What NOT to Do as a Bridesmaid

Jillian Knox Finley

Shakespeare’s Hamlet opens with a wedding scene. Directly following these nuptials, the famed line “to be or not to be” begins a soliloquy that poses an apropos line of questioning for the thesis of this essay: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them.

That’s the quagmire all bridesmaids face: to suffer in silence, or to oppose the status quo. I’m going to go out on a limb and say suffering is an innate condition of both human existence at large and being a bridesmaid. After all, being in a wedding party is expensive, it’s a thankless job, and at best, there’s probably a robe in it for you that you’ll never wear again. These are cold, hard facts you will hear from almost anyone who’s been there, done that, and we’re here to offer some reportage from the front lines that you won’t find in the small print. Enjoy the captain’s log from my maiden voyage across the bridal sea—as a card-carrying member of the tomboy class.

Shop coffee-table wedding books below, and if you’ve ever been a bridesmaid, share any words of wisdom from your field experience.

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