Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Always a Bridesmaid ... well twice. Once, really.

Personally, I was a bridesmaid exactly twice. Well, really probably only the second time counted. That first time I might have been more accurately described as a child bride.

Okay, a miniature bride--which, granted, has fewer negative or inappropriate connotations but makes me feel as though I were a tiny cake topper--which I wasn't--instead of a member of my sister's wedding party--which I was. But I digress.

Bridesmaid Blog Hop

Today I'm thrilled to be a part of the BUZZ BOOKS BRIDESMAID BLOG HOP, celebrating the one-year anniversary of the release of Ms. Dani Stone's Next Left and Something New by Ms. Malena Lott. I get to be the last post of the hop since, as the editor, I'm usually the last one to get my hands on it before it gets released!

So, you might be asking, what's the big deal? If these books have been out for a year, so what's getting released now? Well, the big deal is that Buzz is celebrating the anniversary with a big giveaway of bridesmaid-themed swag (including the aforementioned titles) plus some fun posts about our own experiences as bridesmaids. 

My Big Sister's Wedding

So, way back in August of 1980 (I think?), my oldest sister married her childhood sweetheart in a very tasteful explosion of peach, gray and Styx (the lyrics to "Babe" were printed on her announcements; I thought this was incredibly modern). We are 13 years apart, and had a close relationship; I would spend a lot of time with her, we would go shopping on Saturday mornings, rocking out to Barry Manilow on her car stereo (that is not an oxymoron). 

My sister's large wedding party was very fashionable for the time.
I remember her wedding clearly, as it had been the absolute most fun event I had been to ever in my life at this point. It was a huge party; it set the standard for weddings for me. I got to try champagne!

I also remember that the dress had sheer white sleeves that were cut out to more reflect my sister's dress. I believe it was from JCPenney as most formal type dresses of the time were. I also believe that it was a first communion dress, adjusted for our purposes.  

My biggest regret of that day is that my mom would not allow me to wear high heels; I had to wear what I considered to be childish white sandals.

Couldn't she see how grown up and mature I was? Alas, this was the refrain that would resonate through the next ten or so years of my life.

Prom, 1986

Prom and Bridesmaids

The next time I was to be a bridesmaid was in the same decade, but only according to the calendar. I was a full-fledged teenager and my brother was getting married, again in August. We had gone and purchased our dresses ahead of time--so far ahead of time that as prom time came around in May of 1986, I had hoped to wear my bridesmaid dress to the prom. Because, when else would I get to wear it?  My future sister-in-law had the presence of mind to veto that idea.

At the time, I was perhaps not so happy for that decision, but in hindsight? Good call. The boy I went to prom with lasted all of another month before showing his true colors (Spoiler alert: he was an ass.) and though I'm sure she thought I might trash the dress at an after party, that wouldn't have happened. But I would not have been happy to wear the dress again, either. So, yeah--good call! The dress I did wear to his prom? $10 from the JCPenney Outlet. Score!

Official head shot from my brother's
wedding. "Look serious and wear your
giant glasses" may have been my
direction from the photographer.
When the wedding day did come around, I wore my lovely pink dress. The wedding was beautiful; I have no idea who I stood up with nor how many attendants there were in total (although my sister Lori, whose wedding my brother and I both stood up in, was also a pink-befrocked bridesmaid). I truly wish I could remember more of the day but what I do remember is spending the bulk of the reception with my new sister-in-law's little sister (who happened to be a very good friend of mine). The problem was that we didn't stay at the reception, we instead hung out at the baseball field across the parking lot, where a young adult men's league was playing, maybe a playoff? Who can remember. What I do remember is that family members and friends tracked us down at the field, slightly worse for the wear (tipsy and iridescent pink gowns riddled with cigarette burns).

It might be for the best that I can't remember that much of the event. I can breathe easy in the fact that our bad behavior was eclipsed by the fist-fight that happened on the dance floor. During the ceremonial "first dance." Between two girls. Good times, for sure.

Though both my sister and my brother have divorced and remarried, these marriages gave our family treasured memories and their exes are still a part of our family (unlike my high school ex). When I look at this final picture from my brother's wedding, I gotta say that I feel a bit gypped that this dress didn't end up sitting across from Jake Ryan on a table over a birthday cake.

I don't know about you, but this dress is totally making me sing "If You Were Here" by the Thompson Twins. I can almost see that weird little lady (the one we all remember from Poltergeist) peeking behind the corner of the church back there. Alas; there was no Porsche waiting across the street; there may have been a thresher, as I think the church was across from a farm equipment sales lot. Small town life, yo.

My own wedding? It was a Justice of the Peace affair, 20+ years ago, also in August. We initially did try the planning route for the large, family affair (event went to the JCPenney Outlet and found some fabulous black and blue bridesmaid dresses for my potential attendants!), but the logistics of the whole thing--planning when you live in one place and your family lives in another and his parents in yet a third, not to mention his siblings and all of your extended family... well, JoP just sounded like a much more logical plan.

But should the urge ever strike, there is a certain box in my attic, tucked back in a corner, that holds a fluffy, pink iridescent dress.

Note: the BRIDESMAID BLOG HOP giveaway winner will be announced on Thanksgiving Day! Be sure to check the Buzz Books Facebook page to see if you're a winner!


  1. You are a no-nonsense girl after my own heart, Mari. And Barry Manilow can rock out with the best of them!

    ~Joyce Scarbrough

  2. Love this. Love the 16 Candles reference. Love you! *hugs*

  3. I dreamed of a dress much like that pink one for prom. Alas, by the time high school rolled around for me, the fashion had changed and I didn't get to wear a hoop skirt. We should totally have our own prom so you can pull out that dress.