On your wedding day there is probably no one you trust more than your maid of honor, matron of honor or any other form of a bridesmaid. That's why you chose them. However, they cannot and should not be your surrogate bride. What I mean by this is, the ladies you choose to be by your side on your special day are there to have your back, support you and make sure it is one of the most incredible days of your life; therefore, they should not have the time to be "Bridezilla part 2". Although they are important and will add to the day to make it special, the day is not about them. They should not cause you or anyone else additional stress. Furthermore, it's your wedding not theirs. On the other hand, your wedding planner should be your confidant, your surrogate bride.
Your wedding planner is hired to take on the stress of your day, make decisions on your behalf (based on conversations had over the year(s), month(s), or days leading up to your wedding) and ensure everything is fulfilled. If you have a friend who wants a major role in the planning process I advise that they step down from the bridesmaid position. You don't have to listen to me... but as a spectator of a number of weddings ( some times two in one day) I have learned that the art of being a bridesmaid has been lost over the years and it breaks my heart to watch a bride be stressed out because a thousand random things are all happening, everything seems to be going wrong and human beings are getting in the way. If everyone knew their role and responsibilities it would be so much more of a successful production.
As a wedding officiant, one of the things I have written in my contract is the contact number of someone other than you on the day of your wedding. My philosophy is that people shouldn't bother the bride on the day of the wedding. The biggest conflict bride's have when they get to this part of my contract is, "Should I put down my planner or my MOH?" My suggestion is ALWAYS, "Your planner." Too many possible things could go wrong on that day and your MOH should be focus on combating all the things that have to do directly with you and not the event.
A bridesmaid is someone who is chosen to tend to the bride of the day. They may be witnesses for the marriage license. They may be chosen to read a poem, sing a song or read scripture during the ceremony. If she is the maid of honor or matron of honor she may have duties that include helping the bride put on her dress or carry the prepared written vows to the alter. MOH, specifically, is usually in charge of the other bridesmaids in terms of delegating additional duties that may need to get done for the bride to enhance her special day. Bridesmaids do not have to be in the same room as the bride on the day of the wedding but they should be easily accessible to the bride at any time. And in order for them to be accessible they can't be planning the details of the ceremony or reception.
Of course they can give opinions if that's what is requested of the bride but, as the bride, you will want to really think long and hard about what you specifically want of your bridesmaids and you will want to make that crystal clear prior to your proposal to them to join the bridal team.
Kelly from Norfolk, VA writes, "Rev. Roxy, do you think I really need a wedding planner? I know exactly what I like and know exactly the way I want it. Why do I need to hire an extra person? I have some of my line sisters in my bridal party and they are the best help money can't buy! What would be the purpose of a wedding planner or designer?" Kelly, I LOVE THIS QUESTION! First, I want people to know I have ZERO desire to be a wedding planner. I did not go through 4 years of seminary school to touch planning and/or designing even with a ten foot pole. Second, I make no tips or kickback from any planners or designers ever! But on my wedding day I had a planner. And, not just the one that came with the venue. I had someone who had my taste and who I trusted to make the decisions for me if I could not be present at all. And even if you do not already know a person like this, there are so many GREAT planners out there that you can interview to find a good match. I don't care whether you have a planner for an entire year (white glove service), a month-of-planner or a day-of-planner... get somebody to take on the headache of wedding day drama! Get your own private room, sip your favorite drink while someone does your make up and hair like a movie star and CHILL! Do not be caught looking crazy running around trying to make magic happen. Your bridesmaids should be tending to you not to an event... besides THEY ARE MAIDS TO THE BRIDE.
Reflecting on all my 2017 weddings I will say that I could see a clear difference between the production of the weddings with a planner and the ones without. Even something as small as an elopement still needs planning. For the more elaborate elopement packages I offer, I have a team of planners I can call on to work for anyone who books my packages... and it WONT BE ME! Planning is a way in which you are saying, "Today is our day (the couple). I want no stress. This is the day we give our attention to our love and new beginning." New. Beginning. NOT chargers and center pieces.
One of the most successful weddings I saw was probably on the more lower budget end, but I saw it as successful because one of the most noticed was the bridesmaids and the friends (not in the wedding party) came together to divide and conquer. The bridesmaids put all their attention on the bride while the friends made sure to put all the "fires" out concerning the ceremony and reception so that the bride had no stress about anything at all. She had no clue about anything going wrong. Those friends came to work. They had flats on, a cute cocktail dress and most of all they did it with JOY. But, if you know you don't have those kinds of friends (and YOU KNOW your friends) then having a solid wedding planner is the way to go. Don't just leave it up to heaven to take care of the day... cause heaven needs you focused on the promise you are about to make at the alter!