Friday, March 27, 2009

Woes of the non-Bridesmaid

The older I get and the more weddings I am around, the less and less I like them.

The reason?  Everyone associated with the Big Day are never really happy.  They are stressed out.

My friend, Big A, called me the other day in tears.  Why?  Upset because of a wedding.  Quel surprise.

In this case, it was the not being asked to be a bridesmaid that brought on the influx of sobs and runny nose (I suppose I am the only case now who cries at being asked to be a bridesmaid).  I must make it clear that this girl is not a bridesmaid wannabe.  This term, that I have clearly made up, describes the girl whose sole mission in life is to be the bridesmaid in every wedding for every friend/colleague/family member/bikini waxer possible.  They exist, trust me.  Anyways, Big A is not this girl.  Hence why our conversation had me in a tizzy.

Her friend has recently become engaged.  This friend has been Big A's friend for over 20-years.  They grew up on the same street in which a group of four little girls played, told each other secrets, grew up and now share a common bond of childhood friendship mixed in with the fact all their parents are best friends.

This bride told Big A that she was stressed about the bridesmaid situation.  Firstly, she wants her number of girls to match the groom's number of boys.  Balderdash I say.  Why oh why are we so hell bent on matching??  Why oh why do we care about numbers when feelings and relationships are at stake?  Plus it's not her fault her groom has no friends.  I was in a wedding once where the bride had three bridesmaids and the groom had just his brother.  We didn't:  die, explode, trip, self-combust.  We were totally fine.  And the pictures look great.  I understand if there are 10 bridesmaids and one groomsman, but seriously, it's your wedding:  you can do WHATEVER you want!!!

Anyways, the bride tells Big A that she is stressed, yadda yadda yadda.  She says that she would like to have one of the girls from the childhood group as her bridesmaid and that is it.  Big A says this is totally fine and she supports her.  Then the bride stresses that one of the childhood girls is going to spazz and be a complete freak about not being asked.  Therefore her solution is to either have ONE or FOUR (in which Big A was included).  She is going to discuss with groom and decide.

A couple days later, Big A is at a party with all these childhood buddies and discretely asks the bride if she has told spazzy-pants that she is only going to have one bridesmaid.  The bride looks at her and says,  'Oh yeah, I made my decision.  X, Y and Z are going to be my bridesmaids and you can plan my wedding.'

Punch in the stomach.

Is that the solution?  Seriously?  She went from ONE or FOUR, to THREE with the consolation prize of wedding planner?  Are you kidding me?

Needless to say Big A had hurt feelings as well as the extra sting of having 'the hardest job of all' (quoted the bride).  Gee whiz, lucky her.  She gets to help plan the wedding but no bridesmaid position?  Aren't bridesmaids supposed to help plan the wedding?  So now Big A not only gets to do the job of a bridesmaid but she is excluded from the bridesmaid club.

Here's the thing:  being asked to be a bridesmaid is being asked to be privy to an exclusive group that everyone recognizes as the friends and confidants of the bride.  Being asked to plan the wedding as a consolation prize is adding insult to injury if you ask me.

Have I mentioned Big A is an event planner?  So now she gets to plan  a wedding for free?  Give me a freaking break!!  

All of this because the bride is afraid of upsetting ONE girl who would have pitched a fit.  Because Big A is graceful and sweet, the bride thinks it's okay to exclude her, after all, she won't make a fuss.  

This really got my goat.  Of course I told Big A at least she doesn't have to wear a hideous dress or have horrible wedding hair.  She can go to BCBG and buy the hottest dress she can find.  And she doesn't have to plan, or even attend, the god-awful showers.  If you know me, you know I hate showers.

So the thing is, does she tell her childhood friend how hurt her feelings are, or does she smile sweetly and do nothing to upset the bride?

This is why I hate weddings.  Almost always someone gets hurt.  And almost always someone wears white shoes.  But that's another story.


Anonymous said...

what do you have against white shoes?

Aimee1966 said...

I also got the "wedding planner" consolation prize, only after someone pointed out to the bride that I might feel left out. Wow. I didn't even find out I wasn't in the wedding until the day I shopped with the bride for her wedding dress (her two bridemaids were unavailable). I also hosted her shower. I'm just unbelievably hurt and don't know if I can get over it. The unavoidable fact is ... she's just not that into me! What to do when she calls to get together for birthdays, holidays and vacations like we've done for the past 17 years. Unbelievable, really.

Another Non-bridesmaid said...

I actually ran across this article by searching for situations exactly like the one your friend Big A is in. My friend that I've had since middle school has drug me around town for several 4 hour shopping trips for things for her wedding and afterwards I found out that I'm not even in the bridal party. My thought exactly was "aren't the bridesmaid supposed to be doing this!?" One of them even lives here in town. I feel for Big A! Not being in the wedding is not really a big deal to me, like you said, it's her day, so whatever she wants! But I'd be less hurt if my friend wouldn't have dragged me along for all of this planning mumbo jumbo for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Glad I'm not the only one who has gotten the "wedding planner" consolation prize. To be honest, what hurt most was not the not-getting asked part, but the part where I had to sit and smile sweetly while the bride-to-be explained to me how I'm so important to her but that she knew the other girl would "never forgive her" if she had chosen me over her.

To add more insult to injury, the girl who was chosen over me is completely anti-marriage and wasn't even happy for the bride when she became engaged because she saw it as being anti-feminist, s what right has she got to expect to be on the bridal party?

I didn't even get to hear the choice of bridesmaids from the bride herself... So now I have to smile and pretend I'm not completely shattered while I act as 'wedding planner"

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but I face a similar situation... as the bride!

I have a core group of 3 close friends, however I only wanted 3 bridesmaids (my sister and 2 others). One of my friends is this absolutely hilarious, wonderful gal who can carry a crowd like you wouldn't believe, so I thought I'd ask her to be MC since that should also be a very honoured role.

When I presented this to her, I asked if she would like to be a bridgesmaid as well. Nothing was set in stone, after all. She said no, she'd had a terrible experience with a wedding she was a BM in during the summer, and she'd basically be thrilled to be MC and not a BM.

Fast forward and the fiance and I decided to go with 4 attendants each. Since this friend was so adamant about not being a BM, I didn't want to ask her to do something she clearly didn't like doing, so I asked another friend.

However, when my MC friend was informed of this she became very upset, told me her feelings were hurt, etc etc. She said that even though she had said no, she only did that because she thought it would be 3 and she assumed if it did become 4 I'd ask her anyway., I felt devastated that I'd upset such an important friend and that she was now feeling less important that bridesmaid #4 (who I've known for considerably less time, not that that is any real indicator of what a friendship means).

Long story, but the result is that I have decided to ask this girl to now be a BM. Why? Because she is very important to me, I always wanted her, and it was a miscommunication that resulted in her not being asked before. I only wanted 3 bridesmaids to begin with, but it is more important to me to add her and show her how much her friendship actually does mean to me than to cut her off or treat her as less important.

Ugh though. I wish I was eloping!