weddings

'I've just been a bridesmaid for the first time and I never, ever want to do it again.'

This year, I hit that inevitable life stage where everyone in my life who wants to get married, is suddenly getting married.

And that’s wonderful. Truly, it is.

I’ve never wanted to get married myself for a multitude of reasons: I can think of 1000 better ways to spend $30,000, I absolutely hate organising… well, anything, let alone a day where I’m supposed to have an opinion on table settings and what shade of white my dress is, plus in my particular circumstance, marriage makes no legal difference to the status of my relationship, so what’s the point?

How much should a wedding dress cost? Not much, in my opinion, but what do I know? Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia

But I know other people want to get married and that’s cool.

So, when one of my close friends got engaged early this year, I was thrilled for her.

Not long after she asked me to be a bridesmaid and I was flattered.

But in the time since, I’ve come to realise that while I’m really honoured to be part of someone’s ‘big day’, the bridesmaid life is just not for me.

It’s time consuming, expensive and exhausting, and at least in my case, pretty thankless.

I didn’t want to purchase a dress and shoes I will never again wear. I didn’t want to spend hours of my life getting that dress altered.

I didn’t want to use up annual leave to spend days before the wedding getting my nails painted a specific colour and travelling through the country to get to the wedding location.

I did want to organise a hens do, because fun, until I realised in 2019, hens dos are weekend long affairs with dress codes.

But hey, we all need to do things we don’t want to do for people we care about. I get that, and I was happy to suck it up.

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Until I wasn’t.

One day, my phone buzzed. It was the group chat the bride had set up with her five bridesmaids.

You see, I had been out shopping and seeing a movie that day. The night before I’d been out for dinner with family. Earlier in the week, I juggled an evening work commitment, a health appointment and celebrating an important anniversary.

Frankly, I had been busy.

“You’re really terrible at responding in this chat,” the message read, with me tagged.

It was true, I was. But I didn’t think that was a big deal because… why did I need to reply? I didn’t have an opinion to offer on seating for guests and (this is serious), I didn’t have anything to contribute to a conversation about where the best place to get fairy lights was.

“Sorry, I’ve been busy,” I responded.

The biggest issue I’ve had with being a bridesmaid is that you are expected to not only do these things, but enjoy it. The expectation is that you’ll be able to do whatever is required at the drop of a hat. No questions asked, and certainly no push back or complaints.

Oh and at the end of it all, you still need to fork out for a wedding gift.

Brides seem unable to think outside of their wedding day. They lose perspective. There’s no ‘Oh, she’s got a lot going on, maybe I won’t ask her if I should have lilac or mauve petals’.

It’s just, in my limited experience: ‘Please do this’, ‘I’d like this’, ‘I was thinking of this for the hens do…’

I get it’s an important and big day in their minds. They want it to be perfect, and bridesmaids are there to help.

But bridesmaids are not extensions of the bride. Bridesmaids have lives. They have things going on beyond this wedding.

Does this make me sound selfish? Perhaps. But I don’t think it’s any more selfish than getting annoyed that your friend hasn’t helped you pick out a bouquet colour because they’re out for dinner.

I’m only at the beginning of the wedding life phase, but I’ve already learned one thing: I will be proud and honoured to be standing next to my friend as she says ‘I do’, but oh my god, I definitely haven’t enjoyed the journey getting there.

Feature image: Getty.

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