Etiquette

Curious: What would you say when asked opinion on BM dress?

So I'm the MOH in a wedding coming up this spring.  This bride has a very different style than I do and picked a BM dress that I'm honestly not that fond of.  It's not my style at all.  Her MIL (also my MIL, the bride is marrying my H's brother) is making the dresses.  So I won't have to spend all that much, but probably some on tailoring.  I understand that buying a BM dress is my responsibility, and do not begrudge at all spending money on it.

My question is, the bride asked my opinion on the dress.  She asked what I thought of it.  So if someone asked your opinion on a BM dress, would you give them your honest opinion? (It's not my style, but it's your wedding, I'll wear whatever you want) Or would you just say it's nice. (I think it's pretty.)  (Both of which are true, btw.)

Also, would your answer change when you know the bride has already purchased the pattern and fabric for the dress?

Also, I'll add another detail. The bride wears extremely modest clothes (I mean, I've never seen her in anything more than an inch lower cut than a crew-neck t-shirt).  One of the other BMs does as well.  I consider myself a modest dresser as well, but not to that extent.  This dress will be a couple inches below the knee, has 3/4 sleeves and has a very high neckline.

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Re: Curious: What would you say when asked opinion on BM dress?

  • If I thought expressing my opinion would help get me out of wearing a dress I didn't like, I'd say something.  

    But since you know the fabric has already been purchased, at this point what's the point? It'll just hurt her feelings with no benefit to anyone.

    Can you offer to purchase a different pattern more to your liking to be used with the fabric she's already purchased? Or is she one of those brides hell bent on everyone matching 100% regardless of what's flattering for each individual?

    PrettyGirlLost
  • @mrs4everhart

    I've already pretty much decided I'm not going to say anything unless somebody gives a really, really compelling good reason why it'd be OK if I did.

    I don't think this bride would be comfortable with me wearing a less modest dress.  I feel like having that much covered up and the style will not be slimming on me where, say, a v-neck would be or showing arms so it's not so much fabric.

    I would not say she's "hell bent."  She is very nice, but I also think she's not up on all the things that would be polite for the BMs if they were considered.

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Sounds horrible! One of my daughter's BM said she'd wear a brown paper bag if my daughter wanted her to. I was humbled by that remark so I guess, my only advice is just to smile and agree with her. Presumably she knows it would never be something you'd choose.
  • I didn't like the dress I wore in my sisters wedding.  It wasn't ugly but it was uncomfortable and didn't flatter me well.  She loved it.  I told her I loved it because it is her wedding and I wanted her to be happy and have the least amount of stress possible.

    It is one night wearing a dress that isn't something you would normally wear.  I think it would be make it easier on the bride to just say you liked it.  It would stress me out if I new a bridesmaid didn't like the dress I picked out.
    indianaalumjaprincess24
  • @mrs4everhart

    I've already pretty much decided I'm not going to say anything unless somebody gives a really, really compelling good reason why it'd be OK if I did.

    I don't think this bride would be comfortable with me wearing a less modest dress.  I feel like having that much covered up and the style will not be slimming on me where, say, a v-neck would be or showing arms so it's not so much fabric.

    I would not say she's "hell bent."  She is very nice, but I also think she's not up on all the things that would be polite for the BMs if they were considered.
    I don't think there's much to be done at this point. Had an objection been raised before the dress design was picked and the fabric purchased you may have been able to reach a compromise. Now I think you're pretty much stuck. Thankfully it's only a few hours. 

    I think advising brides to communicate with their bridal party about the design/fabric/etc. of their dresses is one of the most important pieces of advice that can be given to a newly engaged woman. If you've ever donned a fug dress in someone's wedding it's an exclusive club of misery where cameras and people with great memories are not welcome. The hideous bridesmaid dress stereotype definitely got it's reputation legitimately. 



    PrettyGirlLostweddingcactus
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I second what LoLo said.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I would be somewhat honest.   Since the dresses are being made I would see if I could higher the hem a little, maybe lower the neckline a little.   Keeping the overall style, but maybe tailoring more to your tastes.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    PrettyGirlLostMaggie0829
  • I am an honest person, if forever tackless. I can't lie and tell someone I like a gift, or dress, or anything if I genuinely don't like it. Basically I don't like a gift I go "this is really nice and I can tell how much you thought about me when you were shopping for it. Unfortunately it's not really something I would generally use." This is ONLY when someone asks me directly "do you like what I got you?" Otherwise I just go "omg thank you so much this is so sweet/beautiful/other genuine compliment."
    I think the same thing applies here. I'm not sure this is what you SHOULD do, just what I would do because.... I can't lie. At all. I would say NOTHING at all, and wear a big smile on my face and whatever dress she picked out. If she says "what do you think of the dress?" Then I would tell her that I think it's going to perfect for her wedding. If she asks "do you like the dress?" Then I would say "well, I'm not a big fan of XYZ but it doesn't matter because I will wear if for your wedding because I love you." If at that point she asks what she could do to make it better for me, then I would offer things that would make it more flattering to your body type but I would NOT talk about making it shorter or more revealing- honestly, if she is that modest, there's a possibility that the modesty of the wedding dresses could have a religious bent to it which means it could be your relationship on the line if you asked to wear something more revealing while at the front of her church and her (maybe even more conservative) family, during a very religious event. I say this last bit from personal experience, and your friend may totally not match up with this.
    japrincess24
  • I had to wear an awful bridesmaid dress once.  the very modest bride picked it up...went to below the knee, short sleeves. awful color, ugly bow.   I don't remember her asking my opinion but if she did I probably would have lied and just said it's nice.   Since they were bought already and we would have never picked a mutual liked dress I just sucked it up and wore it...along with my dye to match shoes.    I hate to hurt feelings.  At the same time, I would not have wanted my bridesmaids stuck wearing something they didn't like or feel comfortable in and would have wanted their honest opinion. I didn't want matching dresses so I just gave them a color and length and let them pick what they wanted.    I think, if the material is bought and it is what it is I'd just hid my true feelings and say something like it's nice or it's pretty. 
  • Whatever you do please don't say "Whatever you want". I heard that over and over when I was getting married and it was awful! If she asks your opinion please nicely give her an answer.

    I think when you agree to be a bridesmaid you agree to wear a dress that the bride picks AS LONG AS it is within your budget and you are comfortable wearing it (ie. you're not worried you're going to have a nip slip). Being the bride-- she does get to pick the color, fabric, and style. Just because you don't think you'll look like a knock out is not a reason to diss the dress. I would also ask if a few small adjustments could be made to the hemline and neckline.

    As long as you can be comfortable and have a nice time, that is all you need.
    MrsMarende
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Either gently tell her the truth before her seamstress starts cutting, or smile through your teeth and then have it altered to your liking once it's done. . . I'm sure there are other seamstresses you can use in your area.

    It's the bride's wedding and she gets to pick her own dress. I have no idea when this awful trend started where brides also get to pick out the style of dress the BM'S have to BUY and wear. Time to counsel future brides away from that madness. Pick a color and length sure, but then let your BM'S find a dress that they like that meets those criteria.

    Or the bride can pay for the $200 dress I will never wear a
    Gain outside of Her Day.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    It depends on your friend and how you think she would take it.  Would she be offended if you were honest?  But, since she asked your opinion, I would politely tell her that it's not really your style, being much more modest than you typically wear, but it's a pretty dress and you will gladly wear it for her wedding.  Since she wears modest clothing, she may feel strongly about wanting her wedding party to be more modestly covered. Or if she knows how you feel, she may suggest making a few minor modifications to your dress to compromise on it.  Depending on the style of dress, you could probably lower the neckline or raise the sleeves an inch without it really looking different from the other girls.

    I've never worn a BM dress that I would ever wear again. Some I really liked, but were just too formal to wear again.  Some just weren't my style, but bride loved it.

    image 

  • Under most circumstances I go the "It's not my exact taste, but I'll be happy to wear it for you" route unless the dress truly made me uncomfortable (and actually, I tend to be brutally honest about my feelings at all times, so my saying that is the best case scenario).  I'd probably only really say something though if the dress was more immodest than I would normally care to wear (either hemline or otherwise revealing more skin than I care to reveal).  Since this dress is leaning the other way, being more modest than you care for, I'm not really sure the reverse argument really holds a lot of weight.  The only way I could really see that working is if it posed a health risk (i.e. she's having an outdoor wedding in the middle of summer in Phoenix and for some reason chose long sleeve floor length velvet gowns and there's a good chance of you suffering heatstroke).  Otherwise, I'd just suck it up. 

    Also, could there be religious reasons for her modest dressing in general and/or church requirements for covered shoulders and more modest dressing if they are marrying in a church?  Otherwise, I would think perhaps either she doesn't want the bridesmaids to be more uncovered than she would be if her dress is rather modest or she doesn't want the other bridesmaid to feel uncomfortable or singled out if the others were in a less modest dress than her.
  • Thanks you all. 

    She did specifically ask for my opinion. Her exact words were "What do you think? I really appreciate feedback." I'm considering saying "I tend to prefer something knee-length rather than below, but I think it is a nice dress whatever you choose."  Also, just FYI, the pattern she chose is an above knee dress, about three inches above the knee, but she is choosing to lengthen it.

    Also, I hate to shoot down this one, because I shot down the last dress (similar style). She couldn't find it anywhere but JJs House and I told her I wasn't comfortable buying from that site because it's a knockoff.  (For the record,  after she took a look at it further, she said I was smart to be wary.)

    It's not insanely ugly. Looking at it again. I wouldn't be totally embarrassed to be seen or photographed in it.

    Yes, it is religious reasons for modesty.  However, I am religious as well and I am modest.  I have never worn any skirts more than about two inches above the knee and I don't show cleavage.  I'm certainly not wanting anything that would be inappropriate for church!  Anything inappropriate for church would be inappropriate for me in general.

  • It sounds like saying something is only going to bring more awkward into your life. I'd just wear it.
  • If she asked for your opinion and specially said she wants feedback, I would just pick the one thing you find the most shitty that she can easily change and tell her that. Then find something positive to say to balance it out.

    The day of, in your head of course, you can just have fun with it. If you think its hideous, just make a point to avoid a mirror - but when you catch a glimpse, remember how much time and love was put into making it and let it gooooo!
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • Honestly? I would go with the flow, but that is just me. I know how hard it can be to please everyone when it comes to weddings, so I always just made it easier on a bride and went with the flow when it came to a dress. I personally would never speak up if I didn't like a dress unless I felt so uncomfortable wearing it (i.e. it was supert slutty or something like that).
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Either gently tell her the truth before her seamstress starts cutting, or smile through your teeth and then have it altered to your liking once it's done. . . I'm sure there are other seamstresses you can use in your area. It's the bride's wedding and she gets to pick her own dress. I have no idea when this awful trend started where brides also get to pick out the style of dress the BM'S have to BUY and wear. Time to counsel future brides away from that madness. Pick a color and length sure, but then let your BM'S find a dress that they like that meets those criteria. Or the bride can pay for the $200 dress I will never wear a Gain outside of Her Day.
    I'd never heard of bridesmaid's having ANY say in their dresses until I came to TK.  As far as I knew, the bride picked the dress and you bought it. Period.  If you couldn't afford it, you discussed it with her in private and figured something out. I still don't get the group shopping trip where everyone gets an opinion and they have to find one dress style together. Too many opinions, too complicated.  Either let the bride choose the dress within the budget of all the maids, or give them a length/color/fabric/designer and let them pick their own dress individually.
    indianaalumjaprincess24
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I really wish we could go back to attendants choosing their own outfits and just wearing their "Sunday best" or whatever.

    In this instance I would not give my opinion if she did not ask for it. But she very directly asked your opinion. I would politely give my true opinion. 
    PrettyGirlLostweddingcactus
  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited November 2014
    If we were in the process of shopping I would have been expressing my opinions all along whether the bride asks or not. After all, I am the one wearing it! I'm not bitchy and overbearing about what I want, but I will say if it's an ugly dress or doesn't match the venue or is too revealing or whatever. As a bride, I appriacite the feedback. If it's already set in stone, I would just go with it. I am pretty comfortable wearing just about anything, though. 
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • mrsdee15mrsdee15 member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    When my best friend/MOH got married, she gave us three options and asked our preference.  After that, she picked the one I absolutely despised.  I never told her, and I never will.  She asked for some feedback and then made her choice, and I was really honored to stand up there with her (she and I had a massive falling out over a mutual misunderstanding and this was the first time we started to bond again).  I agree with PPs that say to give some feedback as to maybe one thing (for me it would be the neckline, I can't deal with stuff touching my neck), and then let it go.  It's just a few hours that you're wearing it.

    That being said, that event taught me that I am just going to give my bridesmaids a color and length, and let them pick out their own dress to buy/rent/borrow, whatever.

    ETA: She STILL talks about how much she loved how we looked.  Her happiness was worth wearing something that wasn't my style.

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  • I think I'm just not going to say anything and tell her it looks nice.  I've looked at it several times since my first opinion, and it's really not that bad.  It will never be my style but it's not like it has a butt bow or a plethora of ruffles anything like that!  The dress looks a bit baggy on the model on the pattern, so hopefully it will be made a little more fitted and look a little better on me. Also, she sent another email saying she was going to change the sleeves to be similar to the sleeves on her dress.  So I think the sleeves might actually end up being short.

    Thanks ladies!

    weddingcactusmrsdee15
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Either gently tell her the truth before her seamstress starts cutting, or smile through your teeth and then have it altered to your liking once it's done. . . I'm sure there are other seamstresses you can use in your area. It's the bride's wedding and she gets to pick her own dress. I have no idea when this awful trend started where brides also get to pick out the style of dress the BM'S have to BUY and wear. Time to counsel future brides away from that madness. Pick a color and length sure, but then let your BM'S find a dress that they like that meets those criteria. Or the bride can pay for the $200 dress I will never wear a Gain outside of Her Day.
    I'd never heard of bridesmaid's having ANY say in their dresses until I came to TK.  As far as I knew, the bride picked the dress and you bought it. Period.  If you couldn't afford it, you discussed it with her in private and figured something out. I still don't get the group shopping trip where everyone gets an opinion and they have to find one dress style together. Too many opinions, too complicated.  Either let the bride choose the dress within the budget of all the maids, or give them a length/color/fabric/designer and let them pick their own dress individually.
    People used to wear their "Sunday Best" to be in weddings as lc07 mentioned.  Brides did not pick out dresses for their BM's in the past.  I'm not sure when that crap started, but I'd bet it was in the 1980's. . . that seems to be the time when all of a sudden everyone had to be all matchy-matchy.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    weddingcactus
  • Emily Post's original Etiquette in 1922 calls for bridesmaids in uniform. Bridesmaids were responsible not only for wearing what the bride instructed for a dress but also shoes and stockings gloves and hats to be paid for by the bridesmaids. The bride's gift would be jewelry or parasols or muffs for them to wear/carry to the wedding.

  • It sounds like the OP has made what I think is the smart choice to just go with the flow. I am not religiously modest, but I can understand your desire to wear the dress a few inches shorter. For some of us, it's just a more flattering length. Once the dress is ready, I would see if you can have a seamstress tailor it close to your body (not too tight of course) to be as flattering a possible. Every now and then a below the knee dress can be flattering (though I prefer slightly above the knee as well). I'd probably pick out some high heels that lengthen the line of the leg (no ankle straps, maybe aim for a nude color?) to help balance out the super modest dress.
    thisismynickname2
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Emily Post's original Etiquette in 1922 calls for bridesmaids in uniform. Bridesmaids were responsible not only for wearing what the bride instructed for a dress but also shoes and stockings gloves and hats to be paid for by the bridesmaids. The bride's gift would be jewelry or parasols or muffs for them to wear/carry to the wedding.

    Ugh so this crap began in the '20s?!

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm inclined to be annoyed with a dress choice, but not say anything unless it is a budget issue, it's is too revealing or insanely uncomfortable...otherwise I'd wear the paper bag if requested.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    To answer the call of the overarching question, "What would you say if asked?" I'd be honest in any case. I'd tell a bride, "I'll wear whatever you want because it IS your choice, but... honestly, tea-length makes me look stumpy. Again, if you're set on it, I'll wear it, but since you asked, I just don't like the length."
    There needs to be a line between brides forcing their BMs into dresses they secretly hate and BMs giving brides hell and insisting on getting their own demands met.  
    ________________________________


    PrettyGirlLostjaprincess24
  • If you think the dress won't look good on you, then be honest with the bride, that you have some concerns over the style of the dress and would hate for MIL to go through all the work making it and then it doesn't flatter you & see if the two of you can go to the store and find a dress in a similar style to try on & go from there. She may agree that it's not the most flattering style on you and let you pick out a different pattern (take MIL with you to make sure it's something she can handle making). If she thinks you look great in it, then its up to you if you want to just suck it up or try to convince her to go a different style.
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