Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bridesmaid Dresses: Keeping the Peace

You say a coral, A-line dress with a matching sash. Unlike Sarah, who fell in love the strapless, tea-length dress or Jessica wants the floor-length, mint green halter that doesn’t give her the “uni-boob”.

When it comes down to it, the bride has the final say in what her bridesmaids will be wearing. But in effort to try and please everyone, this planning stage is often the most stressful on relationships with some of the most important people in the bride’s life. Whether it’s trying to get the “right” dress or the dress at the right price or the dress that photographs the best -  bridesmaid dress shopping is almost always complicated. From the bride’s point of view, the dresses should match and compliment her gown and the formality, styles and colors of the wedding. On the other hand, bridesmaids don’t want to spend money on a dress that they hate and feel uncomfortable in.

Bridesmaids? Or Witness Protection Program members?

The key is: compromise.

Before you start rummaging the racks for that “Carolina Blue”, not “Dodger Blue” dress—which are totally different, we know - you need to decide who the bridesmaids will be. Dresses should be ordered no later than 6 months in advance of the weddings to insure arrival and allow for fittings and alterations. So start early!

In order to avoid conflicting ideas, like with our ill-fates "Tea-length Sarah" and "Uni-boob Jessica", the best solution is to bring along one person (2 people max) for the initial shopping. This could be the maid of honor or bridesmaid who can be mindful of the different shapes, sizes and skin tones. Bringing the entire entourage can likely result in arguments and hurt feelings.
Experts recommend not going over 300 dollars for the entire bridesmaid ensemble—that’s including dress, accessories and jewelry. You want them to look good, but don’t break the bank because these same ladies will be throwing the bridal shower and bachelorette party, buying gifts and possibly paying for their travel arrangements.

We all remember the scene in 27 Dresses where Kevin points at one of the dresses and asks, “What the hell is that?” Jane replies, “Theme wedding.” And Kevin follows up with, “What was the theme? Humiliation?” You definitely don’t want people to look back at your bridesmaids’ dresses or pictures and have this reaction. Choose a dress that’s comfortable, both visually and physically for your girls. And, ladies, trust me when i say - fit is everything! Your guests might be distracted from your vows when bridesmaids start dropping like flies from lack of oxygen!

"What was the theme? Humiliation?"

Ideally, you would like to choose a dress that the gals can use more than once. Cocktail-style dresses are the most likely to be appropriate for other events in your bridesmaid's social calendars. Also, A-line dresses look good on most all shapes and sizes and black flatters most skin tones and is always in style!

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