Always a Bridesmaid … and the adventures of what not to do
After starring in several weddings as a bridesmaid (yes I said star because HELLOOOOO there’s a camera flashing in your direction all. day. long.), I have had a lot of fun and a lot of tears. Made new friends, lost some friends. Grew closer with others. And of course added to my formal wear section of my closet.
But mostly I have learned a lot of lessons. And because the topic of bridesmaids, do’s and don’t’s and expectations and support is a normal conversation I have with my brides… I wanted to share some of my experiences.
I’ve been the Maid of honor.
The Overachieving bridemaid
The bridesmaid who just showed up for all the parties and went in on the group gift.
The one who knows everything about the couple.
The one who barley knows the bride.
Who barely knows the groom.
The one who knows nothing about the couple, including their middles names or even occupation.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I was the jealous bridesmaid. Super duper jealous. I went above and beyond and complained most of the time until I literally gave myself a come to Jesus. This was one of my bestest most closest friends and I was acting a fool.
AND I’ve been the MOH who actually got kicked out of the wedding… After pricing out the bridesmaids dresses, the jewelry, the shoes. Getting that bride and groom phenomenal deals with killer vendors. Including a reception at MY VERY FAVORITE ballroom in town. The one which I imagined for years, making my own grand entrance into the space as the shades went up on the windows to reveal the most beautiful views of St. Louis. Talk about goosebumps. But yes, I loved her and I wanted the beautiful and the best for her so I negotiated with my contacts and got an INCREDIBLE deal for a HOT HOT HOT date. Either way, I got asked to step down and our friendship came to a steep hault. In fact it basically was pushed off a cliff and forgotten. All because I was unable to attend a dress fitting on a weekend in September. BECAUSE I AM A WEDDING PLANNER and WORK EVERY WEEKEND especially in the fall. Oh and I also wanted to mention this was 14 months BEFORE her wedding. But I get it. Her wedding is important. Your wedding is important. Anyways I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason because I booked another wedding for that date AND I met some super awesome people after that door closed.
I’ve worn brown, and red and purple and persimmon and mochaand blush and black and maroon. And I did get to use them again. I had one ball gown torn apart to add some excitement to a bridesmaid dresses purchased from a consignment shop for a wedding I was planning. And I did wear one again. I wore it to her reception in the states after her destination wedding. And it was cut so low in the front AND the back that I was hiding NO secrets. At 25 years old, I thought this is sexy. But adjusting the “girls” every 2 minutes quickly changed my mind. I felt like I was wearing suspenders and grateful that my parents weren’t on the guest list.
I’ve been the bridesmaid who planned the majority of the wedding. Every little detail. Even spent a huge amount of time planning the best bachelorette parties and showers and creating the most perfect of gifts.
I’ve been the bridesmaid who showed up with NO moolah and NO gift. I was on my 8th month of unemployment and 3rd wedding that summer. I literally caught a ride to get across 3 states to the wedding…
I’ve been the MOH who kicked themselves out of the wedding. Or kindly stepped down, if you will. Sometimes you just have the feeling that you can’t and won’t live up to those expectations. The reason I am sharing this is because I am human I talk to brides every week about their bridesmaids involvement and what is normal I understand a ton of the experiences of being in a wedding and of planning a wedding I have made the mistakes and know what that looks and feels like Expectations of bridesmaids now vs. 30 years ago are still the same, yet our lives, the demands, conveniences, our jobs, our priorities are dramatically different. You are busy. Your bridesmaids are busy. We are all busy. It does not mean they don’t care about your wedding. It just means they are living their lives.
When the traditions of bridesmaids getting together to plan elaborate showers and bachelorette parties, making centerpieces, attending all the dress fittings and vendor meetings, were the norm, think about what a young woman’s life was like. Their job was to graduate high school, meet a man, build a home and have babies! Oh and to be pretty. Pretty was very important. Now we are all working, going to school, living independently, dating, volunteering, getting married, having families. And all the while still staying pretty. So basically I’m not saying your bridesmaids shouldn’t partake in all the excitement or all your scheduled events and to just show up day of. I’m merely saying that this is your wedding and it’s important to choose your maids based on your relationship with them. But knowing too that they have a lot going on and that they love you but may not have a ton of time to help glue wine corks together. That is what planners are for. To keep you excited, relaxed and enthusiastic. To keep you on track. And heck, I am great at crafting. Call me, I love wine and glue guns. But most of all, I love weddings, I understand what your to do list looks like and I can help you stay organized and get you down the aisle to stand next to your bestest buddies, while you say forever to your other half.