My bridesmaids have lives, and that’s OK!

I already wrote about how my bridesmaids are picking their own dresses. And that pretty much sets the tone for my expectations of them, which I’ve been told are too low. Because apparently bridesmaids are slaves?

Here’s what I expect from  my bridesmaids:

Before the wedding: Listen to me bitch about the wedding. If you plan a shower, I will knife you.

At the wedding: Show up. Smile for pictures. Make sure I stay (relatively) sane. Listen to me bitch about the wedding.

After the wedding: Jack shit. I know I’ll be doing jack shit the day after the wedding.

 

From what I’ve heard from Other People and from what I have gathered by being a bridesmaid myself several times, I am missing a valuable opportunity to treat my best friends as servants for MONTHS. I am The Bride. I should be reveling in making them learn choreographed dances and hand-make wedding favors and clear their entire calendars for a full 30 days before the wedding in case I “need anything.” The fact that I am not doing these things means I am “afraid to ask for help” and “not giving my friends the chance to show they love me.”

Honestly, what it boils down to is that *I* don’t want to give up my life before my wedding, so I can’t expect my friends to.

But OTHER PEOPLE are doing a LOT of thinking about my wedding, so I’ve been getting this question  a lot:

“Where is  your bachelorette party?”

My bachelorette party, in fact, is likely taking place a couple days before the wedding when we’re all in town. We’re going to have drinks and, I hope, bitch about the wedding.

This is “NOT GOOD ENOUGH,” though. People react to a non-destination bachelorette party the same way they react when you tell them you’re working on New Year’s Eve or not going home for Christmas or not having a birthday party. They pity you. And some have accused my friends of not loving me enough to go to Vegas or whatever.

Here’s what actually happened:

Months ago, an email chain was begun (which I was copied on) to discuss bachelorette party options. My bridesmaids live across the world and none live in the same city as me. To meet up for a weekend, we’d all have to fly somewhere. We quickly realized there was no single weekend before the wedding that we could all make, due to things like other weddings, planned vacations, being 9 months pregnant, being broke, and having surgery. One of my bridesmaids got cast in her dream role for a show that runs all summer  (and is actually missing a show to BE in my wedding). I wasn’t much help either, as I travel many weekends due to one of my hobbies — and have a competition AND a trip abroad planned for the month before the wedding.

I’ve joked that, if I want any sleep in the months before the wedding, I’ll need a bachelorette NAP instead of a party.

Eventually, I suggested we just all get into town a few days early for the wedding, have a delicious dinner, blow off some steam at an old haunt, and not scramble to plan an obligatory trip somewhere. Everyone was relieved — and so was I!

But people have expressed concerned that I’ll regret missing some kind of rite-of-passage — and that my friends aren’t “doing enough” or don’t “care enough.”

Look, if you want the traditional bachelorette party and so do your bridemaids, and you all  have the time and energy and money for that, you should have one. They’re fun! I’ve been to at least a dozen. But my regular life is fun and exhausting enough, what with the constant road trips, plane rides, jet-lag, bruises, mat burn, and 3ams wincing in pain as I pry off my ballroom shoes. I want my bachelorette party to be relaxing and healing. And I want my bridemaids to live their full, exhausting lives so that we can come together a couple days before the wedding with great stories and a great *sigh* and say, “OK let’s do this shit!”

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