“How to Avoid Getting Asked to Be a Bridesmaid,” by Cassie Title

Mar 21st, 2018 | By | Category: Nonfiction

First, be antisocial. In kindergarten, when the teacher asks you to share crayons and play nicely with the other children, don’t. There’s no point. You don’t want to be friends with these fools who pick their noses and use their booger-smothered fingers to touch your back when you all play tag at recess. In fact, make sure you don’t play tag at recess. Tag is like a gateway drug to friendship—soon enough you’ll be swapping lunches in the cafeteria and having playdates in your backyard. Clearly, these are things you want to avoid.

If you can, make sure to be an only child. Sisters are the first people who will ask you to be one of their bridesmaids—or even worse, their maid of honor. They think because you have some shared history and DNA that you’re so close that a) you want to be a part of their wedding and b) it’s your obligation to be a part of their wedding. These ideas are pretty entrenched in American culture, so it’s best to just avoid the sister contingent altogether.

While you’re at it, try not to have cousins, either. Even if you’re geographically far apart, you may still be asked to be in her wedding. This could happen for a number of reasons: you’re also friends, your parents who are related are close, your cousin has no friends. No matter what the reason, shut it down. From an early age, avoid her phone calls or text messages or e-mails or what not. Show no interest in her personal life. Make it clear that you don’t believe in marriage. Do whatever you can to show how much you want no part of her wedding.

If you thought that only female relatives were the issue, I’ve got news for you: it might be best to try not to have a brother, too. If you’re an only child, make sure your parents know how angry you’d be to have a younger sibling. You can pretend to be deranged or something. You can do this by building elaborate block towers and when your mother asks you who lives in the house you constructed, say something like: “Nobody. I locked the key inside so nobody can live there!” maniacally. Hopefully, they’ll get the picture that you could cause some serious psychological damage to a sibling. If that doesn’t work, or you’re the second child, act completely uninterested in him. When other kids at school hang out and go to parties with their siblings, do not follow suit. Being friends with your brother at a young age could mean that when he’s older and proposes to his girlfriend, she’ll want to be friends with you, too, or she’ll at least feel obligated to put you in her wedding. This is the kind of feeling we’re trying to avoid.

If you didn’t listen to the kindergarten advice, be forewarned: you will probably make friends. This will be fine until college, when you’ll have to abruptly break up these friendships. If your friends are from high school or middle school, you can always just move away and lose touch. You could even do the same with college friends, if you’d like. To avoid making work friends, just choose your own false identity: the bitchy coworker, the super quiet coworker, the coworker who can’t speak English.

You probably shouldn’t have roommates, either. While horrible roommates can traumatize you, others can become your best friends. All of that cooking together and living together can lead to a lot of memorable moments, so it’s best to just avoid the situation altogether.

If you’ve somehow gotten to your twenties without taking any of this advice—well, good luck. Or, if you have taken this advice, and you still manage to have close friendships, I feel for you. No matter how many boyfriends you steal or horrific things you say, you can’t deny the obvious fact any longer: you’re just really likeable, and so you have a lot of friends who are going to ask you to be in their wedding.

If you hear this rumor that it’s okay to say no to being in a wedding because you don’t have the money at the moment to buy the expensive bridesmaid dress that the bride will convince herself you can wear again when you really can’t, know that it’s wrong. You cannot say no to being in a wedding, unless you live on the opposite side of the world or you can’t attend the actual wedding. Not being able to attend the actual wedding is only acceptable if you have another wedding you have to attend on the same day, which is highly unlikely.

Worst comes to worst: you’re a bridesmaid. Refuse to write the poem or speech the bride asked for. Never go with her to a fitting. Show up in the wrong shade of silver shoes. If you’re not relieved of your bridesmaid duties immediately, then suck it up, binge on the free Champagne, and do your best not to trip when you’re walking down the aisle.


Cassie Title holds an MFA in fiction writing from Emerson College, where she teaches in the First-Year Writing Program. She is also an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music. Other career highlights include: writing about hunting and fishing without knowing anything about hunting and fishing, attempting to intellectually analyze a TV show about vampires, and perfecting the art of crafting cappuccino foam (No bubbles! Seriously. Your cappuccino should have no bubbles.). You can find some of her work in Forge and Interview.




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