Dr. Greg Lawrence… James Austin Johnson
Riley Dibiase Lowell… Heidi Gardner
Brittany Reynolds… Ego Nwodim
Naomi Daniels… Quinta Brunson
Josh Chan-Moy… Bowen Yang
Riley Dibiase… Sarah Sherman
Vanessa Cutchin… Punkie Johnson
Michelle… Molly Kearney
Riley Dibiase Lowell: It all started with a box on my doorstep.
Brittany Reynolds: And a note with a question.
Naomi Daniels: I just got this feeling that it wasn’t the kind of question you could say no to.
Riley Dibiase: Will you…
Vanessa Cutchin: Be my…
Riley Dibiase Lowell: Bridesmaid.
Male voice: From the people who brought you ‘Keep Sweet’, ‘Wild Wild Country’ and ‘the Nexium Documentary,’ comes a harrowing new cult story ‘I was a bridesmaid.’
Dr. Greg Lawrence: Each year more than 6 million women fall into this type of cut. They prey on vulnerable groups like college roommates and sisters in law.
Riley Dibiase Lowell: They sell you on the big day. I thought it was a one day commitment. But for 18 months, I was fully sucked in.
Brittany Reynolds: I mean, there was an email chain a group text, DMS, a whole last conversation in the comments on Venmo.
Naomi Daniels: That sent a 200 question poll about customized shirts. We ended up going with bride tribe.
Dr. Greg Lawrence: These cults also target another vulnerable group. -Outgoing gay men.
Josh Chan-Moy: I’ve been a bridesmaid at nine weddings this year. Whenever a girl starts calling me sis, I know I’m in trouble.
Dr. Greg Lawrence: The Bachelorette Party is the first major ritual. Almost always in Nashville.
Riley Dibiase: I tried to say I couldn’t afford to go because my student loans. The maid of honor texted back “No worries” with the sparkle emoji. I knew what that meant. I sold my car to make it happen.
Naomi Daniels: At first, I thought that the bride was in charge. But it was the woman under her, the maid of honor, Michelle.
Vanessa Cutchin: Michelle was a sociopath.
Michelle: Attention. First, we’re going to be getting up at 6am for a sunrise pole dancing fitness class. Then we’re going to be renting a nine person party bike. We’re going to be drinking, drinking, drinking.
Brittany Reynolds: You know what? I’m actually not feeling that good. So I might meet you guys later.
Chloe: That’s okay. [smiles at Brittany Reynolds, but then looks at Michelle looking disappointed]
Michelle: Hey, Brittany, can we talk for a sec?[Michelle is having serious discussion with Brittany Reynolds]
Josh Chan-Moy: I don’t have many memories from the bachelorette trip. Because I was drugged by myself. I had no choice. These women were terrorizing every gay bar in town.
Dr. Greg Lawrence: As with all cults, there is a financial element.
Naomi Daniels: I spent $300 on a bridesmaid’s dress, the bride store I find other times to wear it. Like, where am I going that calls for a floor length light blue chiffon gown with a modest neckline? Nowhere.
Riley Dibiase: Then the bridal shower, more money, more gifts. There was all this penis stuff, sashes straws. Everyone acted like it was hilarious. I didn’t understand.
Dr. Greg Lawrence: The penis stuff is it’s very funny. I will say that.
Riley Dibiase Lowell: And finally it was time for the big day.
Riley Dibiase: I was separated from my boyfriend and given a new partner. The groom’s cousin Donny who was inexplicably 61.
Josh Chan-Moy: Final ritual was the most demeaning. We had to write and perform original lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel Air.[singing]
Naomi Daniels: And then, all of a sudden it was over. But I just got engaged. Don’t worry, I’m going to be such a chill bride.