Wedding Wednesday: Reader Q&A, Prt. 1

First of all, I *finally* got the video of my recital up on the blog. You can go check it out in yesterday's post by clicking here. Be kind.

Also, this week (and next) I have a special little something planned for you. A reader wrote in and asked me a ton of questions. I'm flattered anybody would want my opinion on anything (and not quite sure I'm the right person to be asking), so being the accommodating blogger that I am (seriously...you can always email me and ask me questions!), I've decided to answer them both this week and next.

1. What's the best way to handle it when out of a bridal party of four, two are indifferent to the bridesmaid dress, one loves it, says it's great to have a cute cocktail dress she can wear over and over again, and the other bridesmaid hates it, feels uncomfortable in it, and can't imagine any situation where she would wear it again? (This happened at a wedding I was in recently, and as an added issue, all of the bridesmaids were either unemployed or living hand-to-mouth. The dress cost $150 for the person who bought it cheapest, the bride didn't want everyone to order it from the same place because she wanted everyone to be able to order theirs when they had the money. They ended up going with the dress and the maid of honor, who hated it and felt really uncomfortable wearing a dress that she felt was both unflattering and at least a decade too young for her, put hers on eBay after the wedding to try to recover some of her costs.)

So, if you remember, I didn't have bridesmaids. There's a reason for that. Look at that question a bit more closely. Why in the world would you want to put your friends through that? I vowed that if I had bridesmaids, I would purchase their dresses for them OR if I couldn't afford that, I would not have bridesmaids. In the end, I decided against it, but had I had bridesmaids, I would have probably only had a couple of people stand up in my wedding. Buying two dresses is not that big of a deal, but if you have ten bridesmaids, you know, that's a lot of freaking people to buy dresses for! Which is exactly why nobody buys their wedding party's outfits.

Anyway, I digress. Honestly, this is a really tricky situation because it's the bride's big day, but these women are shelling out some serious cash to be a part of her big day. I don't think there's any solution to everyone being happy. I feel like someone is always going to be unhappy about something. But there are some solutions to trying to get as many people as happy as possible.

Solution One: Why not have mismatched, but color coordinated dresses? Honestly, this is my favorite. I love the idea of different cuts of a dress in the same material or different dresses altogether in the same color. My friend Southern K(elle) asked her friends to all wear black dresses and everyone looked so nice. You would never have known they didn't shop/buy together. Or here's a cool idea that I would think was so, so dope if I saw it at a wedding: ombre dresses. Not in that each dress is ombre, but rather that each dress is from a color palette that progressively gets lighter in hue (i.e. one girl wears a hot pink dress, another wears a soft pink dress, another wears a blush dress). This obviously works better with a larger party, but it's still cool with three. Please promise that if you do that, you'll submit your wedding. Pretty please?

Solution Two: If you're stuck in the situation described above and the bride is intent on the same dress that costs a good chunk of change and you're broke, so...why not bow out completely? Honestly, your money is better spent on bills or food anyway, so why not politely tell your friend that you're flattered but don't think it's within your financial capabilities right now. Ask if there is something else that you can contribute without having to shell out too much cash. If she's a good friend, she'll understand. Plus, there are so many roles to give people in a wedding. You could offer to do a reading instead or give a toast and lots of other ways to pay tribute to your friendship that don't cost you a penny.

Solution Three: If you're stuck in the situation described above and the bride is intent on a dress that you pretty much loathe and find completely unflattering, first, try solution number one. Find some cool weddings online that feature different types of dresses (or pitch my awesome ombre idea, which I'm sure somebody has done) and sell the shit out of that idea. But if she turns you down, then try this next idea.

Let's be honest, brides don't care about what you wear past the important photo opportunities. This really means through dinner and frankly, that's not even most of the wedding. Most people make the longest stretch of the wedding the reception/dance party, right? So, ask politely if the bride wouldn't mind if during the dancing portion of the reception, you switch into a more comfortable/flattering dress. Yes, you'll have to be photographed in the bridesmaid dress through the reception, but how many times have you taken a bad picture? Add these to the pile. Then figure you'll have some candids in the reception pictures wearing your bangin' dress. To me, this is a compromise, and one I would probably be open to were I the bride. I guess there's always bridezillas, but they're going to be unreasonable about everything anyway, so you'll never win. Ever. If your bride is reasonable, though, I think this is a good solution.

2. How much of your wedding came about as a result of things you saw at other weddings? (Both the good "oh, that's a great idea for centerpeices! I love that poem!" and the bad "Oh yuck, no way I'm going to have someone read that poem!" etc.)

This is a great question! And one I've talked about a little before. But here are some quick and dirty lists.

Here are the things that I feel came about directly from things I saw as DIY's on various websites or from other people's weddings: our cake topper, thrifting the china, our place cards, the chalkboard as program/menu, hanging the pictures of us as kids with yarn and paper hearts, my bouquet, the photobooth, the birdcage for cards, mustaches on sticks for the photobooth, using mason jars for favors.

Here are the things that I feel were inspired by things I saw, but did not replicate exactly: my dress, the moss covered escort card display, our ring pillow, the size of our invitations, A.P.'ss Grape Soda boutonniere, and some aspects of our centerpieces (e.g. the use of apothecary jars).

Here are the things that I feel were completely original: our photobooth display (we had a lot of old family photobooth pictures displayed), our "guestbook", our centerpieces/vintage salt and pepper shakers, our table names, the design of our invitations, the escort cards/way they were displayed (not the moss covered box, but rather the gold paperclip display I created), our favors, and the pet heads on a stick for the photobooth.

I know for a fact these are not all the details from our wedding. I'm almost certain I forgot a bunch of things, but for now, this is a fairly comprehensive list. : ) You can see pictures from our wedding here.

3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a big wedding as opposed to a small one? A big one you get to invite more friends and family, have less chance of excluding anyone (and get more stuff!), but a small one gives you more opportunity to actually spend time with your guests, saves money, and allows you to do more with less. What do you think?

Obviously, a big wedding means more people to talk to all night long. And you kind of can't get out of that. You have to say hi to everybody at least once. You can do it in a receiving line, but people like the table talking. So if you have a 200 guest wedding, that means you're going to have to make the rounds to 200 people. Some families are large and you don't have a choice in the matter, but everyone I know who has gone small has loved it. I would characterize our wedding as smallish (64 people total, 75 invited) and that was still a lot of talking. Plus there were totally people there I talked to once for a few minutes.

Here's the other dirty truth nobody ever admits to: surprisingly a lot of people who you invite to your wedding won't really be a part of your life in the next 5-10 years (I would say there is at least a handful of people we either don't talk to very often, regret inviting at all, or don't talk to at all anymore). So not to be a bitch, but slash away, I say. I say invite the nearest and dearest, a few more for fun, and call it a day.

That's it for this week! Next week, I'll answer the remaining questions. Yay!

Do you have questions? Were you a bride who has answers? Consider submitting to Not the Marrying Kind!


Do you subscribe to Not the Marrying Kind? If not, you should! It's free and fun and it means you automatically get new posts when the blog is updated. No having to check back! Click here for more details!


  1. Ah, yes, the dress question. I don't really understand why anyone has matching dresses (although it's certainly each individual's perogative to choose what they want!) It always comes down to at least one or two people being sad/broke/upset/not liking the dress. I agree that if you are going to designate a specific dress for your bridesmaids, you should buy the dresses for them. We went with the other option, and just asked everyone to wear a black dress they felt pretty in and fun shoes. (After all, who doesn't have a black dress? And if for some reason they didn't, that's a closet staple that you could buy very inexpensively if you wanted to.) Anyway, it worked out well for us, and everyone seemed happy about it.

  2. I wanted to go with Situation 1 and let everyone pick out their own dress. But my sister-in-law has beyond questionable taste and would have gone for the tightest, shortest, and lowest cut thing she could get her hands on. And I seriously didn't want to deal with that.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...