It was one of the final Saturdays of summer, and I was standing in a line of anxious bridesmaids and groomsmen holding a bouquet of cheery sunflowers about to watch one of my college roommates say “I do” to her Prince Charming. I adjusted my navy blue dress and linked arms with my designated groomsman as soft piano music began to play in the sanctuary.
The bridesmaid in front of me, another college roommate, looked back at me with a smile.
“You look beautiful, by the way,” she said. “You’re the perfect bridesmaid.”
It wasn’t until the vows were professed, the cake was cut and the dance had ended that those words sunk deep into my heart and played on repeat in my mind.
The perfect bridesmaid.
I thought back to each wedding I had been in, the time I invested, the speeches I gave, the gifts I bought, and the heartfelt cards I sent. Each moment was thoughtfully planned and carefully executed to make each couples’ big day perfect.
Since my very first time as a bridesmaid, and a maid of honor at that, I knew that I was destined for a “27 Dresses” legacy. Weddings are my thing. I know the etiquette. I know the rules. I know how to organize. I’ve been trained by “Say Yes to the Dress” marathons and plenty of real life experiences that have taught me how to make each person’s wedding day a day to remember.
I also know that despite the void I feel with my lack of a significant other, each wedding I attend is not about me. It’s not about jealousy or anger, sadness or fear. It’s about that couple and their love. The temptation to feel bitter melts away with the hope that exists in each newlywed’s declaration of love.
So I’m going to rejoice when they rejoice. I’m going to plan the showers and bachelorette parties, assemble favors, address thank you cards, hold the bride’s train and watch with pure joy when the happy couple processes down the aisle. I am going to be the perfect bridesmaid because this is their moment.
For now, I can accept that honorable title because I know there will come a day when this perpetual bridesmaid dons a white dress and walks down the aisle to my very own, hand-picked Prince Charming.
And in that moment, it will all be worth it.