This is the fourth article in my series: BankerGirl Plans a Wedding - a honest account of my wedding decisions and related expenses as they occur. New readers can click here to start the series from the beginning.
Few wedding-related topics get a woman a fired up as a discussion about bridesmaids’ dresses. They are typically expensive, unflattering, and often impossible to wear again - regardless of what the most well-meaning bride tells you.
Goodness knows, I’ve had to purchase my share of doozies. In order to protect the guilty, I won’t specifically describe any of the gowns that I’ve had the “opportunity” to wear, but let’s just say that I’ve had to adorn myself more than one dress that didn’t quite fit. Flat-chested brides just don’t understand the plight of the big-busted girl, and nothing illustrates this better than a bridal party. Check it out next time you’re at a wedding - there is at least one attendant in every wedding party that is excruciatingly uncomfortable in her dress, and it’s not always the fat girl.
A fresh approach
I’ll be standing up for a dear friend who is getting married this August - she’s taking a pretty cool approach that I am duplicating in my own wedding. She’s going with a black-and-white theme and all of her bridesmaids have been directed to choose a black, knee-to-tea length dress to wear to the ceremony. The only rules: no sequins, no lace, control the cleavage.
Within the next week, nearly every LBD (little black dress) without sequins or lace that’s available for purchase online will arrive at my door. Prices vary from $20.95 (on sale!) to $90 - I’m hopeful that at least one fits. Otherwise I’m going to my back-up dress (I could get years of mileage out of this Nicole Miller number - I love everything about it except the price!)
As for my maids, they have been instructed to wear a LBD (little brown dress) as well. I don’t care about cut, shade, print, or fabric - the only condition is that it has to be a dress that they will absolutely wear again.
But really, how many women seek out a brown dress? I’m guessing very few. So my attendants will be stuck with a dress that they would never pick out on their own - but at least they can wear something that they feel good in.
Dressing the female members in a bridal party is a tricky business. Letting them choose their own attire is risky - give a girl too much leeway, and she may disappoint with a cut-down-to there v-neck or opt for something with a strange silhouette. Dictate a dress for everyone and live with the resulting complaints.
What’s a bride to do?
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