Here's what you missed in the small print of becoming a bridesmaid...
#1 You will get sick of talking about weddings.
There, you said it. Wasn't that easy? If you're already married, you're convinced you weren't this detail-obsessed when planning your own big day; if you're not married, you've taken a vow that you will never, ever ask anyone to go through the indignities you have endured in the run-up to your so-called BFF's wedding day.
#2 Such as the dress.
No, not The Dress - rather, the one you're being made to wear. Obviously you appreciate that it's the bride's choice (despite your subtle hints that you might maybe like to pick your own bridesmaid gown) and that it's her wedding day and all... But even so. There is literally no excuse ever to wear orange taffetta.
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#3 And there's also the small matter of all the opinions.
Opinions you're not even sure you have! From home-grown flower choices to the cherry overtones of the wedding cake and the font used in the invites, you've been asked for your thoughts on it all. It's flattering that she thinks so highly of your opinion, you suppose - but the other day, you spent so long having a debate about the merits of soup as a starter that you had an out-of-body experience.
#4 In fact, you've considered feigning headaches to avoid your planning meetings.
Not that you ever actually would, of course. Partly because you're scared of what the bride would do if she found out you'd told a little white lie (fitting, eh?) but also because you are a Good Friend. Obviously.
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#5 Organising the hen party was fun though.
L-plates and phallic straws aside, the main priority of any hen-do is to make sure the bride has fun and your savvy hiring of that Beatles tribute-stripper group saw fit to that. All the covert planning and secret emails made you feel like some kind of bridal spy - James Bond ain't got nothing on you.
#6 You could probably add counsellor to your CV now.
After all, you and the bride have spent a lot of quality time chewing the fat - going over her hopes and fears, chatting about the difficulty of seating warring family members in the same room... You come away from each session mildly drained but also humming the tune of Proud by Heather Smalls.
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#7 BTW, you will have to get on with the other bridesmaids.
You've watched The Hangover. You've watched Bridesmaids. A good relationship with the other members of the bridal party is almost an unspoken law: you simply must get on to the best of your abilities so as to make things as easy as possible for the bride. Otherwise you will quickly become an outsider, a lone antelope seperated from the herd. Don't be that antelope, dear reader.
#8 On the day itself, you will need to remember everything.
And we mean everything. The bride's lipstick, the name of the groom's father, the magic words that will get the toddler flowergirls to stop bawling... It's nothing you can't handle, of course. Just keep calm and carry on.
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#9 Don't forget sensible shoes. Or tissues. But mainly the shoes.
Both wedding day essentials. Tissues are crucial in case you get swept up in the emotion of the day and sensible shoes will make dancing the night away - and skipping past the letchy advances of the bride's uncle (why is it always the uncle?) - a whole lot easier.
#10 You will feel very, very happy when it's over.
You did it! You've watched your best friend marry the man of her dreams, helped her and her groom to celebrate their love and waved them happily off on honeymoon. Plus, the orange taffetta dress wasn't so hideous after all. You feel like a triumphant athlete who's just crossed the finishing line in first place - and all whilst wearing sensible shoes.