I’ve stood up in a handful of weddings in my day. Okay, more than a handful. I’ve also had the pleasure of walking down the aisle once myself. One wedding was enough planning, stress, lace and chair covers for my lifetime. Even if my beloved and cherished husband one day decides to leave me for a 24-year-old yoga instructor nicknamed “Tiff”, I will never marry again.
Unless it’s to Channing Tatum, because duh.
Since I’m almost 40 I assumed that this whole bridesmaid business was behind me. You know what they say about when you assume…
Last year, a close girlfriend got engaged. Yay! And then she asked me to be a bridesmaid. Boo! While it’s difficult to look a person you love straight in the eye and say, “I’m sorry, but the idea of dealing with your nuptials first-hand makes my asscrack sweat,” I was ready. And I said something close but a little nicer than that. It was more like, “Listen, I have 3 kids, you’ve been married before (a couple of times before) and I just don’t have enough energy to shower on the daily, let alone be in your wedding party.” I thought I did a great job letting her down easy, but she was relentless.
“I swear, it’s gonna be super low-key, Aim,” I gave her the bullshit face. “No, really. So low-key. You can wear a black dress from your own closet.”
Now she had my attention. A black dress from my closet is doable. It’s more than doable. It’s practically… dare I say, easy.
“Okay, I’m in.”
I know what you’re thinking, I’m a fucking sucker. And you’re right. I am a When Harry Met Sally watching, romance believing, erotica reading, aim-to-please sucker. All these facts are the reason I forgot the number 1 rule of weddings. Things go from low-key to Kardashian in the blink of an eye.
My hilarious, fun, previously twice married, good girlfriend, didn’t exactly lie to me. Everything started out “low-key” and then it morphed to a degree under royal wedding.
It was a glorious Saturday morning on my couch. I was reading my toddler The Very Hungry Caterpillar while watching Teen Mom reruns in my underwear when the text message came in on my phone. As I glanced at the attached photos I was sure there must be some mistake. These were photos of pastel bridesmaid dresses. Oh hell naw. Sadly, things had gone from barely a wedding to the wedding of the century.
What started out as “a black dress from my closet,” morphed into a day trip to David’s Bridal to find exactly the right not “black dress from my closet.” When they finally settled on a seafoam green mullet dress (short in the front, long in the back) and silver heels I excused myself to the restroom so I could revisit my mimosas from breakfast. It seems the only time I was allowed (more like coerced) into wearing all black was for the bachelorette dinner, were the bride was to wear all white, as if we were mourning her last night as a single woman. I tried to remind the other bridesmaids that we were 20 years too old for this tradition but it fell upon deaf ears. On the morning of the blessed event when I donned my “Team Bride” tank-top I knew it was too late. I had been engulfed by the traditions of post University degree 20-something bullshit and I needed to embrace the insanity. To fight it would have been futile.
The moral of the story is this; when you agree to be a bridesmaid, no matter what the bride says at the time of her request, you are agreeing to something very specific. You are entering into a contract of sorts. A contract that basically reads, “I understand today is your day. I agree to stand up as a witness to your nuptials, but I also agree to wear a hot pink, hoop-skirt, taffeta dress in the heat of summer. I agree to wear a fascinator hat if that is what you deem appropriate, with arm length gloves and a matching pink parasol. I agree to throw you a shower, a bachelorette party, a brunch, and get my hair, nails and toes painted in hot pink cow print. I agree to be your bitch for at least a week. I agree to pay for shit, buy you a kegerator (if that’s on your registry) and hold your huge mermaid tail dress up every time you need to pee. I agree to fold favors, make place cards, and help you shuttle shit (and people) to and from the airport, the venue, and the hotel. I agree to sing and play your first dance song on my guitar at the reception (even with a weeks notice). I agree to smile and do shots and still love you when this shit show is over. Don’t ever ask me to do this again.”
Unless you get divorced and I can wear a black dress from my closet.