As a member of the wedding party, prepare to drop serious coin (and cynicism)
When a good friend from high school asked me to be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding, I told her I was honored. I meant it. Plus, I do appreciate any excuse to buy new shoes.
But truthfully, I’ve never really been big on weddings. Not that I’m a cynic or anything. Or maybe I am. In any case, I’m definitely not one to let the fact that 40 percent of marriages in America end in divorce stop me from hitting up an open bar in ladylike attire.
It seems I’m fast approaching “that age,” where weddings are rampant, with an invitation arriving what seems like every other week in the mail. It was only a matter of time before I was asked to be an official member of a wedding party.
It couldn’t be too bad, right? It’s got the word party built right into the group title.
But as it turns out, I should have given greater consideration to the morphemes of my specific role instead.
Maid. As in made of money, apparently.
Flight. Hotel. Car rental. Dress. Shoes. Hair. Makeup. Accessories. Gift.
An endless stream of to-dos—and to-buys. In the months preceding the wedding, it felt as though every 10 minutes a new e-mail arrived with additions to the job description that I’d seen nowhere previously on the application. Spending all this money I didn’t have left me wanting to loan out my checking account as the “something blue” to the blushing bride.
Of course, it breaks the bank for the couple and their families as well. But lord knows there’s a tax break and weeklong trip somewhere close to the equator in store for them at the end of the aisle. Me, I flew home and went back to work—even missed the $300 voucher for a later flight, damn it.
All right, so it wasn’t all bad. One, I managed to sidestep the landmine of the bright fuchsia hooker heels (paired with a teal dress?)—a metallic sling-toe for the block. Two, the bride wound up supplying our necklaces (score: I would wear this again) and also paid for our hair and makeup, with which she allowed us total creative freedom. (Let’s just say I had fun with it, and that both Snooki and Twiggy served as points of inspiration.) And three, I got to spend some quality time chauffeuring the bride-to-be from point A to B, catching up and sharing great memories.
The ceremony itself was short and sweet—we walked out to the Cure!—and all seemed grateful. On to cocktail hour, a delicious dinner and fun times with old, good friends. I even danced willingly. To Katy Perry, no less. The only uncomfortable part of the evening was attempting to pee out of an awkward crotch flap that the mother of all Spanx I was wearing provided.
My assessment? I’m grateful for the experience, and perhaps even a bit less of a cynic as a result. I’m also glad my Mastercard can begin its recovery.
My darling friend, if you’re reading this, I love you sincerely, and I had a fantastic time at your wedding. I wish you and your newly betrothed all the best in luck and love. But it’s a crying shame I’m not into the married-with-children thing, because payback’s a bitch.
To the happy couple!