We spend a lot of time here on this blog talking about (and to) the bride. Tips, inspiration, real weddings...it makes sense. The bride is, after all, the woman in charge. However, when it comes to getting things done, there are usually at least a few helping hands - and you, helping hand, whether you're a mother, a father, a maid of honor or the friend making the cupcakes because you happen to be a buttercream pro, are the person I'm talking to today.

The thing is, helping plan a wedding can be complicated. It can be tiring. It can be emotional (It can also be so much fun. And kind of addicting. And wildly exciting. Don't let me forget to mention that!). And with both the good and the slightly-more-challenging in mind, here are some suggestions for you planning assistants and go-to people:

1. Defer to the bride. I know, this sounds like a no-brainer. But you'd be surprised at how easy it is to make a face or say "Are you sure?" when you realize that the bride's idea of the perfect bridesmaid's dress is just a little bit different from yours. Unless you truly believe that the bride is about to make a serious faux pas, or offend someone (or maybe you remember that Great Aunt Nancy is severely allergic to peanuts just in time to stop the bride from ordering peanut butter frosting on her cake), take a deep breath, remind yourself that this is her day and these are her preferences, and try your best to find a way to get excited about her decisions.

2. Don't be afraid to share ideas. Does this sound a little bit contradictory to the first point I made? I'm sorry. It's true, whether you're the mother or the maid of honor, that this isn't your special day. But that doesn't mean that you can't offer up your own suggestions or thoughts - or inspiration ideas that you've found. This is especially important if you have any experience with planning weddings! Anything you can do to make things run more smoothly the day of, or any day before that for that matter, is so helpful and will certainly be appreciated by the bride!

3. Spend time together not planning the wedding. Don't forget to keep your relationship - outside of the flowers, the budget and the dresses - intact. Grab coffee and leave the notes and phone numbers behind. Go shopping for something that has nothing to do with the wedding. Make sure that you get some wedding detox time - and, just as importantly, that the bride does too. Whether or not she realizes that she needs it.

Photo Credit: Corinne Krogh Photography