Little Black Dress

I thought I was being a good friend to my bridesmaids and groomsmaids with these simple instructions:

Wear any black dress.

I figured they could pull a dress they already owned, or buy something new that could be used after the wedding. It was the economical, sustainable thing to do.

Then the questions came flying in:

“How long?”

“What fabric?”

“What if we all end up with a slightly different color black?”

I was naïve to think black only comes in one color. It appeared as if I wouldn’t be getting out of making another decision.

My maid of honor was the first to suggest we consider dress shopping as a group. To her credit, she did the legwork to get in touch with the rest of the party to gauge their feelings on having a little more uniformity. It sounded like she received total buy-in; after all, they want to look their best for photos too.

When I gave the nod, she flew into action, proposing dates we could get everyone together for a marathon dress day. This turned out to be impossible task number one. Many of the ladies live across multiple states; finding a day that worked for everyone was beginning to eat into our timeline and would potentially end up in additional rush fees being tacked onto our dress orders. The solution was to stick with a large retail chain so that the ladies who couldn’t make it would be able to pop into their local David’s Bridal or Macy’s to take care of their dress orders.

Of the seven girls in the wedding party, we managed to wrangle up three, and hit the road bright and early last Saturday. Our first stop at David’s Bridal was a two-hour expedition into the world of bridesmaids’ dresses. I believe we went through 42 different styles and sizes of black, cocktail length dresses, when I felt the decision making noose begin to tighten.

Our time spent at Macy’s for our second appointment was minimal, as Macy’s only carries sample sizes. I refused to force my friends to buy a dress they couldn’t try on first, as we all know a dress that looks great on the rack may look awful on a human being.

So then I was faced with impossible task number two: picking a dress that would look good on everybody in the wedding party. My friends come in all possible shapes and sizes, and each had different favorites. We had taken photos of everybody in all of the dresses at David’s Bridal, and seriously debated each over lunch at a local diner.

At the end of the day, I did make a decision: everyone should choose a different black cocktail-length dress from David’s Bridal. This solution will provide some uniformity across the bridesmaids, but will also ensure everyone looks their most awesome.

How did you decide on bridesmaid dresses?

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