Conventional wisdom is sometimes just as helpful to unconventional people.
Conventional wisdom suggests one should wait for the excitement to abate before inviting loved ones to join a wedding honor party. Unconventional wisdom concurs.
Conventional wisdom suggests certain roles and duties are attached to the titles we give these people. Unconventional wisdom suggests that even though we are planning unconventional nuptials, folks should know their damned roles and duties and fulfill them, often with the addition of offering their assistance unasked to help our DIY empires weddings, come to fruition.
Conventional wisdom suggests when you have a problem with a loved one, you should be a bigger person, invite them out to coffee and get down to the bottom of it with love and tact. Unconventional wisdom might substitute bubble tea, but also admits that sometimes relationships are just dysfunctional or outright broken, and that a cup of beverage isn't going to cause a 180 degree change — but it usually doesn't hurt to try.
I firmly believe that the best thing anyone can do, inside or outside of wedding planning, is to step back from the problem, reevaluate expectations and communicate them with clarity. I don't believe in assuming people know what you expect of them because you've offered them the title Maid of Honor, and even less so if you take the offbeat step to retitle Maid/Man of Awesome, etc.
Your wedding is a unique little butterfly, so to avoid the tsunami caused by fluttering wings the wrong way (okay, end crazy metaphor) by communicating your expectations thoroughly, clearly, confidently, and with the understanding that even though these are your expectations and you feel they are reasonable, not everyone will agree. You have to accept what people can offer you, too, meet them where they are, and know that sometimes, in a dysfunctional relationship, their best at that moment is their best at that moment, and move forward anyway.
With all this in mind I offer this flowchart as a guideline for how to consider your wedding party. Perhaps this might help forward this conversation in a more meaningful and less reactionary way.
I want to include the caveat that yes, of course there are reasons to end relationships with people you've invited to your wedding party — but where that is truly the case, you would/could/should be ending that relationship regardless of the fact you're planning a wedding, because it's toxic, not because they're not the ideal Maid/Made of Awesome.
This discussion is NOT about those situations.
This is about filtering through how your expectations are communicated and how the person you're communicating with is equipped to handle and/or meet your expectations, how/if/when to reevaluate your expectations, and how to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.
Thanks for your attention, and please share your suggestions and comments.