Thursday, August 02, 2007


TallGuy always has been a big fan of the HBO hit, "Entourage". Although actor Adrien Grenier is definitely easy on the eyes, I was somewhat hesitant to start watching. The whole concept, which the title of the show inspired, seemed, well, annoying to me. Watching an up-and-coming actor and his hanger-oners search out L.A. for hot cars and girls wasn't my idea of fun. TallGuy persisted in getting me to at least try the show. I actually found it surprisingly funny and endearing -- while the materialism and ridiculousness certainly plays out in the background, the main characters are likeable, particularly Vince due to his innocence and wide-eyed "who me?" expressions. I'm glad TallGuy got me to watch, but I still shudder at the word "entourage" for different reasons.....

Webster's dictionary defines an "entourage" as "one's attendants or associates."

Normally, we think of an entourage as a group flanking someone like J. Lo, Madonna, or even the loveable Vince Chase.

I never thought I'd be using that term during my dress-shopping. There were WAY too many attendants/associates running around, which I found to be an interesting observation of the wedding planning process.

As I mentioned on a previous post, I found my dress. It's wonderful (at least I think so, which is the important thing!). And I didn't want to take it off the two or three times I tried it on. I felt it was so very Audrey Hepburn. It was so me.

The process of finding a dress, however, was not as seamless as the stitches are going to be on this dress post-alterations.

I was not one of the lucky ones to find "the dress" at the first store. Unfortunately, I explored bridal departments at several department stores, as well as some of the famous Manhattan boutiques, large and small, which carried an endless array of designer dresses.

My mother was the trusted confidante I took with me on each trip. My mother is the best, as she's honest and won't mince words. There were times I tried something on and I received the following comments: "Hmmm I'm not sure, the color is a little dark -- almost too off-white." (She was right, although I grudingly admitted it). "You look like one of the Sugar Plum Fairies in the Nutcracker with all that tulle." (Definitely dead on).

As we went from store to store, I noticed that my shopping party (my mom and me) was SO much smaller than those for many of the other girls looking. There were parties of seven, eight....even twelve!!! I suppose these were best friends, cousins, mothers, aunts..... which was a little surprising to me. With that many people, how is someone EVER going to get a collective, honest opinion? "Oh it looks SO AMAZING" is not what I need to hear - when it just looks OK. Or even pretty enough to wear, but not "THE ONE". That happened to me - and if I brought 5 of my best friends, my sister, my mom and my closest cousin, I'm not sure anyone would have had the guts to tell me so.

So many of these girls, women, what have you, had an ENTOURAGE! To pick out their wedding dress! It was a crazy concept to me.

Not only does it not make sense to have a gaggle of people scrutinizing the bride-to-be, I have to say that it's pretty intrusive to the other people trying on dresses--particularly in smaller stores.

I thought it was really disconcerting to come out of the dressing room and walk into the hallway of one large store, where there were ten people next to me OOOHHHING and AHHHHING over a girl in the three way mirrror. Because they were all crowded around her (and the mirror), I couldn't get a good look at the dress I was trying on. (Unfortunately the three ways were few and far between at this particular store).

While some brides-to-be can bring a large group of people to a bridal store and not cause a ruckus, I found that most really did take away from the collective experience (I wasn't the only bride who seemed to be both bewildered and perturbed).

People forget that these bridal stores are SMALL, for the most part. Too many people IN them is disturbing and distracting. It's hard enough to shell out several hundred/thousand dollars (depending on your budget) for "the dress" that you will wear ONCE. It's even harder when you cannot concentrate over the din of a crowd of strangers.

A common-sense reason not to have all of these people shop with you? Don't you want to have an element of mystery/surprise for your wedding day? I've DESCRIBED my dress to people, but the only individuals who've gotten to see it are my mom and sister (who came back to check it out before I bought it).

In the end, I bought a dress that I love, and that I am so happy with. I just wish there were a little more peace and quiet during the process. My advice to brides-to-be, in order to make the process a happier one for these women (as well as those shopping in the same store with them?): avoid the entourage. For an honest opinion, and a more peaceful experience, it's best to just have one or two trusted "associates" with you.

Stay tuned!


Dataceptionist said...

How many is it before its classed as an entourage? I had my mum, my best friend, sister and cousin. And none of them were expendable, they were the closest people in the world to me and I wanted their opinions.
We were not screeching at each other however, nor crowding the mirrors. I don't think the shops in Oz are set out like the ones over there, they are either tiny shops (you're the only appointment in there) or they're quite large, and you get your own little area with chairs and such.
My mum was probably who I would have ditched if required as she really dislikes shopping, but I wanted her to be there. In the end my usually honest mother sort of tiptoed around the issue when I was trying to get an opinion out of her "oh it's your choice dear..."

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, thank you! And one thing I would add (though you said it rather obliquely) is to take people who can behave! This is a stressful time but seriously now, we're all adults... This is coming out of experience (in case it wasn't screamingly obvious)... one department store bridal area/closet was having a busy day when I, my 2 bms, and my mom went looking for bm dresses. I would have left mom behind but she promised lunch... anyway we're trying to squeeze around to get to the wedged in racks and, in the craziness, I step on one bride-to-be's dress. Yes, I should have been more careful - though how careful you can be when there's a constantly shifting tide of people and yards of trains on the floor I don't know. Anyway, the mother of the poor bride freaked out like I've never seen while the poor bride tried to crawl into the floor or at least her dress. Not pleasant for anyone involved. And unfortunately that's not the only case of terrible twos I've seen, though it was, at least, the worst. Please, people, think about who you're taking and how they deal with stress!