I just got engaged. (insert squeals).

Yes, someone decided they wanted to deal with my bad joke telling, singing out of key, obnoxiously optimistic self for the rest of ever (see what I did there).  I am over-the-moon beside myself giddy with excitement… but God am I stressed.

It’s not the venue, or cold feet, or fitting into a dress… it is something that seems rather simple in the grand scheme of things.  I’m talking about the bizarre ritual of sifting through friendships and labeling which ones you deem “worthy enough” to stand beside you in some unflattering and overpriced dress while you say ‘I do’:  Yes, I mean Choosing Bridesmaids.

You see, before I was adorned with a diamond on my left hand, I always assumed that it was as easy as buying your 6 or so closest friends matching robes. But that couldn’t be any further from reality.  Picking bridesmaids is this whole spiderweb of politics, and it’s kind of a headache a fucking nightmare... to say the least.

I am so humbled that my problem isn’t finding enough bridesmaids, but having entirely way too many to chose from.  Straight from the stroller, I was blessed with amazing cousins who I adore.  The kind who appreciate the crazy family we were born into just as much as I do.  Cousins (Kara, Sam & Jessie) who are spread across this country blazing their own paths… but who would drop everything if I ever needed anything at all.

And sure, I was an only child per se, but for as long as I’ve remembered, I’ve always had a childhood best friend who was like a a sister to me (yes Tasha, that’s you).  Oh and my friends from grade school? It honestly doesn’t get any better than the group we formed… and we’re all still just as close  closer than we were when we bonded over twistie braids and Nsync in 7th grade.  I mean this group is my absolute heart and soul.  A group of 6 girls that I owe everything to… they shaped me, guided me, consoled me over my first (and second and third) break up, loved me even though I wore visors for an entire year and army cargo pants for the entire year after that.  Friends that I cannot live without… and would never want to.  (like it’s not obvious… Kelly, Ashly, Ashley, Sarah, Jenna, Melissa <3)

My luck didn’t run out in college, with a few girls who I can’t think of without smiling.  Jill, Mary, Alyssa… I mean, what would college have even been without you? I am so grateful for the absurd memories and lifetime of giggles we fit into four years.  Screw the degree (sorry Papa), you guys are easily, without a doubt, the best thing that came out of Assumption. And then some.

And this is where it should have ended.  I mean, even with this list, I’m way over my 6 bridesmaid capacity …and that’s not even including the life changing friends I made studying abroad, the work friends who made office life not only bearable but fun, the pageant friends who turned into travel comrades, the handful of others from high school and college whose friendships I value more than gold (Izzo & Camille for example)…  But then, after I’ve already exceeded my capacity for BFFS 224, I picked up and moved across the country on a whim.  And yes, I am smitten with Los Angeles… but without a group of true friends.. this city can will swallow you up and spit you out before you even snap a photo underneath the Hollywood sign.  Yet here I am so unbelievably grateful that I am tearing up while typing this.  I have a group of best friends that go so far beyond being just my “LA” friends.  Steph, Jamie, Erika, Trisha, Christina, Alex, Katie, Meghan, Sara, Haina… I can’t even fathom how I’d function without you.  Honestly.

I’m over 20 close friends.  Really close… call crying, laugh until you snort, take on the world together or melt into the couch with, friends.  Real, honest to God amazing, friends. So now what? How does anyone expect me to chose?

Well, I did my research & asked advice.  And this is what I came up with:

1.  Choose the girls who will be in your life forever.

2. Narrow it down by selecting the friends who you could go stay with if things got tough.

3. Choose the ones who your future husband loves too.

4. Who could you travel with?

5. Who would you call crying?

6.  What friends have stuck it out for the long haul?

7. Which ones REALLY know you… and love you anyways?

8. Pick the girls who are truly happy for you when something good happens in your life  ..who “celebrate your joys”

9. And the ones who are a shoulder to cry on for the low points ..”Console you in the pitfalls”

10. Who do you want there getting ready with you the morning of your wedding?

(…..And the two pieces of advice that I decided to overlook: 11.Just pick the ones who will look the best in your bridesmaid dresses. 12. Who will do the most for you?)

And out of this list… there’s only one person I could definitely delete from my roster.

I’m joking.  Not one bullet point on this list helped me let go of a single friend.  I really am that lucky. Call me sappy, but I’m tearing up again as I type this.  I don’t deserve friends this wonderful.  Most people feel blessed if they have 1 person in their life that fits these credentials… and I have over 20.  Twenty!

I still don’t know what to do.  I feel lost in the whole pomp and circumstance of wedding planning… but completely flabbergasted (can you believe I have this many friends who let me use a word like this?!  I mean honestly… lucky) at the daunting task of picking bridesmaids.   I used to feel a bit jealous I never had a sister… but now I’m just overwhelmed.  I’ve got 23 and counting.

Thank you to the friends who became sisters… the girls who put up with my antics and love me anyways.  I owe you anything and everything and feel unworthy to even receive this much love in one lifetime. If I could have 23 bridesmaids I’d be the first to not only jump on — but conduct — that train.  But since we’re restricted with some arbitrary number of 5-8…. I feel obliged to profess my love, admiration and complete infatuation with each one of you.  I’m not one step closer to choosing any bridesmaids… but I am a bit more humbled by the revelation of true friendship, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Thank you.. for everything.

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