Oh, the bridesmaid dress. When people ask about the wedding, the first questions that always seem to come up are what who my bridesmaids will be and what kind of dresses I’m going to put them in.
I have to admit that I’ve always kind of wondered who I’d have as my bridesmaids for my wedding day. My sisters were a given – I have two younger sisters, Kristen, 19 and Jessica, 14, who I knew would love to be a part of my wedding party and who I’d love to share the experience with. The other choices were tougher. I only wanted four bridesmaids in all, and I have some really great friends who I would love to put in.
Your bridesmaid’s function is to help you, so in choosing, pick reliable women who accept the responsibilities seriously. Someone upbeat, cheerful and resourceful and will provide a support system in a very stressful time.
When I met Tim, though, my choice became easy – he has two sisters, Alanna and Mandy, who I really like and get along with great. Not that I felt like I was forced to consider them for my wedding party, (au contraire – I actually had people telling me that I should choose old friends instead) but I actually liked the idea of having them with me on my wedding day. They’re fun, nice, and most importantly, are going to be my family soon – I wanted to get to know them better and get them acquainted with Kristen and Jessica, too.
When selecting your bridesmaids, choose women with whom you anticipate long-lasting relationships.
When I asked them to do it, my sisters said yes right away. Mandy and Alanna were a little reluctant at first, and I didn’t quite understand why. They had a lot of questions about the dresses and eventually I realized that they weren’t thrilled about the idea of every member of the bridal party wearing the same dress. It’s not exactly a little-known fact that one dress does not fit all.
Even though I never really considered David’s Bridal for my wedding party dresses before, I began cooking up an idea for the girls to get dresses there. You see, they have a color selection ranging from copper to black to light pink, and almost every dress in the store is available in certain colors. One of these colors is apple, which is a darker red that matches perfectly with the color scheme we were going for. So I figured, hey – why not just have everyone choose a different dress, as long as they’re all the same color! That would make me practically the best bride ever – the complete anti-bridezilla. I was pretty proud of myself.
Victorian rules of etiquette dictated that bridesmaids should be younger than the bride, their dresses should be conform to hers and shouldn't be any more expensive.
So everyone went and chose their dresses. It was great. It was more than great – it was perfect. Easy, foolproof, and best of all everyone would feel comfortable and look great. I went to order the dresses, and (surprise, surprise) there was a problem. A big scarlet-burgundy- pinky red problem. They were all different colors.
How did this happen, you ask? As it turns out, the materials were all different (figures that in a store made up of mostly satin dresses, they happened to find the only different-looking ones.) We had a nasty blend of satin, chiffon, taffeta, and faille. I had no idea what these fabrics meant until I saw the dresses side-by side. Okay, so I knew that satin was shiny but I didn’t know that chiffon was light and matte, taffeta was matte and backpack-material-esque, and faille was a heavy fabric with a horizontal matte wave. All information I would do better without, but I needed it in this case.
In antiquity, bridesmaids dressed identically to the bride, ostensibly in order to confuse the evil spirits bent on harming the bride.
We tried it again. I decided to go with the separates that David’s Bridal offers – three different top options and a long skirt (there were two length options, but I hated the shorter one.) Oddly, the tops were too short for some of my bridesmaids and we had to abandon that idea, too.
Over the weekend, we decided that we couldn’t bear to spend so many extra trips going separately – we had to go together. I was nervous that we wouldn’t find anything, but alas – success! After two hours of searching, we found the perfect dress. It was actually one of my bridesmaids’ first choices that I was reluctant to put on everyone because I wasn’t sure it would flatter everyone. Wonderfully enough, it did – and I changed my dress colors to black, with just my sister Kristen (or Maid of Honor, as you will now know her) in the apple red color. I thought it might look weird, but when I went onto the David’s Bridal Web page and “built” my bridal party (a special feature that allows you to see what everything will look like before you order and have an “uh-oh” moment ) it looked great. Here’s a photo of the dress – I think it’s going to look beautiful on everyone!
Once black was "forbidden" as a color choice for bridesmaids. Today, many brides opt for that color in deference to their bridesmaids who may be able to wear their gowns more than just once.
And a (virtual) toast to my bridesmaids, who are all going to look lovely on my wedding day! I’m looking forward to it even more now . . .