I’m sure that you’ve heard numerous times about how when you stand up with someone it can mark the end of your friendship. The curse has hit me before and I’ve also gotten to watch it time and time again with friends. Here are some ways to still be on speaking terms with the bride after the wedding is over.
Ok, first things first. If you can’t be at someone’s beck and call for the next several months, or better yet you just don’t want to be, then consider declining the invitation to stand up with them. I know a lot of people feel like its a dick move but if they actually know you well enough to stand up with them, then they should understand. They probably already know you’re ok with a dick move. Be honest. The second that you say yes and your heart isn’t in it, then you’re already doing them a disservice. That ups the fight percentage by at least half. If you keep it real and tell them honestly why you’re not going to be a good bridesmaid then chances are they wouldn’t want you to be in that position anyway. They can fill that spot with someone who’s feelings would be really hurt by not being asked.
Once you’ve accepted to being a part of the wedding, then be prepared to do some work. There will be planning, color choosing, tablecloth pricing, running all over hells half acre to pick up the perfect plastic cups for the social. That’s just how it goes. Make your peace with it now. You will be screaming into a pillow after every meeting because you won’t understand how the hell your usually calm and collected friend has turned into a raving lunatic. You will deal with tears. You will deal with anxiety. You will deal with your usually quiet friend yelling “I’m the bride!” Every time you give her constructed criticism. Smile. It’s her wedding. Even though she might be turning into a crazed she beast right in front of you, just try to zip your lips and concentrate on sewing that backdrop by hand because she wants something “folky”. You’ve agreed to embark on this journey with her. The quieter you stay now, the more you can both laugh about it after it’s all said and done.
There will be some topics that may become “hands off” as well, even though you might have been able to joke about them before. Stay away from any kind of weight talk. Even if they won’t admit it, weight will be a touchy subject for the bride. Don’t make jokes when she says she hasn’t touched a carb in three months. Don’t comment about how she’s working out too much. Let her work out. It might tire some of the wedding crazy out of her. Don’t joke about fights she’s had with her husband to be. Better yet, if she says they’ve gotten into a fight, just slink out of the room like you’re a shadow. You don’t want to throw your two cents in there now. That’s how shit gets called off and then all of a sudden it’s pinned on you. No jokes about cheating or anything that’s going to up her anxiety. Think of yourself as a friendly psychologist. Smile, listen, be there for her and then get back to hand crafting those invitations.
If you’re “lucky” enough to have been asked to MC or give a toast, then hold onto your ass and say a prayer. Please don’t talk about that time you guys all went to Cabo and the brides top came off to a Lynyrd Skynyrd song. Don’t touch down on any debauchery that took place at the bachelorette/bachelor party. The grooms grandma and the bride don’t need to hear about how the groom took thirty seven tequila shots which then led to him taking a snapshot with the shooter girls breasts. Unless it’s the right crowd, then leave out how the bride almost puked up a boot after you all last went out together. Keep it light, fun and funny without absolutely skewering either one of them. If it’s something your grandma wouldn’t want to hear, then chances are neither do theirs.
Having planned a wedding myself, it’s stressful. All of your family thinks that you should be doing things a different way. You get told what mistakes you’re making non stop. I’m so thankful for the ladies that I had stand up with me. They helped me as much as they could. I understood that. I wasn’t a demanding bride because I’m a whole different level of crazy that thinks if I do things myself, then they will be done exactly how I want them to be. They were there whenever I needed them though. Smiling while I complained about my stress ulcer. As outlandish as you may feel the bride may be acting, it’s simply because she’s worried about her wedding day will turn out. No bride wakes up and says “oh well, if my wedding turns out like shit then I’m ok with that”. Every girl has an idea of how they want their wedding to go. If you agree to stand up with them then you’ve accepted the challenge of helping them make that vision come true. End of story.
So remember, as much as you might want to box the bride right in the nose and hold her under water for a second to snap some sense into her….don’t. Remind yourself about all the reasons why you love her crazy ass and do a shot of tequila. Whatever you need to do to get through. Your wonderful friend will return back to normal as soon as the I do’s are said. For the meantime, put on that dress that doesn’t flatter you, put your hair up and slap on the most uncomfortable heels in the world. Pose for pictures, laugh, tell her she’s beautiful and smile knowing that you’re one day going to put her through the exact same hellish procedure. Hey, that’s what real friends are for, right?