What I Learned While Being a Bridesmaid

Last weekend I was a bridesmaid for the second time in my life. Now, I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid FOUR times! Yes, four! But, this was only my second time as a bridesmaid.

The first one, the bride cheated on the groom and called the whole thing off. Ironically, their relationship started when he cheated on another girl with her… but I digress.

The second one was a really good friend. She lived out of state and I was in the area visiting on the day she had just been proposed to and said I had to be a bridesmaid- of course!!!! I was so excited, called her often so I could start planning and saving! She never answered her phone, never returned my calls. Then one day when I called, her last name was different on her voicemail. Obviously, I wasn’t a bridesmaid after all.

The third time, I was pregnant with my son when my friend proposed to my other friend! I was super stoked! He is like a brother and she like a sister! Heck yes! My daughter was their flower girl and the date they picked was when my son was not quite 5 months old. I made my daughters (amazing) dress, made my dress and one more bridesmaids dress, fixed one other bridesmaid dress the day before the wedding and the brides mom asked me to fix some beading work on the brides dress the night before the wedding. I was grumpy and exhausted- my son was a VERY difficult baby and my ex (who was still around), not very helpful even back then. I lived 2 hours away, so wasn’t able to offer much help and honestly, at times I felt like more of an annoyance than a help. If I could do it for her again- I would do so much different.

Then this past April, I was asked to be a bridesmaid for the fourth time.

I learned a lot this time. I determined to not be an annoyance or source of stress- but to serve my friend, the bride. When you break it down, isn’t that what a bridesmaid does?! Serve the bride! Yes, it’s an honor to be a bridesmaid- but serve!!!!

One of the first things I learned- and this was hard- was to not let my past (and still fairly recent) relationship failures and troubles hinder my joy for the bride. Her honey is not the man who betrayed, lied to and cheated on me for all those years. I ended up, on occasion, even using things from my past to calm her fears and encourage her when jitters set in. Were there times she was excited and my heart hurt? Heck yes! I set it aside, was excited for her and had my moment later.

The second thing I learned was to plan for the finances. Being a single mom and having both of my kids involved, I had to really plan! As soon as she asked me, I set aside some money from my tax return and started saving! I had a plan and gosh darn- it worked!!! My kids and I had everything we needed! Time to buy bridesmaid dress? BAM! Done! Paid for- in full- cash! Time to pitch in for bridal shower? BAM!! Done! In cash, right away! Time to rent a tuxedo for my little man? BAM! Done! Paid for- in full- cash! Even right up to the last day, I had exactly enough cash! I used the last of it to get dinner for my kids and I on the way home! My planning paid off cuz I was too dang tired to cook that night haha!!

The third thing I learned was to give the bride space. This is her day- how I did things or how I saw someone else do things may not be how she wants to do them. I tried (but sometimes slipped on this) to only give my opinion when it was asked for. I suggested a photographer I know when she mentioned it, gave her some info and left it at that. When the time came to try on dresses- as long as I didn’t look like some hoochie, I did not care what dress she picked. I let her decide. I would have worn burlap and combat boots if that is what she asked for… Praise Jesus she didn’t!! Haha!!

The fourth thing I learned was that this day- my friend’s wedding day- meant a couple weeks (or more) of work for me. My friend had gotten sick just before the wedding, so I ran some of her errands and did some of her shopping. I on purpose planned to devote the last couple of weeks leading up to the wedding to only wedding related stuff. And it paid off. I was able to serve my friend and relieve some of her stress by having time to take on some of her errands.

The fifth thing- BE PREPARED!!! I have the maid of honor to thank for this- really!! She asked me to prep an emergency box. I had already planned on doing something similar on a smaller scale, but I went ALL in!! I’ll do another post later on my wedding emergency box because it was super fantastically rad!! It deserves some good attention!! And we got some good use out of it! I also planned a kid box to keep kiddos busy at the reception- again, another post haha!

The sixth thing it learned was to serve, serve, serve. I was on my feet all day that day. Unloading the car, helping set up, serving lunch, helping the bride get dressed (which was comical and fun!), getting my kids ready, helping others find what they needed, setting up for the reception, cleaning up at the reception, making sure guests had what they needed and refilling the water & lemonade 342 times! I was not a guest at this wedding- but a maid, a servant to the bride. A servant to her guests.

I learned so much more, but those are the main ones that are sticking out to me right now. It was an honor and privilege to serve my friend and her hubby- and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!!! Not for just anyone, though!!!

About Alicia

Alicia is a Jesus loving, homeschooling, mini-van driving, food loving, gluten-free-cuz-I-have-to-be, fun loving, choir mamaing, bike riding, So Cal born and raised solo mama to 2 amazing kiddos with 3 cats, a ginormous dog and the 2 cutest nieces ever! She had a deep passion for cooking and baking that left with her Celiac disease diagnosis in 2013, but has now returned as she experiments with and tests recipes to make them delicious and enjoyable even without the gluten! You can find all sorts of random thoughts, ideas and whatever else pops into her completely random mind right here at Big Black Trash Bag!
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