Most brides know whether or not the girl they've asked to be their Maid of Honor is organized enough and financially prepared for the job at hand. You know your best friend best. If she can barely pack herself to go on a weekend escape and never gets anywhere on time, you may have unrealistic expectations of her. In an ideal world, your MoH would be your most organized friend and would have a zillion ideas for bridal showers and favors, but we don't pick our best friends by whether they color coordinate their closets and or sort coupons by brand name and so not everybody gets a budding Martha Stewart to assist with all the planning. Bummer.
I just had a long talk with a bride who is super disappointed in her MoH. The girl doesn't live in the same city - but she's only four hours away - and she's used that as an excuse to skip out on a lot of responsibilities to the bride. Initially, she offered to throw a bridal shower in the bride's hometown, but she never initiated any planning. Thinking that was too hard for her from another city, the bride accepted another bridesmaid's offer to host the shower and put the bachelorette party in the MoH's hands. MoH was not pleased.
The MoH sent an email to the bride and a few select members of the bridal party (not all the bridesmaids were included) inviting them to a Bed & Breakfast weekend bachelorette celebration that would cost each one of them, including the bride, about $900 a piece! Best part - it was located in a rather sleepy town located close to the MoH's hometown. Don't get me wrong, the concept is lovely IF the bride is 45-plus and it's her second wedding and she doesn't want to get drunk and make a fool of herself at her hen night. But this bride is young and wants to go out in a veil and celebrate with a big group of girlfriends at a bar while she carries a four-foot inflatable penis and accepts good-luck shots from random men all night. Sure, it's a trashy tradition, but I had a total blast at mine. I don't blame her for being disappointed and a little annoyed. If the MoH is her bff, shouldn't she know the bride better than that?
Another bridesmaid jumped in to save the day, and the bachelorette party will be held nearby home and the group of invitees has been expanded. But the MoH is pouting now, and it's taking the fun out of everything else. She showed up an hour and a half late in jeans at the tropical-themed bridal shower and hasn't been quiet regarding her displeasure regarding the venue change for the bachelorette party. She's totally pooping on the bride's party, and with the wedding just a little more than a month out, the bride feels absolutely stuck. And she is, unless she wants to ruin a friendship of many years.
So what can a bride do at this point to make sure that nothing else important gets forgotten, delayed or done differently than what you have in mind? The first thing is to NOT give the MoH any more responsibility for anything. She's obviously dropped the ball so far, why even think about making her responsible for something important like champagne for the bride's hotel room or calling to confirm the florist's delivery time??? She blew it on something that could be fixed months out, do not give her a last chance to screw it up (third time is not a charm in wedding planning). Don't tell her you're re-assigning tasks to other bridesmaids, just do it. And try not to tell anyone why you're doing what you're doing. Face it - girls talk and bridesmaids usually know each other. You don't need somebody to say something stupid after too many cocktails at the reception. No added drama required - weddings bring their own special flavor of it.
If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having a MoH who is going to figure out what you've done and get mad about it, give her an alternative, time-sucking project that you'd don't care about to do to keep her busy and out of trouble. Get her to make homemade candy favors or 500 chocolate chip cookies tied up in little bags with ribbons and a personalized note - if she does it, it will be super cool and you can forgive her for being a lousy MoH the first half of planning. If she doesn't, you won't be mad, just disappointed.