11/11/2014 11:14 am ET Updated Jan 11, 2015

Bridesmaids: Tears of Joy and Other Things

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In 1996, my friends Loretta and Matt got married. I was honored to be a bridesmaid. Loretta grew up working in her mother's used clothing store and now owns one herself. She is a connoisseur of all things vintage.

For her wedding, Loretta wore a lovely gown from the '40s. She dressed her maid of honor and two bridesmaids in sweet, vintage, pastel and prom dresses. I was the bridesmaid in yellow. We all wore short white gloves, our feet jammed into vintage pumps. My shoes were a size and a half too small but when it comes to vintage shoes, you get what you get.

Hermanita, Loretta's bridesmaid in violet floral, had flown into town for the wedding. Hermanita was a notorious crier. She cried tears of joy over the phone when Loretta called to tell her that she and Matt were engaged. She cried again when she was asked to be in the wedding party. She cried when she got off the plane and again at the rehearsal dinner. Hermanita was adorable and her happy tears were endearing.

At the ceremony, Hermanita and I stood side-by-side and clutched our tulle wrapped bouquets as we watched Loretta walk down the aisle with her dad. I looked over and noticed that Hermanita was crying again. I squeezed her arm and whispered, "Are you doing okay?" She dabbed at her eyes with her gloved fingers and whispered back.

"I'm fine but these damn shoes are killing me."