Of Maids and Men
Choosing bridesmaids can cause some brides-to-be a lot of grief. Sisters, school friends, cousins, future sisters-in-law, university friends, the girl for whom you were a bridesmaid 5 years ago, the list can go on and on and on. Who to choose can turn into a question of how many is too many and particularly in America, you can end up with enormous bridal parties.
For me, choosing my ‘maids was easy. Firstly, neither I nor A Man has any sisters, which makes life so much easier! Secondly, although I have quite a few cousins, we weren’t brought up together like some families are – we would see each other every couple of months, have a great afternoon and then go back home again. They’ll be invited as guests, but I felt no obligation to ask them to be my bridesmaids.
The main reason though was that I have one group of incredibly close friends. We used to see each other constantly, but have since moved away and live in different parts of the country (or world, in one case!). The thing is, no matter how much time passes and how much things apparently change, we always come together as if we saw each other yesterday. It’s always completely natural and great fun and there’s never an awkward moment where we don’t know what to say to one another. I love them very very much.
The thing is that because our group have been so close knit for so long, we unintentionally close off other people. We’re pretty friendly and try to include everyone, but there are so many in-jokes and things that penetrating the outer shell of our friendship group is surprisingly difficult. This will be relevant in a minute, I promise.
Although I knew exactly who my ‘maids were going to be, I couldn’t tell them for ages. This is because A Man was dithering about who his best man was going to be. It took a few months to get him to make his mind up, but eventually he decided and we asked them all during our Christmas get-together. Here’s a photo from our Christmas meal a few years ago, as it has everyone in it (plus you’ve already seen the most recent one).
A Man You know who he is!
Friend J Used to do performing arts with S, E and L. He’s a couple of years younger than us which no one ever thought about until the times we all wanted to go out for a drink and he was only 16. He’s at drama school at the minute – one day he’ll be a massive star! I’m hoping I might be able to persuade him to play his guitar or sing for us on our wedding day.
Best ‘Man’ S A Man’s oldest friend, they’ve known each other since they were 2. They went to school together all the way from preschool to college at age 18. I met her on the science course I mentioned the other day, we used to write to one another. Had he not chosen her as Best Man, she would have been a bridesmaid but I’m really glad he came to his senses!
Me Big grin!
Usher K, who A Man has known since they were 4 or 5. They have that funny kind of ‘boy’ friendship I don’t entirely understand! He has been asked to be an usher, but we’re not entirely sure if he’ll even be in the country at the time – he may have already departed for somewhere exotic on his planned travels.
Bridesmaid E She’s been Bridesmaid L’s friend since they were tiny children and I started seeing her a lot once we started college. I have spent many silly drunken nights with her (once we start giggling together it’s incredibly hard to stop) and we’ve slept in the same bed more times than I care to think about. She’s the one I tend to go to when I have a crisis on my hands, and she comes to me for my ‘sensible thinking brain’. I miss her hugely since she moved to New Zealand with her boyfriend JB.
Bridesmaid L Another one I met on the science course and used to write to. She works in a psychiatric hospital and is very much a work hard, play hard kind of girl! Last summer we stayed up drinking together until 11am which was followed later that day by the worst hangover I’ve ever had. She’s a huge amount of fun and will probably be single-handedly organising my hen do. I don’t know whether I’m glad about that or not… But it’s not all a relationship of boozing and partying – I can talk to her about anything and she gives truly excellent hugs 🙂
Best Man P He managed to wheedle his way into our group at a late stage of the game! P was in my French and German A Level classes at college and introduced himself at a college party with the phrase, “We’re in 40% of the same classes; we should get to know one another. Would you like a drink?” He can make any vaguely amusing story wet-your-pants funny just in the way he tells it; I used to frequently almost choke on my lunch at college from laughing too hard. We love him so so much and I can’t believe there was ever a time we didn’t know him.
So those are our VIPs! I’m looking forward to having everyone together enormously, particularly as we may not see E at all until then! I love the fact that our bridal party are all from the same friendship group, and it’s massively important to me that they’re all involved. How did you choose your bridal party? Are you having lots or a choice few? And do they already know one another?