My closest girlfriend is getting married this autumn, and she has asked me to be her maid of honour. I met her fiance, and he's lovely. Her daddy is sparing no expense, so I know it's going to be a beautiful ceremony and she will be gorgeous - unless I kill her before the big day.
I love my bestie dearly, but she's in full-blown bridezilla mode right now. She's so out of her mind that she actually pondered whether Vera Wang is purposely trying to ruin her wedding. She's tried on 15 dresses, fired three florists, argued with four hotels about their ballrooms, and now she's upset with her hubby-to-be.
"He wants to just do a buffet. It's our wedding, not a tour group lunch on a cruise!" she screamed at The Peninsula, drowning out the hotel's string quartet at afternoon tea.
I've been a bridesmaid before, so I should have remembered how much work "just being there for the bride" entails. You're essentially free labour on the most important day of your friend's life. Basically, you are a maid in a lavender dress. Your entire day consists of: "Can you hold my flowers?... hold my phone ... my make-up... lipstick ... mascara ... shoes." One time, it was a half-eaten Sift cupcake. "I'm not finished. I can't just leave it. Do you know how much these things cost me?"
I barely had time to sit down, get a bite or have a pee - all the while holding that damn cupcake. I felt like I was trapped in a Katherine Heigl movie.
The worst is when a friend thinks it would be romantic and exotic to marry in some faraway place - and she expects the entire wedding party to follow. One ambitious couple thought a wedding in the Gobi Desert would result in dramatic pictures. It did, although the lack of five-star catering meant there was a banquet with yak milk and goat meat.
Another memorable ceremony was on a beach in Bali. It was memorable because we were all covered in sand and sweat in weather that was 34 degrees Celsius with 100 per cent humidity, and also included a sudden downpour during the vows that tested the bride and groom's resolve. Maybe God was wondering if they were really ready to stick together through better or worse.
When my gay stylist had his civil ceremony, I thought that would be a piece of cake. I assumed I wouldn't have to compete with other girls, or worry about overshadowing the bride.
For the most part, it was the easiest wedding I ever took part in. The ballroom was impeccably decorated, and the day was perfectly organised.
My bridesmaid dress was even quite fashionable. What I didn't expect was that the best man would look better wearing it than I did.