The 18th March Project – Post 3

I’ve been a bridesmaid once and a maid of honour once, and I’ve attended several weddings in various capacities, so I naturally feel my vast experience allows me to pass on some advice to those who come after…

  1. Don’t try to out bride-zilla the bride.

It is not your day.

It is her day.

If she wants to stay up till all hours of the night making takeaways or photo-booth props, do not engage.

Calmly tell her you will do it, and then get her to go sleep.

She’ll need it.

  1. You are allowed to shout at the bride if she hasn’t eaten or kept herself hydrated.

Because you are not going to carry her if she faints.

3. Pockets.

Or a bag.

Make sure you convince the bride to let you carry or wear something you can stuff band aid, bob pins, tissue to swab the makeup and sweat from your faces, makeup for touch-ups post-swabbing, biscuits, scissors, needle and thread, your phone (and hers) in.

Groomsmen’s pockets can’t hold as much as you need. Trust me on that.

  1. If you can’t help out as much as you would like to –or she needs you to – be upfront about it.

Tempers tend to run high around weddings, so if you flake on your promises, it will be remembered.

Hell hath no fury like a bride-to-be let down.

  1. Be at the wedding for her.

I don’t mean don’t have any fun, or stick to her like a leech.

Be present and ready to do whatever is needed- there are a million things to do that you won’t even remember the next day, but that will all contribute to making her day (and by extension, the groom’s)

Fluff the dress. Dance near enough for the photos to look amazing, but not so near that the groom isn’t visible. Carry the veil. Frown at the people who want to wish them while they’re enjoying themselves on the dance floor. Orchestrate shots of the dress and shoes and bouquet and all the other little pieces of the wedding symphony. Protect them from whiny relatives – they’ll have to deal with that soon enough, and for the rest of their lives together.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes.

Much love and heartiest congratulations to A + R, who recently – only last week – tied the knot there’s no untying.

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Day 69 100words100days Having an eco-friendly wedding in India

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So you’ve decided to get married.

How lovely. Congratulations to both of you and your family.

How many people are on your guest list? 300? This is not Sparta, my dear. This is a wedding. You need to invite at least 500 of your closest family and friends to make it a proper occasion.

But you also need to preserve the Earth for the babies that will inevitably come into being following your grand union celebration.

A few simple things you can do:

1. Don’t use thermocol-anythings. That means no confetti. No centrepiece. No non-biodegradable decoration. (Try something repurposed, like a cardboard form, perhaps?)

2. Reusable cutlery and crockery is best. If you can’t find a caterer who has the required numbers of hard stuff, use leaf plates. Banana or pressed leaves? That’s up to you.

3. Can your guests use public transport to travel to and from the venue (of the religious ceremony and or the partay)? Can you organise a bus or bullock cart to ferry them around?

4. Firecrackers are pretty and help draw attention to the goings-on, but they also cause air pollution and noise pollution. Say no to gonnalls

5. E-vites are not tacky, no matter what some old-fashioned folk think. A facebook invite is fine if it isn’t a tres formal do. Even if it is- it’s your wedding, do what you want!

6. Let people know what you want, or re-gift items that you aren’t interested in. Make sure you send out thank you emails before the re-gifting.

7. Enjoy local in-season cuisine at your bachelorette or sangeet or (insert pre-wedding ritual). It’ll taste better.

8. For heavens’ sake, don’t do takeaways. They don’t serve an earthly purpose except, perhaps, the collection and generation of dust.

9. Choose an appropriate time of the day and year to get married. If you hate the heat, the summer months are out of the question. If you can’t bear the cold, don’t go to the north of the country, or the Ghats (and other hill ranges) during winter.

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Day 70: Write a mystery in which the words ‘silver’, ‘pen’ and ‘green’ all play a prominent role

Day 44 100words100days write a how-not-to, such as How not to become a bridesmaid

Well, that was fun! 418 words.

So many people I know are getting married, including one of my younger cousins (she weds next month).

I’ve been a bridesmaid just once, and I’m fine with that. But there are a couple of people I expect to ask me. However, I won’t hold it against them if they don’t.

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How not to be a bridesmaid

Being a bridesmaid is not everybody’s flute of champagne. Some people are just not cut out to be part of the bridal entourage. Good for you if you know that the responsibility for the rings and bouquets and colour scheme cannot be safely entrusted to you. Not everyone has your level of maturity. Some people still think weddings are fun. These people are also the kind to think they might meet their soul mate at someone else’s knot-tying. Let us pause for a moment to swallow this strange truth-fiction.

Depending on the situation you are in, the resources you have available, and the relationships you are willing to destroy, you can choose one of these routes to not be a bridesmaid:

1. Say no when you are asked. Do it consistently, and soon people will stop asking you. Do it graciously and they will still love you and might send you a Save-the-Date. However, if you never want to see them again, and if you definitely don’t want to be invited to the do, throw a tantrum

2. Do a bad job- a very very very bad job- the first time you are guilted into joining the bridal party. For example, you could “accidentally” stub a cigarette out on the ivory/cream/eggshell gown.

3. Ensure that your job takes you out of the country at the time of the wedding, or make up a story about having to travel for work. Alternatively, if you do not live near the nuptial location, find a reason to stay where you are. Let the bride know about this as close to the wedding as you want to (your proximity to the bride is inversely proportional to how much in advance you let her know you can’t be part of the troupe)

4. Record yourself badmouthing the bride and or groom and anonymously send the recording to them, or to their family

5. Come up with reasons why each choice for the bridesmaids’ dresses is hideous. Even better, go the extra mile and make it known how incredibly lame you think the entire theme, scheme and meme are

In short, do not do the thing bridesmaids are supposed to do, i.e. support the bride. If she doesn’t think she can trust you to catch her bouquet when it falls, and to hold up her dress and retouch her make-up, and starve with her to look stunning for her big day, she definitely will not ask you to take the plunge with her.

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Day 45: Riding a bike/driving a car for the first time