Thursday, November 17, 2005

I HAVE TO SPEND HOW MUCH ON THAT DRESS?!?!: Solutions #2 and #3

Since I will be away this weekend in Baltimore at, you guessed it, yet another wedding, I wanted to round out my Bridesmaid dress discussion (at least for the time being). Although I'm sure I'll have plenty to say later on the subject, I want to finish up my tips for making both you and your bridesmaids happy (at least when it comes to the dress!)

Tip #2: Go for an inexpensive, practical dress.

So you loooooved that Amsale tea-length in the rose-petal shade you saw in some magazine. I can imagine. While it may be tempting to have your friends splurge on the bridesmaids dress, just remember that you are not necessarily the only bride to which they have to cater (in fact, your maid of honor may have a wedding two weekends from your own!), and that high expenses may lead to higher tempers. For example, don’t do what a friend-of-a-friend did to her and the other bridemaids: “The Vera Wang dress I had to buy… and her family spent a freaking ridiculous amount on the wedding… you'd think they could shell out an extra $1000 and get the bridesmaids dresses that weren't $450 a piece.”

While I think that spending that much money on a bridesmaid dress is plain ridiculous, and most people, like myself, can't afford (and frankly, wouldn't want to) have a J.Lo-style wedding (with related expenditures to boot), setting a limit is still a good idea and a means for saving the bank accounts of your closest friends. There are plenty of tasteful bridesmaids dresses that won’t break the bank. Do your homework on this subject, and your bridesmaids will thank you for it.

Tip #3: Let them eat cake--while wearing what they want.

Some of you have already commented upon this seemingly radical concept, and I think it's great that there are women out there actually doing it. I think this is a surefire way of guaranteeing that your bridesmaids will not only look and feel their best, and they will be grateful to you for thinking outside the proverbial dressing room. My friend Marsha perhaps put it best when she noted that all she wanted for her bridesmaids was that they wear a long black dress of their liking. It could be a dress they wore to a previous event, or one they just bought. In this scenario, everyone wins. Even if your bridesmaid doesn’t have the dress, she’ll feel MUCH better purchasing one that she knows she’ll wear again. Why? Because she’ll have chosen it herself AND it’s a practical buy. If you want your bridesmaids to wear a sage, floor long gown, it’s obviously your call. Just realize that if you aren’t considering options #1, #2, or #3, you may indeed be viewed as a bride that isn’t in touch with the feelings of those around her--particularly those who will flank her at the wedding podium.

Want more? Stay tuned.... Back on Sunday!

PS: Whoever it was who said they paid for the groomsmen's tuxes: TOTAL THUMBS UP... that was a terrific and thoughtful idea, and one I'll definitely be using (whenever that may be :)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just spent the last 20 minutes catching up on the previous posts since I am a 1st time visitor--I'm planning a wedding for May of next year, and I am thrilled to have found this blogspot. Thanks for bringing honest, helpful and just plain funny stuff to the table. Keep up the good work!!

Megan said...

Hi. I totally agree that maids should be able to pick their dresses as long as they are reasonable. For mine, I just specified a shade (in the purple family) and length- long. They can be two pieces, with embroidery or beads, I don't care. I hope they are happy. Megan

Anonymous said...

I am having the most frustrating time finding a dress (or whatever)for my bridesmaids! first of all, they all are of extremely different body types, they all live several hours away from me at least, and have major life commitments/crises that keep us from getting together to look for dresses. I know that most of them would be happy to wear whatever I chose, except for one of them. She has budget issues, and so I was trying to find something under $100. I thought that fairly reasonable. She wants to be able to reuse it because she thinks it's horrendous that bridesmaids should have to shell out any money at all to be in someone's wedding. I agree with reusable dresses. I have some pretty hideous things hanging in my closet, so I understand. I looked at budget and gently used dresses, I looked at skirts w/ pretty camisoles, I tried to find things in department stores and outlets, I looked at a gazillion things. I finally found some that I thought would fit everyone and were all under $100 on Glamour Closet's website. They were very basic tea-length dresses. She not only didn't like them, she said she thought I should just cut her out of my wedding because she didn't like the stuff I picked out and she probably couldn't afford it anyway. All this after she told me how much she liked tea-length dresses! She also told me she thought skirts and camisoles were a good idea, but that she wanted a more formal dress. I'm trying to cater to a person who can't make up her mind! It's going to be awfully hard to find a cute semiformal dress that fits everyone and is $30. I don't know what to do! I know you're here for the bridesmaids primarily...but is there and answer for the frustrated bride who can't please everyone? The obvious answer, I suppose, would be either to buy her dress for her or to just send them color samples and tell them to get something that looks nice. I don't want to just kick her out of the wedding and I don't want to lose a friend over fighting because I just can't please her.

Anonymous said...

I am having the most frustrating time finding a dress (or whatever)for my bridesmaids! first of all, they all are of extremely different body types, they all live several hours away from me at least, and have major life commitments/crises that keep us from getting together to look for dresses. I know that most of them would be happy to wear whatever I chose, except for one of them. She has budget issues, and so I was trying to find something under $100. I thought that fairly reasonable. She wants to be able to reuse it because she thinks it's horrendous that bridesmaids should have to shell out any money at all to be in someone's wedding. I agree with reusable dresses. I have some pretty hideous things hanging in my closet, so I understand. I looked at budget and gently used dresses, I looked at skirts w/ pretty camisoles, I tried to find things in department stores and outlets, I looked at a gazillion things. I finally found some that I thought would fit everyone and were all under $100 on Glamour Closet's website. They were very basic tea-length dresses. She not only didn't like them, she said she thought I should just cut her out of my wedding because she didn't like the stuff I picked out and she probably couldn't afford it anyway. All this after she told me how much she liked tea-length dresses! She also told me she thought skirts and camisoles were a good idea, but that she wanted a more formal dress. I'm trying to cater to a person who can't make up her mind! It's going to be awfully hard to find a cute semiformal dress that fits everyone and is $30. I don't know what to do! I know you're here for the bridesmaids primarily...but is there and answer for the frustrated bride who can't please everyone? The obvious answer, I suppose, would be either to buy her dress for her or to just send them color samples and tell them to get something that looks nice. I don't want to just kick her out of the wedding and I don't want to lose a friend over fighting because I just can't please her.

the wedding fairy said...

Thanks for the question... I think it's an excellent one, and I can tell you've put a lot of thought into this. I definitely would like to respond. Unfortunately, I am stuck at work now. :( However, I'm going to give this one some thinking and post something tomorrow (I think this warrants its own post, rather than just a mere comment response).... Hang in there, though: I will say for now that you're going ABOVE and BEYOND the call of duty with this girl, and just so you know, this is definitely not a "bridesmaids-only" site -- I'm really here to try and have a dialogue with everyone out there, so keep the questions/thoughts coming!!

Anonymous said...

I was lucky...I found the perfect color dresses in a simple tea length tank dress...$72. I don't know if they could wear them again...I know I would...but I wouldn't presume to tell someone they could wear it again. I just wanted them to spend as little money as possible...

Amy said...

I am new here... am getting married in 2 weeks! So pretty much all my stuff has long been handled/worked out.

Just my 2 cents about bridesmaids dresses... I had a very tough time, as my wedding party of four (2 cousins I've been close with forever, sister in law, and best friend) ranges in size from zero to 24, with a 6 and a 10 between. It was extremely difficult to find dresses. We settled on two piece dresses. I chose the color, the A line skirt, and they chose the top (from about 75 options) that they liked best. Each chose a different one. I believe the dresses in the end cost between $185 and $220 (depending on how much beading, size, etc.).

They will, granted, probably not be able to wear them again. However, I believe the cost, while on the high side, was reasonable so that they all chose the style that works for their body type and comfort level, so that each of them will be comfortable and self-confident on my wedding day (at least two of them are extremely insecure people). I have had some guilt over the cost to them, but they have all assured me I'm worth it and that they are happy with what they'll be wearing. I can only hope they are telling me the truth.

So, I intended this to be short but seem to have gotten carried away. I am enjoying catching up on your blog very much and have strived all through my planning process not to be one of "those brides."