My fabulous husband and I got married just over a month ago and while the wedding was pretty damn near perfect (we both said I DO, isn't that all that matters anyway?), there was plenty of craziness leading up to the wedding that mostly stemmed from our wedding parties. I particularly failed to heed the warnings put forth by miss ESB herself in previous blogs, and by doing so I had to do something that NO BRIDE ever wants to do: I had to fire a bridesmaid.
How did this all happen? Well, the "friend" in question had been a college roommate back in the day, and while we were pretty close as roommates initially, we definitely went through some rough roads together that eventually pulled us apart as friends. I should have taken this as a sign early on that some people just aren't meant to be friends, but years later we gave our friendship a second chance when a mutual friend (my best friend and MOH) sort of reunited us. As a group of friends, we traveled together, shared birthdays together, hell I was even in her wedding (which was actually an afterthought when she finally realized that it didn't matter if she had odd-numbers in her bridal party), but all in all I always did everything I could to support her as she got ready for her wedding, which was TWO YEARS of "what do you think about this dress?" and "You'll never guess how much flowers cost".
So now it was my turn to get married and go through the whole wedding planning thing. Like an IDIOT, instead of taking my sweet ass time in choosing my bridal party (I actually didn't even want bridesmaids, but this particular friend told me one drunken night that if I didn't ask her to be bridesmaid, she'd never speak to me again......I shouldn't have taken that as a threat.), the moment I was engaged I immediately chose my bridal party without even thinking if they would make good bridesmaids, and of course, this friend was one of the chosen ones (the others were excellent choices, though, so that was good!).
Almost a year before the wedding, the drama begins. I start receiving phone calls from this friend telling me that I NEED to pick a bridesmaid dress, or I NEED to choose a color ASAP because she is too busy and doesn't have time to browse dresses on the internet (at the time I was letting them choose their dresses). Then when she does find the time to find a bridesmaid dress, it's completely inappropriate (very short or low cut or backless....this was going to be a backyard garden wedding and all I asked was for something that wouldn't give my Mother in Law a heart attack). Finally I decided to end the frustration and just chose a dress for my bridesmaids that of course everyone was fine with except this friend. Her response to my choice (after the dresses were purchased) was to send an image of a dress that all the girls could rent instead. Not the end of the world, but just insulting enough. Things were said from "friend" about the bridesmaid dresses and how ugly they were, that she didn't want to look "cute", she wanted to look "fierce" (for the record, the dresses worked perfectly for the wedding and nobody looked "cutesy")- basically forgetting the cardinal rule that when you are a bridesmaid, you're just supposed to go with the flow. It was becoming more and more apparent that she was treating my wedding like her wedding "part deux"- something that I think a lot of newlywed brides do to their friends who are next in line to get married; you had your wedding, now let me have mine.
The real straw that broke the camel's back was my bachelorette party. I initially sent an email to all of my bridesmaids letting them know what the overall cost would be to be in the wedding and that in NO WAY were they obligated to attend ALL of the events, but would love if they could attend either the bachelorette or the bridal shower- and all of them agreed that that estimated cost seemed fair and that they were more than happy to be a part of the wedding. Well when the bachelorette party time came, my MOH planned a beer tasting tour in friend's home town. It was an absolute blast and so many of my closest friends came- including one bridesmaid who lives out of state and has a 2 year old (didn't bring her of course!), one friend who was 4 months pregnant, and one friend who is living with a brain tumor. Everyone seemed to be having a GREAT time and participated in all the fun, except for "friend" who kept to herself the whole time, kept texting her husband all night, wore a purple shirt and neon green bra when everyone was told to wear black (as planned by MOH), and left the party early. But the WORST was when my MOH came into my hotel room the next morning and gave me a napkin with some writing on it that my "friend" left in her hotel room that said she couldn't stay the night as planned but hoped I had a great party. (fyi- she left early to attend a yoga class)
This is where I was pretty damn close to writing you and asking for advice, but I knew the answer would be to confront my friend, so that's what I did. I gave her a call a day or so later so that I could cool off and make sure I wasn't being irrational, and I calmly told her that I felt she seemed preoccupied with other things in her life and that maybe being a bridesmaid was too much for her, but that of course I'd still love for her to attend the wedding. She was taken aback, but she agreed to resign, and since the dress was already paid for I promised her that I would pay her back. Not one day went by before I received a text from her asking when I would be sending her the money for the dress.
Two months before the wedding and I receive a card in the mail from said "friend." Who, on account that I no longer wanted her to be a bridesmaid and because I pointed out her inappropriate behavior, decided that we should no longer be friends at all and that she and her husband would no longer attend our wedding. It wasn't at all an angry letter by any means- it was more of a "I get to have the last word" letter....which, honestly, was fine. I didn't need the drama.
In a very horrible, catastrophic turn of events, my brother happened to die from an overdose the day before my wedding. Let me tell you, any drama or planning that doesn't go right on your wedding day, it just doesn't matter. I had the most wonderful, amazing, supportive man at my side, and with the help of friends and family (friends and family that truly wanted to be there and celebrate the love and joy of that day), we had the BEST. WEDDING. EVER. I think back to that moment when I was debating about confronting my "friend" and releasing her from my wedding party, and I KNOW that I made the right decision. I can't imagine what sort of shenanigans would have erupted had she been there when I got the news about my brother- if she couldn't support me when times were good, how was she going to help me when the shit hit the fan? All I can say is that, honestly, anything can happen to throw a monkey-wrench in your big day, and the purpose of your bridesmaids is to keep you calm, hydrated, fed, and to make sure you have everything you need to make it down the aisle. If there is someone in your bridal party that you truly believe will be more of a burden than a blessing the day of your wedding, be a big girl and remove them from your wedding party. You don't need to be a bitch, but you do need to be a bride.
This is an exceedingly long ass story, but if you do happen to add this to your blog and your readers can sit long enough to read this, these are the few very important lessons to remember:
#1- Don't be hasty. Choose your bridal party carefully. And don't choose out of obligation, choose people who will love and support you NO MATTER WHAT.
#2- If you do have to cut out a bridesmaid, just be honest. Be straight-forward. If you're having doubts about them being in your wedding, chances are they are too.
#3- It's just a wedding. It's the marriage that counts. And I hope nobody fucking dies the day before your wedding 'cause that is WAY more dramatic than not having your flowers delivered on time.
The Bridesmaid Whisperer.
I don't think I would have said "confront her." I would have said: LET HER OFF THE HOOK, which you did, and well done, lady.
I am so sorry to hear about your brother. So so sorry. And so glad you managed to have the BEST. WEDDING. EVER. in spite of it all.
With this, we commence a mini putting-it-all-in-perspective series.... (Similar to the #weddinghorrorstory series, but more heartrending.)