BRIDESMAIDING 101 Top Tips for a Proper Bridesmaid


Top Tips for a Proper Bridesmaid

  1.  Don’t tell the bride something looks foul until you’ve tried it on. Chances are it’ll look a lot better on you than it will on the shop shelf or hanger.  Whether it’s foul or fair, you’re probably going to pay for it, so give it a go before writing it off as the tacky pair of shoes from hell.  Something that starts off looking trashy may well prove the coute de rootistance at the reception.*  If, for example, the sales assistant volunteers that she walked in the same style of shoes from The Rocks to Darling Harbour without breaking out into a blister at her work Xmas party, rest assured that the comfortable fit you enjoy in the shop will last an entire wedding day no problems.
  2.  When the bride asks you seven months before the wedding what colour her roses should be, don’t tell her to wait and see what’s in season.  In fact, this should be rule number one.  Brides need to know hues and shades and tinges months in advance.  They say this is because they need to co-ordinate bridesmaid outfits, and handbags and other crap like that, but really, it’s so they have time to surreptitiously plant design seeds into the groom’s side of the business into picking the right colour ties and cummerbunds.  Where the Kyoto Protocol is only concerned with saving planet Earth from global warming between here and eternity, brides have one mission: to save Their Special Day (T.S.D.).  As you embark upon your pre-wedding journey, you will realise that The Bride (T.B.) is the boss of everything.
  3.  When The Bride asks for your opinion upon the colour of chair sash colours at the reception venue, and what you think will complement the dining room nautical-themed carpet, don’t throw a hissy fit and expostulate, “For god’s sake who the hell’s gunna notice – they’re chair sash covers for goodness sake!” Remember the invisible rule that renders all other rules insignificant – only the bride is allowed to throw a hissy fit, and if it’s prompted by a materialistic, superficial reason that she too would otherwise, in more rational times, ie, Pre-Bridal (P.B.), not give a shit about, this is perfectly normal, and par for the course of Briding.
  4.  Bridesmaids should not attempt to co-produce short films long distance whilst attending to their Maiden of Honour duties on the weekend of the wedding.   Your stomach may be churning at a frightening rate of knots as your paltry film budget suffers for your art, but if your focus is anywhere but decorating the tables at the reception centre with the bride and her family the day before the big day, you will fall short of being A Proper Bridesmaid.  She won’t even need to say it.  The artistic nerves in your inside will spontaneously [sic] into waves of guilt that you have not been A Proper Bridesmaid.
  5.  Bridesmaids should refrain from playing hopscotch up the church aisle during wedding rehearsals, even if the vicar does laugh.  This stresses brides out, particularly brides whose sole M. of H. and E. (Maiden of Honour and Everything) has also been so wrapped up in filmmaking that she has neglected to turn up to the reception venue to decorate tables and cannot remember the running order of the ceremony.
  6.  A Proper Bridesmaid will refrain from being politically correct and telling her bride-to-be off for being sacrilegious and shallow.   This is for special cases, where an atheist bride takes her lapsed ex-schoolboy Roman Catholic father into the church, to point out how the stained glass windows, featuring saints, in the vestibule co-ordinate with her traditional wedding theme, and the father decides to start reciting long forgotten catechisms and reminding everyone of how he was once a good little altar boy.  Art and beauty have everything to do with celebrating love.
  7.  If the bridesmaid has a different spiritual calling to the bride and groom, she will likely as not find that her spiritual beliefs are small bickies in comparison with the love she has for true love.  The old maxim, when in Rome do as the Romans do, for a half hour wedding service helps.  Besides, there is a rock solid chance that the marriage celebrant will prattle on about all sorts of positive vibes about marital commitment and love that transcend the tenets of any organised religion, even if several centuries ago, you would have been burned at the stake by the marriage celebrant’s predecessor.
  8.  If the photographer offers you cheap champagne out of the esky in the boot of his car while s/he does the formal portraits out in the hot sun, just drink it.  The bride, despite more than likely knowing nothing about photography or set design, will be too busy telling the photographer how to stage her/his photographs and run her/his camera, in order to catch the eyeball-scorching sunlight in a halo against the back of her dress, to drink.  This also has the run-on effect of warming her thirst engines so that she will be ready to harass you for a drink at the reception.
  9.  Don’t think your duties at the reception begin and end with holding the bride’s handbag while she and the groom welcome the guests inside.  She may never have been married or even a bridesmaid before, but if you don’t know that you should know to fetch her drink from the bar, there is the distinct likelihood that she will become tetchy, as well as thirsty, and tell you off… discreetly or otherwise.  Your bride will depend on you to know your bridesmaid business, even if she thinks she doesn’t.
  10.  Bridesmaids should always size up the available groomsmen.  Even if you don’t get lucky with one of them after the wedding, there is a pretty good chance you could get lucky with their dessert.  Which, after the exhausting day you’ve just had, absolutely justifies eating a second one.  Suggest to the bride that she order a fussy, girly sweet that no self-respecting Groom’s Bloke (G.B.) could have the sweet tooth to handle, such as Pavlova, chocolate puddings and tarts.  A Proper Bridesmaid knows it is vitally important to line her stomach before she hits the dance floor with all the other tarts… well, the ones in satin.
  11.  Always accompany the bride to the toilet, even if it’s just to gossip about the hot waiter.  Whether she needs you to hold seventy metres of tulle up while she plants one on the dunny, or pin her back fat back into the corset she’s never fitted into, it is an unspoken rule that the bride always goes to the dunny in a posse of satin, silk, and perfume.
  12.  When it’s time to dance with your Allotted Groomsman (A.G.) during the bridal waltz,  realise that it will never be as bad as social dancing for P.E. in Year Ten, and the groomsman may well be just as nervous as you.  It is only one dance out of the rest of your life, and with a bit of luck, he will be so concerned about his Groomly Duties (G.D.s), that he will kindly offer to fetch you a drink from the bar.
  13.  When your bride sister or friend says she could not have made it through her special day and months of preparation without you, say thank you.  You never know – one day you could be in need of an experienced Matron of Honour, one who understands your bridal needs perfectly.

*Coute de rootistance.  For those of you not from the Land Down Under, this means the pinnacle of ones shagging opportunities.

c. A Room of Heroine 2012. Continue reading


Ina room of heroine ona broomofheroin. Censorship.

Ina room of heroine ona broomofheroin.

Just jokes.

Fingers got away with me. I meant to write ….a broomof heroine.

See how we censor ourselves?  Edit.   I could also have written ….abroomofheron.  I see herons above a damn.  I mean, a dam.  Truly, I did.  And they were beautiful.  As was the heat of the day.

Freedom of expression is sometimes the first step toward censorship.

Without freedom of expression, censorship would have no legs,no feet, no fools to parlay.

In parlour games?

Parle vous sincere?

Even in this post, this small piece of writing,  I find that with every fling of the fingers (or fling of fingers)on the keyboard, I delete some letter, some word, exchange it for another.  I burst,upon occasion, with inspiration.  No, not burst.  But burgeon (please excuse my breaking my rule of despising nouns abused as verbs) with thoughts, slings and frings of words, ideas, pictures, visions, and they SHOULD come out on paper, but I don’t always put them to account on paper.

Sometimes, it is the vision of the words, not only (initial idea: ‘nor only’) the meaning coming after, the object of the vision, the impression, the fancy, that …. see, I’ve just ditched a few words in a few seconds – compel me to put them down.

Let’s not get started (first idea: ‘me started’  oh no so egotistical exclamation mark had I a key that was not broken)  – now that I have censored those fleeting words, I have forgotten what the original idea of this sentence was.


Censorship: is often the destructive twin of expression.  Censorship is like an octopus that wraps itself around the utterance, an utterance, and swallows it and shits it out in some makeshift parody of creativity, of free-flowing ideas.

Censorship is: vision stuffed in a box and booted into a black abyss toward a billabong across a paddock which I remember and you do not, but if I were not inclined to go and put the kettle on, I might take the time to tell you about.

Censorship: wastes time.

Censorship:  You decide.

I am inspired.

And question where to begin.

Putting it on paper.

You decide what I mean by the iteration of those last two sentences.

c. A Room of Heroine 2011.


Back in first year uni, I thought suede was what Desert Boot uppers were made of.  I didn’t know it was a band too.

What was this ‘alternative’ music?  Alternative to what?  All I knew was the Top Forty, and listening to Friday Night Request Line.  I wasn’t that many years removed from a spiral perm and Roxette.   ‘She’s Got the Look’ wasn’t, I suppose now, that much different from Suede’s ‘She’s in Fashion.

It’s just that I was never in fashion.

I used to go blank on my city friends sometimes.  They never knew how desperately uncool I was.  Or perhaps they did and were too nice to tell me.

After all, one day when I wasn’t wearing a flanno (which I took to wearing out of homesickness, and ironically, never wore them so much as in the Big Smoke), I put on my best jumper and ribbon to ask out this nice older boy in my history tute, just before we went into a lecture.

He was so desperate to get out of going with me to a party that he actually went out and busted his leg playing soccer.  The full plaster cast and amnesia-about-being-asked-out combo.  Total blank on Monday after the game.  I was too shy to ask if he was still interested.  Not that I was selfish, but you know, it took a lot of being psyched up by the family I boarded with, and picking the right jumper and ribbon…

I stood there down the hill a bit from the history lecture hall, while one of my friends went on about some English band, Ride.  I should have known what that was about.  I mean, I couldn’t even sit on a horse long enough after it oninto a canter without trying to remember the stunt roll Mum told me about when I was a kid.  I knew enough about horses to know about a band called Ride.  Surely.  Yeah but nooooo, to paraphrase e of the great thinkers ofthe twenty-first century, Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard.

My friend enthused, her beautiful long dark hair and long skirt standing across from me, as she and our other friend gabbed on.  I stood there and realised that I had been left out of the cultural loop.

Where did you find this music?  Why had I never heard of it before?  What universe had I existed in?  I would never catch up.  I didn’t even especially like the Chili Peppers.

Sure I went to the Bar on the Hill on the occasional Thursday nights, and saw these great new Aussie bands play, but I didn’t collect music, and Triple J was new.  To me.  Not to the rest of the planet.  On the East coast, near the sea, where dreams are made in blue and green waves, not red ant hills.

Although I had not been in a dream world, not lived in one for nineteen years, that moment, standing on the hill at uni, felt as if I were coming out of one.  Not a sleep dream.  And I don’t even mean it wholly metaphorically.  I didn’t say anything.

Anyway, my friends knew that I was a country bumpkin from Broken Hill, but they never knew that it was a one FM radio station town, a station that I listened to sometimes on the wireless .   You know, back when a wireless was a wireless radio, and not something sticking out of the crack of a pair of skinny jeans worn by an arseless twat who has marginally more hair on his legs than I currently sport beneath my arms.  Well, up at the top of my arms and under a bit in a lovely warm hollow, and, if you wanted me to wave to you across the street, would stop traffic.  That’s how much I need to shave my underarms.  Who the hell invented that stuff?  Men.  So they could sell razors.  Bastards.

What is it with the pits?  They just grow so damned fast.  A girl doesn’t have time to daydream, procrastinate, create, and shave all in the one day.  No, she just gets a surprise in the shower when she washes her hair.  This is so taking me back to that dose of chicken pox I had when I was nineteen.  Man (pun intended), I could not shave under there for three months in case I knocked a pox off.

But you don’t want to know about my teen pox episode.  Well, you do, but I’ll save that for another post.

Anyway, so, I have been listening to Suede lately, on Youtoot, um, YouTubaclosis, no, YouTube.  It’s so… poppy, that may be it was never alternative.  Just wanted to see what all the fuss was about, even though, by now, I’ve heard them often enough.

Anyway, the beautiful thing is that my gang of uni friends and I may be grown up now, but I have a feeling that we all still love music.

And I suppose I know what the alternative is.


c.  A Room of Heroine 2011.

She moves in mysterious ways…

She moves in mysterious ways.

Best Blogs in Goddess Worship

Thank you.

Heroic Scope: Imagine

Growing up, my heroes were fish-out-of water girls with a propensity for getting into trouble and slaying dragons.

How exciting to be the spitting image of The Terribly Plain Princess (author Pamela Oldfield), who fought dragons and saved a prince.  Then L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables revealed a little girl with bright red hair like me, who also fell into trouble on a daily basis:  albeit on Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia,  an island far from my family’s outback sheep and cattle station in Australia.

I shared Anne’s beloved ‘scope for the imagination.’ My parents encouraged mine through bush yarns, playing mostly outdoors, and bags of library books which arrived on the weekly mail plane.  At one stage, Mum sacrificed her town library book order to keep up with the demand.

Anne and I grew up writing naturally.  But outback Edwardian fringe rebel, Sybylla Melvin, the bush governess with fire-stung heart and tongue, and stories to tell, inflamed my teenaged literary passion. After watching Gillian Armstrong’s feature film adaptation of Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career at the Broken Hill drive-in at age seven, it was a pleasure to discover the originating novel years later.

Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin.  What a writer’s name, all those delicious esses[sic]. I practised my flamboyant autograph in case anybody should ever need it, with visions of one day folding my novel manuscript in a Romantic brown paper parcel, tying it with string, and posting it off in the sunset to a city publisher.

I fantasised my way through a series of teenaged crushes, despite my ardent feminism and aspirations to become an Oscar-winning actor, a writer, and Australia’s first female prime minister.  Sybylla’s determination to publish her book, even at the cost of True Love, and its sequel, My Career Goes Bung, offered an equally spirited parallel, even if I was yet to discover that such a battle of the heart existed.

Sybylla foreswore the temptations of Mr Almost-Right, to follow her vocation. ‘Field research’ revealed that I too would let no man come between me and my writing.  Not for love.  Not for anything.

But Anne gives me heart.

c. Kylie Lawrence 2010

Femme/Feminine Essentials – An Abbreviated Lissssssst

Femme/Feminine Essentials:  what exactly are they?  And why do they matter?

I first heard of  ”feminine essentials” from a work colleague some years ago.  This terminology was a world away from ”women’s things,” the shy termininology I muttered at the blushing age of fifteen on a rural towns high school orchestra tour, to the elderly male bus driver who demanded to know my reason for wanting to get back onto the locked bus when everyone else was inside the hall tuning up.  Despite having a friend with me, I couldn’t bear to state the bleedin’ obvious.

Now I see that the term ‘feminine essentials’ has a broader application.

As a member of the Femerati, with a doubtless biased opine-yon, I have decided to set sail (without help from real sailors) upon a M.O.G.I. (no, not a cat, rather a Mission of Great Importance) which explores the feminine-gendered kind.  Obviously it’s of some small concern that the ‘femme’ reference may go down a G.G.R. (Grossly Girly Route), so I’ve boiled it down:

To Discover: What Are the Top 100 Feminine Essentials?  And why.

Rules, Disclaimers, and Other Procrastivatory[sic] Bollux: the following is not an experiment in E.S. (Exact Science).  Probably because I don’t possess a white coat.  True, it has an objective (reverting to high school biology here, rather than the more dramatic GOAL which has been seconded by motivational types), and something of Methodology,  and it is possible that a conclusion or set of conclusions may be drawn from Evemadence[sic]… ooh, just notice a girly inscrimination[sic] there.

I invite you to think outside social stereotypes.  So please avoid the following, unless you can offer a particularly feminist reading upon your selection:

  1. Shopping
  2. Cosmetic surgery (for purely vain concerns of perfectly fine-looking persons)
  3. Other socio-gendered crap

This experiment is not for the fainthearted, the lazy, or the J.I.I.T.R.T.R.G.B. (Just in It To Read The Good Bits).  Au contraire, I offer you, the reader, the marvellous opportunity to contribute your own wild and fabulous examples of evidence which I will publish after a very long time into the future.

And when the list of Feminine Essentials Reaches 100.

Thus, to begin with, a suggestion of my own, which one hopes you shall find charming and entrancing.

FEMMESENTIALS  – An Abbreviated Lisssssst

1. Firm Foundation Garments: what a Berlei-ooody load of gender-political bollocks.  Did Boadicea wear a brassiere?  Whilst cooking upon a brazier?  In brazen times of old…

The greatest women in history were very often triumphant with the firm foundations of strength of character, bbbbraaaaains, and spunk.  That’s Australian for good looking, and for guts.  Boadicea had better things to do than hitch her herself into an iron cage before hoisting herself upon her trusty steed.  Did Boadicea’s horse wear a bra?  No. And I’m sure that Napoleon’s didn’t bother either.

What say you are feminine essentials?  And why?

When The Ideal Man is Me

Back in January, I bought a couple of magazines for my father to read, including the latest issue of the  Australian Men’s Fitness magazine.

After learning the finer points of gyprocking[sic] on the back of an envelope, during a cuppa with Dad, I thought I’d slink off to my room and have a bit of a read before getting stuck into that writing project.  Flick, flick, flick.  Not my hair.  Pages.

Ah, here are a few pages about things blokes should know for impressing women.   Measure of a Man.  Written by a woman, so she should know.  And it’s a quiz, where so many points make you a turn-off, a few more make you passable, a few more…

I decided to take the quiz, to see if I measured up.  And the results were surprising.  Six out of eight on the first pageNine out of thirteen on the secondTen out of nineteen on the third…   Just managed to fill the water cooler bottles out at the rainwater tank down the yard and replace them in the kitchen without flooding the floor….  Twelve out of sixteen there.  37 out of 57.

Who needs the ideal man?  With results as impressive as that, a girl can afford to cheat on a few of the screeds of ideal qualities in a bloke.  I decided to conduct a preliminary investigation into my own skill set, using some of the recommendations of the article (written in bold below).

  1. Find and install a condom in the dark without killing the mood.  I can do this, but you do it better.
  2. Remove a cork in one piece.  Easy peasy.  And I don’t need to put it between my knees.
  3. Drive a manual car.  What pussy can’t drive a manual?
  4. Build a camp fire without using fire starters.  When I was a kid in the bush, I loved lighting the donkey heater for hot water, and oh, small fires from time to time.
  5. Bowl a cracking off-spinner.  My sister’s father-in-law showed me how to bowl one Xmas, and despite his best tutelage,  everyone still laughed at my efforts, so I confess both gratitude and failure on this one.  But I can bat a six over the chook pen roof.
  6. Kill vermin on demand.   I like spiders, love how rats crawl around the back of your neck, and once had pet mice, who didn’t live as long as they truly deserved to.  Technically I can kill spiders, and set traps, but I’d rather set them free outside, so they can think about what a pain in the arse it is to get inside the house again.  I think this rates a half-tick.
  7. Change a flat tyre.  Yes, I can do this.  But the one time I needed to, a kind older chap by the name of Nullabor gave the wrench the final twist, to save me jumping on it.  Ah, things people do for a girl with a Kingswood in a cotton chipper’s camp.
  8. Not in the quiz, but a driving addendum: Note well, a bloke who calls the NRMA instead of changing his own tyres, is going to drive home on his own.   And he’d better lose my number.  There is a good chance he will be no good on the open road, and is probably the sort of useless individual who takes lasses on country drives with a hot rod in his pocket, and no water.   No sensible person needs a tool without a tool box.
  9. Calculate a 15 per cent tip.  How hard is that?  Ten percent and half again.  Jeesh.  But this is Australia, so what’s wrong with this fifteen percent bollocks?
  10. Pour the perfect beer.  Depends how much you like head.  I can even do it without you tipping it over your shoes to help me.
  11. Throw a decent punch.   Sometimes.  But I tend to veer off course a bit at the end because I don’t trust you to dodge it in time.
  12. Bait a hook.  Just ick.  Ick, ick, ick.  Oh, I thought you meant removing a fish from a hook?  No, I’ll jump clean out of the boat and into shark-infested waters rather than be around when you catch the big one.  But baiting a hook: that I can do.
  13. Get a girl a drink.  I am a girl, so I have a head start at the bar for a start, except when a pushy cow with big hair fronts up with next week’s meal ticket between her shoulder blades.
  14. Use a drill.  I have one under my dressing table.  It came with the galvanised steel tool box I bought to keep my writing in, in case my building burns down.  One of these days I’ll drill a hole in the tool box and turn it into a hanging file cabinet.
  15. Make a toast.  Toast without too many twig holes on a campfire, yes.  Making a toast – I made two Roman Catholic priests laugh at the last wedding, so I’m pretty sure I can handle a toast or two.
  16. Navigate with a paper map.  A friend’s ex once told me, ‘You don’t have female map disorder.’  I think that says it all really.
  17. Cook a meal.  Yes, yes, yes.   But I’d be pretty happy to eat a meal, which someone else has cooked for me out of the goodness of his heart.  As long as it is free-range, doesn’t involve animals, and is served with a smile.

There are probably numerous other ways to a person’s heart.  Which would make the aforementioned quiz list longer, and include more important things, such as the ability to jump-start a car.

Technically it’s been years since I’ve had anything to do with jumpstarting a car, but those few weeks fruit picking during the university holidays taught me a lot.  Including how to break into a car with packing tape, and secure my wheels on a night out by removing all the spark plugs to my hand bag before I strut out onto the dance floor.  Sorry fellas, but if I don’t want to turn a dance floor into a roller disco (can’t skate, anyway), those little buggers are staying under the bonnet, in the starter motor, where they belong.

Except for Point 8, which is a deal breaker, results such as this tend to put a curious dent in a girl’s list of Desirable Qualities in a sweetheart.