Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the stress of "pick your own dress"

So. Don't get all offended with this post...I'm just going to come out and say that first. If you are having your bridesmaids spend $450 on their bridesmaid dress don't get annoyed with me because I would never dream of doing such a thing. OK. Done with that.

I never wanted a matchy-matchy bridal party. Most people do. So again, don't be offended that I don't.* I was overjoyed when I started seeing the mis-matched look in wedding photos - I really think it looks crazy chic. Plus, I've never met a bridesmaid dress that I would want to wear in "real life" - and I'm big into buying things I will wear over and over again. (Also, I think bridesmaid dresses are ri-dic-u-lously expensive...especially for only wearing it once.)

I thought my choice to have my bridesmaids wear whatever they wanted in GRAY was rad. Obviously. Every bride thinks their choices are rad...right? Well, GRAY is my favorite color and I think it's flattering on everybody - especially as there are so many shades - blah blah blah.

Little did I know this would become an source of minor torture for my ladies. In early December one of them started looking for a dress, and contacted me because she wasn't finding ANYTHING. I searched frantically online and emailed her a few options. She immediately went out and bought one (a divine one none-the-less). But the fact that she was freaking out, made me freak out. So I started emailing dress options to everyone else.

Fast forward four weeks. The after Christmas sales have begun and three of the other ladies start looking for dresses. Individually they scoured the Phoenix and Scottsdale malls. Hit up every freaking department store, JCrew and Banana Republic. They were stressed. Like, actually stressed....like, "this isn't fun" stressed. My sister and one of the other bridesmaids actually bought the SAME dress on accident. Inducing more stress. I offered to go with my sisters, take back the redundant dress, and help them...because...well...they were stressed.

Holy nightmare of a day.

They tried on every effing gray dress we could find...dresses they didn't even like...but because they were gray they would try anyway. I started to feel our claws come out. They made me so stressed that half way through the painful afternoon I just gave up and told them to wear black dresses. That I didn't care anymore.

But. Miraculously we found some glorious gray ones...as luck should have it, the last store in the mall had oodles of lovely lovely lovely options. And everyone was happy again. (Yay!)

So. I guess picking out bridesmaid dresses for your ladies saves them the drama and stress of finding one on their own as it takes the guess work out of "what the bride wants." Except in this case, the only thing the bride wanted was for the girls** to wear gray dresses they chose, they liked, and one that they hopefully didn't spend a fortune on.

*I'm sensing that some people, in my real life, are taking offense to the fact that I don't want the same things that they had at their own weddings. We all are entitled to like different things! It's OK that I don't want the big princess gown, the professional up-do, the DJ with maracas, or to release butterflies. People can do things differently and it isn't "better" or "worse" - it's just different.

**Sorry for the stress ladies. Your are all so beautiful...and your dresses are fabulous!

26 comments:

  1. So I'm sensing that maybe your sister bought the anthropologie one that I bought? Is this what happened - if so, FUNNY - I love that I'm the first one who stressed!! Thats classic Kami

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  2. Kam - dude...you got the ball rollin'.

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  3. how funny...i posted about the exact same thing!

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  4. So happy for you and your girls... it all worked out! Can't wait to see pics (PS... LOVE the grey!! So so chic!)

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  5. I totally did the same thing. I said "pick any green dress!!" and the gals got all stressed out about fabrics and shades etc....it was sweet, but I didn't want them to stress out...so in the end I said, "pick any green but use jcrew as your inspiration" - they all found something in their price range (weddingbee.com has amazing use bridesmaid dress sales) either at Jcrew or else where...I liked it because while the color was similar, the dresses were of different styles and cuts

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  6. I thought it would be so much easier than that too. So glad you all got what you wanted!

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  7. I think people are afraid of somehow ruining your day so they freeze up making a dress decision.

    BTW, glad you aren't releasing any butterflies. It's horrible - many of them die before release or get trampled on by guests. Poor living breathing things treated as mere accessories.

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  8. LOVE the gray! I had told my girls to pick any kelly green dress from JCrew for our wedding. Same stress, even though I gave them a single location. I ended up ordering all of the dresses myself b/c they were worried about duplicity, etc. It worked out in the long run, but I was sure it would have made things easier and didn't!

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  9. It's so hard to please everybody! I did the same as you with my BMs (except in blue, not gray), because they are all so different in shape and personal taste, thinking that I was being the most awesome, relaxed bride ever... But one of my bridesmaids is unhappy because she thinks they should all match! Even without matching dresses it did turn out to be pretty stressful to get dresses they all liked (well they all said they did, but I think one of them just said it to get it over with). So maybe there is something to be said for going the matching, suits no one very well route.

    But hey, I'm happy - I think mismatched looks awesome =)

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  10. Oh boy do I ever feel ya! I created even more of a problem by not knowing exactly what color scheme I wanted. Not only was I searching for different dresses for everyone, but in different colors AND ones that they would actually like. Many, many emails with links to dresses and back and forths and sales and sizes running out. Argg. I agree with your statements about $$ and wear-ability too.
    My little sis got a dress that she told me she liked, but once she got it said "well, its not my favorite but its your wedding so I'll wear what you want me too!" So i bought her a different dress. total princess.

    Thanks for letting me vent! happy to read your blog!

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  11. I went through/am going through the exact same thing with my ladies. I wanted to give them the choice to buy any purple knee-length dress, but many of them balked at the idea, mostly out of fear of having the "wrong shade" or not being able to find anything. I'm not sure what I'm doing now. JCrew looks better and better every day.

    Also, I too have found that people get offended if you do things differently than they did.

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  12. Just gave you a blog award. No need to actually DO anything if you don't feel like it. Just showing some blog love...

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  13. I'm with you about the pricey dresses. But i did want some sort of matching going on. Initially i was gonna do same brand/material/color but different styles to suit the different body types, but ended up the one i chose for the less bustier ladies worked well on the bustier ones too... and i have to brag here... but i got 7 dresses for $170. TOTAL!

    It makes me feel good to know that although i was stressed for a few weeks and racking my brain and felt like i was running in circles, that my obvious relentlessness to make this work... made it work and for an UBER DUBER good costs... and in all honesty - the dresses (not bridal) are totally rewearable :)

    But i did gray too and that's hard b/c i saw what was out there - and its not easy... too many shades too many styles but most were just too overpriced.

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  14. Love the gray! I had my ladies pick out their own dresses too, but in black. Actually, they all ended up wearing dresses they already had!

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  15. That's so funny. Its cute that everyone gets so stressed about what to wear to the wedding, especially when you are trying to be laidback. My mother, who I totally don't care what she wears, call me once a week for my opinion on her dress.

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  16. Yes for the grey! I hadn't thought about the stress it might cause. Maybe I shall have to be slightly more helpful.

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  17. I wish I would have gone this route a little more 'obviously.' I originally had 2 dresses picked out in the same color for my girls to select from either. Then one of them told me that she didn't like either of them and I realized neither did I. So me and that one BM found a new dress we both really loved. Then we decided my daughter didn't fit in it as well so we opted for the same designer and fabric in a very similar but slightly different dress *and* in a different color so my little precious one would stand out a bit. Then my one cousin had a chest too large for the new dress so we did the same for her - put her in the same designer, fabric and color but slightly different dress. After the 3 different dresses (for 6 girls) arrived, one of my BM's told me she thought the blue dress was more flattering on her than the red we selected. If she had spoken up earlier I would have gladly let her also wear the blue we selected for my daughter. I am a pretty easy going bride but I agree that when you think you're making it easy on the girls by offering more choices, it never ends out as easy as you hoped :)

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  18. I *LOVE* the non-matchy bridesmaid dress trend. LOVE it. It's so much more practical and makes for some fabulous pictures!

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  19. I had all my girls wear grey dresses from JCrew... I gave them a choice of three different dresses so they could choose the fit/style they wanted. They looked amazing and I ended up loving the grey even more than I thought I would!

    You can see a photo on my blog http://wondersthroughblueeyes.blogspot.com

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  20. Amen to not "better" or "worse" just different. I really cannot understand WHY people feel offended when they hear that you are doing X instead of Y... but maybe that's because I rarely care what people do with their lives (as in, I'm interested, but I don't take it personally, LOL).

    Love the gray dress idea, and yes, it seems that either way, bridesmaid dresses can be stressful to find. I told my sister I wanted something vintage-y and floral, and guess what suddenly doesn't seem to be anywhere? Vintage-y florals, ha. I'm hoping spring will bring a wider selection.

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  21. So funny! I wanted mismatched dresses too. My family was NOT feeling it. We finally settled on same dress but different colors. I thought it was a good compromise.

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  22. I'm with you - it was actually more stressful for me too to give them freedom (go figure!)

    In the end we used a couple of websites as inspiration and they picked. So delicate suggestions are always helpful!

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  23. I think it's weird that people would be offended that you don't want the same thing at your wedding as them; they don't get offended when you order something different at a restaurant, right? I think you can love things for other people and not necessarily want them yourself.

    Also, as a pro-bridesmaid I think the easiest situation is when the bride says here are the 5 or 6 choices - pick one. If you have total freedom you wonder if it's good enough, will match, is the right shade, etc.

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  24. I actually got married in the anthro dress. It was perfect. First I got a long dress from J.Crew but it didn't fit right and I didn't think he'd think it was sexy. (Because ultimately, that's how he would see me in a dress). Then I found the anthro dress in all alone in the stock room in my size and it was perfect...
    We had a small ceremony (6 people) and are planning a marriage celebration for a near one year anniversary. I love my dress and I love wearing it over & over.

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  25. thanks for sharing this with me! i hope it doesn't get stressful for the girls, although i have worried about that too. i only have three girls, so i'm hoping that will help. your blog is awesome, by the way! following now ;)

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  26. any chance you know where I could purchase the dresses in the picture here? My friend is doing the same thing, and gray is a hard color believe it or not.

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