The First to Say "I Do"

Written with love, by Felicia Zammit-McMann

In just less than 11 months, my best friend is getting married. I think I’m excited enough for the both of us. We’ve been best friends since we were in 6th grade. We’ve been there for each other through every major milestone, disappointment, failure, and celebration. My best friend is like a sister to me – of course I’m excited! But it runs deeper than just the excitement that comes with a wedding.

You see, I was the first of my core group of friends to get married. I was, and still am, kind of surprised to be the first. Growing up with friends, you always remember who was the first one to be asked out, who was the first one to get a car, who was the first one to get accepted into college, get a job, etc., etc. I, for sure, thought my friend would be the first to get married. She and her now fiancé had been together a long time, it was bound to happen any day. In fact, when my husband proposed to me, I was under the assumption that she was getting engaged because her boyfriend asked me to help find out what kind of style ring she liked just a few weeks earlier. What I didn’t know was that it was a plot and she was helping my future husband determine what kind of ring I liked. That’s another reason why my engagement came as such a surprise to me.

Rachel Soloman Photography

Rachel Soloman Photography

Being the first of my group to get married created a really interesting paradigm. Marriage was a whole new territory – another one of life’s milestones we were sharing together - so we were treading carefully. Because I was the first, I didn’t want to talk about my planning too much because I didn’t want to be “that girl” who ends up talking about her wedding constantly, making everyone roll their eyes. My friends were excited for me, and I certainly was excited, but I think we were all kind of hesitant to discuss anything because none of us had ever gone through this before. I kind of downplayed it because I didn’t want to seem like I was rubbing it in anyone’s face. We didn’t know the etiquette of anything: Who throws a shower? How to you ask your bridal party to be in your wedding? (And who should be in your bridal party?) What do you do for a bachelorette party? Who pays for hair and makeup?

Now, the tables have turned. Almost three years after my wedding, it’s her turn (yay!). Now, we’re old pros. We’ve done this before. We've got this!! What makes it even more interesting is I’ve always looked to my friend for advice – and still – about many things; but now, I can share some of my expertise with her. The best feeling is knowing that I can be a sounding board for her. If she has questions, or needs advice, I can help! I’ll admit, I’ve had to stop myself many times from becoming a “friend-zilla” – you know, the girl that thinks she has all the answers and wants to share every bit of what she learned and her experiences with the new bride-to-be. I’m just so darn excited I can’t help myself. Plus, it reminds me of the joy I had planning my wedding and puts me back into that mental state of euphoria. She gets it…she knows. She knows how to tame me...and she loves me anyway.

Sure, I’ve been to friends’ weddings before, but none of them were my best friend’s wedding. What I feel incredible blessed about is that, as the “pioneer,” I can help prepare her for the amazing journey she is going on and help prepare her for how incredible her life is going to be as a wife. How life-changing this moment is going to be! We can bond over this even though we now live hundreds of miles away from each other. Because we both had to plan almost two years before our wedding, she doesn’t really feel like it’s real yet. I didn’t either until I pulled up into the church parking lot in the limo, saw the cars and thought, “Wow, people actually showed up.” That quickly tuned into “Oh my God, people are actually here! This is really happening!” I had five minutes of nervousness, then once I got to the top of the aisle and saw my husband, the nerves quickly went away.