I caught myself thinking about wedding traditions many times, and honestly I can’t think of a more controversial tradition than picking the ugly dress for the bridesmaid. I’m not sure when and where it started – brides to choose an unflattering dress for bridesmaids, considering that the bridesmaid is the person who helps the bride during the wedding preparations the most, and considering also that the bridesmaid is usually a close friend or a close relative, like a sister or a cousin.
Probably I’m not the first person to ask myself why the bridesmaid’s dress is (almost) always an ugly one? And the sense of this question is deeper than it sounds, at least to me. When I say ugly dress, I mean really-really ugly, horrible, hideous, a dress absolutely impossible to wear the second time, no matter the alterations.
Many people say a bride would choose a horrible dress for her bridesmaid because of a mistake, because she doesn’t realize the bridesmaid wouldn’t be happy to wear such a dress, because she’s under a lot of pressure with wedding preparations going on. What a pot of bollocks! Don’t be fooled, there is no mistake, a bride who picks an ugly dress for her bridesmaid knows perfectly what she is doing. It’s impossible for her not to know that an ugly dress is an ugly dress. No, the reason some brides choose unflattering dresses for her bridesmaids is that they fear someone else will look better than them on their big day. And I really can’t get it – why on earth are you afraid someone would look better than you on your wedding day, if the bride is always the princess at her wedding? A wedding gown looks always the best among the other outfits showed off at a wedding. And yet, some brides do humiliate their bridesmaids forcing them to wear horrible dresses. I just try to explain the phenomenon to myself. And what I can think of is that the bride takes advantage of this “established tradition” that the bridesmaid shouldn’t be very beautiful at a wedding and shouldn’t be attractive, so she won’t eclipse the bride. The bridesmaid is just taken for granted, and it’s not fair.
Some people think that the bridesmaid should accept any ugly dress from her bride friend, no matter what, due to the “etiquette”, shut her mouth up and just get it over with, for the bride’s sake, because it’s her big day, because she deserves to have it the way she wants it, bla-bla-bla. What another pot of bollocks. Instead, I think the bride is the one who should be considerate towards her bridesmaid’s feelings, since the bridesmaid has accepted the difficult job to help the bride in wedding preparations. It’s your best friend we’re talking about, for crying out loud! Or your sister, or your cousin, a very close person anyway! Then why would you want to humiliate her with a horrible dress? Nobody is more beautiful than the bride at a wedding anyway, so I think such a sacrifice is really absolutely unnecessary.
I really can’t understand what some brides are thinking when choosing this kind of dresses for their bridesmaids. Don’t you get that your friend will hate you for this? Aren’t you afraid your friendship will be broken after that? The etiquette people say the bridesmaid should accept the ugly dress not to hurt the bride’s feelings, because otherwise a friendship may be broken. How about the bride should be concerned about not to hurt her bridesmaid’s feelings, who is also her best friend, or her sister, or her cousin, and who helps the bride with the wedding preparations from the beginning to the end? Because that very friendship can be broken the other way around too. I think it’s extremely selfish for a bride to choose an ugly dress for her bridesmaid.
Remember Confessions of a Shpaholic the movie, starring Isla Fisher as Becky Bloomwood? Remember Suze getting married in the movie, and Becky, her best friend, being her bridesmaid? Remember the crazy bouffant pink dress Suze chose for Becky to wear at her wedding? Well, that dress was absolutely outrageous, and NOT in a good way. Did you think Suze chose that dress by mistake, or by lack of inspiration? Don’t get fooled! It was very-very on purpose! While watching the movie, I was thinking what a heck was Suze doing? This is your best friend for crying out loud, not some ordinary person. Becky may have her flaws, but she’s still your best friend. How can you possibly be so selfish and insensitive to expect your best friend to wear such a horrible dress at your wedding? Suze’s selfishness literally aggravated me.
And remember Becky’s reaction when she first saw the dress? Suze was so selfish, that she took advantage of the fact that Becky didn’t have the guts to tell her bride friend that it was actually a horrible dress and she hated it. She also pretended Becky’s reaction was a good one: “Oh, you like it? I’m glad you like it, so the bridesmaid dress business is done. You’ll wear it at my wedding”. How on earth could a best friend possibly do that?
When I got married, I actually let my bridesmaid choose her own dress. She showed it to me prior the wedding, I approved of it, and everybody was happy. It was actually a nice and elegant dress. It never crossed my mind that someone would eclipse me at my own wedding, I knew I would be the Princess on my big day anyway, so I didn’t feel I should force ugly dresses on anyone at my wedding. As for me, thank God I have never been in the imposition to wear an ugly dress at a wedding. But if I would ever have been expected to wear a horrible dress as a bridesmaid at a wedding, I’m telling you – my friendship with that woman would have stopped then and there. If I could, I would ban the ugly dresses for bridesmaids, and I would make the brides pay big penalties for forcing their bridesmaids to wear horrible dresses.