The Emotional Lifecycle Of A Bridesmaid (In GIFs!)

This summer, I’ll have the pleasure of standing by my good girlfriend’s side as a trusty bridesmaid while she says “I do” to the man of her dreams. This isn’t my first time at the rodeo, though. I’ve been a bridesmaid several times before, responsible for holding the bride’s bouquet, helping to plan the bachelorette party, looking for lots of really lacy shit on Etsy, etc. I’m a pro. But along with your run-of-the-mill bridesmaid duties comes the waves of emotion that go hand-in-hand with the roller coaster of being a wedding wing woman.

If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid, this may seem familiar. If you haven’t, prepare yourself.

Excitement: She’s one of your best friends and she deserves the world. You’re thrilled she asked you to be a bridesmaid and can’t get over the fact that she’s going to tie the knot. You immediately Instagrammed the gift basket/ puzzle/photo and/or card she wrote you asking you to officially be in her wedding to show the world just how pumped you are.

Entitlement: Being in a wedding is kind of like “The Hunger Games.” You were selected to be in the bridal party, which means you were one of the chosen few, an elite friend. You start to feel like you’re more important than those other peons who will have nosebleed seats at the ceremony. VIP, bitches.

Skepticism: Do you really belong in the bridal party? Her other friends are telling inside jokes that you can’t interpret, so you just start laughing to blend. You were the sixth and final girl to be asked to be in the wedding, so were you a last-minute decision? Did they just want to even out the procession line? Maybe this was a bad idea.

Eagerness: You’re looking for her gown! You’re wondering who you’re going to be paired up with on the groom’s side! You’re thinking about a “Clueless”-themed bachelorette party in Beverly Hills, complete with strippers in argyle thongs and matching ties! You’re going to screw a guest in the coat closet! It’s going to be awesomeeeeeee.

Frustration: All conversations—good and bad— revolve around the wedding. Your friend is incapable of talking about anything that doesn’t involve her dress, the seating chart, their “first song” (which you’ve insisted should just be Billy Ray Cyrus’ hip-hop version of “Achy Breaky Heart“), and “No, no, no, let’s talk about you” lasts four minutes until something white and frilly comes into play.

Procrastination: You’ve shopped around with the bride and your fellow bridesmaids until you found dresses the perfect shade of not-too-salmon-colored but not-peach-tinted “nectarine dream,” and now you’ve been put in charge of the invitations for the bridal shower, compiling a mailing list and various other things you don’t wish to do. So you’ll do it tomorrow. Or maybe this weekend.

Self Pity: She seems so happy, and that’s nice and dandy and also bullshit. Why are you single? Why is your boyfriend a non-committal dipshit? You deserve to be the center of attention and wear a big ring and pose for pictures where friends are just background furniture. Let the hysterical crying and sulking commence.

Fear: Holy shit, who is going to pay for this? You didn’t include crotchless lingerie and a $400 Crate and Barrell vase in this month’s budget. And why the fuck do all of the bridesmaids have to buy the same shoes? Can’t you pull a pair from your closet, save $200 and call it a damn day? No? Crap. Selling your spleen on the black market is suddenly not out of the question.

Dread: That moment you realize you just dropped $1000 on someone else’s wedding, and you’re still single and invited without a plus one. Fuuuuuuuck thisssssss.

Anticipation: Everything is purchased, the birds are chirping and the big day is near! You’re actually starting to look forward to this wedding.

Victory: He said “I do.” She said “I do.” You came. You saw. You conquered. Now let’s party.