Confessions of a Bridesmaid
Ever since my very first bid day, I knew I’d be enjoying the benefits of being in a sorority long after my four years of college. I knew one day I’d look back and fondly reminisce the days when I used to go on addy benders and not study for my marketing finals. I knew I’d cherish the days when I used to day drink with my best friends. I knew I’d hold the memories of date functions and initiation with the highest regard. I also knew that I had, without a doubt, found my bridesmaids within my pledge class. The part I’d forgotten, however, was that when you find your own bridesmaids, you inherently put yourself into someone else’s bridal party as well.
Recently, one of my BFFs/Pledge Sisters called me and left me a voicemail (I was getting a manicure, so I was basically helpless in trying to reach into my Birkin and retrieve my phone. Whatever). As soon as I checked my voicemail, I had a frantic message waiting for me, “PEARLS! OMG! It’s me! CALL ME BACK! I have NEWS!” I immediately put my game face on and called her back, and screamed, “CONGRATULATIONS!” upon hearing her answer. Of course I knew she’d just gotten engaged. After hammering out the important details: the proposal (so romantic), the ring (so huge, so perfect), the cut (princess, duh), the color (an E, I’ll take it, and then surrounded by pave pink diamonds. Tres chic), we finally got around to the big question: she asked me to be a bridesmaid, and OF COURSE I said yes – she’s the first of my pledge sisters to get married, and I am beyond honored to know that she loves me enough to need me to be part of the biggest day of her life.
Little did I know what I was in for.
Don’t get me wrong, I am completely thrilled for my friend. She and her fiancé are actually perfect for each other, and she is genuinely in love with him (whatever that entails). Also, the wedding is going to be very elegant and extremely fun. However, when I signed up to be one of her ladies in waiting, there were a couple factors I forgot to take into account:
1. Being a bridesmaid means you’re essentially forfeiting any opinions you would have on the affair. Sure, she values your input, but really, she just wants you to agree with her ideas and assure her that they are the most perfect, original ideas ever. I don’t know what it is, but wedding planning can turn even the most laid back girls into absolute nut cases. It’s as if the memories of casually getting boxed wine wasted on a Tuesday afternoon are so far gone they should be institutionalized. All of a sudden, you’re getting mass emails about cake flavors and whether or not the French manicure is tired, and if a light neutral all-over shade is a better option (yes, by the way, it’s not 1987, you sicko).
2. The wedding party doesn’t consist solely of sorority sisters. Apparently, weddings are a family affair, and the bridal party now consists of the bride’s cousins, sisters, and highschool/childhood/camp friends that you’ve never met. Sometimes, this can be a fun way to make new friends, but overall, it’s not. First of all, one of these girls is guaranteed to be fat, and NOT in a fun, Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids way. Besides encompassing all of the annoying characteristics that the token chunker generally has, she makes shopping for bridesmaid dresses such a drag. It’s like, if Karl Lagerfield can work something out, surely she could too? But, no, she insists on talking the bride into some ridiculous mu-mu inspired number so she feels comfortable, and ensuring that there is zero chance you’ll wind up getting any attention from that cute groomsman. Rude.
3. The bachelorette party is actually way more drama than you could ever imagine. We haven’t had the bachelorette party yet (the wedding is 7 months off), but it’s BEYOND hard to plan a party that A.) appeals to everyone and B.) is actually fun. The bachelorette weekend SHOULD be all about the bride, but, inevitably, all of the bridesmaids wind up figuring out a way to make it about them. There’s always the one girl who doesn’t want to travel far, so she throws a fit until she realizes nobody is going to budge on the issue. There’s the one girl who doesn’t want to spend more money, which is absolutely ridiculous. I’d actually advise any good bridesmaid to allot your bridesmaid spending to about $3,000, when you factor in everything included in the process. And of course, there’s the girl who’s the total buzz kill because she didn’t think of the great ideas. Social planning was way easier when you lived under the same roof as every girl invited. An e-mail chain trying to coordinate a winery tour, a spa day, a booze cruise, and 3 nights of bottle service at clubs is stressful to say the least.
4. There’s also the entire wedding date scenario. If you’re miserable and single as I am, you’ve basically got two options: go stag to the wedding and pray that you’ll finally get a chance to chat up the best man, or take a fun date that would be okay with fending for himself during the ceremony (which you’re in) and can make friends with the other bridesmaid’s dates at the table. It causes more anxiety than necessary, trust me. My current date options are: my ex boyfriend (unlikely, especially since we didn’t meet in college, so I’d have to play the introductions game all night), or my ex college hook up/unrequited crush of my college gay bestie (less awkward, because he already knows everyone at the wedding, and lives in the city where it’s being held) or, my gay bestie (so annoying because he’ll probably end up running off with one of the cater waiters like he did at the charity gala last month).
Bottom line, I am way excited for the wedding, but I’m also way stressed out. If I could give advice to anyone entering the emotional, time-consuming process that is being a bridesmaid, I would give you two ingredients: vodka and Xanax. Repeat.