Maid for Change

Thanks to Facebook, texting and other technological advances, the topic of weddings is now as ever-changing as politics. Bridesmaids, get ready to take some notes.

When sales started to take off for The Bridesmaid Guide shortly after it hit shelves in 2002, I felt a sense of happiness and relief. I’d hoped that my practical-yet-inspirational handbook, which I could’ve used during my first (clueless) tour of duty as a maid of honor, would turn out to have an audience—and, luckily, those ladies showed up. Brides gave it to their bridesmaids to get them in the spirit, and mothers handed it to their daughters when they called to ask, “Mom, do I really have to invite her relatives to the shower?”

At the time, I was pleased to be covering a timeless, traditional topic like weddings. Unlike books about, say, technology or politics, mine wouldn’t be instantly rendered out-of-date. Well, after spending the past year working on the new edition, I realize how wrong a person can be. When I first penned The Bridesmaid Guide, there was no such thing as Facebook, people didn’t text, and phones and cameras were two separate devices. Of course, everyone emailed and shopped online here and there, and wedding sites like The Knot had a foothold—but technology still seemed like a backup dancer. These days, it’s undeniably a star of the show.

While researching, I discovered that I’d need to write fresh copy for almost every page, just to address new challenges for brides and bridesmaids. To start, there’s now social media etiquette. (For example: Friends of the bride shouldn’t post details about an outing because someone who’s not invited might view it and feel left out.) And in terms of choosing bridesmaid dresses and shoes, comparison shopping online is essential to finding the best price and style. So, I added a “resources” section to the book that includes helpful sites.

Yet as much as things have changed because of technological advances, there are some aspects of weddings that remain the same—one being the basic inspiration for my book: It’s worth knowing how to properly show up for a best friend on her wedding day.

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