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The Bridesmaids: True Tales of Love, Envy, Loyalty . . . and Terrible Dresses

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"An entertaining beach read… [and] a nice way to provide your besties with reading material for the bachelorette weekend."—Lauren Conrad


Each year 11 million bridesmaids lead their best friends down the aisle. Most wear matching dresses, and nearly all have a thing or two ...

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The Bridesmaids: True Tales of Love, Envy, Loyalty . . . and Terrible Dresses

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"An entertaining beach read… [and] a nice way to provide your besties with reading material for the bachelorette weekend."—Lauren Conrad


Each year 11 million bridesmaids lead their best friends down the aisle. Most wear matching dresses, and nearly all have a thing or two to say about the bride. In this uproarious oral history, editor and journalist Eimear Lynch offers us an intimate glimpse at the moments the wedding photographer failed to capture.

From the accidental bridesmaid who helped sew the bride into her “designer” gown to the tomboy who struggled to carry Princess Diana’s twenty-five foot train, The Bridesmaids lifts the veil on the Big Day. Opening with her own experiences as a five-time ’maid, Eimear gives us stories that are by turns heartfelt, funny, scandalous, and sometimes downright strange. An ode to the good, the bad, the strapless chiffon, and the occasional three-piece suit—and, above all, to the supporting actresses and actors who wore them—The Bridesmaids is a colorful walk down the aisle that you won’t want to miss, and the perfect companion for every bridesmaid-to-be.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Just when you thought that you have heard every entertaining wedding story, Eimear Lynch arrives with a whole new bouquet of real-life bridesmaid tales to tickle your fancy. This five-time 'maid' shares stories ranging from the outlandish to the truly heartwarming. Everything from Big Day bridal gown disasters to BFF acts of heroism falls within her purview. Bridesmaids qualifies as the Best Possible Gift for all brides-to-be, recent brides, and perpetual bridesmaids. Editor's recommendation.

From the Publisher
"An entertaining beach read… [and] a nice way to provide your besties with reading material for the bachelorette weekend."—Lauren Conrad

"A surprisingly moving oral history of wedding party experiences, ranging from brothers who have served as bridesmen to the 13-year-old responsible for folding Princess Diana’s legendary train at the royal wedding."—The Cut

"Hysterical….The Bridesmaids will have you cracking up in your lounge chair."—, Getaway Must-Haves

"Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a wedding party newbie, you’re sure to pick up some tips (and have a few laughs) while reading Lynch’s heartwarming ode to being a bridesmaid."—Birchbox Book Club

"Lynch is something of a modern wedding expert… A collection of short, true stories based on her conversations with bridesmaids of all stripes."—The New Republic

"This insider's look at the bridesmaid experience compiled by Lynch is fun to read, as well as a cautionary tale for both bridesmaids and brides… A collection of tales both wacky and touching dished out by bridesmaids from all walks of life." —Natalie Papailiou, Shelf Awareness

"Some of the stories are absolutely hilarious; some are so touching you need to wipe tears from your eyes…. If you are a bridesmaid-to-be or planning a wedding yourself, I highly recommend pickup up this book."—The Oklahoman

"You can’t go wrong with this book."—Library Journal

"Lynch explores the true stories of bridesmaids… including the woman who carried Princess Diana’s 25-foot train down the aisle and a woman who walked down the aisle of a prison to support her sister."—Chicago Tribune

"An intimate oral history of the silly, funny, and lovely aspects of being a bridesmaid; readers can decide for themselves what they think about the modern wedding experience."—Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Vignettes from modern bridesmaids. Writer and editor Lynch was in the midst of planning bachelorette parties and bridal showers for her sister when it dawned on her that being a bridesmaid is "one of the rare things that many women have in common by the time they turn thirty." In this book, the author provides 60 snapshots of the experience from people as diverse as an ex-nun, a frat boy and the 13-year-old tomboy who carried Princess Diana's 25-foot train. There's also "The Scarlett O'Hara Look-Alike," "The Drunk Bride's Bridesmaid," "The Jilted Ex" and "The Bridezilla Victim," among others. Lynch recounts a Mormon wedding with 600 guests, a ceremony in a prison and another at Burning Man, where the bride and bridesmaid dressed alike in matching goggles and tutus. Other stories: a teenage bridesmaid who lost her virginity to the pianist at her brother's wedding; a bride who kicked her bridesmaid out of her wedding for missing the third bridal shower; a bridesmaid who had to spend $37,000 to be in 12 weddings in three years. Weddings are always emotional times, and no one is in a better position to dish on the drama than the bridesmaid. From much of the evidence here, future brides will learn how their attendants really feel about those matching chiffon dresses. While 95 percent of bridesmaids will find something to bitch about, 100 percent are flattered to be chosen. Touching, weird and introspective stories let the reader draw her own conclusions about what it means to support a friend during one of life's major transitions. As for the author, she confesses that her own wedding will be bridesmaid-less. An intimate oral history of the silly, funny and lovely aspects of being a bridesmaid; readers can decide for themselves what they think about the modern wedding experience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250041777
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Series: Picador True Tales Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 136,519
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.15 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Eimear Lynch is a writer and editor who has worked at Condé Nast Traveler, Town & Country, and Bloomberg Businessweek. A five-time bridesmaid, she lives in Brooklyn. Hanya Yanagihara lives in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt




WHEN MY BEST FRIEND, Carrie, called me to tell me she was engaged—and to ask me to be her maid of honor—my response was, “Wait, you’re dating someone?” I was so surprised: We had known each other since we were nine, and we had even gone to college together—and yet I didn’t know that she had fallen in love? We were living in different cities at the time, and she had reconnected with another friend from childhood, Brandon, a few months earlier. They had been dating for four months when he presented her with an enormous diamond ring.

I was happy for her. But the thing is, there were rumors about Brandon. Everyone knew that he had hooked up with guys, and he had also apparently dated a guy for a whole summer during college. Carrie had heard the rumors, but she had also just turned thirty. And if you’re single and thirty in Kentucky, you’re basically an old maid.

When I saw them together, it was always a little off. He was either way too affectionate or way too distant, and gradually it emerged that they would get in these massive fights about strange things he was doing: He had lied about his savings accounts, he wouldn’t come home some nights, and he convinced her to move in with him even though she was Christian and didn’t want to live with a man until she was married. He made a show of saying grace when they ate out with friends, but when they were in bed together, he wanted to do really kinky stuff or nothing at all. Plus, he bought a red Volkswagen Beetle. What kind of guy buys a red Beetle?

Ever since we were teenagers, Carrie was the sort of girl who couldn’t wait to get married and have kids. But when it was finally time to plan her wedding, she couldn’t make any decisions. She was constantly crying, and she got to the point where she couldn’t choose the bridesmaid dresses or even when or where to get married. When she finally set a date, she went into zombie mode: She bought a dress and picked out invitations, but she was constantly mopey. It was like he was chipping away at her soul.

At some point I realized that she thought it was scarier to call off the engagement than it would be to just marry him. She was terrified of embarrassment, and she couldn’t see the difference between wanting to have a family and wanting to be in love with the right person. My gut was telling me it wasn’t okay, so I called her parents. Her mom said, “Thank God, we don’t think it’s right either—she’s going to be unhappy for the rest of her life.” They had already sunk tens of thousands of dollars into the wedding, but they said they knew it was a bad idea all along. They were just too afraid to speak up. The invitations were about to go out, so we made a plan: I would go see Carrie the next weekend under the pretense of coming to help with wedding stuff.

Instead, I told her that I couldn’t support the marriage. When I explained why I thought it was a mistake, she started crying. Then she went totally silent for two hours. When she finally started speaking again, she was still shaking and crying, but she seemed almost relieved. I had made the decision for her. “Okay,” she said. “The wedding is off.”

Carrie was mostly concerned about the practical things: What would happen to the million-dollar house they had bought? What would people think in our small, Christian hometown? Brandon was away for the weekend, so she called him and told him she was leaving. By now, her parents had arrived, and when she hung up, we were all like, “Keep the ring! It’s not a family heirloom!” But she left it on the kitchen table.

I’ll admit to having a high opinion of myself, but does that mean I think I have the right to tell people they shouldn’t get married? I could have been making a huge mistake, and I was scared to death that she wouldn’t find someone else. I hadn’t met my husband yet either, and people certainly said that since I was miserable, I wanted Carrie to be miserable too. But I knew she’d be better off alone than with Brandon. And now, three years later, I think I was right: She just got married to an amazing guy who is absolutely perfect for her. And just four months after the breakup, Brandon used Carrie’s ring to propose to a girl who looked exactly like her. They have kids now, according to Facebook. But yes, the rumors remain.

—K, 31



Copyright © 2014 by Eimear Lynch

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted April 30, 2014

    The Bridesmaids was one of those books that hooked me from the s

    The Bridesmaids was one of those books that hooked me from the synopsis, chances are that at least once in your life you will be asked to be somebody's bridesmaid/maid of honor, if not you then at least somebody that you know, if you are really lucky you won't end up bridesmaid to a bridezilla.

    Being asked to be part of a bridal party, to be a part of the happy couple's special day is a privilege, and let's face it you feel special because out of the many number of friends and family, you were one of the chosen few.

    I loved reading all the stories in here about people's different experience's, from the good, the bad and the ugly, every tale was interesting and relatable.
    Some people found themselves at the beck and call of the bride, some got fired and the age old problem with being a bridesmaid, the dress, you know the one that you would never ever wear again and which you also seem to spend an obscene amount of money on just to wear it that once.

    And while most of these stories are anonymously written with only an initial and age of the person, I would have loved some pictures of the hideous dresses, but I can understand why there weren't any, it's a pity though.

    Intentional or not I loved that the cover to this book felt like the paper some people use for wedding invitations, it was a nice touch to go along with the pretty design on the front cover.

    All in all I really enjoyed this book, with most stories only being a few pages long, it's a quick read, highly recommended, even for those who don't generally read non-fiction, give it a go.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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