7 Emotional Stages of Being a Bridesmaid


I have been involved in approximately 4,567 weddings. I have also attended around 7,657 weddings. I have helped pick out wedding music, reception food and everything in between.

I have also been dealt my fair share of hardships in life. Throughout all of my grief and all of my wedding obligations, I’ve come to notice there are emotional stages attached to both. They aren’t exactly the same and they definitely aren’t dealt with in the same manner, but the stages exist. Often, they have in the same sequence and though dealing with the loss of a loved one and being a bridesmaid are really, nothing alike, both events are chalked full of emotional complexities.

7 emotional stages of being a bridesmaid:

1. Shock

Wait. For real? Me? You really want me to be in your wedding? I mean that much to you? Also, you trust me to stand up there? You know I’ll have to meet your grandmother, right? I can’t believe this. I always thought I loved you more than you loved me.

2. Anger

This dress costs how much? I have to fly where how many times? You want me to buy you a towel and watch you open it and be fake surprised about the towel? I don’t get a plus one? I’m your friend, not your hired help.

3. Bargaining

Listen, I’ll buy the dress and spend an extra week in Southeast central Illinois at your grandmother’s house tying burlap bows with you and your aunt, if you can skip gifting me a monogrammed makeup bag for something a little more up my alley— like a gas card. Also, I’ll throw you a wedding shower if you’ll give me a plus one to the rehearsal dinner, too.

4. Guilt

I know, I know. We’re friends. I shouldn’t complain about missing my grandmother’s funeral for the shower your aunt’s Sunday school class is throwing you. This is important, too. I know, I have to quit whining about needing jewel-toned water skis to go with my bridesmaid dress, you did pay for the shipping on that $364 teal, off-the-shoulder, tea-length dress, after all!

5. Blame

If I would’ve been a crappier friend to people in college, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Why did my dad always have to talk about sticking to my word and being somewhere when I said I would be there? This is his fault. I’m such a good friend. I wish I didn’t love people so much. This is my mom’s fault for taking me to church every Sunday.

6. Depression

All I ever do is attend bachelorette parties, wedding showers and weddings. I haven’t had a weekend with nothing to do since the mid-00s. As soon as my last friend on earth is married I’ll just be attending baby showers every weekend of my life. I just need some alone time. I’m so tired of dancing and throwing my hands up in the air— because I do care, I do. Last weekend, I was the only single lady at the bouquet toss with the flower girl and the bride’s step-grandmother. Will I ever get to drink anything by cheap chardonnay again?

7. Acceptance/Hope

My friends are the best! I have such great friends for asking me to be a part of their weddings! And I’m a good friend. If I wasn’t, why would I be in 29 weddings a calendar year? I hope I can celebrate my friends’ anniversaries with them every year! 

And with that, the process starts over again every year right before the holidays start and engagements are planned.