Kristin Wiig and Rose Byrne as rival bridesmaids in “Bridesmaids”.
The day that I asked her to be my bridesmaid was the day our friendship ended. I saw her for who she really was, and I didn’t like what I saw.
Crystal was the obvious choice for my maid of honour. I’d known her since I was 15 when we met at my first job at the local café. Over the years, she’d become my go-to girl if I needed a clubbing buddy or a companion for a quiet night in.
At first, Crystal was the perfect bridesmaid. She just knew what to do. The day after I asked her to be my maid of honour, she’d arranged for a stack of bridal magazines, chocolates and flowers to be sent to my front door. There was a note: “Let’s catch up tonight and talk everything wedding!”
She came over to my house with a bottle of wine, and helped me to put Post-Its on dresses that she liked.
Crystal was there for so many of the big decisions – the invitations, the venues, the cake and of course, the dress. I loved having her help and advice, especially as she’d been a bridesmaid 4 times before.
My fiancé, Ray, wasn’t that interested in organising the wedding. And so when he started to ask my why Crystal was so involved, I was surprised and puzzled.
“Have you noticed that Crystal has been the one to book all of our appointments? I thought it was something that we’d do together,” whispered Ray, as we toured yet another hotel dining room.
I guess I hadn’t noticed, because I was just so grateful that someone was helping me organise such a huge event. Crystal was more helpful than my stressed-out mum, my flaky high school friend Anna and my teenage sisters. It was obvious that she was the only one who truly cared.
And so when Crystal started organising my hen’s night, I didn’t think twice. I looked forward to whatever she had planned, especially as I knew she had great taste and fun ideas. I didn’t have to lift a finger.
Crystal had kept the hen’s night details top secret which I initially thought was loads of fun. She made my mum drive me to the location and I even had to wear a blindfold.
When my blindfold was removed I was surprised to see that I was standing in an elegant, marble-and-chrome bar in the city. Crystal knew that I preferred the local pub, for its down-to-earth, Aussie appeal. But this was a nice change, I suppose.
Several of my girlfriends and family were standing in front of me, dressed to the nines.
They said “Surprise” in soft voices. But one thing was missing – they weren’t smiling. The group was smaller than I expected, too. Only about 10 people all up, when Crystal knows that I have a wide and diverse group of friends.
After I hugged everyone, Crystal took me by the elbow and bought me a drink at the bar.
“I hope you don’t mind that it’s such an intimate group,” she said. “I just thought we’d keep it to, you know, the cool group.”
I thought that all of my friends were cool.
(Take a peek at the beauty products that Sophia Vergara used on her wedding day. Post continues after video.)
The night was filled with elegant party games followed by a meal at the best restaurant in the city. I enjoyed myself, although I noticed that my other bridesmaids were being quieter than usual. I did secretly wish that we were having a wild time at my local pub with a buff stripper and lots of Rihanna music but this was nice, too.
The next morning, I had a phone call early in the morning from Anna, my high school friend and another of my bridesmaids.
“Hi Anna! Thanks for last night – I had a blast!”
“Oh, it’s fine – I didn’t do anything. Crystal organised everything.” Was it just me, or did I notice a hint of bitterness in her voice?
Anna continued. “This is so awkward, but… um, can I borrow some money?”
“Yes, of course!” I was worried. “Is everything OK? Did you lose your job?”
“Oh no, it’s fine. It’s just that after paying for my dress, I’m broke until the next pay day. And Crystal needs us to pay her back for the hen’s night.” (Post continues after gallery.)
Anna was a highly paid professional, so she shouldn’t have been out of pocket. I remembered suddenly that I hadn’t even looked at the price of the bridesmaid’s dresses, as Crystal had arranged it all.
I asked Anna how much it cost and my jaw hit the floor. I couldn’t believe how expensive the dresses Crystal had chosen were. I could have gone on a two-week beach holiday with that much money. And that was just the start of it.
Then I thought over the hen’s night. Even though we hardly ate or drank anything, I knew that we were in the best bar and restaurant in the city which were no doubt expensive. I instantly felt ashamed. All of my friends were going to be out of pocket and it was all because of me and my wedding.
Nonetheless, I was still excited for my wedding day. My mum and bridesmaids were staying with me in a hotel and we rose early to get our hair and makeup done.
When Crystal knocked on my door, I was shocked to see that here eyes were watery and bloodshot. She pushed past me and sat straight down in the makeup chair, even though I’d planned for my mother to have her face done first.
“That asshole,” muttered Crystal, texting furiously on her phone while she wiped away tears. She hadn’t even said hello.
The other bridesmaids looked at me in alarm. I sat next to Crystal and asked if she was OK.
“No, I’m not,” she shot back. “I just found out that my interior decorator can’t do my wallpaper on Monday, because he has a magazine shoot.”
She sulked about this for the whole morning, but seemed to brighten when it was time for us to get into the cars to drive to the beach where I was getting married.
When she saw Ray’s best man her face became thunderous again. Crystal didn’t even want to link arms with him coming back down the aisle.
“Why does Ray have such an ugly best friend?!” hissed Crystal, when Will’s back was turned.
I was too shocked to answer. I then realised that Crystal had been too busy canoodling with her boyfriend at my engagement party that she hadn’t bothered to talk to anyone else. So this was the first time she’d really seen Will and it was clear she was disappointed that he wasn’t Liam Hemsworth.
During our ceremony and reception, Crystal kept changing her behaviour. For photos and in front of relatives, she kept hugging me and grinning, being all sweetness and sugar. But if we were ever alone she would turn nasty.
“The florist hates me. My bouquet was definitely the worst-made one out of all of them. Look, the ribbon is already fraying,” Crystal pointed out.
I couldn’t see the problem, and besides, Crystal was the one who had chosen the florist.
At our reception Crystal sat in silence and stared at her phone. She’d been seated next to Will, and she ignored all of his attempts to make conversation. When Ray and I drove off, headed to the airport for our honeymoon, I couldn’t even see Crystal in the crowds of people who were waving and farewelling us.
Anna later told me that she had been in the bathroom crying into a bottle of champagne and saying that no one was paying attention to her.
I guess that’s what it was all about. Crystal wanted to be the centre of attention. That’s why she organised everything – she’d wanted everyone to notice her for being a good friend, which they did.
But when it was my wedding day – a day all about Ray and me – she couldn’t handle having to stand to the side to let me shine. She showed her true colours that day.
As painful as it was to see that she was actually selfish and immature, I’m glad that I eventually found out.
I do miss spending time with her but I realised that I had only seen her at social occasions. Going to clubs and watching TV with someone is fun but we had never built a deep friendship. It was all surface stuff, leisure and pleasure.
Unlike Anna, Crystal would never come to me for help in her darkest times. Instead she chose to lash out at me on what was supposed to be the best day of my life.
My life is quieter and less glamorous now that Crystal isn’t in it, but it’s really for the best. Last I heard, she was the bridesmaid for one of the other girls from our café. And I know she’ll do a great job – while it lasts.
Have you witnessed bad bridesmaid behaviour? Share your story here.