Prepping for Friends’ Weddings

bridesmaidWhen I walked into my friend’s apartment in Minneapolis last weekend, I spotted a wrapped present on her bed that said “Mallary.”

I opened it to find a little canvasboard that had cut-out photos of my friend and me from senior year of college.

In pink paint, my friend had written, “Mallary, will you be my bridesmaid?”

“Of course!” I yelled, running toward her and giving her a long-lasting hug.

She’s the first of my 10 good girlfriends from college to get married, so I couldn’t help but get excited and embrace the moment.

I’ll probably be experiencing a few more of these moments in the months and years to come as more of my friends get married. Throughout the next five months, I may end up going to five weddings in five different states.

Oh my.

All this marriage talk kind of weirds me out. I always used to equate weddings with older family members, but now it’s my friends who are taking the plunge and exchanging vows. As much as I want to be at that stage in the future, I’m nowhere near it now. I suppose, though, that we all approach such stages in our own good time. For now, I’m just looking forward to going to the weddings and spending time with friends, eating good food and, of course, dancing.

The slow dances at weddings often remind me of sixth-grade dances. Dave Matthews’ “Satellite” or some other slow song from your childhood would come on, and you’d awkwardly look around you, realize all the non-wallflower guys were taken and then pretend it was OK that you were alone.

I thought of this at the last wedding I went to, where I was one of the only single girls, save for a few children. When it came time for my friend to throw her bouquet, I stood there, surrounded by a group of giddy, prepubescent girls.

I couldn’t help but laugh at my situation. I made a mad dash for the bouquet and ended up catching it, though I’m not sure if my catch was an indication of anything to come. Nevertheless, I came away with pretty yellow and orange flowers and some sorrowful stares from the little girls around me.

This weekend I’m off to a wedding in New Orleans. The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend I’m leaving for a wedding in Dallas. I’ve been lifting weights and running so I can be in tip-top shape to catch the bouquets at both weddings. Well, not really, but that would be pretty funny.

Here’s to having good laughs, being a bridesmaid and celebrating the next stages of life.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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