This year my friends and me turn 30. A momentous birthday that deserves, or rather seems to require, some larger than normal celebration. The first of my friends to commemorate was Rachelle in early December, we had planned a weekend break to Centre Parcs, but this had to be cancelled when two of the group, one being me, fell pregnant, one with a very close due date to said weekend. I had been planning a Friday night arrival of champagne and cake and a dress code of little black dresses to keep the event very grown up, the Saturday would be free to enjoy the activities of the centre and then a meal out with perhaps bowling and drinking. The Sunday would be finished with a roast dinner, movie and ice cream pyjama party before driving home Monday morning. I gave each of the attendees a questionnaire to ask their breakfast likes, major food dislikes, film options and other light-hearted questions so nobody would be inconvenienced and the birthday girl would get her preferences. With the questionnaires I gave personalised pencils, so easy to find on eBay or etsy, which add a cute personal touch to events or planning. I had planned to buy individual bottles of champagne and decorate with black and gold paper tassels and a black table runner which I could chalk details of the cake heavy buffet.
I’m still a little disappointed this weekend never happened. To make it up to her we ended having a day out in Leeds, a day spa session, champagne at Harvey Nichols and then a meal and personalised glittery badges ordered from eBay so there was some memento from the day.
Does anyone feel the pressure of having to celebrate big birthdays or have you organised something similar for your friends? I’ll post later with the details of the other 30th plans we’ve made and are yet to make.
When we got back from the holiday where we got engaged I met up with the girls I wanted as my ‘maids separately and asked them if they’d do me the honour of being my big day back up. It was all very simple and polite but I wish I had waited and done something a little more special.
It was only once I was in the planning internet whirl that I found loads of great gift ideas and ways to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids. They center around ‘I have the man but I can’t do it without my girls’ and ‘I can’t do it without you’. I wish I had taken the time and made a gift box which asked the question and given them a memento and a selection of things that have significance in our friendship. There are some beautiful eternity bracelets on etsy which are a lovely way of showing your friendship won’t change even when you become a missus or a bottle of something you enjoy together with a personalised note for your BFF. I think it’s lovely to make an occasion out of everything to do with the planning process even right from the start and I’m gutted to have missed out. Are any of you planning on going that extra mile for your girls?
Before I was engaged I thought I knew who I would have as my bridesmaids, women from different times in my life but all still with me and all quite different to one another, that wasn’t the important factor of my decision it was because they were my best friends, I loved them and I wanted them by my side. When I got engaged I asked them to be my ‘maids. The first I have known since I was 6, we spent our years growing up together and while our lives have taken different directions I feel like I can talk to her about anything and everything and there will always be laughter when we are together. The second I met at college and was a slow burner of a friendship as we were on the outskirts of each others circles but after some adventure holidays together and a mutual love of American high school dramas we became firm friends. The third was my room-mate through university and 2 years afterwards, in those 5 years we helped each other along a road of learning, DVD collections and abject poverty, we don’t see each other like we used to but I think we’ll always have a special bond. At the time of wedding planning maid no.3 was working in Africa and suffering family bereavement so as we didn’t know if she’d even be able to attend she was demoted to “cross everything I hope you can just be there. I had my two bridesmaids sorted. They are both very different to each other but that really helped, you need a calmer pragmatic person around, and you need a helper, someone to take your mind off things and encourage and make things easy and someone to take the reins of certain tasks, there’s no way I can thank them enough. When we knew maid no.3 would be back in the UK she was given a reading so I could have her be part of the day.
I also had two other close friends take a reading. One of these friends got married a few years ago and reader no.2, maid no.2 and myself were her bridesmaids. I don’t go in for “I was yours so you’ll be mine” theory to bridesmaids and best men, everyone holds their own friendships up to a different light and nowadays people have such wide groups of friends you need different people for different things. I guess back in the day when you had smaller groups of friends and relatives this kind of decision had much less pressure to it. Has anyone out there felt pressured to have someone be part of their day they had rather not? If you have siblings, has anyone decided not to have them as part of the wedding party and what was the fall out? What I did do, is do it all wrong. I asked my maids to be my maids and they said yes and I was sorted. I didn’t say anything to the girls who might have thought they would be included that they weren’t. I didn’t want the confrontation, awkwardness and weirdness of it all, I don’t know if they did expect to be included or not, there was never anything said or remarked upon, it came out in conversation who would be the maids and that was that. But that was all wrong. When they were asking questions in the early days of engagement I should have said “oh and I’ve decided on my bridesmaids but once were further along with planning I like you two to be part of the day hopefully with a reading but we’ll decided nearer the time”. But I, for once, stayed quiet and it was spineless and I will always regret it. I took the opinion that you don’t tell someone that they’re not doing something, and I while I still think that is true, it’s just an excuse to stop me from feeling bad for being a wimp. What do you guys think? Was I a bad person? No friendship has suffered (I hope not anyway) so no harm, no foul? Have you been in a similar circumstance and do you regret not telling someone they wouldn’t be your maid or do you wish you hadn’t had that conversation?