Were you expecting more invitation tips today? Well, you're just going to have to wait. I have to keep your interest piqued somehow, and giving away all my best stuff too early in the game wouldn't keep you coming back for more, now would it? Manipulation? What are you talking about?
Anyway, today I'm going to give you some advice that I wish someone had given me starting way back in the sixth grade when I was voted "Most likely to get married first" in our all girls bible study. If you can help it, NEVER be the first girl in your group of friends to get married. In addition, try to have at least one already married bridesmaid. Why, you may ask? Simple.
Fortunately, because of where these girls are, they love a party. You mention cocktails, and they come running. So while they may not be your go-to girls during a wedding crisis, trust that they'll throw you a great shower and bachelorette party. In the meantime, find yourself a married friend who doesn't mind being your life coach for a while. You're going to need someone who remembers the horrors of the invitation color printing three shades darker than the sample you were shown, but also can calm you down and remind you about how worth it the whole wedding day is. Find this woman (or group of women, if you're lucky enough) and cling to her. She will save your sanity.
PS - Remember all of this when the second girl in your group gets married. Don't leave her out to dry, but be her bridal support group. After all, you've been there.