This little note—“Memo to Your Bridesmaids,” we called it—appeared a few issues ago on the back page of Philadelphia Wedding, and because, from time to time people still ask us to pass it along, we thought it worth posting. Sometimes, brides are Bridezillas, we know. But sometimes, bridesmaids just need to cool their jets. This is for those times. Enjoy:
Hi, brides. There’s something we’d like to help you with. It’s not about your flowers or your dress, but rather, a dirty little issue seldom talked about in the frilly pages of bridal magazines. But we want to talk about it. We want to help you talk about it. It’s the moanings and grumblings of your nearest and dearest, your sisters and your sisters at heart: your bridesmaids.
We know you love them. These girls are your everything, after him—but don’t tell us you haven’t caught their eye-rolling at the cost of their dress, or brow-raising when you announced his parents were going to throw you an engagement party, after all. You saw them. It’s okay. Like we said, we’re here to help—all you need is a pair of scissors, an envelope and a stamp.
Bridesmaids: For starters, let’s clear up the biggie, shall we? You are probably not going to wear that dress again. You’re right, shortening it probably wouldn’t even make it wearable. And after two visits with the grouchy seamstress, it still doesn’t really fit, so you’d have to get it fixed again, anyway. Know this deep down in your heart and accept it. Make peace with it, put it to bed, and then fork over the cash. You’re buying it.
But it’s ugly, you say? Doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it resembles the potato sack you used to jump around in at family reunions, because guess what? No one will be looking at you. They’ll be looking at the bride. And even if it is heinous, it’s five hours of your life. And she asked you to wear it because she loves you enough to have asked you to stand up for her—literally, next to her—on one of the most important days of her entire life. This would lead us to believe that you love her in this giant capacity, too, yes? And isn’t that worth one dress?
Something else. Yes, being in someone’s wedding is unimaginably expensive, and we realize that at the typical bridesmaid’s age, you’re not exactly raking it in. We get that there’s that dress, the alterations for that dress, the hair and makeup for the Big Day, the shoes, the various gifts for the various parties—and the various new dresses you’ll want to buy to attend those parties—the hotel rooms and food costs, and transportation to get to everything, be it plane, train, or gas-sucking automobile. We know it may seem like a lot for one girl. But be smart, plan ahead, budget accordingly and take advantage of sales and deals. Ducking out of her shower because you’d rather drown in a latte on your couch while watching Food Network than coo over the roasting pan she unwraps from her great-aunt Agnes? No. Getting her a $14 butter dish, because you and the boyfriend blew a wad of cash last weekend to see Coldplay? You can’t. This is the girl you handed your snotty tissues to when that mean boy broke up with you in the coatroom in third grade, the girl who makes you laugh until you have a headache, the girl who held your hair back after your first college frat party, who sat with you when your dad was sick last year. It’s those things you’ve got to focus on when writing your checks, not the number of zeros on them. This is your girlfriend. That’s important. Try not to forget that.
Then ask her, one day, to do it for you.