Monday, June 07, 2010

Here I go again...

Last Friday I wore my bronze, t-strap high heels, to try to get the hang of them again. Upon finding out that I was "practising" for a wedding last week, most of the women at work were eager to compare my life to the movie "27 Dresses," with Katherine Heigel. I have not seen this movie. I don't have to.

This will be the third wedding I've stood up for in the last year and a half. I am happy to do it, and have had no problems with any of the brides or any of their choices regarding the wedding party, locations, colours, etc etc etc. No, what I am getting snippy with is the wedding mega-machine that dictates people must do These Things on their Special Day or they will Regret it FOREVERRRRR. Most of this modern "etiquette" is actually made up bullpoopies that the wedding magazine mega-industry has to keep pumping out so they have something to cram in between the pages of hideously expensive ads for wedding dresses. It's enough to keep a girl single forever.

The latest target of my ire is David's Bridal, who completely feeds off of this notion that all brides want their wedding party to be co-ordinated to within an inch of its life. Not only can you now get dresses and tuxes at David's Bridal, but they can also help you co-ordinate the invitations, plan your honeymoon, send out gift registrations, arrange hair and makeup the Day Of, and help your guests work together so no one shows up in the same gown (the horror). They will also sell you dresses for prom, which is a whole other rant. The problem with David's Bridal is that it is expensive. It takes advantage of people who do not understand that perfectly lovely gowns and bridesmaid ensembles can be found just about anywhere. Photos on the walls show bridal parties of six or more maids, plus groomsmen and assorted children. I know they're advertising. But seriously, who has six bridesmaids these days?

For this wedding, I was asked to go to David's Bridal, and I must admit I was fairly happy with the selection. I was ignored for the first twenty minutes I was in the store, allowing me to shop unmolested--I studied the poster with all their current fashions--picked out the dress I wanted, tried it on and was out the store fifteen minutes later. The shop associates seems staggered that I knew what I wanted. There were other people in the store--one young bride with her mom and grandma, all sniffling everytime she came out of the dressing room with a different dress on, another group of girls trying to find something they "all could wear" (not hard when your entire wedding party is a size zero). They were so cute when I mentioned this is my third wedding in a're all twenty-two ladies, just you wait. But I'm not here to have the Bridal Store Experience. I want to look nice and support the bride and groom at the beginning of their married life together. That's all. I don't even feel comfortable shopping with other people when I'm just buying regular clothes!

When I went back to get my dress (no off the rack for David's Bridal--everything is special ordered), the women were astonished that I didn't want to try it on. "Suppose it needs...alterations?!" they twittered. I was not game for their brand of sales up-manship. "...I work as a tailor for Colonial Williamsburg," I said through gritted teeth. "If there's anything wrong with it, I can fix it." "Oh," they said, looking disappointed as a fifty-dollar alteration fee disappeared into thin air.

The dress I tried on fit me like a glove, and so does this one. It has everything I like in a dress: a flowy hemline, not too clingy, neckline and armseyes high enough to wear a real bra, no need for expensive undergarments... Except for the fact that the v-neck in the back vees just a little too deeply, so that you can see the top of my bra strap. I fixed that problem today--well, two birds with one stone actually. This dress also has--had-pockets. Pockets! On a dress! Why! Oh yes, I am going to ruin the perfect lines of this dress by shoving my camera, cellphone and wallet in there. ARG. So I fixed that problem by cutting out the pockets and then fixed the neckline problem by making a little "v" from the pocket fabric and stitching it into the lining of the dress. I'm goooood.

So the dress is ready, and the bridesmaid will be packed as soon as she stops procrastinating by updating her blog. I'm looking forward to going home and seeing some old friends from high school. Our ten-year high school graduation reunion is at the end of the month...I would much rather catch up with people at a wedding reception. It's hard to believe it's been ten years, and that everyone is getting married and having babies. But then, as I reflect on the three dresses hanging in my closet, I guess it's not that hard to believe. I'm glad this will be the last wedding for awhile though. The next one I stand up in will be my own.

And I'm not wearing white, either.


Samantha said...

Having culled through pages upon pages and website upon website on behalf of my bridesmaids, should any of them had wanted helping in chosing thier own ensembles, I can tell you David's Bridal is probably the LEAST painful of the bridal nightmare out there. Compared to other boutiques, and even the most prevalent department stores, they are actually quite reasonably priced. And in our brainwashed "everyone must match" wedding mentality, they do an excellent job of easing the wedding party's mind.

Not everyone is as talented with a needle (and judging by those I've seen work at the store, I'm sure your alterations were much cleaner and more percise)...but imagine the wrath they would face from some bride or bridesmaid the day of the event should the person opted NOT to try the garment on. They really are just covering their bases, and trying to treat the bride like the pampered princess most of them feel they should be.

Don't bo too hard on this particular entity of the horrific wedding market. What they do, they do well...they fill their particular niche well.

And they've come to the rescue many a time for shows with the large off the rack section your particular store seemed to be lacking.

I just wish everything wasn't polyester...

Nicki said...

I don't mean to get down on brides who want coordinaed ensembles, that's not my intent at peeve is with the fact that the wedding industry is so huge that even just dipping a toe into it I felt condescended to and browbeaten. Maybe I didn't explain myself well? It may have had more to do with that particular store--and the fact that I strode in, sans wedding party, knowing exactly what I wanted, and they were dealing with two other parties (including mothers) and a girl going to prom.

I agree about the polyester though. I would have danced for much longer had I been wearing linen, although I probably wouldn't have looked so good!