- Gender and Relationships»
When it's Your Best Friend's Wedding (And You're Still Single)
Is there anything more beautiful than a blushing bride on her wedding day, saying her wedding vows through tears of overwelming emotion? Okay, maybe babies, but a happy bride surrounded by loving friends and family is a beautiful thing. The operative aforementioned word being "loving" friends and family members. The one thing that can put a damper on a bride's day when she should be enjoying herself and her brand spanking new marriage is the drama caused by a jealous bridesmaid or maid of honor. I would say that before the wedding even takes place the bride should nip any feelings of negativity toward her in the butt--namely by rethinking the people involved in her bridal party or going to far as to uninvite those who don't seem to wish her well. Planning a wedding is hard enough when you have vendors cancelling on you, dealing with high prices of everyone that cashes in on these events, and keeping your own budget in check while still trying to have fun, so the last thing a bride needs is someone who's posing as her friend.
I'm not saying we don't have extremely b*tchy brides, Bridezilla is evidence of that, but when it's not a case of a lunatic woman who thinks everyone should be at her beck and call and that the world revolves around her just because she's getting married, and it's just a regular girl looking for the support of her friends, then I say if you're not going to be there for her and help her out, back out respectfully before your actions ruin your friendship.
Do women even do that? Can a woman actually admit to herself that she's so jealous of her friend's pending nuptials that she excuses herself from being a member of the wedding party and relegates herself to "guest"? I wish most women actually just suck it up, make a silent confession to themselves, and actually be the bigger person and step down from the platform, but sadly, that rarely happens. They may get demoted to guest because of their behavior, but usually that's after they've committed some offense almost beyond comprehension. I just wanted to share a few of my own thoughts if a woman can actually admit that she is jealous and still wants to share in her friend's big day. It's all a matter of keeping your attitude and thoughts in check, and if you truly love your friend, you'll find it somewhere to be happy for her and get over the fact that youre single. At least for the time being, anyway.
1. Support her I know it's a wacky thought, but could you actually try doing it for your FRIEND? Try to skip the selfish immediate thought as a single girl that she's not only with someone, but now they're getting hitched and you're not, but actually be a stand up friend and be there for her. Even if you think the guy she's marrying is a douche. You're supporting her and her decision, not necessarily him and who he is. A lot of the people that don't like the person their friend is married take a stance and refuse to be the supportive of the person they love's decision out of their own selfish reasons, instead of sucking it up and being a listening ear, a shoulder, and an aide for the planning. Unless the person does things to intentionally hurt people and it's obvious to everyone, don't let your own feelings take presendence over the person who's actually marrying them. Look on the bride side, if he's a loser, at least you're not the one who's going to be saddled with him.
The thing is, sometimes the guy isn't a loser and the bridesmaid or maid of honor is just jealous because she can't have him. There, I've said it! Brides shouldn't get it in their head that everyone wants him just because they have him, but sometimes that's just the truth of the matter. I know plenty of women that find negative things to say about their friend's boyfriends or husbands, but given half the chance they'd pounce on him and try to snag him for themselves, and I've actually seen it happen! Some women are just paranoid because of their own fiance's past behaviors or their own insecurities, but there are others who truly do know when something rotten is going on. Some women go so far as to spread lies about him and the relationship to try and break them up. Don't think it can't happen, it's happened before and it'll happen in years to come.
An upcoming wedding can bring out the best in some friends, and the very worst in others. If you feel in your heart that you can't actually be supportive of your friend, excuse yourself; and brides, if your friend isn't being supportive of you and has a rotten attitude from the very beginning, save yourself future trouble and either demote or uninvite them. Some people will prove themselves to not being worth the headache.
2. Don't make negative comments Think before you speak. A simple concept, but far more complicated than it sounds. We all say unnecessary things at times, but we also know in our hearts when we're just being plain mean. There's a difference between speaking your mind (and the truth) without being hurtful or even disrespectful. Your tone of voice, your actions, and your attitude speak volumes. For some people, they become overly sensitive when planning their wedding, and some girls have been dreaming of the day since they were barely able to walk, so don't rain on their parade. If you're in a bad mood one day let them know that you won't be any help or any good company because you may say something that you regret or make comments aloud that you never would have otherwise. If things get overwelming with the wedding planning and you feel you're on the verge of snapping yourself, step back and take a deep breath before you end up in an argument, or even worse, no longer friends.
3. Skip the excuses If you truly don't want to be a part of something or you feel slighted, don't pretend that you're going to do something and flake out at the last minute. If you've been asked to be a bridesmaid you should know that one of your duties is to buy your own dress. Unless the bride offers to pay for yours or the entire wedding party's dresses, don't make an assumption that just because you're friends she knows your financial situation and is automatically going to either pitch in for your dress for buy it for you. A true friend isn't going to choose a dress that she knows one of her friends really can't afford and expect them to buy it (or worse yet, expect them to take out a loan to buy it--trust me, it happens. A lot of brides suddenly become very self centered; or maybe it's just their true colors coming out) and a true friend isn't going to pretend she's going to buy it all along just stringing the bride along knowing she never actually had any intention to and making excuses all along the way. And don't say you're going to be somewhere and have the bride expect you and you just don't show up knowing you didn't or weren't going to go in the first place. We all do it from time to time, but in some cases it's just mean spirited and nasty.
When I was about fifteen years old I'd become friends with this woman that was in her 20's. She was sort of a family friend you could say and we would go places together, she'd take me out to lunch and we were just really cool. When she got engaged I was happy that she was taking me everywhere with her, to choose her wedding cake, pick out her gown, telling me about her rings, etc. I actually didn't expect her to ask me a bridesmaid, though it would've been a nice surprise and I would've happily accepted, but I wasn't prepared for what she asked me to do. At all. Instead of asking me to be any part of the wedding party, she asked me to help SERVE the food at her reception. Yes, you read that right. And she actually said it as if it would be a privilege. One of my closest aunts was outraged and told me not to bother to even stay after the ceremony because she thought of me as only good enough to be a servant, not even a bridesmaid after having me believe we were some kind of friends. And I didn't. I was more hurt than anything to tell you the truth. When I saw her days after the ceremony took place she asked me why I wasn't at the reception. I did make up an excuse simply because I didn't know how to explain what I felt and why I left. And you know what, I've never regretted that decision, ever. Yes, I did tell her I was going to do it, but I don't think she should've even asked me to do that. I would NEVER ask one of my friends to do that, not only because it's beyond tacky, but you're supposed to want your friends to have fun at your wedding and be a guest, not a part of the staff. You either hire your caterers and waiters or set up your food in a serve yourself buffet style. There are exceptions to everything and that was mine, whether you agree with or not. Had I been a little bit more mature and assertive during that time I would've told her no with no hesitation, but that's not how it went down. A bride also shouldn't ask her friends to do something at her wedding or for her wedding that's demeaning. I'm not saying running certain errands for your friend is demeaning, but you be the judge and she should be one as well. You're her friend, not her slave, and both of you should know that.
4. Don't sulk If you're going to have a puss on all the time, don't drag everyone else down with your misery. Brides should be able to tell when one of their girlfriends has suddenly become sullen and it could be because of the pending nuptials, or it could be for personal reasons. If it's for personal reasons, just because you're a bride it doesn't mean that your feelings are sole priority. Just because you're getting married doesn't mean that your friends cease to have emotions and it won't kill the bride to stop planning for an hour or two and check up on her friend to see what the problem is, if her friend is going through a crisis or just simply having a bad day. But it's also up to the friend to not go around trying to spread bad vibes and get everyone down just because they are. If you know the bride is having an especially happy moment or occasion, don't put a damper on it if you can help it, respect your friend enough to just tell her you'll see her later. She should understand, but explain if you know it's important to her that you be there so she gets the full gist of the situation if you have to.
5. Don't fight over her affection and loyalty Planning a wedding is when the claws come out sometimes. You not only have friends competing with one another over who's the better friend or fighting over what title they have in the wedding, but also competing with the groom! There are some people who don't know what a wedding is about and others who don't know what a marriage is about, either (sometimes both). It's hard enough for a bride to choose titles, especially when she has lots of friends, but when people start fighting over them that's really when a line needs to be drawn. It's about what the bride wants, not what you want, and if you're going to be a part of the planning and the wedding you need to respect that. Not everyone can be a member of the wedding party, there will have to be guests, and if you end up being a guest instead of having a more coveted title at the wedding it doesn't mean that you're not longer friends or that you can't still aide in the planning if she wants your help. It would be a courtesy thing to offer an explanation, but it's not an obligation of hers. But if you're truly friends and if you are truly hurt and feel slighted by not being a bridesmaid or a maid of honor then pull her aside quietly and respectfully ask her. This isn't something that should be a communal discussion because feelings could get hurt and other problems could arise. And sometimes, it might suck, but you just have to tuck your own feelings away and drop the matter if you can, especially if you see that she's already stressed out. Maybe you should bring it to her attention, maybe you should drop it, it's up to you.
There are those individuals that need to be reminded that the bride is actually marrying her fiance and not them. No matter how hard you try to compete for her loyalty against her soon to be husband, you're not going to win, at least you shouldn't, and that's something that you should understand. Not saying that she should completely ignore your friendship just because she's getting married, but planning a wedding is also the time that some couples truly start to bond and see what they're made of with all the pressures around them. If her fiance expresses that he doesn't want her to have a bachelorette party, for example, and she agrees with him (whether she sulks at it or not), it's not your place to butt in and offer your opinion. Some matters are between them and them alone. They're the ones making the vow to stay together forever and possibly have children and be tethered to one another for the rest of their lives, as a friend, you don't get that privileged. It's up to the couple as a team to decide their wedding venue, menu and guest list and if they're making decisions together, you shouldn't come between them. If your friend, however, starts choosing your side and the two of you start ganging up on her fiance, then maybe she shouldn't go through with it because obviously she doesn't understand what marriage and the relationship between she and her future husband is really about.
6. Don't try and upstage her It's actually a shame that you have to say this, but it happens all the time. Don't let any of your intentions be to show off and try to make the bride look bad or small on her big day. If you're single try and make yourself feel better in a different way than demeaning the bride. Let her have her moment and her happiness, if you truly care about her, you'd want this for her.
7. Don't make drama People do this all the time of course, but during the planning of a wedding and the wedding itself, when emotions are running high, it's easier to get it started. They try to make their problems everyone else's, they want all the attention, and all eyes on them, and this may sound as though this would fall under any of the above categories, but trust me, starting drama is in a category all its own. Let's start with the point that not every conversation needs to be repeated. There are those girls, and we all know them, that will overhear a convo and if it's going to upset someone or if they can twist it to make it sound even worse they love to pass it on. Please don't do this to your friend when they're meant to be planning for one of the most pivotal moments/days of their lives. If you happen to be with the other bridesmaids or so called friends of the brides and you witness them saying something unsavory that will only cause hurt to the bride, if you can keep it to yourself and if it's better for the bride, tuck it away until later if need be. And don't start fights with other girls or members of the wedding party. If you do have issues with anyone try to steer clear of them for the duration of the planning if possible. Drama comes in many forms, and even if the bride is a drama queen try and down play the situation. Unless all of you love the drama, try and keep it on hold till after the wedding.
Don't sabotage someone who's meant to be your friend. This definitely falls under the drama category. Don't try to sabotage their relationship with their soon to be husband, the bachelorette party, and don't sabotage the wedding/reception itself. Then again, if you are a conniving person like that I don't think you will have gotten this far in this article, but if you're seeing the scheming going on, either stay out of it or come to your friend's (the bride's) assistance. If the drama is rolling on and there's no getting out of it, speak up so that your friend can actually have a good time and a good day. I've already mentioned that some women are desperate enough to want to try and steal the bride's fiance, and sabotage is usually that person's forte (not to mention rumors). This is the exception to rule of not telling the bride; if it's on a need-to-know basis fill her in on what you think. She may have to scratch someone off the guest list.
Some people are just jealous of the bride, period. They don't want her to have her ring, her dress, the ceremony, the reception or her man. All of us have a little bit of the green eyed monster in us, but if you're someone's friends you feel these things toward her you need to take a step back and reevaluate your own life. It's not anyone else's job to make you happy and content with yourself and your life, but you. And maybe after some self analysis you may find that the root of the problem lies deeper than you think. Some jealousy is normal, while other is very unhealthy. If you find that someone else's happiness seriously is interfering with your own, you may need to seek help.
8. Make the most of being single A lot of cute guys are usually at weddings, how about looking forward to that. Think of the best man, groomsmen, ushers and the other male guests who'll be looking to hook up during and after the wedding and reception. Even if you don't find the man of your dreams or your boyfriend or future husband at the upcoming wedding, at least you can keep the anticipation of it alive as you near the date and keep your fingers crossed. Maybe you won't find a lasting romance at the wedding, but at least you'll have fun in the process if you make the most of the situation and put your relationship status aside, enjoy the day, and feel happy that your friend has found her own happy ending.
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