Always a Bridesmaid: Last Word for the Single Girls

Katie shares her last thoughts on what she's learned about being a bridesmaid.

I have a close group of friends from college whom I’ve seen every year since graduation—largely at weddings. And when Angie and Crouton got married this summer, they rounded out the first half of our group of six to get hitched. At each wedding, while our remaining single trio lamented the latest friend to bite the dust, we always came back to the same question: Who’s going to host the reunion next year?

When I meet my fellow bridesmaids or other single friends for lunch, sometimes they’ll mention this blog. They don’t ask me about my ideas for shower games or where my friends had their bachelorette parties. They start questioning their relationships, their single lives, even their friendships with women who may or may not ask them to be bridesmaids. For some women, the saying “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride” evokes more of a reaction than just “Oh, that’s what the title of your blog means!”

Unfortunately, regardless of how much other excitement is going on around us, many women have reactions that are a bit more selfish, wondering, “How long until I meet somebody I can have a future with?” For me, the bridesmaid, I honestly cry at weddings because it feels so good to see people that happy. And I count myself fortunate to be in a wonderful relationship. But whether you’re single in the eyes of Facebook subscribers or only in the eyes of the IRS, being a bridesmaid or even a guest forces a little bit of reflection for all women.

For the bride and groom, the wedding day is the commencement of a lifetime of new memories. The exchanging of vows, the honeymoon, the first house, the first kid—it’s all those things we celebrate with Champagne and the electric slide. But the rest of us have plenty of firsts to celebrate right now. So for my last thoughts on what I’ve learned about being a bridesmaid, besides an unchallengeable knowledge of party favors and dresses, I want to toast the single ladies:

A toast to my friend who just moved into her first roommate-free city apartment.

A toast to my friend who loves being a brand-new aunt. And another to my friend who’s a longtime one.

One for my friend who’s going back to school and another for my friend who got a great new job. One for my friend who just fell in love and another for my friend who’s getting to know herself better now that she’s single for the first time since she was 15. One for my friend who’s raising a baby daughter and another for my friend who just got her graduate degree. One for my friend who ran her first marathon and one for my friend who bought her first house.

Weddings can make even the most secure single woman wonder, “When is my day coming?” Well, it’s already here. A new home is still a new home whether or not someone is there to carry us over the threshold. A vacation is no less tropical because we’re going with friends. Christmas is no less magical for spending it with parents and siblings instead of a spouse and children. You don’t have to be registered to receive amazing—though far less predictable—gifts. And there’s a lot of love in life to celebrate—between a parent and child, a brother and sister, and of course, a bride and her bridesmaid.

To follow Katie’s adventures from the beginning, click here.

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.

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