The amazing thing about planning a wedding is the endless number of details for my monkey mind to fuss with. I thought after the date/ location/ caterer/ dress decisions were made that I would clear my head and return to my regularly-scheduled dissertation writing. But now I'm thinking about bridesmaids: whether to have them, what they should wear, how coordinated it should be.
My two closest friends from college, along with my two brothers, are obvious choices to stand with me while I'm getting married. I was "Best Woman" for each of those friends. Each of them got married a decade ago, and now they have small children. It feels almost unseemly to dictate what my fully grown up friends would wear at my wedding. The practical trend is for brides to ask their friends to choose a color, and all wear dresses in that color - ideally black, because everyone has a great black dress.
The problem is, I don't really want people wearing black - I love color! And, I bought pastel-colored dresses for my friends weddings. Matching - or at least coordinated - bridesmaids look pretty in photographs. Despite everyone's conviction that those dresses were 'so wearable,' I never wore them again (well, formally. One of them did become my Halloween 'forest sprite' costume. Actually, I got quite a lot of mileage out of it as a costume.)
I've been scoping out bridesmaid's dresses, looking for a cut/ feel that is similar in style to my dress, in a brighter color. I'm loving Amsale's bridesmaids dresses. These options echo the v-neck and ruffle of my dress, and I love the bright colors. They look sophisticated enough to *actually* be worn again. Now, if I could just figure out where they're sold, and how much they cost (I don't want to ask my friends to spend big bucks, when they'll also be traveling). It appears that all the boutiques that carry them are in SoCal.
This LuluKate dress is adorable, too, but maybe tricky to get, since it would have to be ordered online, and there's no way to try it on first and make sure that it's flattering.
All this points to the general conundrum at the center of my wedding planning: do I keep it simple, low-key, practical as I do with much of the rest of my life, and as the books and blogs tell me is appropriate for a Grown-up Bride (gak! they'd put me is a simple yet elegant suit in front of a judge at the courthouse!), or do I indulge the whims and fancies of the Inner Bride who has waited a helluva long time for this event, and wants it to be a total blowout celebration?
These two positions are not mutually exclusive, of course, and much of what we will do at the ceremony and reception reflects the practical, socially- and ecologically-conscious perspective. We don't want to have an enormous ecological footprint with this event, and we want it to reflect our values, so no random geegaws that the Wedding Industrial Complex says we have to have (see bunting, Unity Candle, aisle runner, favors that are not edible or useful). At the same time, aesthetics and fashion are important to me, and I want it to look, feel, and most of all, be, great fun!