It’s the classic love story.
Hypothetically speaking, if you happened to be sailing down the Rideau Canal on a paddle board at the time your friend decided to share the news, via group chat, from Ireland, you’d likely almost lose your balance, and your phone, to the waters below.
Needless to say, whichever way you are informed of this epic life event, it’s a big moment. So big, that it’s worth buying a solo bottle of champagne later in the evening to celebrate from afar (another hypothetical scenario).
749 text messages later and it’s confirmed: the ring is beautiful and your hearts are bursting.
Then comes the obligatory trip to see the bride-to-be (read: ring) in person. No, this is not the engagement party. This is just the “omigod-I-cannot-wait-another-moment-to-squeeze-you” event. Previous plans? Rescheduled. Distance by car? Not a factor. Instagrammed photo? Necessary.
Engagement party ensues. This is the first time you will likely gather with your ENTIRE extended group of friends to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. Hair did, nails did, everything did. You know there will be as many photos taken as there are shots consumed. If your title is MOH, this is when sh*t gets real.
Next, the really exciting part: the wedding diet. No, you are not the bride. Heck, you may not even be a bridesmaid. But, as a certified bff, you feel just as compelled to get into the best shape of your life. Luckily, you usually have a period of 8-14 months to accomplish your goal*
*goal to be revised upwards of 12 times.
(You don’t need to lose weight, anyway. You’re already a tigress—and—those french fries look great.)
Over the following time period, you will be on a heightened state of awareness for all things wedding. See a ring? Immediate comparisons drawn. Flower arrangement catches your eye? You’ve already found out what farm the hydrangeas have come from and have saved the florist’s contact info in your phone. If you hear the words “wedding”, “bride”, “bachelorette party”, or “venue” your head swivels around like a bald eagle tracking prey.
Speaking of Bachelorette Party, it goes without saying that this is the main reason why anyone would consider getting engaged and the highlight of your own journey to the (side of) the aisle. But, what happens in ___________ (coughChicagocough), stays in ____________. So, just start saving now and regret nothing.
Underestimated by many, the Bridal Shower is actually one of the best parts of the wedding festivities. I mean, sure, in our specific case “Bridal Shower” meant catered canapés, more champagne than conceivable, and a dance party that went till 4 in the morning. But, whatever your cup of tea, this might be the first chance you get to meet your bestie’s extended group of friends and fam. At this point, you’ve met A LOT of the people who mean the most to your bridal-bff, but there’s always that aunt that likes every single thing you post on Facebook who you’ve actually never met, or that work-wife you feel like you know through daily Snapchat stories. This is one serious love-fest that men have never been so thankful they are prohibited to attend. It also sets the stage for the wedding and ensures that if your date is in the washroom, there will still be plenty of friendly faces to help you shake your groove thing.
At long last, the month leading up to the wedding arrives. You can think of nothing else. When someone asks, “What’s up?” The only response you have is: “MY FRIEND IS GETTING MARRRRRRIED.” You make sure you have your ducks in a row: dress, shoes, jewellery, nails, hair.
And your mind will wander down the “When I get married … “ track more often than any of us will ever admit.
Because, the thing about having one of your soul sisters get married is: it’s different from being a guest at any other wedding. You’re more involved, without necessarily being part of the bridal party. You love them so deeply that you share in their happiness and excitement. Sure, it’s their big day, but you know you’ll shed tears, beam with pride and feel the same kind of real love you would feel if it were your own.
It’s beautiful kind of empathy that flows right from the heart.
And, when it’s over—after you wipe away tears the first time you see her, feel your throat catch when her Dad gives her away, watch them become husband and wife, first kiss, first dance, applaud speeches, burn a hole in the dance floor and pause for a moment to take in all the love you just witnessed—after all of that, you’ll feel a tiny sense of loss.
The good news? If you’re in the 25-35 age demographic, you’ll be able to relive that bliss soon because …
… let’s face it, everyone is effing getting married.
So don’t fret, the pain is temporary. Your wallet has a reprieve and the process will get to start all over again. Real soon.
This post is dedicated to the most beautiful bride there ever was (and former nut) Kaylee
Paré Curtis and her wonderful husband, Nick. Thanks for letting us be there for every special step along the way.
…. ^ this, though ….