My sisters and I have always been competitive with each other. I’m the second of three girls and we’re all super close. Except when we drive each other nuts and then we can’t stand each other. That never lasts long though because I don’t think we could live without each other. Women with sisters will understand what I mean.
We all live together, along with my fiancé Richie. When I announced we were getting married, it was my sisters I told first, and we immediately began planning. It was exciting, but having your fiancé and bridesmaids all in the one house means things can get intense.
I’ve been planning my wedding since I knew what a bride was, and I knew I would get a little bridezilla-ish but this wedding-focused atmosphere may have sent me into the stratosphere. I started obsessing about every tiny detail and it was pretty much all I spoke about.
My eldest sister Maggie has always been the disciplined and serious one. She’s a high school music teacher and everyone loves her. She’s always had this air of smug about her, like she’s got the world figured out. She was deadset jealous that I was getting married before her, I could tell.
My younger sister Charlie is fun and flirty. All guys fall in love with her but she complains that they don’t take her seriously. She’s an artist and children’s book illustrator who works from home. She says she never wants to get married.
Both of my sisters are gorgeous. I mean, stunning. I always felt like Jan Brady in the middle – I wasn’t as hot and popular as my older sister and I wasn’t as cute and fun as my younger sister. I was just Penny in the middle. But I found a man who loved me for me and I couldn’t be happier.
With all the planning, and after meeting with the photographer and discussing dresses with my sisters, I started to think about what my wedding photos were going to look like. Well, probably the more correct statement would be that I started to obsess over them. These are going to be on display in my home forever – I don’t want to be reminded until my last day on earth that I was the plain sister. So I did what any bridezilla would do - I set about making sure my sisters looked as ordinary as possible on my big day – well, as much as I could without being totally obvious about it.
We’re all fair-skinned and blonde, and I demanded that the bridesmaid dresses wore a neon yellow that made them look washed out and slightly ill. I told them I was going for a fun, party look but I was thrilled that colour made them both look pallid.
But by far the worst thing I did was to fatten up my sisters in the months leading up to the wedding. Every morning I was a picture of sunshine and morning glow as I insisted on making breakfast smoothies for everyone. I told them I wanted us all to look our best on the big day, so I was making them this special slimming smoothie.
I even went as far as buying a weight loss shake and emptying the contents, filling it instead with a mega-weight gain protein powder I found in a body building shop. At first I went easy but by the month before the wedding I was adding triple the prescribed amount into Maggie and Charlie’s smoothie, leaving my own simply as fruit and coconut water.
By the time my wedding rolled around, each of my sisters had to have their dress altered to accommodate their thickening waistlines.
The day went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time. I never thought for a moment on my wedding day that I wasn’t the centre of attention or the most important person in the room. And now, when I look back on my wedding photos – as I do often as we’ve got them displayed around the house – I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt that I’m standing there glowing and gorgeous in my bridal gown, and my sisters are looking washed out and chubby. But mostly I feel happy.
Maggie and Charlie have both since lost the weight they gained in the lead-up to the wedding, and I’m glad about that. Sometimes they ask me to make those delicious smoothies I used to make, but I tell them the weight-loss shake has been discontinued. I make them toast instead.