“I say if you want to be a bridesmaid, do it – but if you truly don’t, don’t.”
There’s not a lot of quality reading to be done after surgery. At first you think “look at all this down time!” But after struggling for two days to read the first three paragraphs in a serious book, you realize down time isn’t this issue. It’s concentration. Then a dear friend dropped off “The Bridesmaids: True Tales of Love, Envy, Loyalty… and Terrible Dresses” by Eimear Lynch, and my problem was solved! This guilty pleasure book has short chapters, fun stories and a subject matter that is easy to keep track of.
Lynch’s experiences as a bridesmaid left her “equal parts exhausted and intrigued,” enough to pitch a book idea revolving around all the bridesmaids stories out in the world that are just waiting to be told. Most of the stories are anonymous but all are true, which makes them even more tantalizing to read. The titles are named for the narrator: “The Meddler,” “The Bridesman,” “The Divorcee,” so you already know where that person is coming from as it relates to the story. This allows each chapter – and when I said short, I mean short – to get to the meat of the matter quickly.
Some stories are scandalous and some sad. But all fun and really very interesting, which surprised me. Who knew there could be so many varying opinions and stories about being a bridesmaid? And through it all, we not only get to meet the mellow/Type A/granola/bridezillas of the world, but the different women (and men) who are selected to take care of them on one of the most important days of their lives. I silently congratulated Lynch on her ability to convey the personalities of these real-life characters so succinctly.
I had a few favorites. “The Muse” was a hoot and could only happen in California. “The Princess’s Bridesmaid” is one of the few with a name attached. India Hicks is the godchild of Prince Charles, and she got the coveted role of being a bridesmaid for Charles and Diana’s wedding. All the bridesmaids in the stories talk of the varying stresses involved in their roles but just imagine being a bridesmaid at THAT wedding and being responsible for her 25-foot train! If there ever was a wedding that demanded pictures on the internet, “The Scarlett O’Hara Look-Alike” would be it. And “The Texan’s Accessory” was everything I expected a Texas wedding to be.
Besides allowing myself to be ridiculously entertained by these stories, it also made me think of the nature of storytelling itself. Lynch uses the Introduction to pass along some bridesmaid Do’s and Don’ts but other than that, she took other people’s stories and presented them to us. And I have to say I liked the format. I liked the quick and easy read. I liked the quirky and fun chapter titles. And I liked that Lynch didn’t use her platform to talk strictly about the bad events.
So next time you are laid up for a few weeks, wondering what to read, may I suggest “The Bridesmaids.” It won’t bring world peace, but it will bring a bit of peace to your world.
Thanks for reading!
Lynn Alexander is a recently published author and long-time book, food, cat and college football lover (Go Green!). Her career journey started in upstate New York, writing and recording commercials for radio. She moved to Venice, Florida to manage a restaurant which led her to Naples and Marco in 2002, where she currently books weddings and events for a local resort. Alexander is a Leadership Marco 2015 alum which fed her passion for history and learning. A butterfly at parties but a loner at heart, she loves nothing more than baking yummy desserts then retreating to a quiet corner to read.