Had to share this one from the archives, mainly because the writing style is so confusing, I need other people's input to understand what's going on in the story. My comments are in red.
My best friend from high school was my MOH in my (small) wedding. My only attendant and I bought her dress. She, in turn, asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. We shall call her *Helena and her future husband *Troy. I agreed, happily, while (I was) still married.
Side note: Helena is/was the godmother to my first child and on a visit to NC we stopped to visit at her home in VA Beach, VA. I was pregnant with my second child. I found her future husband intolerable. He would berate Helena incessantly and it began to grate on my nerves. The three of us went out one night (while hubby watched our son) and he would not stop picking on her. Keep in mind, this woman is highly intelligent (CPA), beautiful (stunningly beautiful) and kind. Helena left to go to the ladies room and I turned on Troy and said "Look, you can try to denigrate my best friend all you want, but it isn't working with me. NOW STOP!" His response? When Helena returned to the table - he looked at her and said "Jane (me) needs an (alcoholic) drink." AND PROCEEDS TO ORDER ONE - I was 7 months pregnant!!!! I took a walk. Norfolk has a beautiful Port. I also discovered what Troy had turned Helena into.
December 2003. I was fast on my way to being divorced (hubby on drugs/cheating) and I was working and taking care of 2 children (2y.o. and 11 months) and I get the excited bride phone call "Dresses are picked, I just need your measurements." No problem, I thought, this is exactly what I need, a great wedding will be a fun distraction. As a seamstress I can easily take my own measurements and I proceed to read them off over the phone "34-24-34" (I am 5'8 and lost A LOT of weight when my hubby left). She proceeds to berate me for lying and did I actually think I was going to be THAT size? I tried to reiterate what had been going on and how consumed I was by my impending divorce. She ordered me a 6 - which was appropriate in 1993. It fit with slight (take in) alteration.
Life became worse on my end - divorce in the works and all, but I paid for the dress and talked to her weekly. (The dress was/is stunning-no fault there) but I ended up in the hospital in April for abuse and exhaustion and lost my job. I called Helena (wedding was last weekend in May) and told her I couldn't drive 3.5 hours to her bachelorette party one weekend and hope to be there for the wedding. I was so tired by no help/no child support/losing my job/two babies - I asked if I could be excused from her wedding party - even attending. I would gladly send a present and I was sure her parents would understand (we were pals too) I just couldn't do it. I had been her best friend since 8th grade and she had picked two MOHs (and 3 other BM), but she responded, "No, the "line" would be uneven." I even suggested good friends that would fit my gown and I would give it to them. No, I had to be there. I tried to explain that I wasn't able, due to my health-but nope, had to be there. Ok, I hate confrontation, but this would have been the point where I would have put my foot down and just not shown up.
I found kind neighbors to leave my babies with and drove to VA Beach on Friday. I arrive at my (own expense) hotel to find a list of things I "need" to be in the wedding. I don't know VA Beach and have no clue where to find patent leather (black) heels (at least 3"-bride is quite tall) and a French manicure (I bite my nails) . Also, we were instructed to wear our hair down. I kid you not, I was so poor that I hadn't had a haircut in about 2 years and my hair was too grown out. She knew this. I told her I always wore in a "French twist/knot" with bangs - would that be okay? Heavy sigh, yes as long as I wore HER combs with pearls attached. No problem - but I was running out of money. I did pay for two nights at the hotel in advance. Good thing.
I found a nail salon (fake nails for $30 bucks CRUD MONKEYS!!) and a discount shoe store (THANK GOD!) and was prepped for the wedding.
The rehearsal was held in the Episcopal church and everyone was drinking IN THE CHURCH. What part of the church, exactly? I assume OP means the sanctuary, because most Episcopalians don’t have a problem with drinking in, say, the parish hall (provided you have the church’s OK and don’t leave a huge mess, of course).
Do other people drink (seriously) in church) The dinner was held at "Troy's" bar that he owned in the local's section of VA Beach. His step brother was my escort for the wedding and a bit too interested for me. I was exhausted, worried about my babies (never left them before) still married, and I accepted his offer to drive me back to the hotel (I had the car). – If OP had her car, she wouldn’t have needed a ride – unless OP was too intoxicated, but she didn’t mention anything about that.
This was beyond a "date rape" kind of night. "NO" did not mean a whole lot to this man. TRUE - and I don't expect you to put that in, but it is pertinent to later. Whoa whoa whaaa??? OP was sexually assaulted by one of the groomsmen??? That alone is grounds for dropping out of the wedding (and calling the police while you’re at it)!*
The day of the wedding. I am told to meet the bride, the MOHs and the other BMs at "their" hotel. I arrive at the Sheraton (fountains, marble floors, suites) and am told we are dressing at the church. I put on a smiley face and collect my stuff and head off (on foot) to the church. We dress in a separate room and the bride and the rest of her party proceed to finish a serious amount of liquor - Schnapps, whiskey, champagne. I am not a prude, but a CHURCH?
? The kicker to the before wedding festivities was when we were presented with our "attendant gifts". I thanked the bride, but noticed everyone else was opening theirs. I thought I would wait till after the wedding, but proceeded to follow suit. I am sure this is common other places, but I didn't realize that it was tactful to give the gift of wedding jewelry to wear during a wedding. I made a special effort to buy Helena a gift that spoke of our friendship (for my wedding/crystal) (What exactly is a “for my wedding/crystal”? I’ve never heard of one of those before! )
and have seen my other relatives and friends do the same. Nope, we were going to be STEPFORD BRIDESMAIDS. If this is a normal occurrence - I apologize, but I think that is completely tacky - we are already dressed the same - down to our nails and hair ('cept for me, sorry) but really......ewwww factor. I want to clarify that I don't expect a gift for being an attendant - a gift is a GIFT - something you don't expect. I would have rather have nothing at all then a dictate to what I should wear. Like the OP, I don’t know much about attendant gift etiquette, but I don’t see anything wrong with the gift Bridezilla picked out.
The reception was a nice affair - within walking distance of my hotel. I had to sit next to the step brother of the groom. I avoided all contact with guests and family of the bride. Being so light and not a drinker I matched the wedding party from the church.(on drinking) I can’t even begin to understand what this sentence means!
I threw up on the date raper (more from exhaustion than liquor) - and let my best friend's new husband know what a creep his step brother was.
The worst part - I walked home alone, barefoot in the dark at 1 am (not because I was too drunk or didn't know better, but because everyone was at the Sheraton, except me and no one wanted to walk me home - I was a "cold fish" AHHH) - I was lucky in a sense. OP was the one who decided to walk to the reception instead drive there. While it would have been nice for someone in the wedding party to escort her, they weren’t obligated to do so, IMHO, especially if her hotel was way out of their way. Now that I think about it, didn’t OP leave her car at the Sheraton? If so, why didn’t she catch a ride with the wedding party and drive herself home? Gah, I wish I had more details!
I lost my purse at the Sheraton (before the wedding) with the remainder of my "getting home money" but managed to find five bucks in my jacket pocket to get home.
This has stuck in my mind for 11 years. Not for how "bridezilla" she was or b/c I put myself in a bad situation, but b/c my best friend for so many years of my life was more consumed about her wedding than my health. Once again, OP DIDN’T HAVE TO GO!
Jeanne, does this story make me selfish? I always wonder.
Bridezillas1121-04*I’m assuming here that OP did mean that she was raped when she said it was a “beyond date rape kind of night” and isn’t throwing the word “rape” around willy-nilly to the detriment of actual rape survivors who have to fight that much harder to be taken seriously when people trivialize that word.