicked bride to please "step in and do something." The last one of these was only a few months ago. The wedding was in Texas and my daughter was living in New Hampshire but she still managed to inject some organization into the proceedings. The Maid of Honor/sister, in that case, considers herself to be a "free spirit," and the very soul of spontaneity. She considers those qualities to be big pluses in her personality and actively and angrily, with a great deal of pouting, resisted any efforts at planning, seeing such as personal affronts. Although no one really realized the ramifications of this when they pronounced her Maid of Honor, it was becoming rapidly apparent that neither of those qualities in the Maid of Honor were going to serve the bride particularly well.

 

Some time back, my organized little daughter bought a couple of books that outline, step by step, what needs to be done, who should do it, and when. Depending upon the size of the wedding, there is a LOT to be done, including being aware of such little things as seeing to it that the presents that some people INSIST on bringing to the reception don't get left there.

 

She found these books so useful that the last time she was the official maid of honor (at a very large wedding that had ten bridesmaids), she got a copy of one of these two books (and I can't remember which one but will ask her, if you'd like) for every single bridesmaid (you can pick up used copies of these books for two or three bucks on Amazon). She was trying to lessen the possibility that she would have to keep repeating herself about such things as: don't wear a Harley tube top to the Bridesmaid's Luncheon.

 

How to be a Bridesmaid/Maid of Honor books.

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