Every time I contemplate our bridal party, the first image that comes to mind is Katherine Heigel in 27 Dresses. If you haven’t seen it, the premise is that she has been a bridesmaid 27 times, and the whole movie focuses around how awful it is to be a bridesmaid. Thus is the “bridesmaid burden”.
If you ask any woman in her early 20’s what it is like to be a bridesmaid, it sounds quite glamorous. They squeal at the possibility of walking down the aisle, all eyes on them, wearing a beautiful gown, hair and make-up done, holding a bouquet of flowers, and standing next to their friend as she says her vows.
Now ask a woman in her late 20’s/early 30’s about being a bridesmaid, and it is like we are talking about two different experiences. Women who have gone though being a bridesmaid at least once know that it is not that glamourous scene as played out when we were 22-23… Instead, we envision, ugly dresses, uniform shoes, a crazy-mad bridezilla, and dresses that will go to the “closet graveyard”. (When you spend that much on a dress you do NOT throw it out!) Not to mention the fact that being a bridesmaid is the biggest financial burden we will endure as women for our friends for one single event. Not even children are this expensive on our friends!
Thus is the “bridesmaid burden”. Now when women are invited to be in a bridal party, they no longer feel excitement that someone wants to share their special day with them, but instead we focus on “how much this is going to cost” and “what we are going to have to do”, and it ruins the experience. I’ve been engaged for 2 months and have yet to pick a bridal party for this very reason. How do you include those who are close to you, without asking them to endure this burden? Is there a way around this? Or do you just ask them regardless of their financial, social, or emotional state at the time of your engagement?
I guess it could also be called the “bridal burden”…