Sunday, March 26, 2006

This time, it's bridal.

Don't these dresses look pretty? Too bad none of them will fit you.

SmartyPants and I had a successful shopping weekend, but honestly, it was the kind of expereince we wouldn't have survived if we didn't have each other. I hope to write about it in far more depth for a freelance article that I'd like to sell, so I'll just try to hit the high points here. At our first stop, we were both feeling majorly inadequate. In the small shop, the salon where dresses were tried on and "oohed and ahhed" over was totally taken over by what we shall call the "Fairy Goddess Bridal Party." This included the Bride, her mother, the groom's mother and just some of the 8 bridesmaids. All of these women were beautiful, skinny and very fashionably dressed (except for one: we speculated that she was either the groom's sister or someone the bride picked up on the street and paid so she'd have a nice even number). Smarty and I, the sum total of the lady-half of our bridal party (nope, no flower girl either), were wearing jeans and had walked 30 minutes from my apartment. Needless to say, we were the ugly step-child bridal party in the joint and we spent the first ten minutes cowering in the corner. It seemed like every ten minutes, someone walked in off the street, kissed the other bride and announced that she was yet another maid. The bride gushed at one point, "I feel like I'm having a reunion!"

Then it was our turn for the fun to begin. The designer gave me some styles to try on, but didn't have anything in my size. She said, "You can get an idea with these, but you probably won't be able to zip them up." And she was right! So I had to parade around with my dress unzipped and with no chance in hell of getting zipped. My black bra with cherries was on display for the Fairy Goddess Bridal Party. The lovely red-headed bride had a very mysterious foreign sounding accent. She said to us, "Oh, I love that red! That is the color my maids are going to wear!" I'm pretty sure she was talking about the red in the dress and not the red on my blotchy exposed skin.

I continued to try on dresses that were too small for me, just so we could "get an idea". At one point I said to Smarty, "I hope you like this dress, because I am stuck in it. So it will have to be this one, and I'm going to have to wear it between now and October." Smarty came into the dressing room to help me out of it then asked, "Can I stay in here with you? It's scary out there." The other, thinner bridesmaids-to-be were trying on endless styles and shades. Each time they emerged, the rest of the party would "ooh and ahh" them. While Smarty and I were hiding in my dressing room, we heard the following exchange:

Bride: "Oooh, that's the one. You look like a goddess!"

Someone else: "No, she looks like a fairy!"

Bride: "She looks like a fairy goddess!!"

Smarty and I were dying laughing, but it was the kind of laughing where you have to bite the insides of your cheek to keep from crying out. Fortunately, after we escaped from the store, we stumbled right next door to a bakery where we ate gigantic cupcakes. Smarty, the most temperate person I know, said that she would gladly have resorted to drink, had that been on hand. "I think I have hives," she said.

"Well, you look like a goddess," I said.

"Well, you look like a fairy goddess."

At the second, larger shop I thought they might feature dresses that actually fit me. Boy, am I a dumb little cupcake! They actually had one dress that would zip up on me, although it was the dreaded boat-neck style, or the "boob-mash" style as we came to call it. Now, I had seen photos of "real weddings" on the website for this shop, real weddings that featured real sized bridesmaids, so I know that they make dresses my size, but I guess they don't make any samples in my size. I think it's the old condoms in school arguement; if you give out condoms in schools, kids will run out and have sex! = if you have dresses in bigger sizes, women will allow themselves to get fat!

Although we toyed with several fabrics and colors, ultimately we settled on the first shop. We liked the designer, we liked her work, we liked the colors and I liked that I could have a custom dress done for what an off-the-rack dress might cost me someplace else. So, for those of you keeping track at home, here is the verdict: I will wear a V-Neck ankle-length A-Line gown in Chocolate Brown silk shantung. This will be complimented by a shantung double sided shawl, with the chocolate color on one side and a salmon pink on the other. Smarty and I are both very happy with this choice. Way to go, us!

PS Smarty, I think we need a team name. Unfortunately, Team Fairy Goddess is already taken.


bbrug said...

Ugh. This sounds like when I was at Saks trying on bridesmaid dresses for my brother's first wedding. Every other woman in the bridal party said something like, "Can I try it in a four? I mean, I'm a six right now, but I'm planning to be a four by the time of the wedding." And there I was mumbling, "Um, does this come in a fourteen?"

Then I spotted a hot asymmetrical tux on a nearby rack, and when I tried it on, it looked way better on me than the boob-mashing, boat-necked salmon-pink thing that was then being considered by the group. So, the bride not being a friend of mine, I asked if I could bow out of being a bridesmaid so that I could wear the tux to the wedding instead.

Long story short, I wore that tux to *everything* that year. I loved it. It looked fabulous on me; I looked fabulous in it. And I even wore it when I was a bridesmaid at another wedding; my co-bridesmaid wore a black velvet dress, so we kind of matched.

My brother's wife? Well, I think she was pissed at me, but in a few short years she and my brother split up, anyway. They never even opened all their wedding presents. His second wife didn't have any bridesmaids.

Now, of course, the tux is too small for me. But I'd rather have that getting dusty in my closet than some stupid fluffy pink thing I would have gotten only one wearing out of. And if I ever get back down to a size 14, I'll wear that tux again in a second. A good suit never goes out of style.

Irina said...

Wow, the dress you chose sounds AMAZING. What a great color scheme and I'm thinking (if I can envision at all) that it's going to be really flattering in both form and tone. Congrats!...does this place make business casual wear? I'm still looking for dresses that fit over my backside.

Sheena said...


Congratulations on getting that settled. And surviving another bridal party in the process.

Sounds like quite the merry adventure.

You should have a tough team name. Like the Iron Skulls of Hell or something. Get leather jackets and crush those silly bridal parties beneath your steel-toed boots.