Wedding Wednesdays: An Ode to Bridesmaids
Another Week, Another Wednesday - Hope Each of You are Having a Wonderful Day!!
The closer I get to my wedding day the more my mind drifts to topics of love and marriage.
But today I want to pause and highlight the role of BRIDESMAIDS.
Well first, what is a bridesmaid? And what is her role?
But even before that can we talk about how hilarious that Bridesmaids movie was? Because it was pretty freakin' hilarious #okayimdone
On the most basic level - a bridesmaid is a lady (usually unmarried) who "attends" the bride at a wedding.
The first time I was a bridesmaid I was 16 years old and it was in my sister's wedding. I remember it like yesterday - it was such an honor!
Now I have the honor of having her as my Matron of Honor and having our younger sister as a junior bridesmaid. Candace has me beat! I was 16, she's 11.
Of course, bridesmaids are much more than attendants - these are some of your best friends, they're your confidantes, your partners in laughter and crime, your girlfriends
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY
After you say "I do" these women should be a buffer and a safety net in times of forgetfulness.
What do I mean?
First let's discuss rule number one in marriage:
RULE NO. 1 in Marriage Ladies (after keeping GOD First)
NEVER talk bad about your husband.
I cannot stress that enough. I'm not big on the use of absolutes but I mean it with every fiber when I say - NEVER talk bad about your husband. Never. Never. Never. And if you need a scripture here you go: "The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences."Proverbs 18:21 #yourewelcome
Speak life over your marriage and your husband. NEVER follow up on negative emotions or thoughts with negative words. And that's not just for marriage that's for life in general.Choose your words carefully. Why would you want to talk bad about your husband anyway? Talking about him negatively is to talk bad about yourself - you two are now one, remember?
I have had this rule drilled into my head since I was a young girl. I have also witnessed the damage that can be done when that rule is not adhered to. It's really important. And as emotional beings, we as women, usually turn to our friends when we want to "vent" but marriage is a whole different ball game.
Once you're married your spouse automatically becomes the best friend trumping all other best friends- and any "venting" that you feel needs to take place should happen with your spouse, NOT with an uninvited, unauthorized and unwelcome third party.Any venting including any frustrations you feel towards your spouse needs to be directed to GOD and your spouse. Besides they are the only ones who can directly address the situation anyway.
So, in the event that you "forget" and call up one of your bridesmaids wanting to "vent" they should be so full of integrity that they stop you in your tracks; should you haphazardly veer from rule number one.
Your entire bridal party (bridesmaids and groomsmen included) should be FOR your marriage and want to see it succeed to the point that they will do whatever they can to protect it-
- That means they should be the type of friends who refuse to let you come over if you're trying to "escape" after a disagreement with your husband.
- They should be the type of friend that will not tolerate you talking negatively about your marriage and your husband.
- They should encourage you, respect you, respect your husband, and respect your marriage.
- They should understand that no one, themselves and parents included, should have any input or influence on your marriage, and will do whatever it takes to ensure that, including Shutting People Down.
- These are the types of friends who will not tolerate gossip or negativity surrounding you or your marriage.
Marriages have literally failed because of the negativity of people who should have been acting as buffers but instead acted as demolition teams and wrecking balls.
With ALL that being said - I am SO thankful for the AMAZING women I will have at my side. They are each extraordinary in their own way.
WHAT KIND OF BRIDESMAIDS' BRIDE AM I?
I would say I am a LAISSEZ-FAIRE bride. Very non-authoritarian.
My bridesmaids were given full power to make decisions while all I asked is that those decisions line up with basic guidelines.
I understand that unity and uniformity are not the same thing and unity of heart mattered more to me than uniformity.
- Thus, each of my bridesmaids had the option to turn me down lol.
- I'm sure you've heard horror stories about bridesmaids who hated their dresses - I love my girls too much for that. So my bridesmaids picked their own style of dress. I asked them to order from the same dress company so that it would be the right color but other than that it's a style they can make all their own and hopefully it will be something they like enough and to wear again since they are spending their money. Also, it allows each of them to wear a dress that compliments their body type and unique style.
- They get to choose their own shoes. I just asked once again that it be the color I chose.
- They're free to do their own hair and way they want and accessorize the way they want.
I was trying to find a better image to articulate what I was saying for this section but I found none with Black people and I wanted some Black people. #personalbias
I wasn't super anal, badgering them at every twist and turn, going with them to make sure they ordered the correct size, or even sending weekly updates. We're all adults and I trust them and if something doesn't work out well - #theshowmustgoon
We'll see how my laissez-faire approach turns out, lol. I'm really not worried about it though.
So Introducing the Bridesmaids of the Taylor Findlay Wedding
The Littlest "Angel" - My monster. My baby sister - Candace.
She just started middle school :whines: Ugh, I'm so not ready for boobs and boys and all that other stuff that comes along with puberty but #readyornot it's that time. I'm so proud of her. She loves to dance. She's feisty when she's ready. She thinks she can do everything I can do since we're just about the same height. She's brilliant and beautiful and I'm happy she's happy to be a part. I love her to life. I tell her all the time "I'm old enough to be your mom!" #sortakindanotreallybutyes It's so amazing to watch her grow in my mom's belly to see how the world has changed so much since she's been here. It's hard to remember life before she was here.
Citizen of the World - Kelly.
This pretty lady spent two years in Mozambique, Africa working with Peace Corp! She's a real go getter and was the first friend I made while at the University of Florida. She showed me the ropes and looked out for me "Never go to a Q party wearing a skirt…" She's hilarious! "Cara, that was saucy, I thought you were just a quiet church mouse…" She's a true humanitarian. She's in grad school doing great things and she has a heart of gold. Ours is a friendship that survived across continents.
The Bilingual Mamacita - Angela.
Pretty brown eyes? Look no further! This amazing lady is bilingual. She's been on mission trips working as a translator in local clinics in Dominican Republic. Her day job though is a Spanish teacher. She LOVES the language and LOVES teaching. She teaches because she truly finds it rewarding to be able to influence the next generation for good. We've been friends for over 7 years now and we've had our ups and downs but we've always got each other's backs when it comes down to it. Some of my favorite memories? Her showing up on my doorstep one Valentine's weekend during a particularly depressing time in my life, she lied and told me she sent me a package. Deciding last minute to drive up to Atlanta 8 hours in the car total. 6 hours in Atlanta. #Nosleep for 48 hours.
The Sister-in-Law that's more Sister than In-Law - Chennia.
So yes she's Danny's sister but she has always been a true friend and sister to me. Chennia is not only beautiful, she's kind! When she loves she will go all out. She's ambitious. Her work ethic is mean! She definitely embodies "work hard play hard." Her sense of style is on 100 (out of 10 lol #offthecharts). She's not afraid to take risks. My sincere desire is that everyone marry into a family as amazing as the one I'm marrying into. Even when Danny and I weren't together Chennia treated me like family. She gave me advice and cared about me a part from in relation to her brother. I'm not sure if she knows it but she's VERY protective of her family and her brother. She definitely watched me intently when we first met. Chennia will not bite her tongue for anyone so its best to come correct the first time, lol.
The Movie Star - Mercedes.
Believe it or not I've known this lady for 12 years! That's wild. We've known each other since middle school!! She was shorter than me then and she could do a mean lip sync to "Silver and Gold" by Kirk Franklin. We went to Middle School of the Arts, I was a vocal major and she was a theatre major. Even from that time Mercedes knew that GOD called her to be an actress. She wanted to shine in the movies so that GOD would get the glory from her life. We lost contact for a few years in high school but got back in contact right before she was about to enter college. I told her if she came to UF we'd reconnect and that's exactly what happened. She was part of a weekly Bible study that Kelly and I were apart of and it was just great. Two years ago, only six days after graduating from UF she packed her bags and flew to Los Angeles to pursue the call GOD had on her life. It's been a journey and she'll be the first to say it wasn't easy but since that time she's made 25-30 appearances in TV shows and films. It's so awesome to have witnessed her growth and to watch GOD 's hand on her life. And I'm honored she's taking the time out of her superstar schedule to celebrate with me.
The Surprising Soulmate - Zipporah.
Last but not least. There is so much I could say about this beauty right here but hopefully I can paint a picture of what it was like to find a soul like Zipporah.
Imagine- the first day of summer classes before you start high school - you feel someone watching you - you turn and see this girl that you assume is an upper classman and wonder what the heck you did that made her notice you and wonder if this is your future bully? Then the first day of 9th grade you end up sitting right in front of her. Oh my gosh! Wait, she's in 9th grade too? What do you do? Well, you speak of course. What do you say?
Me: "I'm sure you hear this all the time but you look like Alicia Keys." Hahahahahaha
And literally the rest is history.
I fully believe in soul mates I don't think it's just one person of the opposite sex either, I think it can be a number of people that GOD places along your life path whose souls are cut from the same soul-cloth your soul is cut from, for lack of a better way to articulate what I mean.
Everyone knew Zipporah and I were best friends in high school. But they didn't understand why. I don't think the stuff of soul mates can ever really be explained. It's just a clicking that takes places - like a latch plate (the head of a seatbelt) sliding into the latch and locking. It's a God thing. And somehow even with all the other students there during those summer classes before 9th grade Zipporah and I knew there was something about the other. Zipporah was my anchor in high school. Rarely were we seen without one another. I was happy to have met someone who was beautiful, warm, soulful, poetic, fun and who loved Michael Jackson as much as I did. We were true partners in crime and sisters. I remember leaving for school with three lunches one for me, one for my brother, and one for Zipporah. People don't understand the depth of our friendship but we saw each other through some really difficult times and that solidified the bond between. It was heart wrenching to be separated from her when we went off to college but our bond has survived distance and time and when we get together we don't skip a beat - #backatitlikeweneverleft
I don't mean to write a book but Zipporah witnessed a lot of the formative years for Danny and I. She was friends with Cara the teenager and she's still friends with the Cara in her mid-20s. She's seen me laugh uncontrollably, she's seen me mad, and she's seen me cry. 10 years later and we're still by each other's side in the best way!
Each one of the ladies means the world for me! I love them all dearly. I would fight for them, bail them out of jail, take their collect calls, and give my left boob to make sure they're okay.
Did I mention none of them live in Georgia? So yeah - I'm ultra excited about reuniting with them!
I didn't include my older sister and Matron because literally that would be a book. But maybe one day I'll tell that story.
Happy Wednesday lovers!!