Confessions Of A Bridesmaid

Confessions Of A Bridesmaid

A behind the scenes look at what wedding planning is.

Fall has officially appeared and so has wedding season. When all the beautiful brides will be walking down the aisle to say I do. It’s an exciting season and most often, you’re sitting in the aisle wishing you were the bride or at least part of the wedding party. It seems thrilling, getting your makeup and hair done and getting pampered all day to enjoy the festivities that are going to take place later. It’s a different way of getting to celebrate the marriage taking place and it’s amazing to be a part of.

Growing up, I was extremely into detail. I believed that everything had to be over the top (or at least perfect) and often times I was OCD about it all. I wanted perfection in my school projects and work, so naturally I saw myself debating the idea of being a wedding planner. What’s more amazing than getting to help a future bride on her most important day? It’s filled with food tasting and flower picking right? Wrong. Although being in a wedding and getting to help plan one is an amazing experience (one I would gladly still do whenever asked), it’s exhausting and time consuming. Imagine how the bride feels. She’s stressed out the entire day of her wedding (even if she claims she hasn’t been nervous for the time leading up).

I was recently in my sister Danielle’s wedding and struggling to find time for both her and my school work. I wanted to be as involved in her wedding as I could as I was not just a bridesmaid but her sister, (this weighing heavily on my bridal duties).

One duty in particle being the dress. Now, this isn’t just an ordinary dress, it takes time and precision to pick out the perfect one and I wanted to help make sure she was happy with it. Now I know you see in the television show Say Yes to the Dress where they go to one store and immediately fall in love with the second or third dress they try on. While this is possible, it’s highly unlikely. With Danielle, we went to five different stores just to end up at the beginning buying the first dress she tried on. It was the one from the start but she needed to be certain. Sometimes, you have to try all your options before committing (we all can understand that). It wasn’t drama filled, partially because Danielle has no problem explaining her distaste for a certain fabric or look. She is opinionated and in this case it worked perfectly.

Being a sophomore in college and taking my science prerequisites, I wanted to make sure all my homework was done before heading down to the location for the wedding. I knew I had two midterms the Monday after and was terrified of not getting any studying in. I headed down Thursday to help with finishing touches and making sure my dress fit one last time (you can never be too careful when you live in a different city).

When the day finally arrived, I felt myself getting nervous (which is funny considering I wasn’t the one getting married). I had never seen my sister cry until that day. She was surrounded by infinite love and the location couldn’t have been any more romantic. Of course, no wedding goes completely perfect. The location had to be accommodated for the weather and I knew she was getting a bit nervous about it, but the woman in charge handled it quickly and effectively.

Being a bridesmaid is stressful. It’s waking up at 7 or 8 in the morning to prepare for a day that you’ll be up until 3 AM for. It’s making sure the bride’s dress is in tip top shape and making sure her makeup doesn’t run from crying. It’s attending every party and meeting with her to help pick everything out. Being a bridesmaid is scary and yes, it can be challenging to manage; however, nothing beats getting to support her on her biggest day.

Bridesmaid dress, $300, bachelorette party, roughly $400, watching your sister walk towards the love of her life and the beginning of her next journey, priceless.

Cover Image Credit: Joelle Giudice

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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My Experience Pole Dancing

I took a pole dancing class, and so should you.


As a girl whose dance experience consists of a kindergarten ballet class and fourth-grade hip-hop class, I had low expectations for myself when my friend said we were going to a pole dancing class for her birthday. Nevertheless, I was excited. Over the years, I have reformed my judgmental and negative view towards sex work in general into a more understanding and nuanced view. This being a world I am not particularly privy to, I was interested to experience some of the behind-the-scenes work in a fun night with friends.

We stepped out of the Uber and into the dance studio, Studio Rouge, furnished with sultry red walls and dim lighting. We shucked our shoes and paired off on the poles. The instructor greeted us warmly, and we randomly drew our "exotic name tags," such as Eden, Pandora, and Chardonnay, and mine, the not-so-sophisticated (perfect for me I suppose) Glitter, to better embody our "exotic alter egos."

We were walked through a basic routine over the course of the hour. We laughed at each other's awkwardness, cheered at each other's success. We surprised ourselves with perfectly-executed body rolls, smooth pivots, and exhilarating spins; while I am somewhat lacking in the hair department, I was able to nail an (imaginary) hair flip. We danced to the bops of Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and some much-appreciated early-2000 throwbacks.

The instructor reminded me of my yoga instructors: positive and encouraging. Other aspects of the class were also reminiscent of yoga -- aligning your body with what your mind tells you to do, movement requiring coordination, balance, and strength, and a safe and welcoming environment.

After spending these recently cold days walking around campus hunched over my steaming coffee cup with a beanie pulled down to my brow, it was nice to experience the freedom and confidence-boosting of this class. It was a girls bonding night spent cultivating sexual energy in a safe space. We ended the class feeling refreshed and elated; it boosted our self-confidence and increased our respect for the strength and skill required of professional exotic dancers. As someone coming from a background where sexual expression is looked upon with disdain and sexual acts are regarded with shame, the experience was empowering and nearly necessary. We can't wait for another lesson.

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