I’m going to stop you right now before you have a chance to even think it: No, this is not one of those “woe is me, always a bridesmaid, never a bride” sort of rants. So far in my life I have only been a bridesmaid once, and I was so ridiculously happy for the bride. It was my older sister. Sharing in her special day and seeing her marry the man of her dreams was one of the happiest moments of my life. I have a few really good friends who I hope one day will be able to marry the man of their dreams.
The only thing that worries me? I know I’ll be asked to be a bridesmaid, which petrifies me and my bank account. Having a wedding party is on a long list of wedding traditions people follow though they are not sure why. The idea of bridesmaids and groomsmen likely dates back to Roman Law when ten witnesses dressed in identical clothing were needed to outsmart evil spirits. I had a handful of duties at my sister’s wedding and not a single one involved performing an exorcism.
I am completely fine with the idea that bridesmaids are there to help the bride and make sure the wedding goes smoothly. When my sister got married, I was there to make sure she was as least stressed out as she could be. I gladly fetched her drinks and food, and made sure her hair and make-up looked perfect. I’ll gladly be there for my friends when they walk down the aisle as well. It’s the add-ons that have been come excruciatingly more expensive and expected that I tend to have a problem with.
Here’s the real truth when someone asks you to be a bridesmaid. The bride will be picking out a dress that you need to wear to her wedding. You will be paying for this dress. Then you really should get your hair and make-up done. Again, this is something that you will need to pay for. The bridal shower? You’ll spend the time and money planning that. And don’t forget the bachelorette party! If your savings aren’t already depleted by then, don’t forget that you will still have to get a gift.
Of course, there is always the option to decline but that is easier said than done. It’s not easy to tell a friend you grew up with “no” when they ask you to be in their wedding party. There are plenty of things about the wedding industry and “traditional” weddings that need to be changed and this is one of the main things. A friendship should not be strained because one friend simply does not know if she has the time or money to be a bridesmaid. That is not what friendship is about and it shouldn’t be measured by how extravagant of a shower you were thrown.
So my friends, if I ever do get married, know that I love you very much. In fact I love you enough to not ask you to be in my wedding party.