Those poor women

Ah, bridesmaids. I have been, to date, a bridesmaid once and a MOH once. I played the former role at one of my dad’s weddings and was about nine or so years old, which meant I didn’t have to do anything except light some tapers and walk down the aisle. I played the latter role at the wedding of a good friend who was gracious enough to forgive my being too busy and too poor to contribute anything to her wedding prep.

I mean, I did absolutely nothing. I neither planned, nor attended her shower or bachelorette parties. I hadn’t seen her in so long that I showed up on the day of the wedding and was absolutely stunned to discover that she was about eight months pregnant. I am pretty sure that makes me a Bad Bridesmaid. Ah, well, it could have been worse.

Much worse, according to the stories Siri Agrell shares in Bad Bridesmaid. From brides who reneg on their promise to let their attendants choose their own dresses to the bridesmaids who pay penance for bad hair decisions by wearing wacky (and uncomfortable) wigs, the horror stories in this book will make you cringe even while making you laugh. Sometimes the dress just doesn’t arrive in time. And then there are bridesmaids clad in bubblegum pink and powder blue who only wish the dresses hadn’t arrived in time.

In between tales sent in by readers of Agrell’s column, which I mentioned yesterday, she examines the hows and whys of the indignities borne by bridesmaids who truly do want nothing more than to see “their” brides happy and get burned anyway. Think domineering brides saving a buck by having her bridesmaids get their makeup done at mall kiosks…who then make each attendant have her makeup redone four times because it…just…isn’t…right. Or brides who kick bridesmaids out of the wedding party and choose their replacements based on body type. And let’s not forget those color-coded, 90-page-long spreadsheets outlining exactly what each bridesmaid in the party has been selected to do.

Has anyone thought to stage a bridesmaid revolt? Because the notion makes sense to me.

“We’re not,” Agrell writes, “asking for a lot…just a little respect…we want to stop being the whipping girl of weddings and the butt of jokes penned by Hollywood screenwriters who use bridesmaids as shorthand for desperate spinster or psycho singleton.”

Now that you’ve read this review, hop on over to the Bad Bridesmaid web site. As promotional sites go, it’s pretty cool. There is an Extreme Bridesmaid Makeover game, a sweet mock bridesmaids announcement you can send to your own bridal party, and a page where you can send in a Bad Bridesmaid tale or submit a picture of yourself wearing your own taffeta tragedy!

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