It’s hot outside. Like, seriously hot. And you know what that means! It’s wedding season. Despite the fact that most meteorologists would agree there are four basic seasons, wedding season came along to prove them wrong. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Weddings are wonderful! You get to celebrate love. And who doesn’t love love?

When you were younger, you probably attended a handful of totally lame grown-up weddings that were essentially meaningless to you. Or, maybe you were even IN weddings as the flower girl or ring bearer or cutesy child doing something with rose petals to make the pictures that much more adorable, but regardless, weddings take on a whole new significance when you’re older and can appreciate what’s happening.

As we grow up, our friends start pairing off. One by one they peel away from the group and start prioritizing their romantic relationships over their friendships. At first you’re like, UGH, but then you realize it’s not all bad. In fact, engagements and weddings and marriage are kind of awesome. (Think about all the opportunities for parties and presents.) Here are the three best (and also worst) things about wedding season.

The Shopping

Wedding season means you need a dress. Actually, you’re going to need like, 12 dresses. One bride will have a black tie affair, another a casual garden wedding; Others will fall somewhere in between. You need appropriate outfits for a hundred different times of day and a zillion different locations. Of course, you’ll also need attire for any pre-wedding events like bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners.

Shopping for all these dresses is totally fantastic – except when your credit card is maxed out and the boxes have piled up in your apartment from trying on a million options and not having the time to ship anything back. During the weeks leading up to the festivities, the shopping’s great. Then it slowly takes a turn for the worse until you’re so miserable you never ever want to log in to RueLaLa or Rent the Runway again.

Spending Time With Your Besties

Another great thing about weddings is the fact that friends from all over the country have a chance to reunite and celebrate together. After college, everyone seems to go in a hundred different directions and your communication slows down from daily phone calls to weekly texting to occasionally sharing a funny video on Facebook. Weddings help revive those relationships. They bring friend groups back together again and remind people why they loved each other so much to begin with.

Of course, spending tons of quality time with old friends can also bring up old issues. Any petty jealousies or grievances can come screaming back into focus, especially when everyone is in close quarters and emotions are running high. Try to stay flexible, open-minded, and patient during wedding season to avoid any major blow-ups or fights with friends. Appreciate having them in your life again!

All That Love

The best thing about weddings is all the mushy gushy love stuff. No matter how alone and bitter we may be on occasion (who? me?) watching close friends get married is a joyful experience. There is nothing more beautiful than watching two people who care about each other promise to do so until they’re old and gray. Even when you have your doubts about a couple, weddings have a way of pushing those from your mind and encouraging you to really root for the bride and groom.

There might be some anxiety or envy if you feel like you’ll never find that special someone, but for the most part, celebrating a couple’s love is a beautiful experience that makes the expensive dress, the uncomfortable shoes, and the lack of sleep worthwhile.

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