The Life of a Professional BridesmaidApril 12, 2012 @ 5:19 pm (Updated: 5:50 pm - 4/12/12 )
By Rachel Belle
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. We've heard it a million times before. But for some women that statement is an understatement. 710 ESPN producer for the Kevin Calabro Show, Jessamyn McIntyre, is a professional bridesmaid with nine bridal party invites on her impressive resume.
"Within this calendar year has been my record: I've been in five and maid-of-honor for three."
Being in the wedding is one thing, but then there's the bachelorette parties and the bridal showers and Jessamyn crisscrosses the country attending, and often planning, all of these events. Between September 2011 and September 2012, she will travel to Arizona, New York (three times,) Las Vegas, Austin and Connecticut for weddings and the traditional parties that go with them.
Then of course there are the dresses. Jessamyn currently owns seven bridesmaid dresses, but she still has to shop for two. Of course, she has never worn any of them a second time.
"The one for September, marine is the color. It's kind of more like a prom-dress-blue. It has a big-old marine flower on it. It has big-old marine poofs going all the way down. There was one that was just straight-up satin, bustle in the back, a lilac colored prom dress. I got rid of that one."
Jessamyn says she will spend between $10-12,000 this year alone just on travel, dresses and gifts associated with weddings. Oh, and yes, she still gives a wedding gift.
"I buy them two gifts because you give them a gift at the bachelorette party also. Usually, if I'm the maid of honor, I give them a special personal gift also. The last wedding I was in, I gave her five presents and money."
It's not just a financial commitment; being the maid of honor means being there for the bride for whatever she needs, even when she's being a bridezilla.
"Three days before the wedding it was total breakdown, 'I don't even know if we're going to get married, he's such a total jerk right now.' A total cold feet bridezilla moment. I had to drive from New York to Connecticut to be there and console this human and make sure she went to her wedding and put the dress on and walked down the aisle. Which worked out just fine."
With nine weddings under her belt, I imagine there must have been some dreamy groomsmen along the way. Turns out, not so much.
"If you've watched The Hangover, they're those guys! They've always been kind of disasters. 'You're not hungover? You're not gonna throw up? Ok, you got gum? You got water? You're good?' The best man, at the last wedding I was in, he's puking in the bathroom at 11 a.m. the day of the wedding."
Jessamyn is 30 years old and single, but she says she's glad she doesn't have to drag a date along to all of these events. She says all these weddings have made her a little less cynical.
"I never dreamt of getting married, I never thought of my wedding, I never thought about the dress thing. Now I'm starting to appreciate the process, I guess I can say. I used to be kind of cynical about it, like, 'Whatever, you just get married.' I really appreciate how much goes into it and how special it is to those people."
If you have plans to be a bridesmaid this season, Jessamyn has some well seasoned advice.
"There will be a bridezilla moment. Expect it, and if you don't get it, you're the luckiest person I know. But take it in stride and know that you're the person that the bride is turning to, to make this the happiest day of her life. You're that person, so just be proud of it and take it on. Don't freak out that you're dealing with a bridezilla." '
Jessamyn has made some lists and figured that after this September there are only one or two people who might ask her to be in their wedding. But literally hours after this interview, Jessamyn runs up to my desk to show me a text message she received. It's a photo of her friend's new engagement ring and a question: Would she like to be a bridesmaid?
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