When we are young and naive, we think about how fun it will be standing next to our best friends on their big day, watching them marry the man of their dreams. In theory, this sounds absolutely awesome, however in practice, being a bridesmaid, or as some might say “having the honor” of being a bridesmaid certainly comes with its own highs and lows. Many of which are made worse when you are single and struggling to believe you are ever going to be a bride just like your friends. Here are five things young ladies might not know about being a bridesmaid:
1. IT IS INSANELY EXPENSIVE
Seriously though, I am turning 30 in a few months, and I have been a bridesmaid in several of my close friends’ weddings. IT AINT CHEAP. Sure there are the normal expenses you might expect, buying a dress, partying on the bachelorette, getting a wedding present etc. But there are also lots of unforeseen costs associated with the experience: Engagement gifts, Bridal Shower gifts, travel costs if you don’t live in the same town or city as your friend, even more travel costs for bachelorette parties that are now going bi-coastal or even international, make-up and hair fees, dress alterations, and the list goes on. It is scary how many thousands of dollars are now spent when one of your close friends is getting married. You don’t even have to be a bridesmaid either, if it is one of your best friends and they have a non-traditional wedding party like many of my friends, you are still expected to attend and travel to all of these events. Start saving girls because I can promise you this, your credit cards will be happy if you start now as opposed to later.
2. YOUR FRIENDSHIPS MIGHT CHANGE
There is something about being engaged that changes a woman’s perspective on relationships and friendships. It really is the beginning of many huge life milestones: engagement, marriage, buying a house, getting a puppy, having a baby. All of the sudden your once spontaneous and fun friends are focusing on much more serious and consequential tasks. I’ve noticed that when a few of my friends got engaged there were certain expectations that came with that engagement if you are indeed very close friends. You are expected to be at every single engagement event and every shower and every party celebrating whatever milestone it might be. You might be in a very different place in your life, whether that be single and living it up in the city or in a long term relationship or newly dating. I have found that while many of my friends have gotten engaged and I have been single, our friendships changed during the engagement. All of our conversations centered around the wedding and my trivial boy problems and work drama just seemed to take a back seat. Simply put, it is hard when you and your best friend(s) aren’t necessarily doing the same things every weekend and sharing the same experiences as each other. And once friends get married and start having children these differences become even more apparent.
3. YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE HER FIANCE
It’s one thing to not like your bestie’s stupid college boyfriend, it’s another thing when they decide to settle down (forever) with a guy that you just either don’t click with or don’t like at all. I really love most of my friends’ significant others. Sure, would I want to date them myself? Nope. But that really doesn’t matter, certain people are meant to be together and certain matches just seem to make sense. Unfortunately, I have a very close friend whose husband I have just never gotten along with. I think it is a mutual dislike and it has sort of faded into a polite/surface level relationship but it still SUCKS. To see a close friend marry someone who you just don’t enjoy being around is NOT FUN. But it happens. At the end of the day as long as your friend is happy (mine is) then that is the most important thing to remember. Of course if this ever changes, and your friend isn’t happy, you’ll be right there to agree with her when she is complaining about him 🙂
4. AGE 28 REALLY IS THE YEAR, EVERYONE STARTS TO GET ENGAGED
I didn’t believe it until I saw it, but the year I turned 28 there was an OVERFLOW of Facebook posts, Tweets, and Instagram all announcing engagement after engagement. I’ve never seen anything like it. My one single friend and I would literally text each other every day, “Did you see so and so got engaged?” People say that there are engagement seasons but over the last two years I’ve seen people get engaged on all the holidays throughout all the seasons. I’m talking like even Presidents Day people are coming home from long weekends with big diamonds on their left hands. It’s a freaking epidemic! As a single gal, you can’t help but constantly ask yourself, “why not me?” This question didn’t come up as much before my 28th year. I had a few friends get married young but the majority got engaged over the last couple of years. I know this doesn’t all directly correlate with things you didn’t know about being a bridesmaid. What I’m trying to say is that you should be ready to spend a lot of money, see some friends change, and expect for this all to happen around age 28 because that seems to be the Golden year for mass engagements!
5. IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT TO SEE YOUR FRIEND HAPPY
Yes, I know this is cliche but it’s also very true. You are going to spend a lot of money. Some of your friendships with your best friends are going to change. You may really detest some of the men in your life (aka their fiancés). You might start to feel really lonely because you are growing older alone as opposed to your friends who have found their future husbands. At the end of the day though, watching your friends walking down the aisle, seeing just how happy they truly are, those are the moments that you are not going to forget. Girls you grew up with, women you met during college, friends who became sisters…being a part of their big day is something incredibly special. And just think, when you are ready to walk down the aisle, you can bet most of them will be right by your side as well.