In 2008 a movie came out called 27 Dresses.
It stars Katherine Heigl and the annoying girl who always plays the somewhat crazy slut (see: 13 Going on 30, Arrested Development, Modern Family) and Lon from The Notebook. It’s about the protagonist’s inability to say no to being in other people’s weddings and then coping with her “always the bridesmaid: never the bride” complex.
On the one hand, I am grateful for this film as it basically maps out what my life will be like if I continue in this dangerous vein of bridesmaidery.
On the other hand, I kind of hate this film as it basically maps out what my life will be like if I continue in this dangerous vein of bridesmaidery.
Ladies and gentlemen, I will be in my 11th wedding this summer.
I will admit that I haven’t been a bridesmaid that many times, necessarily, but at 23, it’s still kind of ridiculous. I would much rather my life be based on this wedding film.
Kidding - it is always such a touching gesture to be included in someone's wedding: they are making a commitment to LOVE someone. That is so hard, and so noble, and so life-altering that it is a real gift to be present in someone's life for that, let alone stand at the front with them in support and encouragement (or itchy formal ankle socks, or in satin, or in whatever else they've got you wearing).
Another cool thing is that despite their common components, no two weddings are ever alike, and are in fact, as unique as the people they celebrate.
Let's move to the statistical breakdown.
And these are only the weddings I've been IN. I know some people who have only ever attended three or four weddings in their whole lives. If I had to estimate, I'd say I've been a guest at around thirty total.
Some anecdotal supplements to go with the numbers (Part I):
#1. Heidi + Andy – Mom’s cousin
Flower girl: Three years old. I wore a pastel pink be-bowed frock with poofy sleeves, poofy socks, and poofy underpants. I spent most of the ceremony outside with my dad, pretending to paint the potted plants with a feather I found. One of the other bridesmaids passed out. My mother was actually in this wedding too in the most hilarious light peach bridesmaid dress and some raw silk heels dyed to match (which, of course, I thought were the most beautiful shoes on the planet, as a child, and would tromp around the house in them, watching the light catch in the rhinestone brooch at the toe).
#2 Geoff + Ursula – Mom’s cousin
Flower girl: Four years old. I wore the same ensemble, and since the guest list was basically the same, I suffered the indignity of the “Oh God you saw me in this outfit the last time you saw me” feeling. I think I walked down the aisle to a Kenny G song, was jealous of Cousin Pat’s date Miki, and was awarded a wedding-party-gift at the rehearsal dinner: a stuffed animal rabbit that, when switched on, would wriggle its nose, raise its ears slowly, and, with a mechanical whirring of gears, lurch around the room haphazardly. It was, in retrospect, one of the more terrifying things I owned as a child. Bunnicula come to life.
#3 Uncle John + AuntFlower girl: Second grade. At their engagement announcement I hugged my aunt to be and, with my arms around her waist, asked, “Do I get to be in the wedding?” She laughed and said, “Oh honey, I think you were in this wedding before I was.” I remember my great-grandfather gallantly fending off a swan with his cane before the ceremony, the pastor having the precursor of a heart-attack during the vows (whose violent coughing fit prompted my aunt to wonder if they had actually been legally wed?), and my brother stealing the show during my father’s toast by mimicking the last few words of every line. It reminded my dad of this famous showstealing son: