This is an edited version of the letter I sent to my bridesmaids and bridesmen. It was sent as chopped-up puzzle pieces with a note that said “have fun, it’s double sided, you might need tape!” I know I write about saving money, but this saves them money, not me.
By now you have put the pieces of this complicated puzzle together. I picked a puzzle because it’s fun and probably took a lot of thought to assemble without a picture to guide you. It’s a lot like life too, but for me, you have always been there to guide me, so I have a very important question to ask you in the longest possible way…
To my Potential Bridesmaids and Bridesmen,
I’m starting off with “potential” because I want you to sincerely have the option of saying no, an option people aren’t often afforded guilt-free when asked this. By the end of the letter, though, I really hope you say yes to standing beside me and see it as less of a duty and more of an honor.
You are a few of my very best friends. You celebrated the great times with me and have been there when life wasn’t all roses. Each of you watched me date the wrong guy, after guy. And you told me when they were just awful and told me when I needed to make more of an effort. You took me out to parties the first week of college and you stumbled through SoHo at 3 a.m. with me, years after college. You hung out with me when I was feeling totally alone. You went on vacation with me. I came to visit you in your far-away city. I loved being your roommate. I love being your friend. I look forward to our phone calls. I don’t want to lose you guys in this marriage. I want you to be a part of my special day and to thank you for being my friend, and maybe even be open to finding a friend in the guy I’m so excited to marry.
I have a few promises to make to you that will hopefully make you smile.
Brace yourself. This will not be the best day of my life. It will be one of the many. I want you to be there on my wedding day and all the other days that are just as amazing, like coming over to our new home or when you and I finally go on a safari or being in the stadium together when S.U. finally plays in the Final Four. On my wedding day, I want it to be full of love, and it will be if you are there.
I said yes to all of this, you didn’t. You will not be “required” to come to every event. Even the thought of asking you would be completely ridiculous. You are in no way supposed to give us three to five of your weekends for all of this. You have lives, careers and kids. I will not beg you to come to everything, I only ask that you truly want to be there when you do come.
Bridesmaids: You will never wear the dress again, end of story. In lieu of a giving you a silly gift bag filled with candles and lotions at the rehearsal dinner, the dress is on me. I haven’t decided on what color or type yet, but there is no way in hell I’m forcing you to pay for something you can only wear again as a Halloween costume. I will try not to subject you to a cut that smooshes your boobs or makes you look fat. If you do find it so glamorous that you can’t wait for another function to show it off, that’s wonderful. Otherwise, you can slap me across the face if I utter the most hated words in bridesmaid-dress shopping, “Oh, you’ll wear it again!”
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Bridesmen: I don’t have the same feeling towards suits or tuxes, and we haven’t decided what clothing to subject you to, but it will be a rental. I promise though that all the guys will get a really awesome present at the rehearsal dinner… so there’s that.
On to more fun things…
You aren’t responsible for the bridal shower. After all the ones I have been to, I truly never understood why the bridesmaids paid the mother for the party. I’m erring on the side of tradition, and if my mom wants one she’s paying for it. You guys can help, but it won’t mean writing a check. I honestly don’t even know if I want one anyway; I haven’t perfected my excitement over spatulas and can openers yet.
The maid of honor will be responsible for the bachelorette party. Since you have known me long enough to know that I’m less of a party girl and more of a spa day-turned-awesome-dinner type, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to fly to Vegas. So ladies, if you say yes to the well-fitting dress, the honor also includes a partially paid weekend away planned by the maid of honor, my dear sister, should she accept. Bridesmen, consider this your “get out of jail free” card since you live across the country, unless you can’t contain your excitement over the spa.
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Finally, if you are single, I won’t force our single friends upon you. I was not appointed matchmaker as soon as I became part of a couple. I don’t know any more about love than you do. Since our friends are from all parts of our lives, you may not have crossed paths with a lot of them, including some of the other bridesmaids/men. We will give you a rundown of who is coming and how we know each other, only so you have something to talk about over the open bar, single or otherwise.
That is all I have. Hopefully you find these terms and conditions to your liking!
So… will you be my bridesmaid/man?
I hope you can’t wait another second to call and say yes.
I love you all, I thank you all and I need to you help me through the wedding binders (which you are apparently supposed to have), picking the dress (that I will freak out about when there is no coupon I can use), and fights with the parents (about all our terrible choices).
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