I’ve never been much of a follower.
In elementary and high school, when classmates wanted to play pranks on each other at sleepovers or make fun of people, I didn’t want any part of it. It all seemed so childish and led me to separating myself from my classmates.
I guess I thought far too ahead for most of my peers. I wanted to talk about hopes and dreams, goals and aspirations, whereas it seemed like most other kids were more interested in rebelling or getting worked up over trivial things that wouldn’t matter in a month, let alone a year.
So, instead of joining clubs or sports teams, I would go home after school and hang out with my mom.
She spent many hours listening to me talk about what I wanted my life to be like, and she would play along when I would ask her about my future. She was always there to empathize, support, and encourage me.
When I wanted to go to Europe for six weeks after college, she said, “Go!” She also supported my decision to travel for years after, including booking a one-way ticket to Bali.
To this day, she encourages me to dream big and go after what I want.
A Special Bond
I know that the bond we have is incredibly special, and I absolutely do not take it for granted.
I can’t imagine my life without my mom. She played an invaluable part in becoming the woman I am today.
Months before Logan and I got officially engaged, I began thinking about who I wanted to stand beside me at our wedding.
Part of that decision was made by asking Logan how many guys he would want to have stand beside him. He thought about it and decided on three.
“Okay,” I thought. “I have three spots to work with.”
My cousin, Hilarie, is more of a sister to me, so she was automatically counted as one of my three.
Logan has one sibling, a sister, and although I have yet to meet her in person, it was important to me to have her in our wedding. I wanted the gesture to say, “I’m excited to be your sister, and it would mean a lot to me if you would take a place by my side.”
So who would fill that third slot? I’d always thought it would by my sister, but we’ve been in a rough patch.
I considered several close friends who would would have been thrilled to accept a request to be my bridesmaid. But it became clear that I could very well hurt feelings if I chose one friend over another.
That’s when I thought of my mom.
An Unconventional Request
Until I met Logan, my mom was my best friend. She was (and still is sometimes) the person I call when I’m happy, upset, sad, or anxious. She was my go-to person and provided me with validation, wisdom, and guidance.
But it’s not conventional for the mother of the bride to also be the matron of honor.
As I said in the beginning, I’m not much of a follower. I didn’t go conventional with my engagement ring, and I’m not too concerned about tradition with my wedding party.
Plus, why should my dad have the honored role of walking me down the aisle, but my mom wouldn’t have a similarly honored role?
That didn’t feel right. So, I asked my mom how she felt about the idea.
Her tears answered my question.
She was totally stunned, and I could tell that it was the ultimate gift I could give her. It was validating her work as a mother and as a friend.
Even after she said she would love to be in my bridal party, she still said things like, “Well, maybe you’ll change your mind.”
I didn’t. I officially asked her a couple weeks ago, and of course, she accepted.
Then I was faced with a new dilemma: Who would be my maid/matron of honor?
I’d always thought it would be my cousin and had even told her that I would want her to fill that role.
But then it felt weird to put my mom after my cousin.
So I did something else unconventional: I decided to have both a matron and maid of honor.
In this decision, as well as others related to our wedding, I’ve reminded myself that I’ll never please everyone.
I continue to find it’s important to be true to myself and to what Logan and I want for our day. I have to live my life for myself, not for others, because at the end of the day, it’s my life and I want to be proud of my decisions.
Who I chose feels right for me, and right for Logan, and though I wish my sister could stand beside me, I couldn’t be more excited to share this moment with my mom, my cousin, and my sister-to-be.
To all my engaged and married ladies, how did you choose your bridal party? Was the decision easy or hard? Comment below!