The 30 Stages Of Being A Bridesmaid, As Told Through GIFs

Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Being a bridesmaid is a lot like being an intern. You're not getting paid, there's a lot of work involved, and someone else dresses you. (Okay, that last one is more like being a baby.) You'll go everywhere from an all-inclusive resort that the groom's sister (whom you'd never met before the wedding) picked for the bachelorette, all the way to the floor of a hotel bathroom, puking your brains out. Your bank account will dip low, and then somehow dip even lower. You'll casually wonder aloud to strangers whether debtor's prisons are still a thing.

But you'll also find yourself choking back tears as your friend walks down the aisle on one of the biggest days of her life. (Or, at the very least, the biggest, most expensive party she'll ever throw.) It's a mixed bag of emotions that range from overwhelming love to extreme resentment to unbearable hangover. It's going to be a lot to process, so let us guide you through all the emotional stages of being a bridesmaid.
1 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
It starts out innocently enough. Your friend is getting hitched! Time to post a celebratory 'gram of the two of you, gushing about how excited you are for her. Then she asks you to be a bridesmaid, and of course you say yes because she's amazing and y'all are going to have so much fun. What could go wrong?
Advertisement
2 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Oh, god. So much could go wrong.
3 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
First, there's the dress. Despite the bride's promises that she's going to get something "everyone will like," or "you will wear again," in reality, the best you can hope for is, "I'm not embarrassed to be seen in public in it, and it's not too pricey."
4 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Worst-case scenario, you're dressed in an over-the-top princess dress that you're embarrassed to be photographed in...that is somehow also $300.
5 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
The bride will inevitably ask if you like the dress. You will lie. There is no other option. I repeat: You. Have. To. Lie.

To quote Jack Nicholson from a movie I've never seen, she can't handle the truth. Put on your neutral-toned big-girl shoes, tell her it will be great for your company's holiday party, and call it a day.
6 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Then, it's on to bachelorette trip planning, a.k.a.: How many times can one email thread contain passive-aggressive digs at relative strangers about which long weekend and/or destination is best for a totes fun girls' trip?
Advertisement
7 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
After you've finally selected a destination that everyone is okay with (but no one actually likes), it's time to party like you're all back in college (or a Harmony Korine movie).
8 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
That fun lasts 'til the hangover hits — or you remember to check your bank account. Whatever comes first.
9 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
The next test is making it through the various bridal showers and luncheons you will be invited to. The good news is someone's aunt or godmother will feed you. This will make up for the fact that it will be incredibly boring. Watching someone unwrap another one of the pans they registered for inevitably is. That's why there is always lots of Champagne at these events. Make sure to take advantage of that.
10 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Once the pre-wedding festivities are behind you, it's time for the actual wedding weekend, which means it's time to find out whether anyone cute and single will be attending.
11 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
But, of course, it turns out to be more like this.
Advertisement
12 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Don't get too excited and overindulge at the rehearsal dinner, because the final test is yet to come: getting through the wedding day. This is what all the showers were training you for.

On the wedding day, you'll spend hours getting your hair and makeup done (or doing your own hair and makeup), cooped up with the rest of the bridal party. The groomsmen, meanwhile, will be out bowling or playing Putt-Putt and will just throw on their suits an hour before the ceremony. This is basically the wedding version of the wage gap.
13 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
That said, getting dressed up (even in a dress you will never, ever wear again) can be fun, so this is also when you launch into full-on selfie mode. Be sure to steal some snaps with the bride now; once the festivities begin, she will be celebrating her new life by having to listen to every single guest at the wedding tell her she looks beautiful and not actually getting to enjoy the food or alcohol she picked out.
14 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
But here's what no one really prepares you for while you're waiting around for things to begin: You will be STARVING. Someone will bring around some sandwiches, but it won't be enough. As your blood sugar plummets, resist the urge to start asking questions about why you're spending so much time getting ready if people are only looking at the bride anyway. Best to keep any late-breaking wedding revelations to yourself at this point.

And maybe make a note to pack a Kind bar in your clutch.
15 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Next, you'll pose for pictures, proving that, yes, the cheeks are muscles that can get sore from smiling.
16 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
And finally, after all that waiting, it's time for your moment to walk down the aisle in the new heels you forgot to break in, arm in arm with the groom's freshman-year roommate or weird cousin who is slightly shorter than you.

Try not to fall.
Advertisement
17 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
But then, it's time for the bride to make her entrance, and even after all the grumbling and stress, you see your friend walk down the aisle and it's just beautiful.

This is why you invest in waterproof mascara.
18 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Seriously, you're really choking back tears now, especially when it's time to give your toast. You were totally going to get back at her by telling the story about that male stripper at the bachelorette, but instead you're just quoting that Lee Ann Womack song and crying.

"And, lastly, Chad and Jessica, I hope you dance."
19 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Finally, you've earned your reward: an open bar.
20 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
And boy, do you need it.
21 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Mixed drink in hand, it's time to hit the dance floor and let loose.
Advertisement
22 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
This is also when you make your move on the one single guest at the wedding who isn't a cousin you once took baths with.
23 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Oh yeah, and there's cake.
24 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Dancing with your friends by your side, it can be hard to remember why you were ever complaining about any of this in the first place.
25 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Until the next day, when you wake up, mascara still on.
26 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
As it turns out, not really eating all day and then knocking back Champagne and gin and tonics all night isn't the best game plan.
Advertisement
27 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
And then, you look at your bank account on Monday...
28 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
But at least it's all over!
29 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Until your next friend gets engaged.
30 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
There's no escape.
31 of 31
Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Advertisement