“Surprise I’m getting married!” These joyful words have been said to me with much excitement or as much as I could imagine via text twice and actually over the phone once throughout the past year. What followed next was the very serious question, “Will you be my bridesmaid?” I’ve had to decline each person who has asked and here’s why:
Your wedding day is a sacred occasion whether it’s your first time or your second time. It’s a very blessed day in your life. I don’t feel comfortable and I don’t think anyone should, standing next to you on one of the most important days of your life when the two of us don’t really know one another that well. I mean sure we may trade memes over social media or even may have hung out together a few times through the years or we may have gone to college together but do we really know one another right now? You have to ask yourself, what do I really know about this woman besides what she posts on social media?
I gave some advice to my now adopted younger sister in the months leading up to her wedding. At the time she and I had only recently met so by no means was I expecting her to ask me (and she didn’t) to be in her wedding. While discussing her wedding plans and her bridal party, I told her that your bridesmaids should be women you love, trust, know and can depend on no matter what may happen over the course of your marriage. Will these women throw you a baby shower? Will they be there for you when motherhood gets tough? Will they be there offering up a shoulder, an ear, and only good advice when marriage gets rough? Do you trust that they won’t gossip about your life? Can you share with them your fears, worries and not so brilliant ideas? If you can answer yes to all of these questions then you may have chosen the right people to share such a personal moment in your life. Wedding photos last forever and the last thing anyone wants is to look back at their pictures and be able to say that some of the people pictured are no longer in your life for various reasons.
We’ve all seen photos of enormous wedding parties and each time I see them I wonder how well the bride and groom actually know these people. I mean sure you could have 10 besties or 10 sisters and there’s nothing wrong with being so lucky. However if you’ve asked any bride (I have! ) who had a lot of people in their wedding, they will most likely tell you that they wish they hadn’t had such a large bridal party. All of the brides I’ve spoken to have told me about the drama, insincere “fake” happiness for you, unwanted opinions and even 1 bridesmaid’s closeted crush on the brides groom!!! On the other hand I’ve heard stories about how some of the brides never even spoke to their bridesmaids again after the wedding. I know it all sounds extreme and by NO MEANS am I a bad bridesmaid. But when choosing your wedding party you have to consider everything and not just how great she’ll look walking down the aisle with your future husband’s cousin because they are the same height.
I wish each of the women who have asked me to be in their wedding nothing but lots of love, a blessed union and all of strength, courage, and wisdom that every wife needs at some time or another in life. I cannot in good conscience stand next to anyone on their big day when I know nothing about the woman they are now and the journey they took to get there. If I’m invited and my schedule permits, I’ll be there on your day smiling and probably crying because I’m a sucker for love. I hope you all can understand why I have to decline your gracious offer.
Your wedding day is a ceremony joining you with another for the rest of your lives. Not everyone deserves to be a part of that moment in time.