Will you be my bridesmaid?

2014. The year of weddings. Or so it seems.

By the end of this year, my husband and I will have been invited to 9 weddings. We will have successfully attended 7 of them and directly participated in 4. Along with those weddings come 5 bachelor/bachelorette parties, and even more bridal showers. This weekend will mark the 5th wedding my husband has been in since I’ve known him, which means, he’s acquired his fair share of grey suits (I think we are at 4 right now).

For anyone who has been in a wedding, had a wedding, or at least been remotely involved in a wedding, you know that with the joy of such an occasion, comes quite the commitment.

And so it should.

In my completely unsolicited opinion, I think too many people approach the honor of being in a wedding incorrectly. I understand it’s not exactly my place to put a “right” or “wrong” on something like standing in a wedding, but here me out. I’ve had a wedding and been a part of multiple bridal parties, which totally makes me a pro, right? Ya … of course it does. Ha!

Years ago (as in, many, many years ago), groomsmen came about before bridesmaids. Their primary responsibility was to protect the bride as she made her way to the groom, their friend, on the day of the wedding. While bridesmaids became tradition to help prepare the bride for the wedding, another purpose for the bridal party was to protect the couple from evil spirits, previous suitors, and unhappy family members. Thus, when choosing one’s bridal party, I have a good feeling there was a little more thought that went into it beyond your favorite weekend bestie.

There was responsibility, trust, and honor involved. It was a big deal. Nowadays, it seems the commitment it takes to be a part of a wedding is no less significant; be it participating in showers, bachelor/ette parties, and even purchasing that 5th grey suit or that dress that you really will never wear again. Granted, certain extremes too often come in to play on the part of the wedding planners (i.e. the bridal pair), but if we lose sight of the honor that it is to stand in a wedding, we too easily lose sight of the purpose of the wedding itself.

A wedding is a day. A celebration. A gigantic party. Some hate weddings. So love weddings. I would wager to say, most don’t think about the purpose for such an affair upon arriving at said celebration. The wedding is the day that ushers a couple into a marriage. It is a ceremony, where everyone in attendance acts as a witness to the vows made before God. Where two people commit, promise, VOW to care for one another’s heart. To protect it, and love it, and encourage it in its pursuit of God. That’s the purpose of a wedding.

So to stand beside that couple on such a significant day should be an honor. It shouldn’t be an opportunity to tout your importance, nor should it be a burden. It should be a privilege to be selected as a witness and support system, regardless.

I can honestly say, that I am five and a half years into my marriage, and each member of our bridal party still plays a significant role in our lives. I was honored to have those women stand beside me as I married my totally hot husband. Now, I have the honor of standing beside one of my maids as she marries her own totally hot husband. And she better believe that I will stand my ground as her friend, whether she likes it or not, forever. As my husband stands in yet another wedding this weekend, I know he carries the same weight and responsibility to his friend, as well.

God designed us to need fellowship with fellow believers. It helps make us stronger as we show the watching world His love. Being a part of a wedding isn’t just chiffon dresses and matching striped socks. It should be a commitment to that fellowship; to a forever friendship, to both the bride and groom.

Photo Credit: (PuraVida)

Julie Benson