Been & Going

This is an accurate depiction of being a bridesmaid.

[Citizen Filter] Hold My Drink, It’s Wedding Season

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Situations described herein may be fictionalized or dramatized because I damn well feel like it, that’s why.

One of the things that happens as you emerge from your college years are the many warnings from slightly-older friends and family members: “Wedding season is coming,” they say, shaking their heads. “Soon you’ll spend all your money and vacation time on weddings.” Sure, you believe them, but in your heart of hearts (oh, you cute little ball of naivete), you believe that they will be Fun, you will have a Good Time, and you will celebrate the joining of hands in holy matrimony with the light heart and joyful spirit of one who will soon be enjoying an Open Bar. Amen, hallelujah.

Both these things are true.

The tone of the season changes somewhat, when you are a participant in these occasions. Mostly, it changes from “love is amazing!” to “oh, God, I am so poor and this is so expensive!” to “I have no money left for basic necessities, but I am now the proud owner of many satin dresses” to “love is amazing and I’m drunk!” Mostly the last one happens after the ceremony and before the maid of honor pukes on your shoes.

And I am actually truly happy and so honored to be invited to stand up with the bride and groom and support them on their day of commitment, but before that day, as a bridesmaid, I also get to run the gauntlet of dressing myself. It used to be that the bride would pick a dress that flattered no one and send you to the local bridal chain store for purchase, but in this enlightened and Pinterested age, bridesmaids are supposed to express themselves. This is kind and thoughtful, and completely terrible.

For one of the approximately seven hundred weddings that I’m in this fall, we were give a color, a fabric, and dress length, and send to everyone’s favorite national bridal chain to pick dresses. Within those parameters, we choose anything we wanted. This means that you end up in the wilderness of a chain of a thousand emails, comparing links to various dress styles that may or may not fit in those parameters so none of the two dozen bridesmaids pick the same dress (oh the horror!) and then realizing the one you like is regular satin instead of stretch satin and then realizing that you just have to go to the damn store to see if you can even try any of those on, because short legs are the curse of your gene pool and apparently completely unknown to bridal party designers.

So imagine yourself in a beautiful and quiet blush-colored salon, trying to zip yourself into samples that either look and act like sausage casings or feel like tent and fall off in the “fancy old fashioned powder room” themed waiting area, and of course you’re wearing an old grimy bra and ripped underwear, and of course there’s someone’s little brother running around, right at the age where they become fascinated by women’s bodies, and of course you haven’t even shaved your legs because why would the experience afford you, the lowly bridesmaid, contractually obligated to make the bride look gorgeous at the expense of your own shallow vanity, any dignity at all?


This is that dress. What you can’t see are the clips holding the damn thing on.

So imagine that, then pull out your credit card and pay many dollars for the privilege of wearing the least unfortunate of those dresses, and then when you stop by the grocery store on the way home, text your significant other that you are going to drink “ALL THE WINE THEY HAVE” and impulse buying deep fried bar food that warms conveniently in the toaster oven.

This is mitigated when you get home and the bride texts you happy emoji and tells you how excited she is to have you as a friend.

Then you get online to scour all your go-to dress sites for dresses, because at least one bride gave you the parameter of “don’t show up naked” but you have to coordinate with everyone else or at least the theme so you don’t ruin the pictures, but then you start considering whether it should be a one-time deal or if you should look for investment pieces. It’s at that moment when you’re skulking designer discount sites in the seedy part of the internet that you realized all your clothes are from Forever 21 because investment pieces are really fucking expensive and who in their right mind spends three digits on shoes?

It’s at that point you switch from wine to scotch start buying household gadgets that you don’t need and will never use, and you wake up the next morning with invoices for dresses and shoes and slap-chops, and as you nurse your hangover through each ping of new store e-newsletters and each transaction draining more of your hard-earned cash (“there goes my student loans” you think), you hide under the covers and get a text from the bride “I’m so glad you’re coming for the wedding, I might kill myself planning this bitch”, and you think, “this is why we’re friends”. And suddenly being broke and looking like shit doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day your friend is getting married to someone who adores her, and they are taking some rad steps towards creating the life they want.

(Congratulations, gorgeous friends. Kelsey, Betsy, and Therese, I really couldn’t be happier for you.)

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