Tomorrow I will be a bridesmaid for the third time this calendar year. This will bring up my total count of bridal party participation to five (or eight, if you count singing and flower girl as “participation”). It’s not as many as Katherine Heigl’s character in the mostly-stupid-but-sometimes-poignant “27 Dresses,” but still, that’s a lot of wedding participation. It’s even more money. I’m still the bridesmaid, though. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
In some ways, this bums me out. I don’t want babies, but I do want the companionship and the best-friendship that comes only when you live in very close proximity to a person that you are legally bound to love, honor, and cherish. I’ve not got that yet. In other ways, though, I’m very glad that I’ve been able to learn from the other couples who have been through this before me. Specifically, I’m glad that I have been exposed to wedding madness enough to figure out what I will and will not be doing when my big day comes.
First, I will not refer to my wedding as “the big day.” Even though it’s a special day, it’s still a day like any other. The real “big days,” the days when the real deciding is done, come later. They come when you are both so angry you can’t speak, and you have to work through that anger or jealousy or fear because you made a commitment to each other, on a day like any other, to do exactly this.
Second, I will not pay for people that I don’t know and don’t like to have a party courtesy of a young couple just starting out with no money. This is a big one, because I already anticipate anger and resentment about this. People like weddings because they are fun and you get to dress up and eat on someone else’s dime. But most of these same people (although they don’t realize it) are courtesy invites that are just being asked to satisfy social convention and the deluded belief that they are somehow “so close” to the bride and groom, even though they make no effort to maintain an actual relationship with those funding the party.
These Facebook-type “friends” and relatives are going to get pissed and wonder why their invitation never made it in the mail. When they realize why, instead of being self-aware or gracious enough to understand the reasoning behind our decision as a couple not to invite them, they are going to swear to stop talking to us. That’s OK, though, because they never talk to us anyways, so we will hardly notice the difference. You can’t please everyone, and I see no reason why you should have to, especially when you are footing the bill.
And third, I WILL have my White Paws tuxedo cat walk our rings down the aisle, because she is sweet and adorable, and because she already has her outfit ready to go in a pinch.
Seriously, folks, a wedding — when it’s right — is supposed to be celebratory. It’s not supposed to drive you mad with fear or stress. I know it’s much easier to say this when I’m not the one heading to the altar, but I will not allow an industry that preys on fears of not measuring up to someone else’s expectations make me regret wanting to have a wedding at all. When my wedding day finally comes, I want to go into it feeling excited and well-prepared, not exhausted and broke.
Make sure to stay tuned for our next installment of “Never the Bride,” when I detail how to deal with relatives that call your mom, upset that they didn’t get an invitation!
Previously from Laura Creel:
♦ Learning From Failure
♦ I Am Not a Food Stamp Abuser
♦ It’s a Feel Good Friday, and We are Celebrating the Greenville House of Pizza
♦ Technology Finds Another Way to Creep Us Out
♦ Viral Video of the Week: Do the Mashed Potato