Beautiful Bridesmaids: Outfitting the Girls

Even before we got engaged, I knew I wanted my bridesmaids’ look to be a little eclectic. To me, a row of identically dressed girls with identical hair and identical jewelry and identical, dyed-to-match shoes was too formal – too… freaky.

Within the first few weeks, I had selected the friends who would stand next to me when I married the man I love, and had started looking around at bridesmaids’ dresses. Man, this was more overwhelming than looking for my own dress. There were soooo many options, lengths, fabrics – and COLORS! At this point, the wedding was turquoise and red. Soon, it became teal and magenta (it would have looked a lot nicer than it sounds, I promise).

We all agreed we loved the Alfred Sung dresses from Dessy Group, and once I chose the teal color and the knee length, I would let them decide on the style of dress they felt most comfortable in.

Which led me to insight #1: By and large, my bridesmaids don’t want as much input as I’m giving them. I was sending them links, asking what they thought… and they kept saying, “They all look nice… what do you want?” And really, what I want is for my bridesmaids to look their best, feel their best, and pick what they love – not what I tell them to pick. And still, even when they ask me for direction, literally tell me, “TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO GET,” I just can’t do it. So my associated lesson #1 is: I need to figure out what I want, be firm about it, and relax.

Lots of these dresses had pockets! Genius!

Shop Joielle

When MOH Ginger and I dropped by the bridal salon to browse, none of the Alfred Sung dresses really caught her eye. She’s about as picky as I am – which is to say, very – and we soon moved over one rack, to the Bill Levkoff dresses. Which led me to insight #2, in direct conflict with insight #1: Even when I make a decision, if I give somebody a choice, they may make a different selection – and then I get these weird hurt feelings. Which is silly, because I told them in the first place to pick what they liked. So, lesson #2: If I’m giving somebody a choice, I need to be OK with their choice! Which I totally was, turned out, because the Bill Levkoff dresses looked FANTASTIC on her.

Bill Levkoff

And then, she kept saying how much she liked gray. So right then and there, I changed our color scheme for the third (and final) time: gray, magenta and yellow. And then she went, “PHEW! Because I hate teal. And I really didn’t want to wear a teal dress.”

Insight #3: Bridesmaids will always tell you that they love the dress. Even when they don’t. And sometimes, they don’t.

Insight #3.5: Brides will always tell the bridesmaid they will wear the dress again. Sometimes, the bridesmaid even says they’ll wear the dress again. They never wear the dress again. (But these, I kind of hope they do.)

We all finally had a weekend where all five of us could spend a few hours together, and headed back to the same salon as before to try the rest on the girls. We grabbed every short chiffon Bill Levkoff dress from the rack. As they tried them on, Bridesmaid Esquire said, “You know, when we were pulling these off the rack, I thought they all were basically the same. But they’re totally not.”

They weren’t! Most looked good on all of them, but there were clear favorites. So we had them file their styles, take their measurements, and start the ordering process. Bridesmaid Preggo is 8 months pregnant, so needless to say, she couldn’t do much trying-on, but she did nearly settle on a style to order for herself within the next few weeks.

Here’s what we ended up with (we’re very decisive when we get down to it!!):

Over lunch, we talked about shoes. I gave them lots of choices. We changed the subject. It came back to shoes. I ran through the choices again, and asked what they thought. Blank stares. So finally, I made a decision: silver or gray shoes of their choosing, and jewelry of their choice. Now we’re getting excited! (Edited to add: Late yesterday, I retracted this choice and told them to buy whatever shoes they wanted, as long as they were gray, yellow, or pink. But then I sent them like 300 links to shoes in the colors that would work… just in case :))

Beautiful bridesmaids!


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