Monday, June 20, 2011

Choosing a Bridesmaid dress

I was thinking about one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies last night. From 27 Dresses... Bride: "Aren't these dresses great? And the best thing about them, is you can shorten them and wear them again!" Jane: "That is definitely so true!" As I'm watching this (for the 20th time. The opening scene has me in stitches every time I watch it) I'm thinking, "There is no way she will ever wear that again. Just like my bridesmaids probably never wore theirs again, nor did I ever wear my bridesmaids dresses again." And, we come to find out later, Jane's 27 bridesmaids dresses sit tucked away in her closet of her studio apartment, never worn again.
I have been married almost 14 years, and the trend of allowing your bridesmaids to pick their own dresses within certain color and style boundaries was just beginning when I got married. My mom tried to talk me into choosing that option, but I really wanted all my bridesmaids to wear the same dress. Why? I guess because it's tradition. Now that I'm older, my practical side is much stronger, and I actually prefer the look that so many brides are turning to which is allowing their wedding party to chose their own style of dress. When I was choosing my dress style, I DID chose a style that I knew would look fabulous on all my friends. My party consisted of women with several different heights and body types and I didn't want anyone to feel self conscience. But let's face it, bigger busted women don't look good or feel comfortable in strapless dresses, shorter girls look better in shorter skirts, skinny minis look good in just about every style, red heads look terrible in white, and there is a good chance that you will have a wide range of all body types, heights and color wheels in your wedding party.
So, I enjoy the trend of allowing your wedding party to wear a black dress, or a pink dress or whatever your color scheme may be. That way, your bridesmaids can choose a style they will love and feel confident about wearing. It also allows them to spend the amount of money they desire. Some are on tight budgets and are incredible bargain shoppers who could find a fabulous dress for much less money than the bridal shops will charge. There are some bridal lines that are catching on to this idea as well. They create a line of dresses that are the exact same color but
there are several different styles from which to chose. That way, each of your friends can choose the style they feel will look best with their body type and will feel the most comfortable. However, if you go with this option, try not to choose a color like lime green or lemon yellow. Certain skin tones look terribly washed out in these colors. Try to chose a universal color for your bridesmaids that will match your color scheme for your wedding. Or maybe chose a different shade of salmon, which is another color that not very many people can pull off and look great.
Remember, your friends are here for your big day and they want to please you. However, they, too, will be standing up in front of hundreds of people while you and your fiance say your "I do's". They will also appear in hundreds of pictures. You want them to look fabulous and feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Do you really want them to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that is going to hang in their closet and never be worn again? Chances are, if they have some say in at least the style, they will not only wear it again, they will be grateful to you for your flexibility and generosity. And remember, someday you may be standing with them on their big day just like all the 27 brides lined up for Jane's big day. Hopefully, if you are considerate of them, they will remember that when choosing the bridesmaid dress you will wear while standing in front of hundreds of their friends and relatives....

Below, two of my favorite quotes from 27 Dresses concerning the bridesmaid dresses.

"What color is that? Vomit?"
"What was the wedding theme? Humiliation?" Kevin (Malcolm) Doyl

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan College Station, TX

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