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Who is being unreasonable here?

Posted by april1963 (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 14, 07 at 21:50

A bride picks out dresses for her bridemaids. One of the bridesmaids said she looks terrible in the chosen color. The rest of the party is ok with the color.
The bride won't budge. The bridesmaid is very hurt and angry. She is worried she will look terrible on said wedding day.
It is causing problems. Are they both being too stubborn? Should the bride change the color for one lady? Should the lady just wear the dress and say no more?
I would like your opinons please.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Hi April,

It sounds like you have been placed in a difficult position. You don't mention whether you are the bride or the unhappy bridesmaid, so I will give my thoughts from both perspectives.

When a person agrees to be in a wedding, they agree to the costs associated with it and all of the other duties and expectations of the bride, as long as the expectations are reasonable. Are the bridesmaids paying for their own dresses? If so, the bridesmaid may feel that she has the right to have an opinion of the dress. However, if the other bridesmaids are okay with the dress, then it seems as if maybe the bridesmaid is being too fussy.

On the other hand, if most of the bridesmaids have the same build and/or coloring and this bridesmaid doesn't, then she may feel uncomfortable in the dress. For instance, if she is a fair complexioned redhead and all of the other bridesmaids have dark hair and a more olive complexion, then she would not look good in the colors the others can wear. The same would be true if the other bridesmaids wear a size 4 and she wears a size 16.

Things to think about - can the bride change the color of the dresses without it having a major affect on other decisions that have already been made, such as the color of flowers in their bouquets and the wedding colors in general? Is there another color that the bride and her bridesmaids can all agree on?

From an etiquette (and sanity) perspective, the bride makes the decision about dresses and the bridesmaids go along with her choice. When too many people get involved in the decision making process, it creates stress for everyone and adds unnecessary drama to the wedding planning.

That said, if I were the bridesmaid and I cared about my friend, I would be supportive of her and wear the dress. Perhaps if the bridesmaid experiments with changing her make-up that will help her to feel better when wearing the dress.

Is the bride obligated to change the color of the dresses - no. Is the bridesmaid obligated to be in the wedding -no; but if she drops out over a dress, that may permanently affect her relationship with the bride. Is a dress worth that?


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

I am not involved in this at all. But I am a shoulder for one of the relatives involved in the drama this is causing.
I actually can see both sides, but tend to sway towards that being the brides final decision.
I have myself worn many an unflattering bridemaid dress in my lifetime. LOL


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

In general, I agree that attendants "sign on" for the cost and the dress and other duties (within reason) when they agree to be in a wedding, as long as the "deal" is spelled out up front. On the other hand, a bride should show some consideration for her friends and not put them in a position whether they would be embarassed (skimpy dress on a larger person, for example). Is the bride asking her attendant to pay $250 or more for a dress she will not look good in and cannot sell or use again? If the attendants are truly people she cares about, this is a consideration. On the other hand, nobody will remember that this particular bridesmaid doesn't look fabulous at the wedding. Most of us have sucked it up and worn the bow-butt dress from time to time.

I totally do not think it's all about the bride. But it certainly is not all about the attendant's either.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Can't they reach a compromise? That's what it's all about, in every life situation.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

What happens if the bride agrees to change the color, and then another of the bridesmaids complains that this new color will not work for her? Where does it end?

I too agree with what's been said above about signing on to be a bridesmaid. Sometimes not-so-attractive and too-expensive are the key words to describe the dresses. Having been a bridesmaid myself a few times, I can tell you that I never again wore the dresses even though I'd paid a bit of money for each of them (they hung in my closet till I finally gave in and put them in the charity box).

Spending $$ on a dress you may not like or may never wear again is part of your gift to the bride as a bridesmaid. Another (major imho) part of your gift is to help as much as possible to make the wedding go smoothly and not make any problems -- she already has enough to deal with.

My advice to the bridesmaid in this case, if the bride is someone you treasure as a friend, grin and bear it and don't say another word.

If I were the bride, I'd probably just sit down and have a chat with this bridesmaid. I'd just ask her to please understand that I've made the decision on the dresses and would be pleased and honored if she would respect that decision. But if she is unable to respect it, for whaever reason, she may want to consider bowing out of the wedding. Clearly the relationship would suffer if she does bow out, but at this point, I don't know what else the bride can do.

Having been a bride in a situation where I got flack from nearly everyone involved in my wedding (in laws, bridesmaids, etc) for decisions I'd made, most of what I remember from that wedding was stress. This was a long time ago, but I still remember the behavior and how it affected me.

For the bridesmaid, it's just one dress, one day, and yes a bit of money. But for the bride, it's a very special day. The bridesmaid needs to suck it up and act like a big girl.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

I've been a bridesmaid or maid of honor several times, and not once did the bride make the decision about the dresses. Of course she had expectations about the color and general style, but in every instance the bride knew that it was the bridesmaids paying for the dress and it was a group decision. In every instance everyone was willing to compromise for each other and everyone ended up being happy enough. I say "happy enough", because the dresses were never anything any of us would wear again, but we found dresses that were mutually acceptable.

I can't understand the (apparent) immaturity here.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

One of the most fun Girls Night I had was an evening where the women in our very small church got together for an evening and looked at each other's wedding videos and/or (since some of us were old enough that wedding videos didn't exist!) wedding albums.

But what really made it fun was --- we wore bridesmaids dresses from weddings we had been in!! Some who had never been a bridesmaid borrowed from some who had been multiple times. And, of course, some of the dresses wouldn't zip up all the way anymore -- but that was kind of fun, too!!

It was hilarious to see all the "lovely" dresses!


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

"Quid pro quo" the bridesmaid sucks it up, wears the dress and later has the bride as HER matron of honor and SHE has to wear the ugly color. That's life!


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

I think that the bridesmaid should not even have said she didn't like the color. It's almost a TRADITION for the bridesmaids to HATE the color and style of the dresses (and for the bride to think that the dresses are wonderful and that everyone will be thrilled and wear them again and again). I love the party grace3 describes -- and it goes to show how common it is.

The first time I was in a wedding, the dress was the color I look WORST in (very pale yellow gingham, which, with my olive skin, makes me look really awful), but which looked so nice on her fair-haired sisters and cousin. I'm glad I didn't complain and make her feel bad. I guarantee you that NO ONE noticed or cared whether or not I looked my best.

Mary_md7 and lowspark gave very good advice. (If I am guessing correctly, there is a generational divide here, too! We MOB-ish aged posters seem to be agreeing.) Mary, I, too, usually find myself thinking, "Oh, get over it -- just because you are The Bride and it's Your Day doesn't mean you shouldn't be considerate of others," but in this case I think it's the bridesmaid being a prima donna. She needs to realize that she is not the one in the spotlight at this wedding, and the bride chose the dress based on the look she wants for her wedding, not based on what would be the most flattering for her bridesmaid.

I like it best when the bridesmaids don't wear matching dresses, anyway, but if the bride wants them to do so, then I agree with the other posters who say that it's her choice. Of course, it is considerate for her to choose something that isn't too expensive or uncomfortable, and something that isn't just IMPOSSIBLE for one or more people (like a skimpy halter top style for bridesmaids with enormous busts). But really, what are the odds that ANYTHING she would choose would be what any of the attendants would choose for themselves?

Posted below is the "Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator" from Etiquette Hell. Take a look at some of these gorgeous ensembles before you complain about what you have to wear! Makes me long for the pale yellow gingham ...

Here is a link that might be useful: bridesmaid dresses in the


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

I'd sure hate to miss being a part of my good friend's wedding because of an awful dress, but I'd hate to think that I had run my good friend out of my wedding because I thought my wedding was so much about me that I didn't care if she felt self-conscious & hideous.

Has anyone read "Color Me Beautiful", a book from maybe the 1970's?

everyone has either
1. warm ivory (yellow) tones or
2. cool rosey (pink) tones,

& we all have varying intensity of color,
pale,
medium, or
vibrant.

People with warm ivory tones need cool colors for balance,
& cool rosey tones need warm colors for balance.

People with pale ivory tones, called Summers in the book, wear pastels like lavender-pink,
medium ones (Vivid Summers) wear medium colors like rose, &
vibrant ones (Winters) wear lacquer red.

Pale cool people (Springs) wear pale warm pink,
medium ones (Vivid Springs) wear coral or shrimp &
vibrant ones (Autumns) can wear tomato red.

Identifying your most becoming colors is the first step to curing the dress problem.

An easy way to identify your best colors is to wash your face, sit in a strong light in front of a mirror, & hold a silver fabric next to your face, then a gold fabric.

If you look good in cool silver, you have warm ivory tones.
If you look good in warm gold, you have cool rosey tones.

A warm ivory bridesmaid can use a pinker-based make-up for that one day,
& a cool rosey bridesmaid can use a more ivory-based make-up.

(A bride might be wise not to pick lacquer red if she has some "cool" bridesmaids or tomato red if she has "warm" ones...
that's just too much saturation of color to overcome.)


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Sylviatexas, you might want to check your information. As one who did the whole color analysis thing back when it was popular, and who was designated a Summer and continues to wear Summer colors, a person who looks good in cool colors has cool rosey skin tones. One who looks good in gold has underlying warm ivory tones. Cool = cool and warm = warm; you don't mix the two.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?


My bridesmaids (strapless), maid of honor (w/straps) & flowergirl

For my wedding, I found simple evening dresses for my Maid of honor & bridesmaids. I got them at JC Penney for about a hundred dollars each. I took into consideration that my attendants were younger and had the body type for the dresses and I didn't want them to have to pay very much for them. I think they were beautiful and they are dresses that can be used for other formals. (although most bridesmaids dresses will never be reused.)

It's really the brides day and she should get what she wants. However, she should be tasteful and considerate of her attendants budgets. If you don't like the dress or don't look good in it, that's just part of being a bridesmaid. Are you doing it for the bride or for yourself? If you are not doing it for the bride, then you might consider dropping out of the wedding. (and I also think it's very beautiful to have a rainbow of complimenting colors with similar style dresses. But it's up to the bride if that's what she wants to do)

I also picked my flowergirl's dress to have a train that matched the one on my dress. (The maid of honor is my daughter & the flowergirl is my step daughter, so I had to pay for their dresses as well.)


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

nope, I'm a Vivid Summer, ivory tones.
If I wear yellow, there's way too much yellow on the "palette", & I look like I have hepatitis.

A Vivid Spring (rosy tones) who wears cool colors may look like W C Fields (too much red).

Beautiful wedding party, Ima!


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

the wedding isn't about the brisesmaid. it's about the bride and the groom. the bridesmaid is being such a pain and immature.

Here is a link that might be useful: personalized gifts


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

There are many things you sign on for when you agree to be a bridesmaid, and rule number one is "suck it up". Unless the bride is completely unreasonable (expecting a girl who is a 38DDD to wear a strapless dress that can't accomodate a bra), you wear what you are told to wear. The greater the number of bridesmaids, the greater then chance someone will be unhappy.

Until you have been a bride with picky bridesmaids it is hard to understand how difficult this is. When I married DH these were the requests from the bridesmaids:
- dress had to accomodate a regular bra (so, no strapless and no backless) (request from a busty girl)
- dress couldn't be lowcut (request from a girl with a bony chest)
- they had to wear stockings (request from a girl with scars on her legs) (this meant no open toe shoes)
- dress had to be "comfortable"

I accomodated all of this with a sleeveless A line knee length dress. Then the requests for colors started coming in and I put my foot down. I wanted pink, they wanted black, blue and green. They wore pink.

I DO believe a bride should accomodate a girl with a difficult body type. I don't mean the girl that is slightly less than perfect, I mean a girl who is very heavy, pregnant or busty.

But in this case the issue is only color? No body parts falling out of the dress? Then wear what you are told to wear. Makeup can make a huge difference.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Have you seen the movie "27 Dresses"?
I've been to lots of weddings -- usually the bridesmaids dresses are pretty low on my radar screen - but then I'm not in the dress & having permanent records made - photos/videos.
How about an unbiased opinion on the dress on the gal - if she's the MOH - you could adjust the color-
But she should reflect on how this will affect her relationship with the bride.. how close are they really?


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

having permanent records made - photos/videos.

What bridesmaid bothers to look at the pictures of someone else's wedding?

Maybe if it's your good friend or something, but honestly...I keep those sorts of photos in an album as an official record, but it's not like my EGO is wrapped up in them.

IT ISN'T MY WEDDING!


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

A bride picks out dresses for her bridemaids. One of the bridesmaids said she looks terrible in the chosen color. The rest of the party is ok with the color.
The bride won't budge. The bridesmaid is very hurt and angry. She is worried she will look terrible on said wedding day.
It is causing problems. Are they both being too stubborn? Should the bride change the color for one lady? Should the lady just wear the dress and say no more?
I would like your opinons please.

Agree with everyone that said it is up to the bride.. it is her day. She's planned everything for how long.. flowers, all the various colors she'll coordinate with it, there is the chance a color won't look good on someone but if the bride is a good friend you suck it up or you are honest and say why then bow out. It's like people that can't do it due to not having money for the outfit they will wear if they have to pay for it themselves.

The day is not about the bridesmaid.. period. Will it really kill her to wear the dress for a few hours? No, just like it never killed any of us to do so. It's what's being a friend is all about.

What ever happened to feeling honored to stand in the wedding party? The meaning to me anyway is that they think so much of your relationship that they have chosen you to be one of the main players in their big day.

Sad. This was one reason hubby & I went to Cypress Gardens alone.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Hmm. Interesting responses. Very different from my experience. I guess my friends (the brides) wanted their bridesmaids/MOH to be happy and comfortable and as long as everyone was fine with the dresses the bride was happy. To me, that's a secure and mature person. Now, if any of the bride's whose wedding I was in had dictated the dress, that would've been Ok, too, because we, the bridesmaids, love her and it's her day. I was just fortunate that my friends weren't that rigid and really just wanted us to enjoy as she did.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Suzie,
How does it work when the women all want something different? Do you allow everyone to where whatever they want? Everyone in a different color and style? I wanted my bridesmaids to be happy, but with everyone wanting a different color, it's hard to accomplish. I've also been in weddings where the bridesmaids ranged from Twiggy-ish to Jayne Mansfield-ish. They would definitely choose different styles. Since the bride is the only one who has a real, longterm stake in how everyone looks (and how the pictures turn out) it only makes sense that she chooses.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Well, there's no rule that bridesmaids have to be all matchy-matchy. Until fairly recently in the grand scheme of things (less than 100 years), bridesmaids wore their Sunday best and no-one cared if they matched or not.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Sue36 - I don't really remember. That's a good question. Somehow we all just worked it out, and we didn't all have different colors or different styles. I don't remember any confict, although there were certainly dresses that one or more person like much better than others. I guess everyone compromised. I remember on, especially, that really wasn't what I would have chosen at all, and I loved a different one. But the one that the others liked wasn't bad, and worked for the various body types. I'm not meaning to sound noble for acquiescing to the others, really. But it's just that everyone did that to a certain degree at the various weddings.

Of course the bride would have the final say if there was a final say needed.

Suzieque


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Suzie,
I actually think that is how mine worked. The "girls" sort of gave me a wish list and I found a dress that worked reasonably well within the parameters. I wouldn't compromise on color. That dicates so much, flowers, etc.

I think brides sometimes don't think through the dress thing very well. I was in a wedding many year ago, when I was in my early 20s. The bride shopped with the tallest, thinnest girl when choosing dresses. Mistake. She chose a dress that made that girl look like she had a figure she didn't have. But I had a figure and didn't need help looking more hourglass. I'll never forget it-portrait collar, tiny waist, flouncy peplum at the hips and a pencil skirt (did I mention hot pink?). I didn't look bad per se, but I definitely distracted attention from the bride and other girls. I looked va va voom. The MOB was less than pleased. I wish I looked like that now! 18 year later.

The worst dress that almost was didn't happen because the wedding was cancelled by the groom (I felt badly for my friend, but was SO GLAD I didn't have to wear that dress in public). It was a few years later and I was a little heavier. Black and white satin mermaid/cha cha style. Truly horrifying. I looked Anna Nicole Smith (except brunette) from the fat years. Ridiculous. But the MOH was a wisp of a thing and it looked charming in a sort of trashy way on her. On me it was just trashy.


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

Ha! Sue36, you made me laugh out loud a couple of times! I've now got a visual of you in the hot pink dress. I'm sure you looked fabulous, and totally understand that the "va va voom" factor was in play! LoL!

And I love the comment about charming in a trashy sort of way. Funny stuff.

Suzieque


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RE: Who is being unreasonable here?

I was at a wedding once where three of the bridesmaids insisted on sleeveless dresses, and the bride said okay. Come wedding day, those three had the trashiest tattoos ever--and almost nobody looked at the bride or the bridesmaids dresses.
Even the bride looked shellshocked. The bridesmaids thought it was a cute surprise.
I have over the course of my life worn many a wierd bridesmaid dress. Often the fattest bridesmaid or the ugliest seems to pick the ones I have had to wear. Where do they find those awful colors? I have one in eggplant--l did wear it for Halloween one year. I think I came as Avian Flu.


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