I’ve spent just about the past ten years half-jokingly telling everyone I meet to invite me to their future wedding. If you scan the yearbooks of anyone I talked to in my graduating high school class, you will indeed find a short postscript included with every message I scribbled: “P.S. Invite me to your wedding.”
At the time, it was an offhand remark I made that probably stemmed from my fascination with fairytale endings and lavish celebrations in a post-My Super Sweet 16 age. Most people I’m sure just blew it off as a hypothetical eventuality. But what began as a gag in my naïve youth became a strange reality when I graduated from college.
Saying goodbye to one of my good friends on the final night before we all had to leave campus, I gave him a hug, and once again repeated my go-to farewell phrase for times when I’m not sure when I’ll see someone again: “Invite me to your wedding.” He paused, and in that moment, I saw it dawned on him that, as he was in a serious long-term relationship, this was actually something that could and would happen. “I will,” he said, with conviction—and not a hint of humor at all. He was married the following year, and I was in attendance.
That was the first in a string of seven weddings I’ve attended over the past two years, and by the looks of it, it seems that all of my wedding-invitation lobbying has finally caught up to me. In fact, the moment I’ve been dreading has finally arrived: Two friends from disparate social groups are getting married. . . and not to each other.
Of all the viable wedding weekends over the course of a year, they had to pick the very same one next August. The worst part is that I know this well over a year in advance, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. I want to be there for both of them to witness one of the most important events of their lives, but unless someone invents a functioning form of teleportation, it isn’t going to happen: One is in Long Island and the other in the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania. So unfortunately, I definitely won’t be able to pull a 27 Dresses-esque move of hiring a taxi to shuttle me between two venues, two ceremonies, two receptions. Then again. . . there’s always cloning.
Obviously, I have to choose, and my first inclination would have been to host a friend-off. Who matters more to me? Who has racked up more friend points over the years? Whom do I owe more? But the fact remains that in this case, one of them is both my friend and my cousin, and she’s asked me to be a bridesmaid, so the choice has already been made. Yes, I’ve come to terms with the fact, but it doesn’t make it any less difficult to accept that I won’t be able to see one of my very best friends get hitched at our alma mater. He already knows. It is a huge bummer, but alas, not a dealbreaker because I’m nothing more than a spectator at his nuptials. It is what it is.
What’s more shocking and upsetting to me, however, is that somehow, I’ve reached the age (mid-twenties) where people do actually get married, and in droves, so the double wedding scenario is not only possible, but probable. And it’s only going to get worse as time goes on, with all of the wedding-invite seeds I’ve planted actually taking form. I can see it now: a dozen pastel-colored invitations stuffed inside my mailbox, all demanding replies, dinner selections, and appropriate gifts. Crap.
Weddings will overlap, conflict, overtake my social calendar and my bank account—which is something I definitely didn’t anticipate as I was vying for the invitations. Already I have at least three lined up for next year, and I have to plan my vacations and time off to accommodate them. It’s a happy nightmare—happy because I do enjoy celebrating eternal love with a good party, but a nightmare because of the drama, financial obligations, and logistical issues surrounding them. More and more though, they are verging on the nightmarish, as I find weddings morphing into extravagant ordeals that not only force me to make tough decisions but also remind me of my ever-enduring single status. It sounds dumb considering that I literally told everyone I knew to invite me to their wedding, but I really just didn’t see this coming. I never thought so many people would follow through, so quickly.
I used to go around quoting this line from Pirates of the Caribbean—“Weddings? I love weddings. Drinks all around!”—whenever marriage came up in conversation, which wasn’t that often when I was still in school, so it still elicited a laugh every time. Like I said, I did love weddings then, and I wanted to attend as many as I possibly could. But now that weddings—engagement rings, dresses, flowers, venues, bands, favors, and colors—form the primary topic of conversation among girls my age, and more importantly that they are outlandish events I actually need to plan and attend, I’m no longer sure that’s true. In fact, going forward, unless we are truly great friends (you’ll know who you are), please do not invite me to your wedding. Please. At this rate, I think I’ll have enough weddings to attend to last a lifetime.