As Millennials rapidly march down the aisle, every aspect of the wedding industry is experiencing a radical boom.
With shows like "Say Yes To The Dress," "Four Weddings" or any televised Kardashian wedding, which all focus on the preparation leading to the big "I do," it's no wonder the latest trends keep escalating tradition and revamping the norm.
Fiancées and brides simply cannot help but compete on their social media accounts by oversharing every detail of the ride.
From the engagement ring selfie to the flowers, venue, bridal showers and bachelorette weekends, the advertised list keeps growing as my bank account keeps depleting.
I even have to ask even my closest of female friends, "What makes you think this is okay?"
Trust me, I'm not trying to sound bitter (as my big day has yet to arrive). But, 2015 has promoted and fostered an environment filled with pre-marital "bliss," where friends and family are expected to go to all new levels of extreme for their loved ones.
I'm sorry, but it's just plain selfish.
It's gotten to the point where I will only accept the invitation of being a bridesmaid if the future Mrs. happens to have a sister to do all the work. I can no longer sign up for this new wedding epidemic.
Don't get me wrong; I understand what an honor it is to stand alongside my friends on the most special days of their lives, and I want to shout out my support for them with a megaphone.
But, bridezillas are losing touch with the true sentiment of marriage. And might I add, it's not the smartest time to let the poor bastards they're marrying know how truly batsh*t crazy they are.
According to expert clinical psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi, the desire behind having the "grand wedding" of today is due to two factors:
"One is that on the positive side, some couples believe in the 'experience' of the entire wedding scenario. They want to enjoy the planning, seeing friends, and truly making this a once in a lifetime experience that matters. "These people believe that life is about what you do, what you get to experience and that is what makes a difference. To actually enjoy the process should be a healthy adventure filled with great memories. "On the other hand, socially competing or feeling you are entitled to making a wedding bigger and bolder is often used to fill some inner need relating to one's ego and narcissism — not healthy. "Some of the weddings of today seem to engage in an over-the-top presentation of the bride and groom for reasons that are less than genuine, self-serving and attention getting."
Again, crazed brides may not be anything new, but the extreme levels people are going to, just to publicly declare their vows, are causing non-stop headaches.
A bachelorette or bachelor party is no longer a fine meal and a night of debauchery at the most luxurious nightspot with their wolf packs. It's a getaway or vacation followed by a destination wedding!
The cost keeps getting more and more ridiculous, and not for the people who are choosing this destiny.
I think what angers me the most is people's lack of consideration, or perhaps the understanding, that not every one of their peers, or family, is in the financial situation to swing this bill.
And if one of the bride's guests cannot, the rest of the bridal party throws a fit, or the bride believes this offender is committing an act of warfare to specifically sabaotgoge her big moments.
When people make that choice to celebrate their weddings in this way, all I ask is they be respectful to their friends and family.
If they want to have a destination wedding or bachelorette weekend, they should do what they want and what makes them happy.
But, they shouldn't throw stones at friends who cannot participate in these extravagant outings due to financial reasons.
For me, this may be my only vacation time or my only savings available until who knows when. So please, friends, be considerate or even thankful if I am willing to do whatever I can to appease you.
I often joke about the fact I couldn't invest in moving out of my parents' home until wedding season was over. It would always get a good laugh, but it was reality.
"Bridesmaids" was such a successful movie for a reason: #HelpMeImPoor is the absolute truth. Being a bridesmaid is not what it's cracked up to be. In fact, it actually sucks.
Here are seven reasons why:
This isn't "Hunger Games" or "Lord of the Flies," ladies!
People are so easily offended when they don't make the cut, and oddly enough, they're even more pissed off when they do. You either love it or hate it.
If you're lucky, most of the bridal party will be specially chosen, and not just a medley of people who made it in based on bloodline or a technicality.
(Brides, you should also be aware: Just because you pick your bestie of all besties to be MOH, it doesn't mean she isn't still the hot mess from your college years. She might not know how to plan elegant events or be organized at all, for that matter!)
Once the tribe is in order, nature takes its course. The leader, the slacker and every other type of maid imaginable begins to evolve.
It's not easy to cultivate a stress-free environment for women on different budgets, different schedules and, oh yeah, with different body types!
Prepare to be a hostage in torturous group text messages for a year straight!
2. The Dress
If your bride is picky, you will cover every bridal shop statewide looking for the perfect bridesmaid dress (which, despite society's attempt at justifying, you will never wear again).
Find one dress that looks fabulous on seven different women with seven different body types? Well, aren't you adorable for thinking that's realistic.
There's always going to be one out of that group who hates the way the dress looks on her. (Just pray that one person isn't you).
Dresses can cost anywhere from $100 to $400, and that's just for the dress!
Some annoying brides even force accessories, jewelry, shoes and exact hair and makeup upon you. We call these brides "Satan's minions."
Then, a little seamstress comes out of nowhere to take your measurements, orders you a dress three times your size and then charges $100-$200 in alterations.
Not to mention, I believe the seamstress is being paid off by bridal conspirators to make sure that dress is glued to you, without ripping, for one day and one day only.
3. Bridal Shower
Like I said, just because a bride's chosen servant is her best friend since before they both got hot, that doesn't mean she is crafty or well-organized.
I often wonder what the hell ladies did before Pinterest gave a step-by-step guide and plan of execution.
Bridal showers are never fun from the inside. Games must be planned, prizes must be won and poems need to be written about cleaning products while lingerie hangs from a clothesline.
Duties may vary depending on how involved families are, but this is still a huge expense for most partygoers.
Also, in 2015, most people have already been "living in sin" before their marriage. So why the imposition? What else could your bride possibly need that doesn't exist in her home already?
A bridal shower is supposed to send the bride off into a new life with her man. It doesn't exist so you can gift her the Egyptian cotton sheets she selected while you struggle with your phone bill.
The day finally arrives, and surprise: No mimosas or munching on delicious finger foods for you.
You're too busy making lists of who gave her what for the "Thank You" notes, and making hats with bows. Prepare yourself to only socialize with your other fellow peasants, aka other stressed-out bridesmaids.
4. It's Not Like "Magic Mike"
As "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" is the chosen mantra of the evening, money is a factor!
Now, women and men are planning weekend getaways and trips that cost you your hard-earned time and money!
With the amount of planning that goes into the details — limos, hotels, dinner, bottle service at nightclubs, strippers and/or feather boas and penis straws — there is going to be non-stop disagreements about what it means for everyone to have a good time.
But, hey, it's whatever the bride wants, right?
5. The Speech
After taking Public Speaking 101 in college, I vowed to never stand in a public forum and speak in front of a group of people ever again, until I was forced into it as a bridesmaid.
Do I go with funny, charming or serious?
It is extremely nerve-racking, and all eyes are on you to deliver the perfect emotional breakdown of your life journey together as she embarks on a new one.
The speech will be judged accordingly, and no one wants to fall flat. The pressure is on.
6. Reception To The Rule
You would think that once it's time for the reception, it's all fun and games, and your job is done. Think again.
You are required to make sure her champagne glass is always filled until the time the clock strikes "I do."
During the ceremony, you need to turn it on once she takes her first step down the aisle. That means you must be conscious of your "resting bitch face" all day long, as photos are candidly being snapped.
Then, guess what? Did you know you are also a motivational dancer? From the moment you are introduced onto the dance floor, it is your job to liven up the joint.
That means no sitting out for the "Cupid Shuffle." Your obligation is to energize!
7. Are You Shocked? Time and Money!
If I haven't caused you reevaluate your decision to accept, hopefully I've made brides and grooms a bit more realistic and mindful of the amount of effort that goes into the whole affair.
To all the fiancés and fiancées out there: Appreciate that people are trying their best to show you how much they love you.
Do not make them feel guilty about or get annoyed by things that, in the grand scheme of it all, don't matter!
All the people you've asked may be thrilled you thought of them for this momentous occasion.
But, know this is not an easy job to take on for anyone. It is neither cheap, nor does it acknowledge the value of one's time.
All I am asking is for the future Mr. and Mrs. to allow this day to be everything it is supposed to be.
Our second full-time gig in the bridal party will be to do what we can to deliver an epic and perfect day. But please acknowledge, I could have just booked a trip to Europe instead.
For those of you ready to party, start saving!