February 27, 2009

Pretty as a peacock

When discussing our wedding with various women, I’ve been interested in how many times I get asked about dresses. Not just my dress (“THE dress” as some have put it) but the bridesmaids’ dresses as well. I’m asked what colour, what style, etc.

Thing is, I don’t have much of an opinion. I really just want the three ladies standing up with me to look good. I figured that I would just pick a couple of colours and let them go out and find something that looks good on them, in that same fabric and colour.

But nope, it isn’t that simple. Yet another part of wedding planning that ends up being less about planning and more about making it up as we go along.

The first question that got asked by the bridesmaids themselves was about neckline and sleeves. Did it have to be strapless, in order to coordinate with mine, which probably will be strapless? My answer was that I don’t care either way. Ok that one was easy.

Along with the strapless question came the question of tattoos. Yes, ink. Both my adult bridesmaids are inked on arms and back and they wanted to know if I wanted it covered. In particular, my maid of honour has a rather prominent upper half sleeve tattoo. But it seems fake to say they can’t be shown. Her tattoos are part of who she is and I love her for that. So I basically decided that if she doesn’t want to cover it up, she doesn’t have to.

The next question was colour. Initially I wanted brown dresses with a decorative sash. However, seeing one of my bridesmaid hold up a piece of brown fabric to herself and hearing her declare “see? I look like a big freckle!” and agreeing that yes brown was not her most flattering colour, I’ve changed my mind. So the decision now is that they decide on a specific shade of green or purple that they all like and flatters all of them as much as possible and they go with that. Or do it in a rainbow… from light lilac on the maid of honour to dark purple on the junior bridesmaid. Whichever. It will be up to them to decide.

Then there was the question of fabric. Did it have to be taffeta? I’m partial to the sheen and depth of colour that comes with taffeta. However, one of the girls has an issue with it that is tied to a childhood experience. She finds taffeta shudder-inducing as a result. So… no taffeta. I’m now hoping for satin and lace, but will happily take them in whatever fabric they choose that is reasonably dressy and looks good on them.

Finally, there was a question about pockets. My maid of honour has fond memories of her rockabilly days when her 50s style dresses all had pockets in the big skirts and she spied a dress in a bridal magazine that had pockets and fell in love. Problem? The dress isn’t easily available in Canada and the price started (!!) at $300 (!!) . Ok, so that specific dress is out, but could we find another with pockets? This started a search on the net for bridesmaid dresses that have pockets. Surprisingly, this is a developing trend. Some of the very latest wedding dresses are starting to show pockets (that’s my MOH, always ahead of the curve). This one might be doable.

So what started out as my desire to have bridesmaids outfitted in rich cocoa brown taffeta full length tank style dresses with a lace overlay or sash, paired with slingback shoes, has evolved into a peacock array of cocktail length purple satin dresses with peter pan collars, bubbley-looking skirts and ballet flats.

Lesson learned? As long as my peacocks in satin feel good in whatever they choose, they’ll shine and relax and have fun. And that is what is important.

Though their request to wear actual peacock feathers in their hair as fascinators (like this one) has yet to be resolved.