Why My Best Friend’s Wedding Made Me A Little Sad

By Kirsten Parnell

As I’m in my late twenties, the wedding season of my life is now in full swing. Most weekends over the summer have found me either attending marriage celebrations, heading to bachelorette parties, or shopping for outfits and gifts for these events. And I love weddings – though they happen all the time, each one is a tiny, brave miracle.

Recently, one of my dearest friends got married. We were awkward teenage misfits together – we both played guitar and formed a truly awful duo called Virtue Aflame (yes, I know), and discussed our various crushes endlessly. During our final year of school, we’d always go out for coffee on our Friday lunch break, and would spend the hour debating whether we could afford to skip our afternoon Psychology class. We never did — no matter how reluctant we were to spend two hours with “Freudian Steve,” our teacher, we always went.

We went to different universities about 500 miles apart and were only in touch sporadically, but when we were home for the summer, we could lose literally hours catching up. We supported each other through internships and those crappy, thankless first jobs everyone must start their careers with. I was thrilled when she achieved her ambition of working for the BBC, and thoroughly enjoyed the nuggets of gossip she gleaned from working with various celebrities.

She met her partner through her local drama group, and though initially he didn’t seem like her usual kind of guy, it very quickly became clear they were perfect for each other. Quiet happiness radiated from her in the way that it does when someone has found the person that just gets them. When he proposed, it made the front of the local newspaper – he asked her to marry him onstage at the end of their drama group’s Christmas show. The band played the Beauty and the Beast theme when she said yes (she’s crazy about all things Disney).

She was the most beautiful bride I’ve seen yet, and no one has made their vows with more certainty than my friend and her new husband. I spent most of the day fighting tears — mainly of happiness, but there was an undercurrent of sadness I couldn’t fully explain until a few days later.

I felt like I was losing her, on some level. Which is ridiculous, I know, but feelings sometimes are. She’s been with her partner for over four years now, and they’ve lived together for most of that time; all that’s changing is her last name. Maybe it’s because my own relationship has hit a rocky patch in the last few months — I’m still with my boyfriend, and we’re committed to working through problems as a solid team of two.

It’s not easy to admit, but I know there was a little envy behind the tears, too. Even though our relationship has been a little shaky lately, my partner and I have been together for six years, and are a great match for each other. We’ve discussed marriage and babies a lot, and while we’ve no immediate plans, I would like to get engaged soon. He knows this, and I know he’s waiting for the right moment. He’s a musician, so his income varies month to month, and he quite rightly wants us to be on solid financial territory before we do the “I do.”

What’s really lovely, though, is the way my friend and her husband get on with my boyfriend — he played drums in a jazz trio at their wedding breakfast, and at the evening karaoke session, his rendition of “Mr Brightside” brought the house down. I’m not losing anyone — we’re both gaining a fantastic couple to hang out with. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that when we finally get around to having our own wedding, they will be delighted for us. And we’ll totally be asking them to help us plan it.

Kirsten is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.

Featured image by Omar Lopez via Unsplash.

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