On May 6, 2023, celebrations were sprouting all over the globe for the beginning of festival season and King Charles III’s coronation, but my attention was focused on one backyard in Castle Hayne, NC and to a promise 20 years in the making.
Andrea and I have been best friends longer than either of us kept record. She’s been the one I could cry to over relationships, family, and work issues. She’s been the writer that gets my writer issues too. We’ve been there for each other through everything, so it just made sense to plan to be there for each others’ big day.
May 6th, Andrea Barilla became Andrea Lawing with me at her side as Maid of Honor (MOH). When it came my time to give a speech, this is what I told the couple:
Good evening, everyone.
Andrea and I have been best friends for about 20 years since college and looked forward to this day. As her maid of honor, I would like to share a few words to celebrate.
We’ve all heard that love is patient and kind. We’ve also heard that it keeps no record of wrongs or boasts. That’s scriptural from 1 Corinthians 13. But I think it all boils down to love being a choice–a choice we make over and over again, day after day, time after time, in the good and the bad. Love is a commitment not a feeling. Over the years, I have watched Andrea and Justin make that choice. It hasn’t always been pretty, but it has been faithful. Today, that became a forever commitment, and I couldn’t be more happy for you.
May you walk forward together, hand in hand, in a partnership with no barriers,
May you find hope, happiness, and fulfillment in each other, and
May the future God has for you be better than your wildest dreams.
Through the wedding, I loved all the MOH extras like making sure her dress was always perfect and her hair and veil in place or packing out her car and decorating it with the best man. There were moments when going alone could be sad, but those extra duties filled the void of my sadness and amplified how much this special couple really meant to me.
Suspended in that love for them now, I treasure messages from the bride in a new way…a way that wonders how our friendship will change and grow as new responsibilities come our way. Part of me fears being left behind and out of step as I am not in the same stage of married life with them.
5 Things That Going Through A Big Wedding With My Bestie Has Taught Me:
- Be a sponge for her exhaustion when she needs it, and don’t hold all that complaining against her. Weddings bring out the worst in all of us sometimes.
- Don’t get offended when she doesn’t take your ideas to heart. It is her day not yours.
- Be there to remind her why she said yes in the first place and hold her feet to the fire of that conviction not her last minute fears and wedding jitters.
- Have your own safe place to vent about wedding stress; don’t add to the bride’s already mounting list.
- If you can help make the vision happen, take as much off her plate as possible especially the night before and day of the wedding. Try to make the wedding day her zen moment of prep and not more stressing any undone details.
I wish I could say that I did all five of those things with perfection, but the truth is that I learned them more on the exit down the aisle than on the way to it. We had our moments of bucking heads and the bride had to be a listening ear for me sometimes too. I also wasn’t able to be there to help till the day before the wedding. Looking back now, I wish I had done more.
May sharing this experience help you be the best MOH you can be when your time comes and also help you truly appreciate the love that has been poured into your life and pours into it still.