After I said yes to my dress, hugged the store manager AND my attendant, and paraded around a bit, it was time to choose the bridesmaids’ dresses.
A lot of people expressed surprise when I mentioned we were aiming to get both my dress and their dresses chosen in one day. Honestly, it wasn’t any additional stress and it was necessary for us. At that time, we were pretty much scattered: Rev. Fun hailed from Atlanta, BM Badonk lived an hour away, BM Tiny Dancer was in college about three hours away, and BM Blackout and MOH Mem worked in the healthcare field and had to schedule days off two months in advance—if we had a weekend where we were all together, we were going to take full advantage and get sh-t done, for real.
Again, I had a pretty strict set of ideas in my head: no strapless, I wanted MOH Mem to be in a different color, I wanted them to be all the same style, and I wanted them long. Even though I had what I wanted picked out (I won’t shove the DB Dress Your Wedding image in your faces again, but I will tell you that you can find it here), I had sent an email to my girls telling them I was open to their opinions and ideas. I assured them that I would not pull a Topanga, but I also let them know that they didn’t have to like the dress in terms of style—they just had to be comfortable and able to dance.
Image via Screenshot via YouTube / “Those. are. the most BEAUTIFUL dresses I have EVER seen.”
My main goal was finding one dress that fit everyone. When you have a variety of heights (I’m talking from 5’4” to right around 6′), weights, shapes, booties, bazoombas, and not to mention a variety of skin and hair colors, it seems next to impossible, but I was confident that I had chosen quite a few dresses (including backups, of course) that would fit and flatter everyone.
Odds are you can see where I’m going with this one. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I don’t even know where to start. My number one preferred dress made MOH Mem and Bridesmaid Tiny Dancer (blessed with bazoombas) look like streetwalkers. A one-shouldered dress was another favored backup, but the odd flowers on the one-shoulder just didn’t lay correctly, and also the cuts around the torso area were strange and the whole thing was very busy. A favored backup dress that Bridesmaid Badonk had picked had this weird ruffle thing on the side that would’ve been fine, but it started at the chest and so it fell funny on some of the girls.
Image via David’s Bridal
Image via David’s Bridal
Image via David’s Bridal
I do have to give the girls credit—none of them threw hissies or forced their ideas/opinions…some of them even threw in a “but I’ll wear whatever you want me to, of course” disclaimer after voicing a less-than-enthused opinion. Of course, I didn’t want or expect my girls to be wishy-washy or placating; I wanted and expected their opinions. They are well aware of the fact that I have zero problem with standing my own ground, but they also know that I value honesty and do appreciate their input.
This having been said, however, I was growing a little frantic and having more than a little bit of anxiety when dress number 95,830,394 (in reality, it was probably like number five or six) was debuted and still failed. Someone suggested, “We don’t HAVE to pick them today,” and I immediately flew into slightly panicked, make-a-decision mode. There was no way we were leaving the store without having this settled, partially because it was one of maybe three or four times we’d all be together throughout the whole process, and partially because I absolutely cannot stand things hanging over my head. We went there with a goal and we were freaking going to achieve it, come hell or high water.
I started thinking out loud at this point. “Maybe you guys COULD wear different dresses…” Bridesmaid Y started cracking up at this point, pointing out that quite literally everything I was adamant about regarding my dress AND their dresses was going out the window. Thankfully, MOH Mem and Bridesmaid Tiny Dancer kept calm and were able to calm me down by stating that even though I might think that’s the solution now, I don’t like the way that looks and on the day of the wedding, seeing everyone in different dresses will disappoint me and I’ll regret making that decision.
So, onwards and upwards. We tried tea length dresses, we tried other short dresses, we tried a very heavy, not season appropriate (Who knew such a thing existed? I sure didn’t, until someone else told me it did.) but pretty dress that Bridesmaid Y modeled for us:
Then, as everyone went back into the favored backups pictured above (excluding the halter option), the mystical powers of David’s Bridal sent us a magical being. She was a fellow bride-to-be who was actually trying on dresses next to me. She came over with a catalog and said, “I’m sorry, but I’ve been watching you guys try on dresses and I just wanted to let you know that I was recently in a wedding and we wore this dress and it was honestly amazing.” She went on to tell me that their bridal party was also of all different shapes and sizes, and it flattered everyone. I asked if they were able to dance, because the dress was strapless and the LAST thing I want is for everyone to be holding up their dresses all night. She assured me that they were able to move all night long and it was great. I don’t remember if MOH Mem ran off to get these ones or if I flagged down my attendant, but somehow the dresses were brought over in everyone’s sizes and this was born:
Personal photo / Please ignore the bra straps. From left to right: Bridesmaid Blackout, Bridesmaid Tiny Dancer, Bridesmaid Y, Rev. Fun, Bridesmaid Badonk and MOH Mem. The actual color is the one featured on BM Tiny Dancer & BM Badonk.
IT. FIT. AND. FLATTERED. EVERYONE. Do you see the halo around this picture? No? It must just be my continued euphoria. It even passed the dance test:
Personal photo / Bridesmaid Badonk, booty popping—and the dress didn’t move!
After I yet again fanned the mist away from my eyes, I officially declared these THE dresses…and also gave a giant hug to the magical fellow bride, who really saved the day.
As is life, the exact opposite of what I wanted ended up as the perfect fit. I didn’t want them to look formal, I didn’t want a shiny material, I didn’t want strapless. Somehow, though, this worked. My bridal party was transformed from slightly hungover (but still radiant!) ladies into a beautiful, holy-shit-this-is-freaking-real bridal party. It was a very successful, if not exhausting, day, and I am so beyond grateful (and freaking emotional—I cried as I wrote this!) that all of the people I hold so very close to my heart were able to be there.
Did your bridesmaids have a lot of input in choosing their dresses? Was the process easy or long and involved?
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Lease Analyst
- Wedding Date:
- May 2013
- The Fez in Aliquippa, PA