At the end of last summer, my good friend Angela got engaged then popped the big question to me: Will you be in my wedding?
Of course! No seriously, we always had a good time together and despite the fact that I'd only met the Maid of Honor in passing once, I was in.
For those of you who have never been in a wedding, here are a few things to consider.
There is strong chance you're not going to like the dress you have to wear. You may or may not have to pay for it yourself, but whatever you do, keep those opinions to yourself until *after* it's over. For the record, I've been a bridesmaid 3 times. The first time was so long ago I can't remember if I ever wore the dress again. The second time, I wore the dress again to a prom-themed party and yes, I had it shortened. Jury is still out on this one, since the wedding itself was only 72 hours ago. I like the length, but the straps cause an unfortunate sideboob/underarm muffin-top thing that if I'm even going to think about wearing it again, the straps are going to have to go.
Actually, forget it. You may dislike the aesthetic of the whole frigging thing. Or you may love it. But it doesn't matter because this event couldn't have less to do with you. Save the egomania for your own special day (year?).
Second, it is going to be expensive, especially if you don't live in the same community. In 2010, WeddingChannel.com surveyed 20,000 bridesmaids and found that it costs about $1,695 to be a bridesmaid, including dress, accessories, travel expenses, wedding gifts, etc. And that was 3 years ago!
It's easy to not notice because often those expenses are drawn out over the year. The Maid of Honor lucked out (sort of?) because although she lives in Florida and the festivities were primarily held in New England, her boyfriend is a jetBlue pilot and she flies for free. Whoop! I was lucky in that the most expensive part of my commitment was $60 for makeup the day-of. I had a free place to crash and minus gas and tolls the Bachelorette party couldn't have been more than oh, $130. (Remember we paddleboarded?)
But I remember this uncomfortable moment a few years ago in which I was part of a wedding and I barely knew the other members of the bridal party. The mother of the bride insisted on throwing the shower, which was great, but as a thank-you, and I assume to offset the cost, the MoH splurged on a $200 gift card to (somewhere? Spa? Salon? IDK!). She asked us to chip in $50/each and I was like are you kidding? You work 60 hours a week merchandising/managing at the mall and I'm a student on foodstamps. Why didn't you ask me to bring a fucking dish instead? #drama.
Or, you could end up making some new friends. Like this time. I remember there were a few instances when we were ironing out the details of the shower and the bachelorette when I realized I was communicating with this MoH way more than anyone else in my life. Truthfully, I liked the attention and I'm glad she sought my input.
|wedding weekend supplies|
But there was also this moment, overflowing with joy and gratitude for including me on one of the most special days of their lives. The ceremony had just ended, and we were behind the chapel. I may have looked incredibly awkward blinking so much, but I made it through the ceremony, my makeup in tact. Random relatives and friends started approaching Angela and Sean, congratulating them and telling her how beautiful she was. As I hung back, surveying the scene, I didn't feel compelled to say anything to my bff bride. Because we had a great day together. She chose me!
|rehearsal dinner look|
We assembled bouquets, drank mimosas, bitched about the make-up artist*, decided on which underwear, switched Pandora stations, ate snacks, fielded texts and phone calls, got dressed, smoothed hair. I joked about how I was sure that I was going to fuck up the wedding. "Ahh! The steamer I brought is leaking on the floor! I'm fucking up the wedding!" (Obviously this brought me great joy because unless I passed out or something, there was no way anyone gave me a second glance the whole day. I did actually almost eat shit as Groomsman and I were announced into the reception tent. But as his baby mama looked on, he held me tight).
|me, performing my best "skinny arm"|
*the fucking make-up lady noticed a small patch of dry skin on my eyelid and said that she cured her daughter's eczema by putting her on a diary-free gluten-free diet. Oh, and you also do Paleo and Crossfit? So how long ago did you stop Atkins and Pilates, you trendy fucking bitch? Are you calling me fat? I'd rather go on an all-gluten all-dairy diet. She also took an hour and a half to do the bride's make-up. You think she doesn't have better things to do than sit here and make small talk with you while you dab her mascara, again?
Three down, 24 to go?