The Bride and Groom wanted to show the Australian guests the area of London they had lived; they planned a bar crawl for the day after the wedding. On the brink of bankrupting myself I refused to book the five star hotel for a third night, much to the Brides anger, instead I promised to attend the bar crawl sober and then drive home once everyone had finished their last shot.
Unfortunately I’d found the wedding so traumatic that upon waking I was such a miserable wreck I simply couldn’t do it. I should have gone to the penthouse and told the Bride but I pictured her up in the tower sitting on her throne whilst I begged at her feet to be excused. Like a coward I text her instead “Hello, hope you had a good time yesterday, it was a beautiful day. Really sorry but can’t make today, hope it’s really good. Speak over the weekend x” And then I fled.
All the stress of the last six months came streaming out of my eyes as I drove down the motorway, whimpering along to whatever song came on the radio. I pulled up at my Godparents house, people who have known me since before I was even an idea. ‘Suck it up!’ I told myself before getting out the car. Just as soon as my Godmother opened the door, asking “how was the wedding?” it all came crashing down and I burst into tears, right there, on the door step. She ushered me in and I cried my heart out on her lap, as she rubbed my back I did a very childlike movement, raised my hand and clutched her sleeve as she rocked me. I realised, this was the first time I’d cried in front of anyone since my mum’s death; it had taken six whole months to cry on someones shoulder and there had been so many tears shed, but tears all alone, who knew it was so comforting to be looked after?!
They patched me up, dried my tears, heard the saga of the wedding, fed me and sent me on my way to visit another best friend and her beautiful new baby. Propping both me and the baby on the couch my friend provided cups of tea and chocolate whilst I fell apart again, as I talked she got closer and closer to posting dirty nappies to Bridezilla.
After some much needed sleep I felt a little more human over the weekend, on the Sunday the Bride text “Why aren’t your wedding pictures on Facebook? We want to see the pictures!”. They’d told everyone not to put any pictures up until the official pictures had been posted “Oh ok, sorry I thought you didn’t want people to put any thing up yet? I’ll put them up tonight”. She text a few more times, she was looking forward to the honeymoon, they’d had a few big family dinners, she was excited about doing the wedding (a blessing ceremony) all over again at the end of the month in Australia for those who hadn’t come for the first show. I was flying out to Australia for the blessing too, a secret only the Groom knew; I wanted her to have someone from her side there too.
I returned to work, colleagues talked of upcoming projects, I was glad for some normality. Towards the end of the day I was leaving a meeting when my phone beeped, an essay of a text from the Bride –
“I’ve had a few days to digest my thoughts after the wedding and I’m still disappointed and hurt enough to let you know about it. I chose you as one of my bridesmaids because you are one of my closest friends but we both know that the way you behaved and dismissed me on my wedding day was uncalled for, unkind and hurtful. I’ve felt so hurt by you, to the point where I’ve been in tears since the day, it’s so sad and not how it’s meant to be at all! I feel you’ve let me down on the most important day of my life, my Wedding day, throughout the entire day. I know you’re going through a difficult time and I have been highly supportive throughout, however this does not mean it is okay to be hurtful and offensive to others especially on special days. This was MY day. Just ONE day! I’ve been a good friend to you and supported you every other day. I’m allowed to think about just myself and my husband on my wedding day and not worry about other people just for this day. Brides have a million things to think about on the day. I made every effort to be there and support you on your 30th birthday, flying in on the exact day I needed to be there and make you feel special on your birthday, despite feeling very jet-lagged and tired but I hid that from you. However, you made me feel like utter shit on the most special day of my life! No bride should be made to feel like that, least of all from a good friend, and her bridesmaid. It’s so sad. I appreciate all the preparations, presents, gifts, surprises but all of that was undermined by how you acted on my Wedding day. You didn’t support me in the most basic form, which costs absolutely nothing! This was the one thing I wanted and needed the most from you. I’ve shed a lot of tears over this and I’ve confided in my husband about it too and he felt he had to tel me you’ve booked to fly over for the blessing. I know it was meant to be a surprise but he felt he had to tell me because of the state I’ve been in. Nice gesture but to be honest, I feel you let me down on the most important day of my life. I don’t think I want to take that risk for the blessing and it’s probably best you give me some space right now. So I suggest you cancel the flight. If you can’t, well I’m not sure how I’ll feel after the honeymoon. All feels too raw right now, never expected this from one of my closest friends, ever! I’m honestly in bits and about to embark on my honeymoon which I’ve looked forward to for so so long! It’s so not fair!! What have I done to deserve this!! I’ve always tried my very best to be a kind, loyal and supportive friend I could to you!!! Any way, I’m focusing on being a newlywed now and trying to enjoy my honeymoon which we’ve longed for and waited for forever. I’m shutting down from all technology now including my phone which will be switched off until after we’re back in Australia. If you could be so kind to send any wedding videos through, we would both appreciate that. I’d also appreciate if you don’t talk to any of my friends or family about this message. “
WHAT? JUST, WHAT?! I felt winded, like her words swept right in and tore out my guts. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or hurl my self of the nearest cliff. I silently handed my phone to my friend who was leaving the meeting with me and sat down in shock whilst she read the words; she said what I couldn’t “What the fuck! What the hell is wrong with her! Has she lost the plot?!”
All that because I’d gone a bit quiet, pulled back at bit, was a little sad on the day. I racked my brain, did I say any something? What did I do? For weeks, months afterwards, I played the wedding over and over in my head; how had I let her down so badly? Sure I probably hadn’t smiled as much as I could have and yeah I might have rolled my eyes every now and then, but I did every single thing she asked and not once said any thing.
Without tearing her message apart word by word, I just want to highlight a few inaccuracies – she didn’t fly over for my birthday, my birthday just happened to be around the same time as her wedding, in fact at one point she was considering getting married on that very day, and I find it hard to believe she was so tired, fighting jet lag when she stayed at the club after most of the guests had left, including even myself! And really, supportive every day? We had 5 skype messages in 8 months and all of those were about the wedding!
I love how she tore me a new one, left no opportunity for me to defend myself and then closed by saying ‘oh don’t tell any one about this message and send me your video’s and pictures’. Of course any justification on my part is redundant because regardless of what I did or didn’t do, she was still upset, very upset. Somehow I’d let her down, hurt her and she was expressing that; as much as I felt her message was selfish and unfair towards me, I can’t take away her account and feelings of events.
I didn’t know what to do. I’d grown close to her other best friend and bridesmaid, we’d confessed how demanding and difficult we’d found the wedding build up; she told me how she’d cried to her mum in the week prior when it had all got too much. I sent her the message, immediately she called “it’s like she’s got a completely warped view of the wedding, I don’t understand what she’s thinking!” she consoled. “What did I do? I don’t understand!” I pleaded back down the phone. “Nothing, you didn’t do any thing, I was with you the whole day, you were just a little quiet” she confirmed back.
I drove home to my mums house. I felt lost. How had this exploded so spectacularly? I sent the message to my friends. I needed help.
And people cared. There had been months of crying alone and struggling through winter days, wanting the world to swallow me up and spit me back out in five years time; wondering if I had any proper friends, feeling so insecure and questioning everything. But suddenly, so disgusted by Bridezilla’s message, they rallied around me like an army, shields protecting and swords ready. They text, called and wrote, cursed, told their friends the story, got angry on my behalf, they cared. One friend said “I’m sorry, I didn’t realise she was marrying you!” another relayed the saga to her friend over lunch, her friend was so appalled she very kindly emailed me and said “that message is so extreme, the bride makes it sound like you shat on her wedding cake and gave her dad a blow job!” which make me laugh out loud.
I didn’t realise people cared, and that’s the thing about friendships, people do care and they want to care, they want to be there for you when you need them; sometimes you just have to open up a little and let them in.