Adventures in Bridesmaid-ing ~ Dress Shopping

Happy February Everyone!

For all of you that relish in every last detail of wedding drama, or those that are planning yourselves, do we have a treat for you!

One of the overlooked perspectives in many weddings is that of the bridesmaid. Recently there has been a surge of popularity in entertainment celebrating the tradition (ie the movie Bridesmaids, all of TLC, etc) but much of the experience is grossly exaggerated. It became evident that our new studio assistant Jackie had no grasp on the reality of being a member of a bridal party when she talked about her fear of thousand dollar trips, and ridiculous fashion. So as she goes through the journey of her first wedding party experience, she is going to check in on what she learns…

Hi Everyone!

I’m Jackie….

I used to always complain that I was the only person in my entire family to never be in a wedding party. All of my cousins got to wear the adorable little tuxedoes and flower girl dresses with the crowd oohing and ahhing over their utter cuteness. Fast forward ten years, and it is finally happening. I doubt I will get the gushing over my cuteness factor, but at least I’ll be able to enjoy the cocktails J

My beautiful cousin Jessica is getting married to her long time sweetheart Dave this fall and she has asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I was simultaneously overjoyed… and totally terrified. I admit it sounds stupid, but I have heard the horror stories of bridesmaids dressed in neon taffeta and brides gone crazy. OK so maybe I watch too much TLC, but regardless I was undeniably nervous, and my first event was the one I was really anxious about….. dress shopping.

I should mention that there are five members of the female bridal party Jessica (the bride), Ashley (her sister and maid of honor), Patti (her best friend since birth), Mandy (her other “BFFL”), and me, Jackie (the cousin that lives in Chicago). So as the only out-of-towner, I wanted to make sure that every moment I was able to help I could. So I went into this dress fitting ready to smile at ANYTHING they brought out…

In my worst nightmares I was going to be wearing orange satin. Let me clarify, an orange satin dress can be gorgeous, just not on me. This wasn’t a completely irrational fear due to the fact that our high school colors (Jess and Dave met in high school) were orange and brown. These colors are also very popular for October weddings. The satin part of my vision was simply because it would have been the worst possible fabric for me too. (Satin shows sweat for those of you who don’t know, and I get nervous.)

Luckily, my smile could be genuine. The dresses that Jessica had selected were adorable, and cranberry (yes!). Even with the initial selection being completely acceptable, we continued to shop and find even better dresses. (I even tried on an orange dress to find I didn’t look bad at all, who knew?)  I do have to say that designers are kind of evil when it comes to sizing these things, making the number up to three sizes larger than what you would wear in any other clothing. It is also a HUGE challenge finding a dress that is cut to flatter different body types. Between us girls we have Patti the pixie, Mandy the busty, and me the one with a boot-ay. As you can imagine, finding one dress for the three of us was a bit of a challenge. We managed to succeed in a relatively fast manner, choosing a lovely A line chiffon frock and breaking all of my qualms of being in a perpetual episode of Bride-zillas.

What We Can Learn:

Overall the experience was quite pleasant and nothing like what my overactive imagination had thought it to be. I do have to say for anyone that is in the process of planning a wedding, that the more distinct a picture you have of their look (long dress vs short dress, fabric, color, etc.), the easier it is for your family and friends to help you find it. Jessica had a very clear grasp on how she wanted her wedding party to look, and it makes the process of shopping much easier. If you know what is important to you and what isn’t, your bridesmaids can help you fill in the blanks. This gives your girls a sense of achievement, and helps lift some of the weight off of your shoulders.

Until Next Time!


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