Ahoy, Maidy!

This the third installment in my series of unsolicited and probably unhelpful wedding planning advice.

StateLibQld_1_125295_Bevy_of_bridesmaids,_1938

Image By Contributor(s): Sunday truth (Brisbane, Qld.) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

At some pivotal point in a young girl’s life she falls victim to the delicate and capricious nature of female friendships. One minute she is sharing tears with all of her classmates over Where the Red Fern Grows and the next she is being told that she can’t do cartwheels with her friends during recess until she recites half of the lyrics from Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” when they know damn well she doesn’t listen to pop music yet and still has an age-inappropriate attachment to Raffi. This oddly specific reference may have happened to someone I know.

As she progresses through life, the young girl finds that many of her relationships are characterized by an ever-changing tide of exclusion and inclusion.

Me, her, but not her.
Her, her, me, but not them.
Them but not me.
All of us, but definitely not her.

It’s a seemingly limitless string of emotionally unstable conditional statements. I’d bet money that somewhere within this algorithm lies the meaning of life. All the spoils to the brilliant mind who cracks that code.

The girl finds three ways to handle it. She avoids it, revels in it, or learns how to navigate through it without losing too much self-respect. I’d say that most women fall in the first and last categories and live their lives with relatively little drama.

That is, until, she is in the situation where she has to choose her bridesmaids.* Once again she is faced with a whole new set of equations. “If I ask this friend, then I have to ask this other one. If I choose this groomsman’s girlfriend, I’d damn well better choose that guy’s wife.” Forget North Korea, these decisions have their own potential for World War III.

Of all the different combinations of who should stand by the bride at the altar, I’d probably say that it’s best to choose the friends who have the most material for blackmail. That is, of course, unless she has a lot of friends from college. This might make the entire bridal party quite large and unwieldy. I’m looking at you, Spring Break in San Felipe.

Thankfully today’s bride has more latitude. Gone is the need for a female-only crew, symmetry on both sides, or to have any bridesmaids at all. I’ve gone to a few weddings where the best man happens to be female, or the maid of honor is a man. Sometimes there’s only one sibling on either side of the bride and groom. Sure, we’ve been to a few weddings where it looks like half the guest list is standing at the altar. Even so, I’d say it’s far more common for a select handful to have the honor of standing with the sun in their eyes, shifting their weight and needing to pee from the Fireball shots they took just 15 minutes before the ceremony.

With this much freedom, it might make the power struggle over who gets to wear the bejeweled “Bridesmaid” t-shirt at the bachelorette party a little less stressful….

…but there will still be that moment at that same bachelorette party when everyone knows the entire dance and lyrics to Beyoncé’s “Put a Ring On It” and one poor girl will be pretending to mouth the words because she prefers Reggae, silently cursing her taste in music once again.

 

*Note: This also applies to other similar decisions in life such as who to tell first that she’s pregnant, who she allows to babysit her kids, who she invites to book club – the list goes on.

Do you have any bridal party drama that you’d like to share? How did you choose your bridal party?
Sound off in the comments!

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