The ring is on my finger, sparkling as it catches the light, I have a head full of wedding ideas and a whole new Pinterest board (or maybe about 20!?) dedicated to my plans. And I can’t wait to see my girlfriends to talk everything through. I’ve always imagined my sister and my closest friends following me down the aisle, standing up there next to me on what is one of the biggest days of my life.
… but, hey, do I really need bridesmaids at my wedding?
I’m thinking of not having any bridesmaids at all. What will my girlfriends think? Will it be okay to be a bride without bridesmaids? Here comes the dilemma!!!
Will they be ok wearing a wrapped pale pink dress? Or isn’t their colour? And what if not all their body will look as good in that strapless as my skinny vegan friend?
If I think about magazine editorials as model, it would be safe to assume that all wedding parties are made up of models. More likely than not, my wedding party is made up of a lot of people who look looking nothing like each other. Which makes choosing bridesmaid dresses a special kind of complicated.
Bridesmaids aren’t models (at least, not all of them!), which means they may be a little bit frustrated shopping for a bridesmaid dress when you have… body parts.
DO I really want my girls walking bravely down the aisle with their heels stuck into the soft ground; or wearing a brown sateen gown with a rhinestone belt, squeezed in an outfit and shoes and perhaps even a hairdo that matched someone else’s?!
And what if they found out that in ancient times, bridesmaids dressed identically to the bride to ward off evil spirits hellbent on tearing the happy couple apart. (Kind of makes those matching bridal dresses feel a little eerie, huh?) As an added bonus, that was a time of “marriage by capture”, and all those similar-looking ladies helped to confuse dimwitted former suitors who might try to steal the bride at her own wedding.
Maybe is that I realised that as I’m getting married in my thirties, it seems increasingly odd to have a host of women dressed alike all standing next to me. It’s not a cheerleading competition, it’s a wedding.
Bridesmaids are expected to look a certain way (the same), and behave a certain way (like “ladies” or “maids”), and to put marriage above all else in terms of their ultimate, expected goals. So what if they are, in their actual lives, lawyers or professors of philosophy or emergency room doctors or writers? No matter.
On the other side, maybe I can give my friends a gift, too: tell them to wear whatever they like, to come and be not a clan of bridesmaids but themselves. After all, it’s not the title that matters, it’s the friendship.