From The Heart – weddings bring out the best and worst in people


One of the phrases that crops up within the Love My Dress private Facebook group on a regular basis is ‘weddings bring out the best and worst in people’. It applies both to the aunty that grumbles about having to travel an hour from home, and to the next door neighbour who brings round a bottle of wine when she knows you’re (literally) tying yourself in knots over bunting and many people in between but what happens when it also applies to your own wedding party?

I got engaged almost four years ago now, and though we didn’t marry until the start of this year (and didn’t really start planning until about a year before then), one of the first (and easiest) decisions I made was to pick my bridesmaids. My three best girls were so obvious to me and it made me super happy to ask them all in person if they’d be one of my ‘maids.

From The Heart - weddings bring out the best and worst in people

When we got to summer of last year and we’d finally booked our wedding venue, the planning started in earnest. My now husband and I work in events and so we had very clear ideas of the sort of day we wanted and we were happy to do a lot of it ourselves. But of course there were things that I wanted my bridesmaids to be involved in.

Two of them were nothing short of brilliant throughout. They were already like sisters to me and yet I feel even closer to them after the wedding. The same was also true of the majority of my husband’s ushers, who were also great to him (mainly in terms of providing copious amounts of whisky the night before, dragging him round the golf course the morning of and yet still getting him to the ceremony on the day!).

Sadly though, we were both let down by people close to us. My husband agonised over his best man decision, picking between his oldest friend and his Dad. He eventually chose his oldest friend, until 3 months before the wedding (which, coincidentally, was hubby’s birthday) when his friend rang him to say “happy birthday! And by the way, we can’t make it to your wedding”….My husband brushed it off, but I could tell he was hurt. The ‘reason’ for not attending was a work course that he couldn’t get out of. (Is it just me who would have leapt in the car at 5pm to get there for some – ANY! – of the day?). My husband asked his Dad to step in, which he was more than happy to do but it ended up seeming like second-best, when he had been so close to asking him in the first place anyway.

For me, one of my bridesmaids was not the friend I had hoped for throughout. It started with her flaking early on the only day’s shopping we all had together and continued through some very bizarre hen do behaviour and various other instances until the wedding itself when she spent most of the night before in her room (the only place she could get phone signal) and disappeared ‘to do some shopping’ for two hours on the morning of the day whilst the rest of us were having our hair and make up done.

Hubby and I have had many a conversation over the past few months about each of their behaviour and the ways it hurt and disappointed us. For us, though neither friendship has broken down entirely, we know they won’t be the same again.

It’s so easy, especially in the planning stages, to get despondent about these disappointments, so when on honeymoon recently this subject cropped up again, we stopped ourselves and said that instead, we should think about all the ways people stepped up for us and not take them for granted. The rest of our wedding party were absolute wonders, including my 8 year old flower girl made friendship bracelets for me and the other bridesmaids (who she hadn’t met until the day before the wedding) and made my heart burst when she presented us with them over dinner the night before.

I don’t think I know anyone who’s planned a wedding and hasn’t felt let down by at least one person in the process. Whilst it’s important to acknowledge that hurt, and address it if you can, it’s so much more important to acknowledge how wonderful the vast majority of your friends and family are. Think about all those moments where your bridesmaid picked up the phone at nearly midnight to listen to you panic about the weather or your dress, or when you got an RSVP from your friend who’s moved across the world but who’s coming to the wedding anyway, or when your grandma sends you a photo of her wonderful outfit that she’s been out shopping for specially… and these are all before you even get to the day! These are the moments that make your heart sing; these are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – have you had any good/bad experiences of your own?


The author of this feature would prefer to remain anonymous but is one of our lovely blog readers who has asked to contribute to ‘From The Heart’  – a series where we hand the blog back over to our readers on a Sunday to write about all matters of love and life. If you would like to contribute a From The Heart piece of your own, we would dearly love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter what it’s about and it doesn’t have to be related to weddings at all – we’re looking for honest, authentic, personal, sad, happy, family, relationship, marriage, health, light-hearted, serious, baby, trying for baby, children, career, simple, complicated – real life issues.  We just need you to write from your heart. Keep it upbeat and witty, or share your thoughts anonymously on a more challenging or emotional subject. Please drop me a line at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you, Annabel x

3 thoughts on “From The Heart – weddings bring out the best and worst in people

  1. Definitely weddings, either yours or your friends’ or your friends of friends’, always bring a stir to everyone. Everyone’s going crazy especially during the preparations and all. But indeed worth it at the end. Moments treasured are most valuable to keep.

  2. I am getting married at the ripe old age of 55 in 2017 and have experienced something similar. My chosen maid of honour decided she wouldn’t wear a long list of colours and then decided I couldn’t have certain flowers on my wedding day. I ended up “sacking” her. I thought I knew her, but clearly not. For me I’ve discovered who my real friends are.

  3. totally agree with this blog. got married 2 weeks ago and my heart could burst from the kind gifts and jobs that my friends and family did behind the scenes on the day to make it special for myself and OH. and of course would do the same in a heartbeat . but we also had a friend on myself and husbands side who let us down in the 11th hour. nothing we didnt kind of already expect from them and at such an important time in our lives made us just re focus our energy on the people who really matter to us. true friends we know we will always have and will always be there for.

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