By Emmy Serviss / Boston
There have been plenty of movies that feature bitter bridesmaids. My Best Friend’s Wedding, where Julia Roberts is jealous of the bride, Cameron Diaz. Bridesmaids, where Kristen Wiig is threatened by another bridesmaid; Rose Byrne. And 27 Dresses, where Katherine Heigl is resentful of her diminishing closet space.
I like being a bridesmaid!
My first tour of duty was in 2010, when I was 28. I was living in Portland, Ore., at the time, so I flew all the way across the country to upstate New York for the occasion. My second tour was just a few months later, at a lavish Disney wedding. (The Bride arrived in Cinderella’s magical coach!)
My latest bridesmaid adventure was a few weeks ago, for Kristen, a good friend I’d made doing comedy in Boston. We met up for a casual dinner at Panera and I was presented with a cute gift bag and card asking, “Will you be my bridesmaid?” Of course, I said yes! I had a 13-year gap in my bridesmaid résumé, but I was sure it would be like riding a bike. If that bike were full of lace and taffeta.
The first two times I was a bridesmaid, I was living in a different state than the bride, so I didn’t get to participate in many of the prenuptial activities. But this time, I was one of the only bridesmaids living in Boston, so I was excited for ALL the fun #TeamBride activities!
The Bride asked if I would accompany her to her wedding gown fitting so I could learn how to lace and bustle her into the gown, so I could be in charge of that task on the big day. I was honored (AND TERRIFIED) to be asked to handle such an important job.
My terror only increased as the seamstress berated me on my buttoning technique. To be fair, there is a very specific method to successfully using a crochet hook to button the TINY buttons that line the back of the dress. So, while the instructor was firm and demanding, she was also right. She suggested I take videos of her expertly buttoning and bustling the dress, so I could study the videos later. Again, she was absolutely correct. Those videos were a lifesaver!
The Bachelorette party was a fun (but sensible!) dinner out in the Boston Seaport district, followed by drinks at a gorgeous rooftop bar nearby. It was February, so it was still cold outside. BUT there were heated lamps on the outside balcony, so with the heated lamps and our coats, it was actually pretty comfortable! (And a much cheaper option than renting the $500 glass igloos.)
Two months later, the big weekend finally arrived! My boyfriend and I packed up a car and drove to the Mountain Top Inn in Vermont. The lodge is aptly named, being nestled in the Green Mountains and has no shortage of gorgeous views.
After the rehearsal at the church, we enjoyed a delicious dinner, drinks and conversations around a crackling firepit. I called it an early night though, because the bridesmaids were scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m. sharp for hair and makeup. I am not a morning person, but when one of my good friends gets married, I make an exception!
At the Bride’s quarters, we were treated to fruit, pastries, coffee, mimosas, and eggs made-to-order by the Father of the Bride. Our Hair and Make-Up artist expertly coiffed our hair and painted our faces and I felt like a princess! After helping Kristen into her wedding dress, we took photos before heading to the church.
I know that it’s typical for everyone to stand and watch the Bride as she walks down the aisle, but not me. I love watching the Groom. There’s so much love and joy in the Groom’s face as he sees his Bride for the first time, it’s my favorite part of the ceremony.
The rest of the evening was full of dancing, laughter and being smitten with my date. When you’re at a wedding, it’s easy for your mind to wander. In my younger days, I would often get misty-eyed as I watched couple after couple tie the knot, and I was still trying to find a partner who would stick around longer than a few months. I was always happy for the newlyweds, but I couldn’t help but be a little wistful.
But in my older and wiser days, I’ve become better at separating myself from the wedding. I am certainly allowed to have feelings about my own relationships, but someone else’s wedding has nothing to do with me. It’s not a reflection on me, it’s not a dig at me and it’s just not about me.
(from left to right) Ithaca, N.Y. in 2010, Los Angeles, Calif. in 2010 and Chittenden, Vt. in 2023
So, until it’s my turn to take a trip down the aisle, I’m happy to continue donning a bridesmaid’s gown. Granted, I’m still 24 dresses shy of Katherine Heigl’s cinematic record, but maybe if I reach double digits, I’ll be singing a different tune.
Emmy Serviss is a Boston-based writer, actor and video editor. Once it is safe to return to live theater, you can find her performing with ComedySportz Boston and the sketch group SUZZY. When not on the stage, Emmy enjoys indulging in her new pandemic hobbies, laughing way too loudly and counting the days until Halloween.