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Moms and Maids

Should I tell the bride I'm worried about the BM dress?

I was so happy when my brother's finance asked me to be in their wedding party (it will be just me and her maid of honor standing up), but now I've encountered a sticky situation that I would love to get outsiders' takes on:

She and the MOH picked out a dress. They live in a different city, but never asked about my body type or any preferences or problem areas I might have (I don't know her very well and we've only seen each other a couple of times), before they went shopping. A few days ago, she sent me a link to the dress, with instructions that I get measured by the end of the week. The problem is that the dress will probably be extremely unflattering on me. It relies on showing cleavage, which I don't really have (I'm basically a 34AA, though I wear 34A bras that are too big). I also am curvy on bottom, and the dress has an empire waist that will completely hide my best feature, which is a slim waist. 

Her bridal shop has convinced her that the dress must be ordered right now (It's March...the wedding is in June). I'm not sure if I should:

a. Say nothing and suck it up. 
b. Let her know I'm worried about "filling out the top" and ask if she wants me to try to try it on first. 

Option B, could upset her and lead to a difficult task of finding an alternative, but I also wonder if there's a second place dress that she and her MOH found. If I went with Option A, I'd worry about truly looking ridiculous, to the point of the bride wishing I had spoken up when there was still time to adjust things. And, of course, I'd like to feel confident in front of this combination of strangers and my family. 

What do you think?

Re: Should I tell the bride I'm worried about the BM dress?

  • Now would be the proper time to order for a June wedding.  Once the dress comes in, you can get it altered to fit you properly (at least up top).  not much you can do about the empire wast though.

     

    I would never have selected a dress that my BMs couldn't try on first (in fact they all wound up with different styles), but it is generally accepted that the bride gets to pick if she wants to.  If you truly hate it, you an change into a different dress after the pictures/BP introductions.

    Blue_Bird
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I don't think it would be wrong to mention your concerns about the dress. Most reasonable brides want their bms to feel comfortable and beautiful in their dresses. She may suggest you buy another style in the same color and length as the MOH dress. If she balks, ask the bridal consultant to help you choose a bra that will make the dress fit better. Many bridal shops have foundation garments in stock. Or they may be able to sew some cups into the dress. 
                       
    Philly999lc07Bubblegum5586Blue_Bird
  • It concerns me that the bride only has two attendants and didn't take the needs of 50% of them into account. Did she at least ask you for your price point?

    Now is about the right time for the dresses to be ordered for a June wedding -- maybe a little early, but not much.

    It does sound like your issues are aesthetics (as opposed to modesty or price), so there's not much you can do. Since you don't have a good relationship with you, you should probably suck it up, get the dress altered to fit you, and then plan on changing into something else for the reception.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    Philly999Blue_Bird
  • It's not too early to order.  I just got socked with a 60.00 rush fee on one of the dresses for DD's wedding.  The wedding is June 14th, I ordered it last week from Pearl's Place and it is a Bill Levkoff.  3 months is not cutting it too close and I wonder if we are telling bride's they have plenty of time when rush fees are being charged at 3 months by some places.
    MairePoppylc07
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I think up to six months is fair, for ordering bm dresses. While David's may be able to get their dresses with short notice, other salons have to order from various manufacturers and there could be longer lead times on the dresses. 
                       
    kmmssg
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I just wanted to add that 3 months is a reasonable to order BM dresses. We went to pick out BM dresses for my wedding at the 3 month mark and the store gave us a pick up date of one week before my wedding. I wish I hadn't listened when everyone said that the BM dresses from David's come in super quick because I ended up picking a dress that had to be cut to order.

    As far as how you will feel in the dress, I agree that a good seamstress should be able to help you out with making the top fit. I don't think that fact that the dress hides your best feature is a good reason to ask the bride to change the dress.
    image
    KeptInStitchescosenti7lc07
  • Thanks so much for your feedback! 

    It's not simply that the dress hides my best feature...it's that it basically emphasizes the areas I'm self conscious about, while hiding the one that usually saves me -- I think. Part of the stress is that I haven't been able to try it on. 

    In terms of timeline, I think now is about the right time to order. I don't think, however, that ordering on Friday vs. ordering next week, should make a difference, but her bridal shop has convinced her that it does (I found that exaggerated deadlines were a common issue when I was wedding planning). If it were next week, I'd at least have the chance to go to a bridal shop on the weekend and try on the dress.

    And, HisGirl, thanks so much for your note. If I were bridesmaid #7 of seven, I would have definitely sucked it up. But with just two of us, I'm surprised that I wasn't consulted on anything (not even price, though as far as these things go, she didn't pick an expensive dress).

    That said, when she shared the link she said she thought it was a good dress for "tall" people. I'm not tall, but she seems to think I am, so I guess it wasn't zero consideration or anything deliberate...but I was unfortunately left out of the process. That doesn't feel great and has added a degree of anxiety to an event that I had been 100% looking forward to. 


  • scribe95 said:
    I have never been consulted about the exact dress or allowed to try on a bridesmaids' dress beforehand and I have been in about 10 weddings. So to me you are grousing a bit and just need to let it go. 
    I would argue this is the exception, not the rule. I have been in five weddings, and in every instance, I have been consulted on the dress and/or allowed to try it on and offer opinions (at least on style and cut; never on colour) before buying it.

    OP, it's really crappy that the bride didn't ask your price point -- whether it's expensive or not isn't the point. The point is that it's rude to spend other people's money without talking to them first.

    I'm sorry the dress is going to make you feel self-conscious. Could you wear a cami underneath, or have the seamstress sew in a faux cami into the dress so as to provide coverage, if that's what concerns you?
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    MairePoppyBlue_Bird
  • sarahuflsarahufl New York member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    scribe95 said:
    I have never been consulted about the exact dress or allowed to try on a bridesmaids' dress beforehand and I have been in about 10 weddings. So to me you are grousing a bit and just need to let it go. 
    I would argue this is the exception, not the rule. I have been in five weddings, and in every instance, I have been consulted on the dress and/or allowed to try it on and offer opinions (at least on style and cut; never on colour) before buying it.

    OP, it's really crappy that the bride didn't ask your price point -- whether it's expensive or not isn't the point. The point is that it's rude to spend other people's money without talking to them first.

    I'm sorry the dress is going to make you feel self-conscious. Could you wear a cami underneath, or have the seamstress sew in a faux cami into the dress so as to provide coverage, if that's what concerns you?


    ***STUCK IN THE BOX***
    Before coming here, I didn't know it was such a thing to poll the BMs about dresses. Of the 10 weddings I have been in, I think my sister was the only one who asked what we liked. She picked a color at David's Bridal and said go for it. I have worn everything from a $40 red, long-sleeved wrap dress (that I actually loved) to a $250 green, raw silk dress (which I hated). I was never asked about prices or anything.

    Looking back, I am annoyed at the behavior of the brides. Still pissed at the green raw silk one because it was a pretty crappy dress on top of being lime green and I was in no shape to pay for it at the time. Most of my friends kept things in the reasonable, $40-$120 range, but they still should have asked.
    image
    MairePoppy
  • Bubblegum5586Bubblegum5586 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2014
    Just curious if you can share the link of the dress?
    image


    Anniversary
  • This isn't the dress itself (I'd feel bad if she recognized it), but it's something like this, but knee length and with chiffon, not beading on top. Imagine it on a flat chested girl with disproportionately large hips: http://www.simplydresses.com/shop/viewitem-PD1199249. There's some mild cleavage present -- even with padding I can't supply that. 

    Also, it will be yellow. I'm very pale. 

    I'm not sure a cami underneath would help, but thanks for suggesting it! My guess is the seamstress will just make it ride higher, which may come at the expense of the cups looking a little weird. From past experience, that's a challenging alteration to make on a sweetheart neckline. Straight necklines are a lot easier to work with (and fudge).

    I did end up asking the bride if she wanted me to try it on and send photos, so she could be sure. She said no because she was sure I was built the same as her maid of honor. When I had my measurements taken, I sent them to her with a note saying they might be more different from her maid of honor than might have been obvious (we last saw each other three years ago, and I'm generally good at dressing for my body type), and noted that I'd need to make a lot of alternations to the top. I always framed it as information that might help her make her decision better, though I'm sure a thoughtful person would have been able to read between the lines. 

    She didn't acknowledge my concerns and bluntly told me to order the dress. My hope had been she might have been the kind of person who, if I later mentioned concerns would have said, "Why didn't you tell me???" But that doesn't seem to be the case. I don't think she's concerned about whether I feel comfortable in the dress. Paradoxically, many of her emails have been pretty cheery, and she seemed laid back about shoe selection, so that's something. But it just doesn't seem to have occurred to her that it would have been nice (and appropriate) to seek my input and care about what I think of her choice, how it will fit me, and (you were right HisGirl!) the cost...

    The dress was nearly twice as expensive from the store she wanted me to use than it would have been online (she insisted I use her local store because concerns about the color of the two girls matching exactly). So, now it's the most expensive bridesmaid dress I've ever bought, and I have complex alterations to look forward to. 

    At this point, I'm just sad about the whole thing. Maybe, once the dress arrives it will be ok, maybe my worst fears will be confirmed. Either way, I'm still bummed about how this has gone. I had hoped to get to know her better through this process, but instead I think she just expects me to follow orders. 

    Thanks so much to everyone who's commented. Thanks to many of you (and the knot's bridesmaid etiquette page), I at least feel like I'm entitled to feel bad about this!
  • scribe95 said:
    Look, I agree she should have talked with you about cost but I really think you are whining a lot over a dress that you don't personally like but that there is nothing wrong with. I think you need to move on or drop out.
    I disagree. She wasn't consulted on price, and that's a fair complaint. She's being forced to order it from a store (more expensive) than online because the bride has bought the bridal industry bullshit that the dresses must come from the same store to have the same dye lot to match EXACTLY. 

    OP, I'm sorry the bride is being like this. You mention she's being 'laid-back' about shoe choice. She either gets to dictate a general colour (nude, open-toe) or she buys the specific shoes she wants you to wear.

    I'm really, really sorry that the bride is being so difficult.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    KeptInStitchesPhilly999OliveOilsMom
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited March 2014
    @scribe95 - I agree that the bride gets to choose the bm dresses, as long as they're within budget and are appropriate. I don't think its reasonable to expect someone to display a body part that they are self conscious about. 


                       
  • I guess it depends on a broader view of what the wedding should be about. I think TheKnot gets it right below. Technically, sure, the bride can make these demands, but the experience is best for all if she seeks input from the people affected by her decisions. 

    I've been in two weddings before this...the first was a large wedding party and the bride's sister picked a universally flattering dress (rouching goes so far!). The second was a smaller wedding party and the bride asked each of us to try on a variety of dresses and send her pictures. For my own wedding, I did the same, and made sure everyone was on board with the choice. I had envisioned a pastel color, but switched to a royal blue when it became clear that was more flattering on my girls. In each wedding I think everyone felt like part of the team, and it was FUN! That's a large part of what it's about, right?



    Q. When selecting bridesmaids' attire, what is the proper etiquette?

    A. There's no real etiquette on how much a bride should involve her bridesmaids in the choosing of dresses, but the more input you allow them the better. It's important for your maids to like the dresses and to feel comfortable. Either round up the bridesmaids and try to collectively agree on a style and shade. Or talk to each bridesmaid separately, and ask for her preference. On the first shopping trip, you may want to take just her maid of honor along to scout things out. Then, when you narrow it down to a few styles, bring in the rest of the crew to try on the dresses and give opinions.

    Q. Do my attendants have to pay for their own bridesmaids dresses?

    A. Bridesmaids are generally expected to pay for their own wedding-day ensemble (shoes and jewelry included). Talk to your bridesmaids individually about any financial concerns, and tactfully work out a solution that suits both of you -- maybe you will pay for half or all of the cost, or you can set up a payment plan. Above all, try to choose a dress that's reasonably priced, or consider letting your maids choose their own gown. Give some color/style requirements (i.e., black and ankle length), and ask them to show you the dress for final approval (just in case it's a little too risque for grandma's taste).

  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited March 2014
    scribe95 said:
    Look, I agree she should have talked with you about cost but I really think you are whining a lot over a dress that you don't personally like but that there is nothing wrong with. I think you need to move on or drop out.
    OP is being told she must buy a dress she doesn't like, from a more expensive shop, without her budget or opinion taken into account at all. I think she has the total right to be annoyed about this.
    Any bride should ask budget first and any considerate bride should make sure that their BMs are at least comfortable with the choice.

    At my wedding I picked the dress, but I had every girl try it on first to make sure they looked good / felt ok. I also paid for their dresses.
    In the wedding I was in... the bride didn't ask for our budget but she did at least ask our opinions on the dress she picked and let us each try it on before deciding. (though man... after alterations the price on that thing was a total bitch. At least I looked good).


    OP, how big a price difference is it between the boutique she wants and where else you could order it from? If it's a big enough difference and it's not too late to cancel the order (to repurchase elsewhere)... I can't say that I wouldn't be tempted. Her making her BMs pay loads more because of a slight dye difference (which no one will notice anyway) is super shitty and I wouldn't let her get away with it (but that's easy for me to say because she's not part of my family).

    Another option would be to call the boutique, say you found the dress elsewhere for $XYZ and that you were going to cancel the order there unless they could give you a discount. Might not work, but you never know. If you're polite, yet assertive, that gets you places sometime.

    Even if you'd purchased the dress already, I suggest finding one to try on. There's a chance that it will look fine and you're getting worked up over nothing (take someone objective with you to take pictures). If it looks passable, then you can rest easy.
    If it's truly awful (which hopefully it wont' be), send the pics to the bride. She might decide she wants to change dresses on her own (don't prompt her for this though... just show it to her and ask what she thinks).
    If there's no movement there... then you have to decide if it's more important to keep the peace with an inconsiderate bride or not spending so much money on something fugly. (I assume you can cancel the order with a small penalty. Or at least sell it on ebay or something as never worn).

    Does your brother know what's going on? I'm not saying necessarily get him involved... it's really bad when another family member puts someone in the "it's me, your sister, or the woman you love. Choose," kind of situation. I'm just wondering what you think he'd think about this, if anything.


    ETA:
    No clue if certain undergarments (maximizers? wonder bras?) might help that you haven't already tried (definitely extra tough if the dress is strapless), but a deeper investigation into that could also be worthwhile.
    Could the seamstress add padding? Or is that kind of demoralizing?
    My problem areas (of which I have many) lie elsewhere, so I don't know much about this sort of thing.
  • I can see your concern on this. I have the same body shape that you describe (except minus the cute waist, boo). I wouldn't even have the breasts to hold that up. I would be self-conscious the whole time and concerned about it falling down.
  • What about going to the bridal shop & trying on the dress. Take someone with you if you can or have the sales clerk take a photo of you in the dress. If you are correct that it's unflattering to your body type, ask the bridal shop, do they have any other dresses from the same dress manufacturer that is in the same length, fabric & color but that might flatter you more. Assuming you find something, then have a photo taken of you in that dress. Then send the photos to the Bride & just tell her, "I tried on the dress and I don't think I look very good in it. Here is how I look. I want to make sure I look my best for your wedding, I found this dress from the same designer that I think is more flattering on me, would you be open to the idea of me wearing a different dress but same color & designer?" This way she can see what you are talking about with how the dress she picked out for you doesn't work & you are giving her an option right away that will work for you.
  • I would just like to add something so that anyone else in a similar situation might see it.  This is what happened with my girls:

    I asked all of my BM to pick any dress they liked; they all decided they wanted to wear the same dress.  I said that was fine, and they asked me to pick one out from pictures of 3 or 4 different ones.  There was a general consensus leaning toward one anyway, and it looked great so I said sure, go with that one.  I asked them several times what they wanted because they were the ones who had  buy it/ keep it forever, not me.  I couldn't care less what they were buying, as long as they liked it and were comfortable.

    Fast forward two months.  Two girls of six (my MOH and her sister) both ordered their dresses.  MOH already has hers and said it fits like a glove and looks great.  Awesome, right?  I then receive a phone call from MOG last weekend about the dress b/c FI's sister is one of my BM.  Apparently she isn't comfortable with the fit of the dress on her body type, even though she was the one to try it on and sent us photos of it and looked great in it.  

    So now, after two girls already have their dress, I told everyone to pick any dress (once again.) as long as it is short, satin, and coral reef colored.  I also offered to pay for new dresses if my MOH or her sister wish to pick a new dress and can't return the ones they have.  I wish FSIL had spoken up already and said she was uncomfortable because I was already totally open to them all wearing whatever they wanted, but they all said they wanted to match and all leaned toward the one dress.  

    Bottom line for any girls in a situation where you don't like a BM dress: speak up about it.  No-one will know your opinion unless you tell them.  Even if they still want you to wear something specific, they'll know your concerns and probably want to help you feel more comfortable.
    image


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