Your Bridesmaids Are Sluts, Slatterns And Slobs

Illustration for article titled Your Bridesmaids Are Sluts, Slatterns And Slobs

"How well do you really know the people you ask to be in your wedding's inner circle?" asks Modern Bride ominously. Um, pretty well? No! It seems weddings have the same monstrous transforming effect on attendants as on brides!

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The article enumerates the different kinds of batshit babes who can blackball the big day. The types - the sexually-ravenous "Love Machine," the "Fashion Faux-Pas" who "hints she might show up with funky, dyed hair"; the unpopular "Misfit" and the jealous, resentful "Fork in the Road" who's failed to find her own man - this is what your nearest and dearest will turn into.

There are, of course, coping tips ("rigid requests, like a 12-hour vow of celibacy on the big day, are perfectly legal") and even a practical strategy. If these cliches scare you, prevent it by picking a few different ones!

You've dreamt of your wedding day your entire life. To execute your vision in a supportive atmosphere, Lara Webb Carrigan, author of The Best Friend's Guide to Planning a Wedding (Regan Books, 2000), suggests picking a practical bridesmaid, a funny bridesmaid, a calm bridesmaid, and a responsible bridesmaid. These will be friends and family who are empathetic to your needs-the type of people who have tissues (and chocolate) on hand without your having to ask.

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Now, the piece is light-hearted. And as a planning bride myself, far be it from me to minimize the very real challenges and people-wrangling skills involved in even the smallest of Big Days. (Or coming up with variations on bridal stories, for that matter.) But does resorting to every cliche in the book, setting women against each other - bidezilla versus slut - in a race to the beribboned bottom do anything for anyone but The Wedding Channel? (I guess if someone wants to indulge in a big ol' bout of misogyny, on her day she's allowed to?) I'm not even going to get into the particulars of imposing Stepford-like homogeneity on a wedding party's hair or, for that matter, sexual mores - if a bride has selected, for a day "she's been planning her entire life," people whom she apparently neither likes nor knows, well, I guess these sorts of conflicts might arise. For the rest of us, well, most of us find that a whole group of misfits gels just fine.

Imperfect Attendants [Modern Bride]

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DISCUSSION

I was maid of honor for my best friend and I was part enforcer, part parent-wrangler, and part emotional blackmailer. My BFF has two of the most attention-whoring sisters in the world and her mother is even worse. I spent that entire weekend threatening, bullying, and strong-arming them out of tantrums, fits, and fights.

At one point, I took one sister and her girlfriend into the back room at a bar and told them I would kick their asses up one side and down the other if they didn't stop having loud, messy, crying fights every five minutes. They must have believed me, which is good because I meant every word. I had to bully the mother into coming for pictures when she couldn't find her new makeup and refused to come out of her room without it (.e.g. "This is the most important day of your daughter's life and you are hiding in your room?"). I dispatched the best man to take care of an issue where the littlest sister's boyfriend was laying into her and making her bawl at the reception.

At the end, everything went off without a hitch and I am morally certain that the rest of my BFF's family didn't rest easy until I was past security at the airport. God, what a bunch of selfish assholes. I have no idea how my BFF is such a great person, but I am grateful she never had any idea how much behind the scenes drama there was. She just had a good time, which was the point.

I will never, ever do that business again.