If you had your choice to be the first or the last in anything, what would you pick? Most would say they'd prefer to be first, especially when it comes to something as momentous as getting engaged. But just like anything else, being the first to experience this exciting milestone comes with its own set of pros and cons. Ask any woman who was the first of her friends to get engaged what she thought of it and you'll likely hear two things: The extra attention was nice, but she felt less prepared and knowledgeable than friends who got engaged later on and were able to seek the advice of others.
For Jen P. of New York City, being one of the first of her friends to get engaged meant that there were few preconceived notions about what was expected. Also, all of her friends were young at the time and not far out of college. "The wedding was a blast (and maybe a little crazy by the end of the night), but we took home some great stories and memories," she says. She wouldn't change being the first of her friends for the world.
Other women agree that there's value to being the first. For Ashley C., of Rocky Hill, Connecticut, getting engaged before the rest of her friends worked in her favor. "No one was burnt out by being in and helping plan so many weddings, so it was exciting and new to all of us!" she says. "Two of my friends have been in so many weddings since then that I wouldn't be surprised if they elope and leave all of the wedding drama behind." Although she'd never change the fact that her wedding was first, she does remember some difficulties, including the fact that many of her friends didn't understand the plight of planning a wedding. "I wouldn't expect them to, but I do wish I could have gone to them for wedding advice instead of random people on wedding forums or distant family members and acquaintances."
Friends not knowing what to do is something multiple women mention. Gina F. of New York City, ran into this same dilemma. "My bridal party was great, but didn't really know what to do when it came to the bridal shower, bachelorette, or at the wedding, which was a little difficult and frustrating at times," she describes. "I felt like I couldn't talk to them about the costs of the wedding and the frustrations that came alongside it, as they didn't understand how everything worked. Most of my friends are 25-27 so they are a bit new to the wedding scene in general." However, because she was the first to get engaged, she tried really hard not to be a bridezilla and to make it easy on them in terms of dresses, shoes, and prep for the wedding. "The best part was that my bridesmaids were really easy to work with and went with everything I decided without any complaints, which I appreciated!"
For all the benefits of being the first to get engaged, there are also the downsides. Crystal H., of San Antonio, Texas, wishes she could have taken advantage of all of the wedding resources her now-engaged and -married friends have at their disposal, such as Pinterest. "The only wedding I had to base mine off of was my mom's second marriage—and there were puffy sleeves involved," she describes. "I had no idea what I was supposed to do for a wedding, so most of it I casually arranged with minimal fuss. I literally remember going to my mom's dial up computer and typing 'What are good wedding songs?' into AskJeeves!"
For Keidra T., of North Miami Beach, Florida, being the first of her friends to get engaged was strange, especially since some of her pals had been with their boyfriends for several years and she had only been dating her fiancé for six months. "We were living in two different states, I was in Florida, he was in Missouri, and we were doing the long-distance thing. He proposed while I was still living in Florida and it wouldn't be for another two years before my next friend got engaged," she describes.