I do.

Professional bridesmaid.

That’s what my new business card is going to read. English Language Tutor – Menu Corrector – Professional Bridesmaid. I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet here but I have had the privilege of being bridesmaid 5 times, once when I was 11 and the other 4 in the last 2 years plus another 3 weddings with non-bridesmaid duties.

Don’t panic, I’m not going create a video montage akin to 27 dresses and parade around in my bridesmaid attire while James Marsden photographs me (though a girl can dream) but I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on my bridesmaidness.

First of all I have heard many horror stories of being a bridesmaid. Trying to find matching shoes for 6 women in the Debenhams January sale, bridesmaids worrying more about their hair than the bride’s, dresses not fitting, missing the rehearsal, the list goes on but fortunately I haven’t had any major dramas. I was once tearing through Luton as we forgot a makeup back praying continually that the car wouldn’t breakdown as it was known to have a few issues – but apart form that everything was pretty rosy. The brides were amazing – no Bridezillas there, fellow bridesmaids were beautiful and wonderful and the grooms weren’t bad either.

I’ve had the chance to be bridesmaid to my sister in the Lake District which was a very special moment. Possibly a bit too special as I did end up crying throughout the rehearsal, the ceremony, the signing of the register, the speeches and just about held it together for the first dance but I was probably distracted by cake. I’ve been bridesmaid to my best friend with her sisters on a drizzly day in Luton complete with 2 huge wine fridges. A summer wedding in London with the most beautiful bouquets I’ve ever seen and the best egg custard tarts on the planet. Finally a very elegant wedding in the Lakes where the grooms family and friends were from Essex so it did feel a little like being in an episode of TOWIE.

All these weddings and the ones were I was a simple guest have been wonderful and beautiful and unique. They were proper reflections of the couples who were tying the knot and that is what made them so special. Ros (Disney obsessed) and Jon had hidden mickeys dotted around the spot. Llamas with bowties made an appearance at Tina (animal lover) and Tony’s wedding. Cakes and a sweet cart were of big importance at for my sweet tooth sister and Chris’s wedding. At Kate and Phil’s wedding international food and international guests played a prominent role.

One of my favourite things about being a bridesmaid is NOT trying to walk elegantly down the aisle in shoes I wearing for the first time ever or having a billion pictures take or even being served first at the wedding breakfast (though that is great) – but the morning of the wedding – when it’s just the bride and the girls. Ok, it can be stressful especially if you lose your make-up bag, or the hairdresser is running late or you don’t really know where the best man is BUT I love it. That quiet moment before everything happens. It’s also a really intimate moment. Having breakfast with the bride and the other bridesmaids is a wonderful moment. That moment before your friend is a WIFE. With my sister, it felt like it was the last real moment we would have as us Cooper girls. With my best friends again it was a special moment with just them.

I’ve another wedding coming up in a few weeks and no I’m not a bridesmaid for this one, but as I’m sitting in the church waiting for the Bride to arrive I will be thinking about that moment she’ll be having with her mum, sisters and friends before she takes that first step down the aisle and begins a new chapter. I am thankful and honoured of being asked to be part of my friends’ special day. I’m thankful of these amazing girls I’m friends with and most of all THANK YOU for not being Bridezillas!

The only problem I have now is I need some fancy dinner parties to wear these dresses to. Can someone give James Bond a call and pass on my number?

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