I have been shopping for other people since June.
If you were thinking in the Christmas sense of the word, you'd imagine I'd be done by now. But, I'm not talking Christmas. I'm talking bridesmaids. And it has been hell for every party involved. See, usually when a girl gets engaged, she gets all giddy with delight thinking about her dress, the friends she wants around her that day, what they will be wearing. Not me. I didn't even have my dress picked out when I started the task of looking at bridesmaids dresses. I knew that would be the hardest. It is way more difficult to find a dress that flatters the very different bodies of four girls than it is to just fit myself. When I strolled into a bridal shop one afternoon, I had every intention of looking at bridesmaids dresses and getting that out of the way first until I was informed by Lovely Lynda Bridal Shop Guru that I had to pick my dress first and work from there.
I wasn't ready to take that step. Granted, my mom was with me but that was more for opinion than purse strings and I had my period which meant the bloat factor. Nothing says good time like trying on white/off white/ivory dresses under harsh fluorescent lighting when you're bloated and crampy. In fact, nothing says "I'd like to go home and kill myself" more. I happened to have some pictures of the dresses I liked and Lovely Lynda Bridal Shop Guru just happened to carry that designer. After four run-ins with entirely too heavy dresses, maxed out with crinoline with beads and sequins all over them, I had enough. I put down my foot. NO MORE CRINOLINE AND NO MORE DRESSES WITH SHIT ALL OVER THEM. So, I ended up with no crinoline but a dress with shit all over it. But, now that my dress was out of the way, the real joy could begin. Having my dress picked out meant that none of the bridesmaids dresses i liked were going to work with it.
The true test of sanity would be selecting the bridesmaids. I pretty much knew who I was going to ask before they knew. I knew the one who would need the most convincing would be my friend in Seattle because we both hated the girly wedding factor. Since Stew wanted to do this the traditional way, I knew fishnets and doc martens were out of the question. They would no doubt be frowned upon on the lush lawn of the resort we are getting hitched at. So, when I asked her I had to throw in something about fully understanding how huge of a task I am asking her to undertake and what a hardship it will be to wear a princess dress and play girly matching dress-up for the day. She responded by telling me she could not guarantee her hair won't be fushcia by then or that she might be covered in tattoos. She also said, "you can put me in a traditional dress and shoes but the fact that i am not traditional will shine through."
I said, "Buck up camper. I'm wearing white, the hypocrisy is starting at the top of the food chain for this shin dig."
All agreed. All my ladies were in. It was time for the real joy. My only requirement in the search was that the dress be under $200 and it would be nice if I found something they could use again. Sounds easy, right? Well, it's not. I'm a pretty simple girl. I dress simple and I'm known to check clearance racks first. But, for such a simple girl, I was cursed with expensive taste. Even dresses I thought would be under $200 were super expensive. Stupid silk. Every dress I showed them, they hated. People told me I was being too nice even letting them have a say but I did tell these nay-sayers that these girls were buying the dress. But, after a while, hearing their opinions (of which there were a lot of) I had it. I picked a dress I wasn't too thrilled about because Lovely Lynda Bridal Shop Guru told me the dress was flattering to every figure. However, it didn't come in any of the colors I liked so i went with the lesser of all pastels. The girls (myself included) weren't thrilled about the choice but I was sick and tired of the process. In a brief moment of temporary insanity I told them to scout for dresses that they liked under $200 and get back to me. I gave them the guidelines that the dresses had to straight across on top and long. They were also encouraged to go try these dresses on and report back to me how they looked on a real person. They reported back to me but very few of their selections fit the bill and even fewer were summer appropriate. We had to remember that this was July . . . . outside . . . so light was the key.
So, I went back to the drawing board and found something we couldn't really all agree on but it was the better than the dreamy chiffon dress I almost went with.
The toughest was choosing the color. Again, i had visions of a rich sapphire blue but this dress did not come in that color. Or, anything near it. So, i went with gold, switched it to rose and then vomited from thinking about all that pink I'd have to look at all day. So, i changed it to wisteria which is the lesser evil of all purples.