DISCLAIMER TO BRIDES–CURRENT, FORMER AND FUTURE: Please don’t be offended by my musings and for the love of god, do not take them personally. I love you. I loved your wedding. I loved getting to be in your wedding. I loved carefully and meticulously wrapping the gifts I selected from your registries for you — this is something I both agonized over and relished. I promise, I really did. This post is about me and how attending your weddings collectively has made me feel, not about your individual ceremonies at all. Please, I beg you, don’t take this the wrong way…
One of my favorite people, Miss Preppy, is getting married this Saturday — Congrats to the lovely bride and groom-to-be! I have the absolute honor and privilege of being a bridesmaid. Miss Preppy has been one of the most relaxed, easy-going brides I’ve ever met! (Snaps for Miss Preppy) As I thought about what I would be wearing for all the various wedding events and what friends I would get to see, I also thought about the fact that I will be going to yet another wedding alone… Lovely. I also wondered how many weddings I’d been to in my life, or at least in the last five years, so I made a list. Since I turned 20, I have attended/been invited to…..[drum roll please!]…..
Of the 30, I actually attended 21 and of those 21, I have been a member of the bridal party in 5. At first 30 seemed like a lot, and then thinking back through them, maybe it wasn’t so many. Then again, 30 weddings in 5 years might as well be a million! But like I said, I didn’t attend them all. The scariest part? My 20s aren’t over and I still have plenty of single friends. There will be no lack of weddings in my future.
For the record, I love weddings. (See my About page) I love the dresses and the vows and the flowers and all the little details that you think no one notices – I notice them. That being said, I feel as though I have devoted a significant portion of the first half of my 20s to other people’s nuptials. I have helped with dress selections and cake tasting and envelope stuffing. I have thrown (and attended) my fair share of showers and bachelorette parties (all with pretty fabulous themes I might add!) My mom always says that I should feel really great about this — she was a never a bridesmaid for anyone and I should feel honored that so many people consider me a good friend. (2 points for Mom) I do feel special and fortunate and blessed to participate in such important parts of my friends’ lives. And I do love to do it all – the planning, the addressing, the gifts — it’s all really fun. But is it all too much?
If went back and added the amount of money I’ve spent on wedding-related items (dresses, travel, gifts, showers, etc.) I would probably have enough to throw my own wedding! Or at least a really rockin’ birthday bash. Honestly, it isn’t about the money though. I think my irksome feelings are really about feeling like I’m too young for this, I’m out of step with the people around me because I’m not getting married and I’m more focused on being married than I should be because of the sheer volume of weddings I’ve attended. (In the summer time, Miss H, Miss PoliSci and I can’t even seen our glorious David Beckham poster on the fridge because every inch of it is covered in wedding and wedding related invitations!)
I’m only 25, right? I have plenty of time to meet someone. I have plenty of time to get married. But it never feels that way when I watch another one of my gorgeous friends walk down the aisle to her perfect mate and I couldn’t even scrounge up a guy friend to play my pretend date for the reception, if I was allowed to bring a plus-one at all. I know my time will come, he’s out there, blah, blah. But I can’t help but wonder as I pack my bridesmaid bag yet again, will it ever be my turn? And perhaps a better question, has all the hoopla (and champagne) clouded my judgment and made me think that I should be on a marriage path right now, even if that isn’t necessarily what’s right for me?