When my best friend from high school got engaged, I was asked to be her maid of honor. It was quite the honor.
At the time that she asked I couldn’t afford anything. If you don’t know from experience yet, being a bridesmaid is a huge financial investment.
So I was upfront and told her I couldn’t afford a dress. She said it wouldn’t be a problem. That it was a low key low budget wedding anyway. She wasn’t kidding.
I tried finding a dress. Nothing. She wanted a Fuchsia color for her bridesmaids so finding that exact match was difficult. I told her I had a nice black dress that I could wear. She never said yes or no so I assumed I was still standing next to her on her big day. (Spoiler alert! Not true!)
Ladies, I got to her house the morning of the wedding and found out I wasn’t the maid of honor. Her neighbor that she just met was going to be standing in for me because she could afford the dress! So I was given a new job; Drive the bride around to get errands done. Come with me on this journey, won’t you?
First stop WALMART! Any bride knows this is always the first stop so you can pick up wedding accessories and decorations. We started at the “jewelry” counter first. The woman behind the counter lost her MIND when she realized she was serving a bride on her wedding day! She showed us all kinds of beautiful baubles of the cubic zirconia origin. It was like shopping for the prom! In 1989! And anyone who knows me knows I only trust a woman in purple stretch pants and a blue Walmart vest to give me advice on looking good at a wedding.
Now… over to the decorations section! Now I know what you’re thinking. “Cuddy, VFW Halls look good on their own. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?” Well, because we wanted to transform it into a magical place. And we did. So we stocked up on paper lanterns, christmas lights and candles.
To the VFW hall we go! Nothing says true love like jamming Christmas lights into the tiles of a drop ceiling! I assembled the paper lanterns while Maid of Honor Neighbor smoked Marlboro Reds. Everyone learning a lot about bridesmaiding so far?On our way back from picking up the flowers, my bride friend asked me a very important question. A question that only a best friend could ask because it involves a great deal of trust. Grab your tissues, ladies. I’ll wait.
She asked if I could be the one to push play on the iPod when it was time for her to walk down the aisle at the church. Twenty years of friendship led us to this moment.
Now, I’m not a religious woman, but it’s true that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. When I got to the church, that very important iPod duty was taken from me and given to the sister of the groom. It was like my heart was ripped out of my chest.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Elks lodges, so the reception at the VFW was in my wheelhouse. What I wasn’t expecting was for my friend’s little brother to hit on me by talking to me about selling drugs and the father of the bride reading my palm. He said I was going to be a writer. Look at me now!
In all seriousness, I wish it didn’t come down to a matching dress deciding whether or not I could stand with my friend on her day. I wasn’t in any of the pictures. I was placed last minute at a table with the groom’s side. I had always assumed we’d be in each others’ weddings and I came out of this one without one picture of the two of us. You don’t have to let money dictate your day. Just ask the lady at Walmart.