Someone once told me that the truest test of love is seeing if it can survive a cycle of all four seasons.
I’ve always wondered if that’s true.
Will someone’s love for you get scrambled when the shivers turn into sunburns?
In the winter, you’re spending quality time together, bear-hugging candles (to save money on your electric bill) and sipping hot chocolate out of ceramic mugs, watching cotton balls of ice drip down from the magnetic sky. But then spring rolls in and the raindrops began to flood your wintertime Netflix marathons and just a few months later, you rush outside to follow the bright rays of sunshine as they make their way inside your city, finally, like a untouchable Jonas Brother.
Some love, I’ve noticed, is resilient. It’s as if the world could go on and on and on and nothing would change. Some love, I’ve also seen, can be chaotically flimsy. It can’t even survive a trip to Ikea, let alone a Thanksgiving meal where Aunt Beth is piling up the mashed potatoes on grandma’s 1914 China plate, asking your significant other about his views on Obamacare.
What is it like, I wondered, to be with someone for 17 years?
That’s 17 New Year’s Eve smooches, 17 July 4th fireworks, 17 Halloween costumes, and 17 Christmas presents (17×8 Hanukkah presents if you’re Jewish.)
“We’ve been together 17 years and worked together in business for 12 of those years,” they wrote. “And now we want to get married in Central Park.”
My eyes lit up when I read this.
Within a few days of launching Bridesmaid for Hire, I received over 100 emails from people all over the world who were getting married and wanted to hire a Professional Bridesmaid to help them sort of the details and be by their side on their wedding day. This email had something more to it. It had a the beginning of an incredible story that I had to learn more about.
“Together for 17 years,” I read again, out loud.
After July 3rd, I began working with Rod and Buck (virtually) on their autumn NYC wedding day. They lived in Australia and had never been to NYC, let alone the United States before. I was able to help them put together a to-do list for their ceremony and also dive into creating a long list of recommendations for them. I wanted them to feel at home in a city that flirts with strangers from around the world who come here searching and wanting and needing and hoping for something so much more. I set them up with a personal shopper at Macys, so they could pick out their wedding day outfit, made reservations for them at NYC restaurants (including some of NYC’s finest pizza places) and helped them put together an itinerary for their wedding day.
We chatted often and I began counting down the days until I could finally meet Rod and Buck in person.
On October 15th, underneath the bright lights of a big city, we finally did.
Over a glass of bubbly champagne, in a dimly lit corner of a restaurant in the W hotel in Times Square, I asked them a question every infectious romantic wants to know.
What’s the true test of love?
Outside, the weather was putting on its Halloween costume a few weeks early and pretending to be a rainy, cold, season that it’s not. Girls were beginning to saddle up over the knee boots and trade light cardigans in for jackets stuffed with puff. We’re all starting to box up our jean shorts and tank tops and old summer flings, hoping that when the wind blows a new chill, something unusually brilliant will keep us warm, this time.
“It just works,” Buck says, before he took another sip of his chilled green drink. “We’re opposites and we communicate well. Maybe that’s as simple as it needs to be.”
“Love is love,” Rod says while he looks into the eyes of his partner, now for life.
I nod my head, hoping that one day someone asks me this very same question, as I tangle my spoon around the person I love’s whole wheat pasta with butternut squash on the side.
Are you wondering what kind of gift to bring to the engagement party? Or how to protest against wearing a 7-layer chiffon polka dotted dress with a giant bow on the back? How about how the heck you can afford to be a bridesmaid, for the 5th time this year, without taking out a loan from Bank of America?
Jen’s been a bridesmaid more times than she can count on both hands – and she’s made every mistake there is, like bringing lingerie to a bridal shower and not bringing Advil to a bachelorette party. From ordering a bridesmaid dress a month before the wedding (& then buying fabric to make it herself in case it didn’t come in on time) to wearing brand new heels to a wedding and having her toes semi-permanently go numb.
To pay it forward (& make sure you don’t make the same blistering mistakes), Jen’s asking you to send her any and all bridesmaid questions you have. She’ll send over an answer (& a virtual hug) within 48 hours.
You may have #99BridesmaidProblems but lack of advice is no longer one.
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