I see it all the time.
A beautiful bride-to-be with her three or four bridesmaids in tow come in to get their dresses fitted and hemmed a month before the big day. While it’s a celebratory moment for all, behind all those pearly white smiles lays deep truths: One of your bridesmaids hates the dress, its colour and its form. Another can’t afford the dress and alterations and just wishes she can return it. The one that plays off that she doesn’t care just wants your wedding to be over so that she can move on with her life. She has big dreams you know!
The wedding industry: It makes people do crazy things.
“What?” you say. “I picked a dress that they can wear again after the wedding.” Trust me, they won’t! It will be at the closest Salvation Army come your two-month marriage anniversary.
I see it all the time. The same bloody dress on four different bodies. My enduring question is…………………………………why? Future brides, lean in as I ask this question: Why can’t you let your bridesmaids pick their dresses?
They’re Not Going to Look Better Than You
There’s this pervasive thing among women where we always feel as though we have to one-up each other. Nobody is looking at the bridesmaids because it’s not their day! You have just spent nearly $30,000 in counting on this wedding. Trust me, nobody is looking at the bridesmaid….ever!
“But it’s not about her! It’s about me!”
Yes, we know! You’re the one walking down the aisle and you got the ring. In fact, you have ownership over one colour! Nobody else can wear white. This is all about you! The truth is, nobody ever looks at the bridesmaids. They’re just good fodder for photos (sorry but it’s true) which leads me to my next gripe…
Whatever You Choose, One Girl is Bound to Hate it!
One girl is bound to hate that bloody dress and she might have a good reason. She’s usually the girl seething behind her teeth as I hand her the bill for the alterations.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a short girl in a dress that accentuates one’s length. That poor garment just emphasizes her shortness. I have seen bustier girls in dresses that barely hold their breasts. I’ve seen broad shoulder girls be forced to wear dresses that over-accentuate their shape. There is no amount of alterations that can, at times, help these unfortunate situations. We’re not all born with the same bodies and believe me, that is ok. Better yet, it’s perfect! Every body shape is beautiful for different reasons…but not every dress works on everybody. So to squeeze four different body types into one simple dress is ludicrous.
Here’s the funny thing about the girl who doesn’t like her dress. She won’t tell you she hates it. She is too tired and too broke to care. And, she doesn’t want to rock the boat. How do you spot her? When she smiles, there are no wrinkles on the outer edge of her eyes. Go ahead, just ask her this:
“So, do you like the dress?”
“I love it,” she will say.
Set Some Rules
“But Christiane, what if they wear something that’s not appropriate for the wedding?” Good question! Set some ground rules! How hard can it be? If you don’t have any, here are some suggestions. I’ve seen countless brides go with different bridesmaids dresses and here are some of the best combinations:
- No “club” dresses (i.e. no sideboobs or buttcheeks)
- The dress colour was the same or the bride asked the bridesmaids to wear different complementing tones
- The dress length was different for each bridesmaid
- They were given instructions on what type of shoe to buy and the colour
- Their hair had to be up and they stuck to one type of jewellery
Those were always the best looking groups. Although I don’t have pictures to share, I found a quick sample of some the best bridesmaids combos I’ve seen just with a quick google search.
I could go on…
Heck, if you really don’t trust your bridesmaids (to which I say….who are you???), go shopping together as a group.
It’s not their big day, it’s yours but give these girls a break!
Being a bridesmaid is a big financial commitment and it’s time-consuming! These girls are spending their well-earned money to make you happy. A lot of them will just go with the flow to avoid a meltdown. Let them, at the very least, pick what they want to wear.
Trust me, that will be one less thing you need to worry about.
Blah!! That said, I’m just a seamstress and it’s your special day. Feel free to have your bridesmaids look the way you want.