I still feel completely used and cast aside (Picture: Getty Images)
Sitting down at my desk I take a deep breath before hitting the call button.
Like me, my laptop is already overwhelmed. There must be at least a hundred different tabs open with various places to eat, see and stay throughout Europe and my inbox is overflowing, so I’m not sure what adding a Zoom call into the mix will do.
I soon have my answer though as my laptop crashes completely.
And before I have a chance to rejoin the call, the messages start.
First, there’s an influx of links to new possible destinations, accommodations and flights, from the bridesmaid’s group chat.
Then a new message comes in from the bride, asking to add ‘just one more’ to the already 20 strong guestlist. She then requests a separate hen do for those who can’t make it abroad, plus a spa day with afternoon tea for some mum and daughter time.
‘You can sort all that, right?’ reads her final text. And suddenly I find myself feeling jealous of my laptop.
I’m exhausted, but don’t have time to rest.
I’d always wanted to be a bridesmaid, but I’d never expected it to be this overwhelming.
Clearly I’m not alone either as ‘bridesmaid burnout’ – a term which refers to bridesmaids who are emotionally, physically, and financially exhausted by the bridezilla’s demands – has been on the rise in recent months.
But before I experienced it first-hand, I’d always assumed the horror stories I’d heard – bridesmaids forking out thousands of pounds for the hen do, brides axing their wedding party for not meeting their expectations – were just that. Stories.
In fact, when I was asked to take on the role by an old school friend, I was pleasantly surprised.
We didn’t talk as much as we used to, but I was touched that the bride considered me one of her close friends and I wanted to do a good job.
With two experienced bridesmaids by my side, I was reassured we were a substantial team to plan the pre-wedding celebrations and I couldn’t wait to get started.
However, five WhatsApp groups later, the bride’s requests for numerous hen-dos, a 20 person guestlist, and celebrity parties as inspiration, it was inevitable my debut would be a challenge.
Lo and behold, it was precisely that, as the other bridesmaids were uncontactable for months, leaving me to manage all the details.
It became my second job.
Slowly my home office became a supply closet of goody bags. Suitcases were soon brimming with props and I became the only port of call for the bride’s requests for many months.
Fielding calls from the bride at all hours as well as answering any and all queries from the hens – all of which disrupted my own working day.
And after finishing work later than intended to make up …read more