Lisa and I have been friends for our entire lives. In the early ’80s, our mothers worked together and became friends, and my mother ultimately became Lisa’s daycare provider. We grew up on the same block in Arlington and became inseparable throughout our formative childhood years.
Needless to say, it’s been pretty much a given that we’d be each other’s maids of honor, but it was still emotional for me to hear it officially when Lisa Marie got engaged. I was thrilled and a little daunted—being the maid of honor is a huge responsibility. Failure was in no way an option. And thus began my reign of terror, as I like to think of it.
Lisa isn’t a Bridezilla: She’s been very organized but flexible about most of her wedding arrangements, only insisting on things that are really significant to her (the priest who will marry them, for example). I, however, preferred to take a different approach: the merciless dictator who barks orders until she obtains results. For example, at one cake tasting, the baker kept referring to the cakes as “her” cakes, expressing her displeasure for this aspect or that flavor. My irritation showed on my face, and I didn’t feel even a little bit bad about cutting her off to ask questions about their cake and what they preferred. (Needless to say, Lisa Marie didn’t pick her.)
I began to e-mail her bridesmaids constantly, asking them about dresses, hair, makeup, shoes, parties, showers, and everything under the sun. Threats of violence may have been sandwiched in between smiley faces and exclamation points.
In my hyper-obsessive organization, I even made spreadsheets. I used a rating system to evaluate all the cakes we tasted. We rated the cakes on a scale of 1 to 10, and then I averaged those ratings and came up with the finalists. (I added in notes about texture and flavor pairings, of course.) I have a spreadsheet detailing each bridesmaid’s hair color, length, and planned style (updo or down). I have a spreadsheet with columns for dates of events and who’s able to attend them. I have separate folders in my e-mail in box for communications concerning the wedding and the bridesmaids. I bought out David’s Bridal’s supply of swatches in the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Don’t get me wrong—it’s been a blast. I’ve laughed a lot and had a fantastic time giving my two cents and watching as Lisa and Andrew create their wedding in an incredibly original way. They’re not an ordinary couple, and their wedding will reflect that. They won’t have frilly lace tablecloths or Jordan almonds as favors. Everything about their wedding, from the invitations to the venue, is as creative and fun as they are. Taking part in the experience is a little humbling.
And now we’re 77 days away from the big day. If you’ll pardon my sentimentality for a moment: Words can’t express how happy I am that Lisa is marrying her true love. She deserves all the joy in the world, and I know that their life together will be beyond amazing.
Until that day, however, I will be barreling through to make sure that my best friend has the perfect wedding day she’s always dreamed of. Don’t get in my way.
Lisa Marie, a local bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Washington in July. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.