Finally A Bridesmaid

The Bride and Groom! 
All photos from Chelsea Kaye in San Diego.  You can reach her at:

I have a secret to confess. I am 33 years old and I have NEVER been a bridesmaid. This might be a moral deficiency and proof that I am a terrible friend or something. Maybe it is a product of my engagement at 19 and the resulting consequence that from then on almost all of my friends were already married. Or maybe I just scream “NOT PHOTOGENIC” every time I flash my unglossed smile.

Whatever the reason, I have never been in a wedding party. In fact, I haven't even been to that many weddings at all. I find that in general, public displays of emotion and affection really make me want to shut my eyes and plug my ears.

Ahh....but this has all changed! My little brother decided a few months ago to finally settle down. He and his lovely fiancée (now WIFE!) decided to get married. (I am so glad nobody handed me a mike at the reception. I probably would have threatened him to not screw this up, ever, because I am starting to like her more than him. Shhh....)

To top it all off the lovely bride asked me to be a bridesmaid. There were probably a dozen people better suited to the role, but I said yes and vowed to lose ten pounds in the next six months. I even bought a dress just slightly too small for me in anticipation. (I really crack myself up.)

As the day comes closer we pack up the herd of kids and head down for the 10 plus hour drive to gorgeous SAN DIEGO! (Coincidently, we discovered that bringing four children on a long road trip in one day is a great way to prevent conception EVER again. You are welcome for that information.)

Oh gosh- I almost forgot to mention the beach house where we showed up to stay with a bunch of my brother's childless or single friends.  Oh my, they were patient with us.  They will also probably just forego ever having children.  That weekend alone was ...eye opening.  Somebody even lost a toenail.  Ick.

The day arrives. I am kind of freaking out at this point because A) I am not girly enough to be in a wedding and B) I have really un-awesome hair. And C) I never lost those ten pounds! ACK!

Step One- FACE.
I decided to forgo the wedding make-up and go to the mall to try to get a free makeover. In my cheapness I totally got what I deserved- the gal did HALF my face in make-up. I am not kidding! It was hilarious! And I was too big of a wimp to just say, “Dude, could you please finish, I promise I will buy everything but I have a wedding to be at in an hour!” Instead I just bought the make-up and panicked about correctly duplicating the other half of my face.

Next step: HAIR.
The hair guy did a really nice job on my hair. (He also said I looked like Audrey Hepburn so I handed him cash money. What a nice guy.)

Step Three:  DRESS.
I squeezed into the dress. I could still zip it even though I ate some simply amazing fish and chips the night before. BAM! (I did however need some help removing it at the end of the night. Things must have swollen or something...There was some blood loss to my extremities but the damage was not permanent.)

I focused really hard on not looking like an idiot during the ceremony (which probably made me look really weird) but who cares- the bride was BEAUTIFUL, the wedding was perfect and ¾ of my kids behaved during the ceremony. (Which is like a C+, not too shabby. Well, maybe only ½ of them behaved but who is counting.)

As it turns out, I think I was a terrible bridesmaid. I was so stressed about my kids and the trip...silly mom stuff.  The great thing about a wedding though is that the bridesmaids don't really matter. All you could see was the bride (in a dress so gorgeous I actually cried when she put it on.)

I didn't know a wedding could be such an amazing display of sisterhood- her sisters and her mom pampering her.  You miss all this when you have no sisters. I am so glad my daughters have sisters. I met some wonderful people in San Diego. My little brother now has a helpmeet for the rest of his life that will be a blessing to him and our whole family.

My kids even got to be included in the ceremony and then went on to dance all night and learn some moves from various strangers. (I apologize right now if most of the wedding video is comprised of my 6 year old learning how to do the “YMCA” and my son learning how to dance “gunman style” or whatever that is. I have no idea how that happened and I was not party to it.)

Marriage is a beautiful thing. It is also scary and hard and unpredictable. But like birth and anything else that actually matters, the pain is what makes it so amazing when it finally works.

Many blessings to my brother and his perfect new bride.
Photos by Chelsea Kaye- If you are in San Diego and need a photographer she was AMAZING and wonderful with the kids and just everybody.  You can reach her at


Gorgeous wedding dress and beautiful family photo!