Introducing: Always a Bridesmaid with Amy March Get your lighters out by Stephanie Kaloi At a certain point in life, you will realize that everyone you know is getting married. And if you’re willing to listen to them talk about their weddings, all of a sudden you’ll feel like a full time (unpaid!) wedding consultant. You’ll be patient with them, because you love them, and because you really do love weddings. But internally a small voice will be screaming, “Get a grip! You are a grown-up woman, and you are strong enough to manage the stress of garden roses instead of tea roses!” Brides plan one wedding. Bridesmaids? Your opportunities to plan weddings are (sadly) limitless. But remember, to everything there is a season. A season for gentle nudges about how perhaps it might be nice to let your mother select her own dress instead of wearing the blush monstrosity you have selected. A season to burn it to the ground because no, we are not all available at 5 a.m. on your wedding day because dawn pictures are so very special. And a season for a steaming cup of tea and sympathy, because when your best friend can’t make your wedding that’s just going to be hard. If you find yourself in the “burn it down” group more often than not, do I have a treat for you: this week we’re launching a brand new APW series called Always a Bridesmaid with Amy March. Regular APW readers will probably recognize Amy from our comments section, and anyone who is just now meeting Amy for the first time… well, you are in for a ride. But wait, you might be thinking, “Doesn’t APW already have an advice column?” Yes, we do, and AAPW isn’t going anywhere. Liz has both the patience of a saint and the ability to give cool, measured, tough love replies to some important, varied, and sometimes outright wild questions women have while planning their weddings. Amy, on the other hand, does not have the patience of a saint, and has not yet been a bride. So what is Always a Bridesmaid? It’s where you send your questions about other people’s weddings. How do you tell your best friend’s cousin that you are pretty sure the bride will hate the bachelorette party she planned without anyone’s input? How do you respond when your neighbor complains, for the fourteenth time, about the burdens of choice created by an unlimited budget? Did you really ruin your friend’s wedding by hooking up with a groomsman? It’s where you send in the questions that you know, deep down inside, aren’t life or death, and that you suspect have a solution you aren’t seeing. It’s for when you need help saying, “NO,” “Absolutely not,” or “I do not have a vocabulary sufficient to the task of rejecting this idea.” Or when you need to give your friend getting married the strength and vocabulary to say, “Not on my watch.” Always a Bridesmaid will run bi-monthly and Amy March*, will be delighted to read your questions at amymarch (at) apracticalwedding (dot) com. *Not her real name. Obviously. DO YOU FEEL LIKE EVERYWHERE YOU TURN, MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING MARRIED? LIKE ATTENDING WEDDINGS HAS SOMEHOW BECOME YOUR HOBBY? IS “EXPENSIVE CRAP FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S WEDDINGS” A BIGGER BUDGET CATEGORY THAN “MANICURES, BOOKS, AND CHEESE”? EMAIL: AMYMARCH (AT) APRACTICALWEDDING (DOT) COM. Stephanie Kaloi Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! ? ? ?).