Real Talk: Bridesmaids Dresses

27-dressesPreface: If I have participated in your wedding as a bridesmaid, or one day you were planning on asking me to be your bridesmaid, this legit has NOTHING to do with you. Your weddings, future weddings were and will be forever and ever lovely and it was an honor to be apart of them slash WILL be an honor to be apart of them. There.

This is about bridesmaid dresses, the bridesmaid dress industry, and the people who sell them. First, and most importantly, what a rip off. I’ve found, that as a seasoned bridesmaid, the minute you walk into a bridal boutique to shop bridesmaids dresses … you are going to get shook down by some bully in a skirt suit who will take her pretty little tape measure and get your sizing completely wrong (which I think is on purpose), but will tell you it’s right because “she’s a professional.” I’m like a size 22 in bridal boutique world … what … the … fuck. Oh also, girls over 5’8 need “extra length” added to their dress ALWAYS, which is a damn dirty lie, too.

Now if you are the type of bride who is in it to make your bridesmaids look like absolutely shit because it’s “your day dammit,” why? Seriously, no one gives a flying fuck about the bridesmaids besides the single dudes at the wedding. Also, bride, are you paying for their dresses? If so, go to town, make them look like a clown school exploded all over them, but if you’re not, that means you’re making them spend their hard earned money, and a lot of it, on an ugly dress they will wear once. ONCE. Is that what girlfriends do to one another? Not in my house. I’ve had the pleasure of being in two weddings where the bride was open to our opinions and made sure the dress complimented each bridesmaids body type. Hell, the last wedding I was in, the bride let us pick out the damn dress. Now THAT is friendship.

As women, dress shopping should be fun. You know what’s not fun? Walking into a bridal boutique where bridesmaids dresses are shoved so tightly onto a rack you literally have to roll up your sleeves and dive in to awful shades and styles until you find a diamond in the rough. The whole experience is pretty heinous, I gotta say.

And why, dear God why, do they only have sample sizes. You walk into Bloomies, Saks, and you see racks and racks of lovely dresses in a multitude of sizes. And if they don’t have your size, they can ship it to you … what?! Some sales person doesn’t get all up in your bidness in the dressing room, literally seeing you naked and strapping you into some weird sample dress that 1,500 other girls have worn and clamping it closed with a binder clip only to get the wrong sized dress to you four months later. Could you imagine falling in love with a Monique Lhuillier dress at Bloomies and having to wait four months to get it?

Brides, think outside of the bridesmaid dress bubble. I know it’s tradition … blah, blah, blah, but it’s 2014 for crying out loud. I’m over seeing the same dress again and again in different colors rolling through my Newsfeed (you know the strapless number I’m talking about, see below. We should all get together and wear these dresses at a party while we drink wine and eat french fries).

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but J. Crew has done some really innovative shit with bridesmaids dresses, because they are legit wearable again, not the whole, “OMG girl, you could TOTES shorten it and wear it again!” Listen, when people say that to me, it makes me want to head butt them … and I don’t do that. You can NEVER alter the typical bridesmaids dress. Why? Because those dresses are made from material that if a bridesmaid got too close to a flame, they would be done for.

Think about a bridesmaid dress as an investment piece for the girls you so specifically picked out to stand beside you as you take a huge and monumental step into the future. Actually get something they can wear again! Dresses should be fun and should make women feel amazing and special … even if it isn’t “their day.” But if you are in it to make them look meh, I have no idea why you would even ask them to be apart of your party, to be honest. It’s just rude and awful.

Now THIS is how bridesmaids dresses are done. BOOM. :::Drops mic:::

sex-city-bridesmaids

The Cinderella Effect

I knew this was going to happen. With all of the months of planning and anticipating this wedding, I knew I would blink and it would be over. And here I am post-wedding glow and kind of like, “did that just happen?”

Listen, I am, for the most part, a very modest person. I rarely ever give myself props for looking good, I don’t like to show-off great outfits, I blush and get very uncomfortable when people give me compliments … I am kind of quiet in that sense. But Saturday morning after I got my hair and makeup did … it may have been the best I’ve ever looked in my life. In fact, I have to give props to Suede Salon in Marlton, New Jersey. Not only did they make me look and feel like a Kardashian … but they hit it out of the park with the entire bridal party … especially the bride, my best friend, who looked stunning. Seriously, I was waiting for one out of six girls to have either bad hair or tranny-chic makeup … but all of us looked beautiful in our own ways. If you live around this area, I highly recommend this salon … and that is saying a lot since we know my trust issues with hair and makeup people.

But I thought I would share with you some lessons I learned during my role as a bridesmaid: Ahem, …

1. Spray tans aren’t as bad as I thought. I was beyond uncomfortable having to get partially naked in front of a complete stranger, but it turns out, this was a high-class salon, these people are professionals and I’m a paranoid freak. And now I’m kind of obsessed with being tan.

2. Life sucks in a strapless dress, too. Our bridesmaids dresses were gorgeous. But even though I got it altered, it still just kept wanting to fall down all night. That is the nature of the saucy strapless dress. Yet I was completely suffocated by the corset that was on the inside. I even applied fashion tape around my chest area (I know I’m getting really graphic here), and not only did the tape not work, showed in certain pictures because my dress kept falling down, but when i went to remove the tape from my skin, it took off my spray tan so now I have really awkward marks. Another example why my blog title is so damn accurate.

3. Jumping pictures in four-inch heels … not fun. At. All. After a long day of standing at alters, mingling, saying hi to people, meeting people for the first time, waiting around, salivating over cocktails, taking bazilions of pictures … the last thing you want to hear when wearing 4 inch heels in the heat, in the grass mind you, is that we will be taking a jumping picture. Awkward, unnecessary and completely cheesy. Times like these I’m glad things like vodka bars were invented.

4. You will not get drunk if you are a bridesmaid. Maybe I’m just easily distracted … no, I absolutely am easily distracted. So if you think you are going to get crunk at da reception … think again. Maybe I just didn’t try hard enough, I don’t know, but at least I didn’t wake up with a hangover, right?

5. You will not want to go to bed once the wedding is finished. Why? Because you’ll know the minute you hit the pillow your beautiful gown will be off, and your fabulous hair and makeup will turn back into a pumpkin in a sense. I got my makeup airbrushed on and it was thoroughly amazing. I knew I was going to bed looking like Kate Middleton on her wedding day and would wake up looking like a gothic freak who lives in an attic and likes to stare at fire for funsies.

Bridesmaids: Are We Whiners?

Okay, I PROMISE after Saturday I’ll cool it with the wedding talk. But for the past couple of weeks, that is what has been on my mind. I’ve been living and breathing the role as a bridesmaid, and quite frankly … I’ve learned quite a bit. So as I sit here freaking out over all the stuff I have to accomplish tomorrow, I couldn’t help but think that when we are gifted with the title of “bridesmaid” we automatically feel the need to whine our faces off. Society, movies, friends, family … have all told us how much it sucks to be a bridesmaid. It literally is like stapled in all of our heads. When was the last time you heard a girl say, “oh I was a bridesmaid and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced.” Never. You hear, “my dress was ugly,” “I spent so much God damn money,” “the rest of the bridesmaids were such bitches, I had to do everything.” “I hate that damn bride, why can’t it be me … boo frikity hoo.” Yeah. Awful.

I gotta say, my overall experience was pretty pleasant. My best friend was the opposite of a bridezilla, my dress rocks, and the rest of the bridesmaids are all pretty cool. Obviously it all wasn’t peaches and cream … but besides a few speed bumps, I have a lot of golden memories from the past year. So as I sit here freaking out over the last-minute things I have to do, it really makes me think about how silly it all is because if anything, I NEEDED to these things for myself. When was the last time you were “done up” from head to toe? Ask yourself that question next time you want to bitch, bridesmaid.

So here are just a few things I’ve been bitching about on my to-do list when in reality, I truly needed to get er’ done:

I got my hair dyed: This is definitely a luxury, but my hair was like 50 different shades of a weird reddish, washed out brown color with little tiny pieces of gray. I know … I’m 25 and I already have gray hair, kill me now. I’m at the stage in my life where hair dying needs to be a staple so I don’t age myself 10 years. Thanks wedding, for giving me that push.

Treated Myself to a Manicure/Pedicure: With a LivingSocial Deal mind you. Definitely another luxury, but my nails needed some TLC, TLC that I cannot give myself because I have no nail talent. My cuticles, dry skin and shape of my nails needed some lovin’ from a professional. Do I ever treat myself to something like this … absolutely not.

Getting My Hair and Makeup Done: Oh man … having a professional make me look beautiful in the fiercest way possible so I don’t have to worry about it … golly gee … I clearly like inflicting pain upon myself. Like honestly, shut your face. Not having to worry about doing my hair and makeup and just having to slip on my dress is worth every penny. Do you know how much stress comes with doing your own hair and makeup for an event. Xanex worthy stress, my friends.

Spray Tan: Okay, we all know this is giving me anxiety, but I’ve heard that tanning sometimes helps brighten your mood. So I’m going to file this under a form of therapy and consider me getting my spray tan as a self-help move.

Party Planning: Sometimes annoying, yes and I realize this is not everyone’s bag. I personally found it be a great distraction from every day stresses, even though at some points the party planning itself stressed me out. I got to throw myself into organizing, decorating, writing copy for invitations and place cards. Sending out group emails to the wedding party trying to get everyone on the same page. Did I want to pull my hair out sometimes or toss my laptop out the window? Of course. I bitched my way through it all … but at the end of the day pulling off a great party is a pretty awesome feeling. Also knowing there was a bottle of something waiting for me after, well that made it all worth while.

Buying A Great Dress: Did I mention my best friend picked amazing dresses for us? Because she did … they rule. Was I pissed that I had to get extra length added to it? Furious is more like it. Was I mad that the woman fit me wrong and the dress was too big and too long when I got it? Murderous rage defines how I was feeling at that point in time a little bit better. But after getting quality alterations, I now have a dress hanging in my closet that I will wear Saturday that fits my body perfectly. When does that ever happen? Sure I probably have more gray hair due to this damn dress, but I mean we have a love/hate relationship at this point. I let it kick me around for the past six months and now Saturday I will wear the crap out of it.

I mean I could go on and on and on. Whiners. All of us. I’m thinking about my to-do list tomorrow: Get a manicure/pedicure, buy a dress for the rehearsal dinner, purchase fashion tape, buy flats for my dress when my heels are killing me, get spray tanned. Jesus Christ … and why am I complaining again? I feel like sometimes we get too close to a situation, so close that we let doing relaxing, luxury-inspired things like shopping and getting pampered annoy us. Ridiculous.

I could potentially be that bridesmaid that could tell a positive story to her friends and family. But it is such a reflex to be like, “uh what an annoying process to be apart of … I’m so broke.” Truth, I am pretty broke from all this jazz, that is a reality, ladies. Being a bridesmaid equals you having no money. But if you’re being a maid for your best friend like I am … it all financially makes perfect sense. Think about it, I could be a pioneer. Children will tell their children’s children of my positive bridesmaid tale! Okay maybe that is me talking crazy because I’m a little high on EmergenC (yes I feel a little under the weather, #fail).

But seriously, lesson of the day: All bridesmaids … quit ya bitchin’ … myself included, and just ENJOY!