50 shades of dresses

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brides·maid / ˈbrīdzˌmād

noun

1. a girl or woman who accompanies a bride on her wedding day.

imageWell, I wrapped my last wedding duties last weekend. It’s now become a joke with my friends, work, clients, and family that I am a professional bridesmaid. I think my first wedding I was in I was 4. I have been in so many weddings the past couple of years it ain’t even funny. But it kind of is I guess…I know we joked about me being Jane in 27 dresses but it’s shaping up to be a reality.  Anyway, as a joke I posted a photo of me sitting on a John Deere and it appears from some of the messages and comments I got people thought I was sad about being single.

imageI mean, don’t get me wrong – I love to be in a relationship BUT I’m not exactly sitting home crying every night about not having a man. I’ll be the first to say – DATING SUCKS. I hate the awkward stages of getting to know someone and I definitely make an effort to get comfortable with someone fast. No I’m not racing to the alter – I’m just trying and get comfortable with the other person meaning letting them see me with no make-up, hair a mess, sweats, after a gym workout, etc… (burping……….) did I just say that? Ha, but really I like to be comfortable with someone as quickly as possible. I also believe if it’s a good match you are naturally comfortable quickly.

I do love being in a relationship. I do. I love having one person to focus on. I have friends who like playing the field and get bored with one guy but I definitely prefer having 1 guy vs. 8. That’s just me. (Plus, I can’t keep up with everyone, so…)

imageAs I’ve mentioned in a couple of other posts I am more single now than I’ve ever been which is weird because I’m supposed to be older now and more mature blah blah blah… haha, and I am. Maybe that’s why I am more single now? Because I walk away faster if I know it isn’t working instead of dating a guy for 2 years knowing he isn’t the one and will never be. Hopefully there is someone out there who can handle me… we know damn well I’m hard to love! But being in so many weddings I’ve gotten to witness some beautiful weddings, wedding parties, and marriages.

All of my friends have had a different story (obviously) and everyone’s story is a reflection of their love for the other person.

One of my girlfriends lived in North Carolina and after a while of failed relationships she moved back home to Milwaukeimagee. I was sad and I remember her telling me it’s something she feels like she needs to do. I support that. A heart wants what it wants! Not even 2 months later she met a guy. Not only did she meet a guy – she met an amazing man who she said he was ‘THE ONE’. I remember her telling me that early on and sure enough I think it was like 6 months into dating they ended up getting engaged and married not long after. They have been happily married for a few years now.

imageAnother one of my girlfriends who we met through our exes – she quickly became one of my best friends.. After he and I broke up, she and I didn’t talk as much for maybe a couple of months then they broke up.  We were back inseparable like we were before. She started dating a guy who lived in Orlando and after I think a year (maybe more!) of long distance he ended up moving to NC. He proposed to her and they were married 3 or 4 years ago and I’ll never forget we planned a couples trip to Savannah for a long weekend and I got a call from her a couple of weeks before we were supposed to go and she was crying and said “I don’t know if you’re going to want to go with me anymore. I’m pregnant”.. hahaha hormones I guess because it was so cute she was thinking I wouldn’t want to go with her because of that. We all went and had a blast! She ended up missing 1 pill and getting pregnant a couple of months after getting married. Her daughter is beautiful and she and her husband have a great marriage.

My cousin went to school with a girl who had an older brother and they ended up dating years after high school and on their 1 year anniversary they got engaged and have been married for 2 or 3 years now? (I can’t remember the specifics but you get it..)

One of my other best girlfriends met a guy through work, dated long distance for a while and ended up getting engageimaged around Christmas and married in April the next year. They are happily married with a baby on the way.

I also have friends who dated their boyfriends for 3+ years then got engaged, married and starting a family later into a marriage.

And sure, I have traditions and ideas I want for my wedding one day. One of my favorite traditions is me and 2 of my best friends from back home take a photo with our dresses in our undies. We did it for Kim’s years ago and we did it for Courtney’s last weekend. (Now hopefully our asses aren’t eat up with cottage cheese when it’s time for my wedding.)

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The whole point of this post is everyone has a different love story. I have girlfriends now who are single and get discouraged. Hell, I get discouraged thinking I’ll never met someone but in reality no one’s love story is the same. The only thing that’s the same is the bond that marriages brings as we watch them say ‘I do’. I cry at Every. Single. Wedding. I promise you I do. I could be at my worst enemy’s wedding. (do I even have any at this point in life? I don’t think so) And PS I am an ugly cryer imageso sorry for all of the photos I’m in with bloodshot eyes, red cheeks and tears pouring down my face. Hahaha it’s all out of love.

There’s no checklist to follow when you find someone you want to be with. You just know. I really believe that as you get older you know much quicker if you can be with someone long-term or not. I think women are more likely to call off a stale relationship than men. Guys are content with dating for 10 years and it might not be the best relationship but they’re comfortable.

Cheers to all the weddings I’ve got to be in, a part of, or watched. I’ve gotten to be in Weddings in Milwaukee/Chicago, Wilmington, Colorado, Tampa, Durham.. so I’ve been to some pretty cool places and I’ve seen some of the coolest Christian Ceremonies with feet washing to Greek Orthodox with most of the ceremony not in English. #cultured haha And I am SO thankful I got to stand next to so many gorgeous brides on your wedding day! It really is an honor for someone to include you on such a special time. <3

Happy Dating! (and yes, dating to EVERYONE! No one should ever stop dating. I mean, if you’re married – please only date your spouse but still date.:) )

ps, I have my dresses from these weddings and you better believe I will be incorporating a piece of fabric from each one for something on my wedding day.. 😉

xo