A long white train, a glowing altar and six matching dresses all in a line. But, before you can have a fairy-tale wedding, you have to get through the gruesome months of planning and parties, where you are seemingly the center of attention.
Until you’re not.
My best friend will be getting married in 38 days, and I am the maid of honor, of horror, best man, best Anne—whatever my pseudonym-du-jour becomes. It is definitely not an impromptu wedding: they’ve been dating for four and a half years, and engaged for one. But, through most of the planning her fiancé was sweating away at an Air Force boot camp in Texas.
Last Sunday, she had her final bridal shower. We had one over the summer, but this was more aimed at family guests (because no one wants to unwrap a see-through bra in front of Grandma). But that doesn’t mean it was any less dramatic or exciting.
Theoretically, your wedding and the surrounding planning put you and your relationship at the forefront. That is, until your future sister-in-law gets engaged, too.
The groom-to-be has two sisters and a brother, let’s call them Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail.
There we were at the shower, sitting in a circle playing awkward games to help bond a bunch of strangers, when we realized that Cottontail’s 17-year-old girlfriend was wearing an engagement ring. A yellow gold, barely noticeable diamond, engagement ring. Now, if she just wanted to be engaged, that’s fine. I guess. But she didn’t. She wanted to tell the party.
So there she walked, around the circle, showing off her newly acquired accessory. But she stopped just short of her future mother-in-law, who still hadn’t seen the ring and didn’t look very happy about the news. Cottontail’s girl quickly left the party after that, still not showing the ring to the Mrs. Josephine Rabbit.
Strike one for the shower, an engagement announcement. Nothing puts a damper of celebrations more than someone else stealing your thunder. But, then things took a turn for the bitter.
Enter the 30-something, unmarried with kids, cousin. As we reached for the mini tea sandwiches, she began talking about how no one should ever get married, how you should live with a person before deciding to get married, and how there are no good guys left.
Yes, she’s allowed to think that. Showers hath no fury like a woman’s scorn, I guess. However, there is a tactful way to inject your opinion into conversation, or just keep quiet about it until the end of the party.
We’re getting to the age when a good majority of us will be attending weddings, bridal showers, baby showers or engagement parties fairly frequently. And when these occasions arise, it’s important to not be clouded by whatever big news you have or grudges you may hold.
But, if any of you single guys are free on Dec. 17, I would love to announce my engagement at the wedding reception. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.