Saturday is going to be momentous. One of my oldest friends is getting married.
Weddings are amazing. It’s a big party with fancy food and (hopefully) an open bar. But the purpose of the celebration is incredible: to celebrate the joining of two into one. Whether it be a ceremony in a church or at city hall, no one can ignore how incredible it is when two people decide to commit themselves like this. I don’t even think the significance really hit me until we were celebrating the engagement of another friend a couple weekends ago. I could have cried right then (but it was so hot out my tears would have instantly evaporated and I would have been left making a weird pouty face).
This isn’t my first wedding. In fact, this will be my third in the last year. And my third serving as a bridesmaid. And there’s still more weddings lined up for 2018 where I will also serve as a bridesmaid. (My closet is starting to look like it belongs in “27 Dresses.”)
We should pause for a moment. Yes, I know that is A LOT of weddings. I’ve honestly lost track of how many engagements there have been and I know this year will likely bring some more. It’s much simpler to be a guest than a bridesmaid. There’s a lot of responsibility as a bridesmaid: bridal shower, gifts, bachelorette party, dress shopping, and being supportive of any and all of the brides wishes—within reason. Then there’s the days before the wedding, usually one last fun night with the bride, the rehearsal dinner, and spending all day getting your hair and makeup done sitting around, laughing, drinking champagne. Okay that last part is awesome. And to be fair, ALL of it is awesome. It’s just a lot, especially if you’re actively participating in more than one wedding at a time. Also it’s not any easier if the bridal party is big or small, and definitely not any easier when you impromptu move across the Atlantic mid-wedding season. Unpause.
You’re probably thinking, “Well Julia did you not realize the significance and importance of the other weddings you attended this year? Were those less important to you? Huh?!”
No, not in the least.
But this is different. Ashley, the very soon to be bride, and Taylor, also a bride-to-be, are my oldest friends that I’ve known since third grade. The three of us did everything together. We were on the same soccer team, played jailbreak on the weekends, took group homecoming photos, and celebrated high school graduation in tears holding hands. Taylor and I even worked weekends together when my parents owned a candy business.
Now Ashley is getting married this weekend and she asked me to stand by her side that day. Taylor asked the same thing of me. Two of my cousins asked me too. And my dad. A five-time bridesmaid in less than three years. I’ve started to joke about how I need one of those wedding planning binders to keep track of all my bridesmaid duties. In the moment of being asked, you’re given a few cute bridesmaid gifts, post an Instagram picture about how honored you are to be chosen, and then start talking about dresses and hairstyles. It doesn’t actually hit you in that moment—at least not for me.
It was when the three of us were standing amidst a busy engagement party—only two weeks before the first of our trio walks down the aisle—taking silly pictures with props, making jokes, and yelling at each other like we’re still 14-year-olds. Only now we’ve grown from our trio into a group of six. And yes, there have been changes along the way in each of us and even in our friendship. That doesn’t change that the three of us have shared a lifetime together. We got to grow up together, support each other, have fun and make mistakes together. Now Taylor and Ashley are taking big steps in their lives, and I still get to be a part of it. I realized that’s the beauty of it for me.
Dresses and bridal showers aside, there’s a lot of honor that comes with the title of bridesmaid. I’m beyond honored to be there for my friends and family as they make their vows. The fact that they wanted me to be part of this amazing time in their life, I don’t have enough words.