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19
April

Bridesmaids: the dresses, the duties & the movie

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CMH_Bridesmaids1Tonight marks No. 10 for me. Not partners, not ex’s, not pounds lost (or gained, thank goodness), but the 10th wedding I’ll be in. Tonight I’m putting on a bridesmaid dress and watching my dear friend walk down the aisle. Looking back at all the weddings I’ve been in, I’ve loved every minute of being a bridesmaid. Weddings are so great fun, and it’s awesome to be a part of them. Lucky for me, none of my brides were ever a Bridezilla. Seriously, not even my mother (my sister and I were her bridesmaids when she married my step-dad). The wedding day for a bridesmaid (in my awesome experiences) has always been a day of getting ready together, laughter, mimosas, memories and special moments before the festivities begin. I treasure having those memories. And I feel honored to have been there for so many wonderful women.

However when people hear I’ve been a bridesmaid so many times, they always ask about the bridesmaid dresses. Bridesmaid dresses have become their own cliché. They conjure up images of style faux pas’, bizarro color choices, or taffeta and ruffles. I learned a long time ago that I didn’t have to like the dress. No, I’ve never worn any of my bridesmaids dresses ever again (except once as a Halloween costume to be a 18th century vampiress). And even when my mother surprised me with shortening all the long ones so they were what my mother described as, “a wearable cocktail length,” I’ve never worn them again.  Since I’ve been told what dress I’ll be wearing at weddings since I was in middle school (you can see almost all of what I’ve worn in the picture above), I don’t really sweat it. Some were hits, some were just fine, and one (or two) were duds. Probably my favorite is the hot pink dress (see above). It’s not that I actually loved the dress in life or have ever worn it again. But we went to the garment district in LA and bought it for $25. It looked good on me, the color popped in pictures and for the cost of a mani/pedi, I had no problems.

Having had so much bridesmaid dress experience, I thought I’d be the cool bride and let my bridesmaids just pick whatever dress they liked that fit the color scheme. Yeah, it didn’t work out that way. I think the modern way of letting women wear any dress that fits the color palette is a great idea. However, my color palette was cranberry, silver and gray. Several women standing together in gray dresses looked like they were supporters of Chairman Mao and read to join the communist party. My other color, cranberry, is lovely, however, it’s so close to red, brick, crimson, or wine. I was afraid six women in those tones would look like a crime scene at the altar. Hmmm, crime scene or communist China – not the look I was going for. So out of desperation, convenience and ease (I had bridesmaids in different states), I did what I thought I’d never do. I chose dresses from David’s Bridal. Ugh, I feel my cool-meter taking a slow downward dip. But whatever, it worked. I doubt any of those girls will wear their dress again, but then, back at them:)

To all the future bridesmaids out there, don’t worry about the dress. You are gonna look great. Why? Because you’re supporting someone you love. Whatever you are wearing is telling the bride and groom’s family, co-workers, old friends, new friends and everyone at the wedding that you are someone very dear to them. That dress, be it a full-length tangerine silk chiffon concoction or a lime green halter-top dress, is really a sign that you’ve been someone monumental in the bride’s life. It means you’re a very special part of the day, and the bride wanted you standing next to her above others. But even if it’s not your favorite dress ever, know you’ll have fun memories, great pictures and you’re wearing a part of your friend (or sibling’s) history. And that is something to feel proud about wearing.

And if you don’t love the dress, no that nothing this bad ever happened to you in it (fingers crossed). Either way, Bridesmaids was an awesome movie and why not remember some highlights before my friend’s big day!

Congratulations McQueen:)

 

 

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2 Responses to “Bridesmaids: the dresses, the duties & the movie”

  1. April 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I’m kind of obsessed with that white and gold number. Do you still have it? Is it long?

  2. Claudia Maittlen-Harris April 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I don’t. My mom took the skirt years ago – she wanted to reuse it and the top was actually too tight on me and kind of gave me uni-boob, so I think I gave it to my mom as well. I do still have the blue, purple, grey and pink one. The chocolate one was reused for a friend who was a bridesmaid in another wedding. Which was a nice pay-it-forward bridesmaid dress moment!

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