There are so many rules when getting married. Don’t shag the best man; keep the bar stocked; wear Spanx two sizes too small; register for crap you don’t want but your mother-in-law says you must have; never EVER invite children, especially your own; and make sure your bridesmaids look good but not great.

I met ‘Kate’ (I will refer to her as Kate, as that is her name) in 2005, four weeks before she got engaged, and I fell in love with her instantly. We bonded over Perez Hilton, People.com and the fact that I liked to dance in public and she liked to watch. Yep, our connection was deep. It’s one of those friendships for the history books. She’s blonde, I’m brunette. She has a fear of public toilets, I’ll crap anywhere. She drives a fancy car, and I make fun of it.

Leading up to her wedding, she would call me to discuss flower arrangements, what ties her soon-to-be groom and groomsmen would wear, and how hard I was really planning on dancing at the reception. I knew she was a keeper and although our friendship was relatively new, I was kind of hoping for a proposal of the “Will you be my bridesmaid?” kind.

Then the time came. We were braiding each other’s hair two weeks out from her big day, when she turned to me. Oh god, it’s happening. Would I jump on her and say, “Yes, yes! A thousand times, yes!” and let her know that I had already started workshopping my colour palette and that I’m more of an empire cut than a cut on the cross kind of gal? Or would I play it cool? She looked deep into my eyes and said, “If I was getting engaged now, you would be my bridesmaid.” Right.

I was so super excited about her wedding that it didn’t bother me. It really didn’t. Whatever. Who cares? It was only when I was organising my own wedding eight years later and was going through the wedding rules that I wondered if this was a rule I was unaware of: can she still be my bridesmaid even though I wasn’t hers?

We had a destination wedding, which is wanker-talk for “got married in Bali” because #hothusband is a surfer and it’s a s–t ton cheaper. It was a lovely wedding on a clifftop in a remote part of the island. We wanted a small number of people there, and in classic mother-of-the-bride form, we were advised to invite all the step-half-removed-barely breathing aunts and uncles because “they would never come, but they had to be invited”. So, of course, every one of the 66 bastards we invited showed up.

I remember the reactions of all my bridesmaids when I asked them if they would accompany me down the aisle. Kate’s was my favourite. My sister and two other besties cried. They were so excited and honoured that they cried. My stepdaughters also cried but for other reasons, and my darling Kate responded with, “Well, I already assumed I’d be a bridesmaid.” This is Unconditional Love.

There was no way I could have gotten married without her, and I don’t even care that she was my bridesmaid and I wasn’t hers. I only bring it up every single time we meet new people to make her laugh. She says it makes her feel “bad”, but I know she really means “laugh”.

Oh, and did I mention that not only was she my bridesmaid and I wasn’t hers, but that she and her husband were witnesses to our wedding? She is a great friend. She has encouraged my rapid weight gain. I WASN’T HER BRIDESMAID. Supported my experimentation with Cocksucking Cowboys. I WASN’T HER BRIDESMAID. And she is one of the godmothers to both my boys.

I. WASN’T. HER. BRIDESMAID.

Pfft. Whatever.