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Single Living

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. 

Me.

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.

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11 Comments

  1. Jim-397948 September 26, 2011

    Those guys in Minnesota better get their act together…When they have a Princess named Jessica!!!!

  2. Roslyn-80300 September 26, 2011

    Thanks for sharing your story and insights! It’s so relatable, at least on my part. May you find what you’re looking for and the one looking for you find you. God bless! :-)

  3. Elyna-771626 September 28, 2011

    Definitely can relate..

  4. Michael-339056 September 29, 2011

    Maybe Jessica would be interested in moving to southeastern New York State?

  5. AnnElissa-460440 September 30, 2011

    That is a good attitude

  6. Jim-397948 October 1, 2011

    I wish Jessica lived in NJ…So I can ask her out for my lasy first date!!!

  7. Lucy-741032 October 1, 2011

    That’s the best attitude you can take!! I was in a wedding earlier this year and that’s the disposition I took. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a significant other waiting at my table or to dance with… That day belonged to the bride and groom alone. I was just so filled with joy for them there was no room to be angry or jealous. I can’t even imagine being depressed at a wedding…that would ruin the whole celebration! It wouldn’t be worth it. I had a great time at that wedding, and at another I attended this summer as a single lady. Yes, weddings are all about celebrating love, but there’s so much more to love than a significant other. I was celebrating the love I had for my friends and the love they share. As a single person, it doesn’t get better than that. :)

  8. Emily-659504 October 2, 2011

    For sure! Its tempting at times to think “why not me?” and/or “when is it my turn?” but it is so much more joyful and peaceful to just trust God and enjoy the love bubbling over from your engaged/married friends! What a great way to show your beautiful servant attitude, Jessica! May God richly bless you for it! =)

  9. Marita-847688 June 8, 2012

    What a great example for people like me. I’ve been a bridesmaid twice and I have also been a greeter as well as a cake cutter. I love hosting wedding showers and attending bachelorette parties and feeling overjoyed for the bride and groom. I love seeing brides in their beautiful dresses. I am ashamed to say that recently I have had a bitter heart. As more of my friends and family have gotten married I wonder when it will be my turn. At the last wedding I attended, I felt happy but jealous. It kept me from enjoying part of the ceremony. Good thing my mom was there because she helped me notice things at the reception that I might not have if I was alone. She spotted one of my old friends, and we were able to catch up. I almost didn’t notice a coworker. I could have missed a chat with the proud father. I know it will be my turn one day and I want everyone to be happy for me. For now I’ll try to be happy for others.

  10. Lucia-551179 July 19, 2012

    In a couple months I will be making my debut as a bridesmaid for my best college band friend. It is going to be so hard keeping that “wish it was me” feeling in check but at the same time I am looking forward to seeing a wedding from this vantage point. Thanks for the post, and enjoy this while you can. Some day it will be you!

  11. Mary-922561 November 30, 2012

    I have watched my daughter be a bridesmaid 7 times, think. Two of the marrages have already ended in divorce. Two couples have given birth to seriously mentally challenged babies. So she has seen the good and the bad. All of her girlfriends include her in their babies’ growing up milestones as much as possible. But she has opted out of the bridesmaid role, offering her services as a friendly consultant/support service. I think she does get a little down, but she would never show it. I get more down about it than she does!

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