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One Dress To Fit Them All

June 16, 2010

Ash –

Continuing with our engagement weekend stories (which you’re hopefully enjoying), I want to share with y’all the bridesmaid shopping experience. The Knot (the source of all things wedding) has a lot to say about bridesmaid dresses:

Your bridal attendants are the people you feel closest to who have supported you (and your relationship) from the start. With all that going for them, you want to make sure you choose bridesmaid dresses they’re going to love.

No pressure right? I mean just because I have SEVEN bridesmaids…. who range across the entire five foot spectrum…. with various hair colors…. and ethnicities…. and different figures…. not to mention personalities…. surely I can find ONE dress that they’ll all love…. right?

A winner, maybe?

And what about shoes? And jewelry? And hair styles? Breathe Ashley. Needless to say I was having an anxiety attack a little worried about figuring out a game plan that all the girls could appreciate.

On the one hand, I didn’t want to be the bossy bridezilla. Such as force them to buy an “ugly” bridesmaid dress of my choice (I know “ugly” is somewhat subjective, but lets be honest. We’ve all heard stories about the bride who sabotages her bridesmaids so she looks that much “better” ).

Me Ashley. Rawrrrrrr

I actually wanted my girls to give me their input. These dresses can get expensive, and I’d hate for them to drop a lot of money on a dress they hate and will never wear again. On the other hand, seven girls means seven sets of opinions. Each having war meetings, calling, facebooking, and texting me separately about what they do and don’t like (short vs. long, heels vs. flats, champagne vs. red, strapless vs. sleeves, ruching vs. none, and so on). That my friends is the definition of chaos.

Whew. First solution – force them to them to talk as a “group.” I’m definitely an efficient kind of gal (please read, “Ashley got tired of answering the same questions seven different times”). Of course it took a little time for them to warm up to each other considering most of them had never met. We have my sister (who is four years younger and still in high school), my cousin (who lives in Arkansas and may have met my sister once or twice), my two best friends from high school (who at least knew each other and my sister), and Matt’s three best female friends – who adopted me as one of their own from day one (who again at least knew each other).

With my help, we got an open discussion going about what everyone thought. After a couple months of colors this and heels that, the girls agreed to meet to try on some dresses the morning of the engagement party (since my cousin lives out of state, several of the girls go to school out of state, and a couple of them have summer internships outside of Houston, this seemed like a prime opportunity).

Unfortunately, one of the girls couldn’t make it (the lucky duck is off studying abroad in Italy), but we’d just have to make do with the current game plan.

Several of the girls caught a ride with me. You've already "met" Chisom, Katie, and Angela. Missing from this picture is my sister (inside the house getting ready), Monet and Rosey (meeting us at the store), and Mary Kate (off enjoying Italia).

I knew one of two things was about to happen:

  1. The girls would play nice but secretly hate each other. Meaning très awkward.
  2. The girls would actually get along, and we’d finally make some decisions.

And this is how I know I chose my lovely ladies correctly. From the starting time of the dress appointment, we had three and a half hours before the engagement party (but then subtract half an hour to drive back home). We weren’t sure how much time it would take, but we figured it couldn’t be over three hours.

In that time, we actually managed to:

  1. Agree upon a bridesmaid dress.
  2. Have everyone measured.
  3. Give everyone a chance to pay for their dress.
  4. Drive to the Galleria.
  5. Pick a bridesmaid shoe.
  6. Have everyone pay for their shoes.
  7. Grab a snack at the food court (ironically junk food and sweets are always a must when you’ve just done some major shopping).
  8. Drive back home.
  9. Try on my wedding dress as part of an exclusive bridesmaid preview.
  10. Still have half an hour to spare (meaning time to sip on sangrias until the other guests arrived).

Seriously do my girls rock or what? Even the meeting each other wasn’t overly awkward. Then again it’s probably some sort of bonding experience when seven girls are shoved into a small-ish room and forced to strip in front of each other (Bridesmaid Syndrome?).

Considering we couldn’t resist showing almost everyone at the party, I’m going to assume the girls won’t mind me sharing our end results. So for your viewing pleasure:

Right dress. Wrong Color.

Right color. Not a dress.

Let me give props to Priscilla of Boston – our dress winner. For anyone looking for bridesmaid or even wedding dresses, they have a wonderful selection. Maybe a tad pricey but not when you consider the quality. Plus the dress looks flattering on all the girls (for that alone, they deserve some kind of award).

Probably one of my favorite moments of the entire shopping experience was when the girls had to get measured.

Sales Person: Measures chest, hips, and waist of one of my lovely bridesmaids. You’re a size zero. However, we don’t carry a size zero so you’ll have to get a two. Trust me. You’ll NEED alterations.

Needless to say, we were all “disgusted.” This bridesmaid rightfully earned the nickname of “Zero” for the rest of the day. If that’s not an ice breaker then I don’t know what is!

The bow matches the bow on the back of the girls' dresses.

Again I have to give another store their props. I never in a million years would have thought to go to Payless for bridesmaid shoes. But my aunt from Arkansas mentioned they had a wedding collection where you can dye the shoes to the color of your choice (of the 64 offered colors). Plus they were running a buy one get one half off. Already under $50 and on sale??? Sold!

The girls decided it would look better if they all had the same shoe – which worked out just fine since they were all “obsessed” (their words – not mine) with the Nathalie style. After a debate over red vs. champagne shoes, we chose “glistening sand” (trust me when I say the picture doesn’t do it justice).

And there you have it! The bridesmaids are dressed for success, and that’s one more thing to cross off my wedding list. Plus now that they know each other better, they’re already talking about the bachelorette party. Seriously I’m one lucky girl.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2010 8:33 am

    So glad that shopping for dresses and shoes went well! It’s great that you have some seriously amazing bridesmaids 🙂

  2. Flo permalink
    June 16, 2010 9:43 am

    Great story-telling Ash. You have an amazing group of family/friends – your bridal party is fabulous! Tell Ms. Zero, she is to be envied but most of us actually HAVE a size 😉

  3. Angela C permalink
    June 16, 2010 10:06 am

    @Ms. Flo –

    Oh no you di’int. *snaps in a Z*

    • Judi Brenstein permalink
      June 17, 2010 9:12 am

      Whattsamatta zero?

  4. June 16, 2010 11:14 am

    You bought all the girls dresses already?!?! Man, I thought I was far ahead in the game by just looking at pictures..

    Love the dresses, very flirty!

  5. June 16, 2010 9:10 pm

    You hooked me from start to finish.. Great post and blog. I love your story telling, very amusing and unique.


    Hannah Katy

  6. June 17, 2010 3:24 pm

    Cute dresses & shoes; kudos to you for letting the gals be involved in choosing the dress and shoes. Always makes it more fun for everyone involved. I had no idea Payless was such a great place to go for wedding shoes. Next wedding I’m in I’ll have to remember that.


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