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Girlfriends and wedding planning

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why female friendships flourish or fizzle has been an age-old debate. I think women feel a lot of guilt about letting friendships go. However, sometimes it can be necessary—for example, when friendships go out of sync or in a worse case scenario, when the friendship becomes toxic. Friends don’t necessarily fit into every mould you want. Every friendship is unique, this is why I think it’s really difficult to compare friendships among your friends, simply because each friend nurtures you in a different way and you gain different perspectives from being around each one of them.

logoCertain friends are better for quiet home “limes,” other friends are better for partying and laughing out loud with and yet others are just good listeners who won’t judge you or your secrets. Some friends you talk to once a week for ten minutes and some friends you talk to every two months for two hours. That’s how it is.I think the Greek philosopher Aristotle nailed it on the head when he said: “It is those who desire the good of their friends for their friends' sake that are most truly friends, because each loves each other for what he (she) is, and not for any incidental quality."

When it comes to wedding planning, I’ve heard a plethora of stories—both the good and the bad—about how friendships have been deepened or renewed and, on the flip-side, how some have turned into soap-opera inspired dramatics, like the ones where brides have become “bridezillas” or where bridesmaids, cousins or friends have transformed into "evil stepsisters."

What might be the case in the latter scenario is that some single friends or relatives may feel a sense of loss, abandonment, jealousy or yearning for what the bride-to-be is about to experience. Often, this translates itself into the friend becoming distant, argumentative, uncooperative or just plain unavailable.

Other single friends can’t be more overjoyed for their soon-to-be wedded friend and eagerly open their diaries and their hearts to helping with all and sundry that’s wedding-related (especially the bachelorette party!)

Here are just some of the types of friends you want to be around during your planning and, of course, as part of your life even after you’re married:

The voice of reason

You know her by the steady, measured tone of her voice. She weighs all the information carefully before providing her sage advice or constructive criticism. She only gives it, if she’s asked, since of course, she’s the ultimate diplomat. Her life is well-balanced and most likely she’s also very intellectual. She can be the “touchstone” that you can rely on during the whole wedding planning scenario.

The breath of fresh air friend

She’s a risk-taker and always up for something adventurous. You admire her joie de vivre and wish you could throw caution to the wind like her. She’s exactly the type of gal who would encourage you to wear a red wedding dress, well...just because! Her optimism and verve for life is contagious and if you want some innovative or unconventional ideas for your wedding, this is the girl you can turn to.

The nurturer

She’s the quiet “background person” who helps you meticulously organise everything you need for your wedding day. She pre-empts the little details that either you’d overlook or forget. She is a champion for your cause and definitely somebody you want in your corner. It’s her soft shoulders you can cry on or the girl you can call at two in the morning with your problem and she won’t mind at all.

The party princess

This friend is always game for a “lime.” She knows everybody and everybody knows her. She’s the type of mover and shaker that everyone wants to be around. She uses her effervescence and energy to pluck you out of your rotten mood, take you shopping for some new shoes and whisks you away for a night of dancing or a cocktail, so you can get your mind off any wedding stressors.

It may seem too strange to say that one of the keys to a long-lasting friendship is just the same as one of the keys to a happy marriage: communication. It makes no sense being a “bottler” and carefully corking away your resentment over what your friend has or hasn’t done or said. It’s essential to talk to your friend about what’s bothering you, that is, if you really have a stake in keeping your friendship going.

In the end, only you can trust your instincts about your genuine friends, those who love and care for you matter what.


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