Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride: Hidden Perks Of Pink Taffeta

unhappy bridesmaid
Love, Self

Three reasons being the last of your friends to march down the aisle might not be such a bad thing.

Couples in the U.S. throw something like 2.5 million weddings each year, fueling a $40 billion industry. 40 billion! That's a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins doing the hokey pokey… and heck of a lot of taffeta. If the average wedding has four bridesmaids, that's 10 million of us a year doing the "left, together… right, together" down the aisle as one of our friends ties the knot with her one & only.

There's this irritating old saying: "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride." But is it really such a bad thing? Here, three reasons to hold your bouquet in the ay-errr and wave it like you just don't cay-errr:

1. It's great to wait. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with putting on a big white dress and marrying the love of your life, there's nothing wrong with waiting for the right guy, either, if he doesn't just magically pop into your life the moment you turn 25. All the flowers and ice sculptures in the world don't mean a thing when a marriage itself is less than awesome… and just because everyone around you seems to be getting hitched, that doesn't mean you need to follow suit with the next boy who goes on more than two dates with you. So cool your heels, people. Life is a marathon… not a sprint. It's certainly not unheard of for "slow & steady" to win the race.

2. Hot bridesmaid = hot commodity. It's one thing to be an unmarried bridesmaid whose boyfriend is dutifully sitting alone among the guests, pretending to enjoy his chicken or fish while you're off taking goofy pictures with the rest of the wedding party. It's quite another, though, to be that cute, free-spirited girl rocking out with the grandparents on the dance floor. "Who's that?" an old college buddy of the groom just might lean over and ask the person sitting next to him. The answer: that is one heck of an awesome chick who doesn't just settle for anything. So, old college buddy had better straighten his tie and figure out a killer opening line. That girl can't be swept off her feet by just anybody; that girl's got standards.

3. It's free research. Being part of a major life event, standing up for people you really care about during a defining moment in their lives, is the perfect time for a little self-reflection. And by that, I don't mean knocking back one too many vodka tonics and texting your last ex to tell him how much you miss him… nor do I mean letting yourself feel like you're missing out on something simply because you're standing to the side on someone else's big day. What better position to enjoy your bird's-eye view of all the couples around you and make a mental note of what you do and don't want for your own personal life? (Someone who gets into heated political debates over dinner without respecting anyone else's point of view? No thanks. Someone who doesn't mind dancing to "YMCA" with the bride's niece on his shoulders and who doesn't even flinch when she spills punch all over his shirt? Yes, please.) Take stock of all the human behavior taking place in the very fancy fishbowl all around you. It's fascinating, isn't it?

In sum: work that tea-length taffeta monstrosity with the bow across its behind. Rock that frock with pride. If you someday decide to spend the rest of forever with someone who thinks you're the bee's knees, great. If not, your happily ever after can be whatever else you want. Either way, raise your glass and relish the fact that your life is your own and you can do with it whatever you choose. Do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around. That's what it's all about.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Lynch is the community director for Pink Kisses ~ an online community founded by former television reporter, Ellie Scarborough to help women forget their exes and find their inner bombshells.