Wedding update! Tomorrow I am heading over to Westfields shopping centre to meet up with my gorgeous bridesmaids and go shopping for their dresses!
We have a slightly non-traditional (or you could call it ‘modern’) approach to the look of our bridesmaids for our wedding. At the last two weddings I attended I was a bridesmaid (for two of the girls I’m meeting actually) and they picked out matching dresses for all their bridesmaids and very kindly bought them for us.
I’m planning to do the opposite. And I’ve been planning this for some time before anyone asks if I just didn’t like the dresses they picked. They were fine actually, quite versatile for different body types. But that’s the main problem isn’t it- the chances of you getting a group of your best girl friends who all look amazing in the same dress is extremely slim.
It was this along with the fact that a) we didn’t really have a set colour for the day, we’ve got a range of colours, and b) I personally disapprove on principle when people buy outfits to wear once and never again (wedding dress excluded obviously). The dresses I wore to my friends’ weddings were fine, but I wouldn’t personally have picked them and I know I won’t have any reason to wear them again. The first one was very bridesmaidy-looking so I can’t just wear it out and about, and the second was not amazingly flattering as it clung to my figure and that isn’t really my style. So they’re just in my wardrobe now.
Like I said, I started thinking about this a long time ago, when I was studying my wedding planning course and reading lots of books on the history of certain traditions. There was one book, and I forget the name now, that suggested that maybe you do not have to do all the traditional stuff if it doesn’t really mean anything to you as a couple, and it just sort of clicked. As long as you do get married, why do you have to have a first dance, or matching bridesmaids dresses, or wear a garter, or have top hat and tails for the groomsmen, or a reception line? We aren’t doing any of those things.
We made the decision early on to make sure we only did the parts that were important to us. We aren’t religious so it’s in a pretty setting but not in a church. We wanted music but we aren’t into classical stuff so we’re having some of our favourite songs play from an iPod. We have never made it through a starter, lunch, dessert and then managed to eat cake and possibly even an evening snack, so we’re having sharing starter, tapas and then the cake is the dessert. It just makes sense to us. And we couldn’t pick a cake so friends and family are making a variety of cakes for us- perfect!
So back to the dresses. When I told my work friend the plan she was shocked- “How can you let them choose their own? You’ll hate them, you need to have control!” And I told her to chill. I’ve given them the colour scheme, told them to aim for knee length and nothing inappropriate to wear at a daytime event (no plunging necklines). I added pictures of examples to a Pinterest board and they started making suggestions of their own until they all got the idea. There are loads of examples online of mismatched bridesmaids dresses working well together to cement the idea. I also said I would not be paying for them because I didn’t want them to worry about choosing a more expensive dress than the others and stressing over it. If that’s the dress they want and they would wear it again, they should be able to choose it for themselves!
My mum was concerned with the concept of dresses that don’t match; it’s just not what is done! And how would people know they were bridesmaids? Err, duh, because they’ll walk down the aisle holding matching bouquets. Isn’t that enough? For me it’s much more important that they are staying at the venue with us the night before and will help us set up, put together the bouquets, and we’ll get ready together in the morning. Those are the moments I need my friends for.
But I have had another genius idea to appease her a little. We have Mediterranean style food, and hopefully it will be an outdoor ceremony on a sunny day, (I have some Greek heritage and we really enjoyed our holiday to Athens as a couple) so I though why not give them gold hair accessories with a leave theme, to continue the pattern and to give them a defining feature once they put their flowers down. I’m bringing some examples I’ve bought from Claire’s Accessories and some photos of clips and bands that I’ve seen online and could buy for them, partly as a bridesmaids gift and partly to give them some unifying factor.
I had to write about it because I’m just so excited. I don’t get to see them often and I haven’t seen some of them in nearly a year because we live on opposite sides of the country. Hopefully in a couple of days I can write about any dresses they pick, although I doubt we’ll have success across the board in one shopping trip. Fingers crossed though!