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Hell is Other People’s Weddings

April 24, 2008

This is not a FA post, or even a feminist post.  This is a “I am so stressed and want to murder half of my friends” post.  Though Maybe I’ll be able to tie in something that someone besides me may actually care about.  Mostly, this is for venting.

I am currently a participant in 3 upcoming weddings.  Two of them are to take place within the next month.  The other is not for a year.  However, all of these brides are currently conspiring to make my life a living hell.

My friend whose wedding is not for a year was up last weekend.   Very happily I took her dress shopping, which is probably the only part of wedding planning I actually enjoy.  I love watching my friends try on pretty dresses.  She found one, and put a deposit on it and then spent the rest of the ENTIRE weekend agonizing over it.  Questions like “If I had a destination wedding would you come?”  Uhm… No?   “Do you think a band or a DJ is nicer?”  “Do you think the location or the food is more important?”  Were never ending.  And I love her, and I know she is stressed, but after a couple days of that I was just about up to here.  She also wants me to sing in her wedding.  (Because she wants her bridesmaids to have jobs…. rather than just stand around… uhm… why can’t we just be guests?)

The next furthest away wedding is May 17 of this year.  In this wedding I am the maid of honor.  And honestly, it has been the bane of my existance.  When she asked me I should have said no.  But I didn’t.  So for months I was looking for long black dresses to wear.  And then Purple ones.  And then finally they ordered dresses for us from David’s Bridal.  (That don’t come with extra lenght, so… this should be fun.)  So that’s been a nightmare.

The additional nightmare has been the bachelorette party.  I started trying to plan it over two months ago.  I had another bridesmaid who was “helping” if by “helping” you mean “Calls once a week, makes suggestions, and contributes absolutely nothing.”  So, I turn to the bride, I ask for advice, what does she want to do, where should we go, what would work for her friends.  (keep in mind I know 1 of the 25 people she is inviting to the party.)  She gives me NOTHING.  So I finally just plan shit and send out an invite last week.  (I sent a save the date e-mail early in the month to get everyone’s contact info, because she only gave me a list of names.  I had to use their myspace and facebook pages to get their e-mails and phone numbers.  I am not kidding.)

The day after I send the e-vite she calls me “Why don’t we just get a hotel?” And now pretty much none of her 25 friends can come, so far I have 8 rsvps and most of them aren’t coming to the whole thing.  So I am going to be stuck with a 900 limo bill, and 150 for the dancer.  Because, you know, I have that money just laying around.  Right now all I want to say for her toast is “Good luck buddy, You’re gonna need it.”

The most pressing wedding is coming up in a week and ahalf.  It is my boyfriend’s brother’s wedding.  They have asked me to sing at the ceremony, and I consented.  Not knowing that I wouldn’t get the music until a week and a half before the wedding.  And I didn’t even get actual copies yet.  The bride just sent me a list of songs on monday. (along with a letter about her relationship problems.  Joy.)   So I have a week to not suck totally at her wedding.  And then last night she texts me ” We were thinking of changing the trumpet voluntary to Sunrise sunset from fiddler on the roof.  K?”

Uhm NO?!!!!  That is not freaking okay.  “Oh well my mom and grandma were just wondering.”  You know what, tell your mom and your grandma that I said they can both shove it… that’s right, just keep shoving it.

So I tell my friend, the first bride, whose wedding isn’t for a year about all this.  She’s all “that sucks”  and I’m all “I seriously don’t know what to do, I can’t kill them, so maybe I should just kill myself.”  And her response is… I fucking shit you not “You can’t kill yourself until after you sing at my wedding.”

Now, I’m not seriously contemplating suicide, and I know that this was meant mostly in jest.  But it really didn’t help my feelings on the whole other people’s weddings thing.  And when I tell her I need a month’s notice on the music, she tells me she already knows she wants the Ave Maria.  And I ask her which, and she says The Christmassy one.  *headdesk headdesk headdesk*

I don’t know why I end up in all these weddings.  Once I make it through these three I will have been involved in 6.  (With many friends left to go.)  And I love my friends and all, I guess I just don’t understand why they don’t love me enough to just let me show up with a gift and get drunk.  I am mad, that now there are other friends and family members who will probably want me in their wedding as well, and I will REALLY not want to be in it.

The whole wedding culture, and my upbringing makes it nearly impossible for me to just tell these girls to go fuck themselves.  I think lots of other people get involved in weddings and then just slack off.  But unlike other people who say they will do things and then don’t (See “helping” bridesmaid wedding #2)  I am actually responsible.  If I say I’m going to do/plan/be something then goddamnit I do it as well as I can probably 90% of the time.  (Because if I don’t I am wracked with Guilt, YAY catholicism.)

I’m just so tired of this now, I am poor, and busy, and stressed all because other people are getting married and feel COMPELLED to somehow involve me.

I never really planned on getting married (I’m really enjoying everyone just assuming that our engagement is imminent right now, it’s possibly one of the rudest experiences of my life.)  But now I want to get married, I want to get married and I want to make all of my friends buy the ugliest most expensive dress I can find (You can SO get this altered and re wear it) and take a month off work so they can fly to figi and attend me as my personal servants.

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17 Comments
  1. Karen permalink

    You need to make sure the one a year from now understands that if you don’t have the sheet music in hand a month before the wedding you will assume you’ve been fired with no hard feelings. Explain how you couldn’t possibly sing in public under such circumstances, public defined as “not in the shower.” And tell the little chicklet who still hasn’t gotten the music that you’re so sorry, but you can’t possibly do justice for it at this point, and you’re sure she has far more talented friends who could do this in less than a week. And tell the one with the bachelorette party that you can’t seem to get one together for her because none of her friends are responding. Organizing all this crap isn’t your job, your job is to be prepared for your responsibilities. Everyone asks you to help out with their weddings because you’ll still sing with only a week’s aquaintance with the music, foot the bill for the bachelorette party all by yourself, and tolerate all the crap that rightfully belongs to the mother of the bride and the groom.

    I realize this comes off as harsh both to you and them, and I apologize. No matter how I reword it it all comes out similarly. You’ve been over-walked on and the only way to make it stop is to tell them you won’t perform under such circumstances.

  2. God, I hate weddings. I can’t say how much I hate weddings. The only thing I hate more than weddings? Bridal showers. (Seriously? Throwing yourself a party with the sole purpose of receiving gifts? From people who are already giving you gifts?) All of it is just an exercise in greed and self-obsession.

    Anyway. DAMN, this all sucks. I know you’re not looking for advice, but I just can’t help myself. Call the bachelorette party woman and tell her that you can’t afford the plans you were making, so you’d like to throw her something more casual. (Too bad if it stresses her out “so close to the wedding”! Getting married does not get you a free pass on life’s little inconveniences.) As for the next-year-singing friend: I’m with Karen. Explain your parameters and stick to them. Boyfriend’s brother’s wedding? I think you’re screwed… just kick ass as much as you can.

    Good luck!

  3. You also need to read “With this Ring” by Margaret Maron (it’s in “Shoveling Smoke”, a book of her short stories). The main character attends a Bridesmaid’s Ball, where everyone is supposed to wear something they’ve worn in a wedding.

  4. So hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you… will you sing at my wedding?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. I am so friggin’ happy to be past the everyone-I-know-is-getting-married phase of my life. (Well, for 1st marriages, anyway.) That inspired this post, to give you some idea of how much I feel your pain.

  5. LeeMo permalink

    I agree with Karen. I was raised Catholic school Catholic and struggled with obligatory guilt for more years and events than I care to remember. But, I eventually had a meltdown in my 30’s and came out the other side realizing that I have choices, and whatever I choose – life goes on. There was honestly a time in my life when I said “I have no choice”… but you know what, I learned that there is ALWAYS a choice. Nobody really NEEDS a disney princess style wedding anyhow… so why do brides put themselves and their families and friends through such stress? I had a big wedding and it ranks as one of the most stressful days of my life (and I’m still married, so that wasn’t the issue). I would advise that if it makes you happy to do these things for these brides then go for it… but if it’s just stressful, then why do it? Really, I mean it, why??

  6. Eloping never sounded so good until after I officated three weddings and was a maid of honor in two.

  7. Ally permalink

    I *completely* understand. I’m a “helper” too. In fact a few years ago, when a friend of mine was frustrated with finding dresses for her 5 bridesmaids that ranged in size from 7 to 32, I helpfully suggested, “Gee, you should just buy a roll of fabric and have someone make different dresses in the same fabric!” Guess who knows how to sew? And who ended up making 5 formal dresses in 6 weeks – each in the wrong size because women NEVER give out their actual dress size. And the *one* thing I requested from all the women was to not select dresses with boning, because I didn’t know how to do that. Guess what EVERY dress had? I wasn’t even in the stupid wedding! Plus, the marriage broke up less than 2 years later. Bitter, me? NEVER.

    Good luck to you. I hope your friends someday realize how good you are being to them!

  8. First off, hi! I like your blog a lot, found you through Shapely Prose. 🙂
    I’m right in the middle of that season of life where almost all of my friends are in serious relationships/getting married/married/having kids. As a single gal who wants to get married by 30 (I’m 22) with very little prospects, being smack in the middle of wedding culture sucks. Planning weddings is a lot of drama (up until a week ago I was my friend’s maid of honor and was heavily involved with the wedding planning). After I get married, I never want to be involved in a wedding again, unless I’m officiating it (I’m in school training to be a pastor).

  9. From someone who’s getting married in a year, thanks for this – I want to be the opposite of a Bridezilla, and not stress anyone out, and make sure everyone involved has an amazing time. Please let that be possible!

  10. kristinttu permalink

    Oh my goodness! I am getting married in November, and I want to be so understanding with all of my bridesmaids. Your honesty is admirable. I do not want any of my bridesmaids to feel this way. Hang in there! They are in wedding mode and forget that not everyone else is!

  11. I know that I COULD in THEORY just tell everyone to go if themselves. But it’s not usually like I start off with ridiculous amounts of stress. All of this stuff started out very practically with plans far in advance. And as the day got closer and closer everyone around who was supposed to be helping just… fell apart and I get left holding the bag because I just can’t stand there and watch it hit the floor so to speak. It was a gradual descent into madness.

    I wish I could just cancel the bachelorette and re plan, but it’s on Saturday, and I”ve already paid for the limo.

    But let me assure you that these are mistakes I will NOT be repeating.

  12. Bree permalink

    Sometimes it’s good to have friends who are married or single/divorced/widowed with no intention of marrying again anytime soon. The idea of going to a wedding fills me with dread. I have never been in a wedding either.

    My mom and stepdad married at the local courthouse. They did it on a weekday while I was in school, so I couldn’t attend (that’s my mom for you). Their new in-laws gave them a reception at their house. We had beer, sodas, a meat platter, assorted snacks, and Mom’s new SIL made the wedding cake. They’ll be celebrating 22 years this September. You don’t need to go into debt to tell the world you’re in love.

  13. Also, Kate, that post is awesome. You got stuck in my spam filter. Sorry. I would totally sing at your wedding, but honestly, I’m not really that good.

    Speaking of which… must… leave… blog… and practice……… aaaaaaaveeeeee maaaaaiiieeaaaaaars hurt Iiiiiiii thiink thaat III aaaaaaam flaaaaaaat IIII hoooooope thaaaaat noooooooo ooooonnnnne nooooooootiiices I hooooooope nooo oooone actually knoows thiis soooooooooong.

  14. Sally permalink

    It’s been a year since my man and I eloped on the beach for $450 and I still get random phone calls from friends thanking me for not having a wedding. I wore a $50 dress and a beach bum asked us for money. Then we ate seafood and drank margaritas for three days. Ladies – if you like your friends ELOPE.

  15. Arwen permalink

    From surreals-ville — that new wordpress “related posts” thing is suggesting that this post is related to “10 Questions for Mike Huckabee”… because we know he hearts being a bridesmaid too.

  16. Shinobi permalink

    *snort* DIdn’t you know, I’ve already asked him to be my maid of honor.

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