I like weddings. Despite being the consummate single friend who brings her gay best friend to everything (he’s an excellent dancer), I’m not bitter. And on top of that, I am what I consider a pretty good friend. Insanely loyal to a fault, in fact. I would do anything and be anywhere for my closest friends.
But on behalf of most single people with engaged and soon-to-be-married friends, I give you the four things we kind of wish our almost nuptialed friends understood better.
4.) Wedding attire blows and no, it will not be worn again.
Stop. Stop acting like after years and years of terrible bridesmaids dresses (or for that matter groomsmen tuxedos) you alone have discovered the ONE DRESS that someone will actually wear again. We won’t. And you saying such won’t make it so. I’ve donated all three bridesmaids dresses I’ve had. All looked like terrible dresses I would have looked at but not bought for prom 2002. If you think I don’t have enough in my wardrobe to wear to a nice function that I will be reusing a floor length taffeta gown to anything I deem relatively important, then I’m sad you think so lowly about my ability to dress myself when given an option. Stop. Pick the color dress you like, own it as traditional or going with the color scheme, and leave it at that. Stop trying to make the idea of forcing someone into a gown that doesn’t look that great on them anything more than what it is. I obviously accepted to be in your wedding party with the knowledge that it involves the possibility of me wearing something I would never wear in my life on my own accord. The sugar coating just highlights the terrible fabric. Trust me. It’s your wedding, you pick the outfits, but stop pretending you have vision that grooms and brides before you didn’t.
3.) I can’t afford to be in your wedding.
Having only been in three weddings, which were spaced out by years, I haven’t hit that peak of “going bankrupt for my friends” yet. But it’s coming. The deluge is like a dam waiting to break. And my bank account is terrified. I wish it wasn’t seen as “insulting” to be able to say, “I can’t be in your bridal party”. But for some reason, this comes off as an ultimate slap in the face. For the brave souls who have had the balls to say it, trust me when I say it’s not because they are trying to insult you and it is definitely not because they don’t care. It’s because they have rent and utilities and a life to finance. A wedding can cost someone up to a grand. Dress/tuxedo, alterations, travel expenses for things like engagement parties, the wedding itself, hair, makeup, and finally, the bachelor/bachelorette party. People get very particular if you don’t follow through on these things and I’m left wondering why it is an insult to you if I say I don’t have the money to do one or all of these things? I know a lot of my friends, who have been through the wedding ringer more than a few times, and who now say, “There goes my money for my vacation in June.” And when I ask why they can’t decline, they’ve said, “She’s my good friend.” My good friends don’t expect me to go bankrupt because they decided to have a wedding. Future grooms and brides, don’t be pissed if someone says they can’t afford it. I understand this is your big day, or big year for that matter, but expecting someone to refinance their life for the $600 bridesmaid dress or the $700 bachelor party you want to have is asking a LOT of someone. Give a little leeway.
2.) Bridal showers and engagement parties are almost as fun as gynecology annuals.
I’m sorry, unless you are the bride, groom, or the immediate family of such, these parties BLOW. It’s always on a Sunday, they are more often than not a hike to get to, you have a booze intake limit of two glasses of champagne and then you get to make small talk with a shitton of people you don’t know while watching someone open a toaster. I don’t know who thought the idea of watching a woman open and hold up a towel set or new bed linens was something other people wanted to be a part of, but as someone who has actually brought a flask to a bridal shower, even Martha Stewart doesn’t like being part of this over-zealous show of domestic bliss. You’re getting married, you’re having a wedding. Dragging people to a proper, formal, stand-in-the-corner-and-talk-with-the-person-you-brought kind of function to reiterate the point just seems to overdo it. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy you’re getting married, it means I hate social obligations that involve overly proper conversations and a “How long do we have to stay?” attitude. No one in the history of forever has ever gotten an invite to a bridal shower or engagement party and said “This is going to be awesome.” I just feel like any kind of function where your grandparents and your frat brothers who have seen you puking in the bushes outside DKE after banging a broad are within fifteen feet of each other is a weird and uncomfortable experience.
1.) You will regret the amount you spend on one day.
Everyone says this is the happiest day of your life. And maybe that’ll be true. But trust me when I say you will ultimately regret the $20,000 to $100,000 you or your parents will pay for this wedding. Unless you are a trust fund baby with easy access to daddy’s bank account, months down the line you will look back and realize just how much $50,000 is and how many better things you could have spent it on than the “best” flowers or the $7,000 dress that looked just as nice as the $2,000 one. Maybe it’s me, maybe living in New York reminds me on a constant basis how much life costs to live it well, or maybe it’s the fact that I can buy a pair of shoes on eBay and feel just as good about it as if I bought them at Bergdorf. But at the end of the day, a good wedding is not dependent on how much money goes into it—it’s dependent on who is getting married, how chill they are and who comes to the party. End of story. Worth every penny? Come to me six months after the “best party ever” and tell me you think eight hours of a day was worth the down payment on your apartment you could have put down, or the two month vacation around the world you could have taken, or the student loans you could have paid off. Having been to a few weddings, I can tell you I saw no difference between the ones that cost $15,000 and the one that cost nearly $100,000. This is less of something I wish you knew. It’s more, “Trust me I’ve heard it a million times.”