In Defense of Bridesmaids Everywhere
After reading this recent ELLE article about why bridesmaids should be banned, I had mixed feelings. As a former bridesmaid, I could relate to a few of the writer’s points. But for the most part, I feel as though her argument came across as a bit selfish:
“What I won’t do is set aside another week of personal days and travel fares. I won’t take part in “bridesmaid duties” that continue to expand faster than Real Housewives franchises. I won’t throw you an engagement party and Bridal Party 1 (just for bridesmaids) and Bridal Party 2 (for everyone) and … yeah. I won’t take you on a bachelorette beach cruise, or throw you a shower that demands lavish gifts.”
Notice how nearly every sentence begins with “I.”
Newsflash: The world doesn’t revolve you (or the bride-to-be, for that matter), but this is her special day. So would it kill you to put on a dress and carry a bouquet for a few hours and attend a couple of parties, if possible?
Yes, being a bridesmaid is a HUGE time commitment and an investment…especially if it’s a pseudo-destination wedding or any city where you don’t currently live. Among the travel expenses (hotel, airfare, etc.); presents (engagement party, bridal shower(s), bachelorette party, etc.); and attire (the dress, which you may or may not hate, hair, nails, makeup, shoes, etc.), you can end up spending THOUSANDS of dollars to be an attendant at your best friend’s wedding.
With all of that said (not to mention the behind-the-scenes drama…she put what on her registry? So-and-so’s a bridesmaid, too? This is the fugliest dress I’ve ever seen/bought!!), I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Why? Because I love my friends and I considered it an honor to be part of their Big Day.
Full disclosure: I’ve only been a bridesmaid twice and both times were for women I call family. Maybe I’m a “hopeful romantic,” but I love nothing more than standing by my friend’s side (both literally and figuratively) as she enjoys the happiest day of her life. But then again, I am unabashedly loyal to my girls and, well, I love weddings! Sue me.
Now that it’s my turn to be a bride, I couldn’t imagine standing at the altar without my sister and best friends with me. To me, it says I love you and I value our relationship. It would mean a lot to me if you’d be my bridesmaid.
Now, let’s get one thing clear: Being a bridesmaid does not automatically make you an indentured servant. Even though my friends voted me most likely to be a bridezilla back in our college days, I’d like to think I’ve kept the crazy on lock since Jeff and I got engaged.
After all, I’ve been there and done that, so I know (and remember) what it’s like to be on the other side…and how much it cost. With all that said, I like the idea and tradition of having bridesmaids. They’re not just photo props, they’re your support group. But if that’s not your thing, then all the power to you…to each her own.
But if you do decide to go with attendants, be sure you’re not using and abusing your friends’ time and money, because let’s be real…they have lives and obligations outside of your wedding. Don’t go overboard and try to keep the spending to a minimum.
Your bridesmaids will thank you.
About L’Oreal and Jeff
L’Oreal and Jeff met in May 2008, became friends and went on their first date at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium in May 2011. They currently reside in Chicago and are planning a fall 2014 wedding in Baltimore with a LOT of purple details. Despite rooting for rival NFL teams, they love laughing and having fun together and look forward to getting married!