Thursday, July 20, 2006


So the following isn't a question that I received from a reader, but one that I saw in a bridal magazine. I was actually appalled by the answer.

Here's the question (and I'm paraphrasing here, 'cause I cannot, at the moment, locate the specific clipping among the piles of magazines I've accumulated): "I picked out a dress for my bridesmaids that I really love, and they all hate it. Am I wrong to make them wear it, or do I have a legitimate right to stick to my guns?"

When I read the question, I immediately thought to myself "EASY ONE: HELLS NO!" The women that you choose as bridesmaids are those presumably individuals who you respect. Isn't part of your including them your way of honoring them?

If your bridesmaids hate the dress you choose for them--PARTICULARLY if they are FOOTING THE BILL--there is no good reason for sticking to your guns here. In fact, it's rude and uncalled for.

I think it's important to remember that, as the bride, you have decisions to make. I understand that these are HUGE decisions too! However, if you don't keep those in mind as you make them, you're going to offend--and put off--a whole lotta people along the way.

So, what was the answer to the question, you ask? Basically, the opposite of what I'm saying here. The magazine writer/columnist said that it's the bride's decision, and that the bride is in charge here--if she loves the dress? Then her bridesmaids need to get over it.

The caveat here?
If the bridesmaids hate the dress for a SPECIFIC reason--in terms of the actual fit (i.e. it shows too much cleavage, or the straps are too tight)--then comfort should trump everything--and the bride should make an effort to CHANGE the dress to make it more comfortable.... Clearly, these things should be decided BEFORE a bride picks OUT the dress in the first place.

If a bride has already chosen a dress, and her bridesmaids haven't chosen to raise the issue, or put in their two cents? Then that becomes their problem, though it is unfortunate.

If your girlfriends hate a dress, not because it hurts like hell, but because it's terribly ugly and they have to pay $300 for it? Is that such a terrible reason to raise a complaint BEFORE the dress is purchased? Pain shouldn't be the exclusive factor involved.

Think about it. If you come to the conclusion as the magazine writer, so be it. However, I'd urge everyone to think about the alternative. If you were the bridesmaid--and not the bride--would you change your tune? Some food for thought.

By the way--I have NO idea who this bridesmaid is, or what she's annoyed about. But hopefully, you won't have any pictures of bridesmaids like this in your wedding album--particularly if it's something as easy as finding a decent dress that everyone can agree on!

Stay tuned!


Megan said...

Ok, granted the Bride should not become Dictator of the Year, but even when she is easy going, the bridesmaids sometimes do everything in their power to get around simple requests. For instance, I only asked my three bridesmaids for two things- that they pick out a long dress (not tea length) and that it be in the purple family- lilac, lavender, dark purple, whatever. Two complied, the other started asking if she could wear the red and white bustier from her own wedding dress and a red skirt. No. Then it was a white dress with flower embroidery. No! But this shade of purple doesn't go with my skin tone! Okay, pick another shade of purple that does! She finally picked a green dress. It turned out okay as it matched the flowers but I was still annoyed. This is the woman who wanted to have a double wedding with us (renew her vows) no!, then wanted to baptize her daughter right before us no!, then insisted that she do a reading, okay fine whatever. So when we came along to the bridesmaid dress debate, it started to feel like it was about more than just a dress....

Mike Adamick said...

Someone actually asked to stand up there and renew their vows with you? And then asked to have their kid baptized, too? And this is your bridesmaid, meaning, presumably, a friend? No kidding this is more than just a dress. I don't get at all how people can be so tactless, like the bridesmaid who wore white -- no kidding -- to her cousin's big gig. What are these people thinking?

Twistie said...

When my SIL picked bridesmaid's dresses, I cringed. They were a color I detest and I hated the style. OTOH, I only had to pay for the fabric and that wasn't much (about $35.00, since SIL had a friend in the business who got us tremendous discounts and my mother sewed it up), so I didn't complain. Also, she was so worried about upsetting people with her decisions that I felt I could grin and bear wearing a dress I hated for a few hours without making a scene.

Then again, if I had to pay $300 for it, I might have been more vocal about my feelings.

I've been a bridesmaid three times, and only disliked the dress once...and it was the least expensive of the bunch.

And Megan, yes, your problem is about a lot more than bridesmaid's dresses. You were more than accomodating and she utterly refused to do anything for you. She's also continued to compete with you about every accomplishment in your life, from the sound of things.

It sounds like I would have loved being in your wedding party! My biggest problem would have been picking one shade of purple (my fave color!) to wear. LOL!

Megan said...

Yes, it is true. She is my husband's sister. She can be really nice in some ways, but I think she is/was regretting not having a bigger wedding. Their daughter (the one they wanted to baptize right before our ceremony) was six months at the time they got married, they just had a civil ceremony, then cake and champagne. So now she is thinking of doing a church ceremony and combining it with a baptism for her daughter. Fine with me, as long as it is your money that you are spending for decorations, invitations, etc. instead of freeloading off of us.

Bacon's Mom said...

It was in the most recent issue of Bride's magazine - one of their "Ask a ..." columns. I remember because I gasped audibly when I read that, and my fiance couldn't believe someone would back up a bride who was telling grown women what to wear.

Lisa said...

I chose bridesmaids dresses that were actually separates. I chose the skirt and the color, they got to choose the top. I picked Alfred Angelo and they had like almost 20 tops to choose from and could be ordered from anywhere inside and outside the U.S. (one bridesmaid is coming in from Europe). That is another alternative solution. I remember being 13 in my brother's wedding and having to wear a lacy dress with a sweetheart neckline. Not good self esteem boost for that young since we're already self conscious enough about our bodies!