On May 23rd, I had the privilege to witness two of my oldest friends get married. And deeper privilege still, to be the Maid of Honor for my best friend of 25 years. And let me tell you, Leah, my dear sweet little Leah, was the epitome of the perfect bride. Calm, cool, collected, full of laughs and smiles, and never a hint of bridezilla tendencies throughout the entire process of her planning and execution of the wedding day. Not only was Leah a perfect bridal vision, but she had gifted her bridesmaids with the trust of letting us pick our own dresses and accessories for the wedding day. Have you ever heard of such a friend?!
It seems most of us ladies, at some point in our adult lives, are subjected to the unfortunate pressure of being forced to buy an overpriced, ill fitting, and unapologetically unattractive bridesmaid dress. And we must endure this while completely silencing of our fashion instincts. 'It's only one day and I just have to listen to the bride and try to make her happy', is something we've likely muttered to ourselves to bear the pain of paying handsomely to wear an ensemble that doesn't exactly merit self confidence or a fashion-forward moment.
For our dresses, we had to follow two rules: pick a dress within the color pallet of the wedding, and the cut must be floor length. Done and done. We were allowed the creative freedom to have a heyday in picking a dress that each of us actually loved and felt confident in. Thank you, Leah!
I picked a floor length, dusty taupe rose, gathered crepe gown, very Grecian in style and drape. I would have loved to find a vintage dress, but given the parameters, and my budget, I chose a dress from Lulus.com. I must say, this website is a gold mine for future bridesmaids. With hundreds of cuts endless color options, and most gowns under $100, this is THEE place to shop for a contemporary gown. Please, please forget David's Bridal as your budget dress provider. Lulus blows them out of the water on every level. I received the perfect dress in under a week and it is gorgeous! From there, I paired it with the accessories. The shoe decision was the hard part. So I packed both options which included a dusty pink, strappy pair of sandals by J. Crew, and a 1950's vintage pair of cut-out Ferragamo's that I already owned and they happened to be in the exact same shade as the dress. I ended up wearing the open toed sandals, to further elongate my silhouette. And the sandals added visual harmony to the already Grecian look of the ensemble. Though I'll have you know, the Ferragamo's certainly did not go to waste, oh absolutely not. They were worn with an incredible cappuccino colored silk tea dress by BCBG to the rehearsal dinner. I also paired my bridesmaid dress with a 1950's handbag with a gold key embellishment, similar to that of the popular Greek key motif, further adding to the harmony of my ensemble. For jewelry, I always advocate that less is more. I chose a simple Art Deco inspired pair of earrings by Madewell, and a 1950's Mannelli gold-plated bracelet. No necklace or rings required. I believe that the less elaborate you can make your ensemble, while still creating an elevated sense of glamour, is a super power of those claiming to understand fashion. With jewelry, either keep it simple and harmonic, or go ALL OUT, Iris Apfel style. None of this in between, or indecision silliness.
For the reception, I brought along an oversized scarf with an opulent stranded jewels print to drape over my shoulders (it was 40 degrees outside, afterall). I could have simply thrown a wool coat on top, but I am extremely adverse to ruining a glamorous formal look with an ill-matched coat. I ALWAYS consider the outerwear I will have to pair with my outfits, as should you. A coat is not a utilitarian object for me. A coat, jacket, scarf, cape, pashmina, or any sort of additional garment used for warmth, MUST harmonize and enhance your overall look. If you don't have one in your wardrobe, please just bare with the cold, dear. Sometimes fashion is about making sacrifices in comfort. While I always strive for function, comfort AND fashion in my looks, there are times when an accessory or certain piece of your ensemble is not visually appropriate and can downright RUIN your entire look. So I make it a point to always be cognizant of this.
Not only was the wedding day a complete anomaly in the sense that every controllable detail went smoothly and perfectly, but it was an immaculate experiment in the trust that the bride exhibited in her friend's ability to choose appropriate and beautiful wardrobe. I can safely say that we downright slayed in the fashion department. So here's to a beautiful marriage, a beautiful bride, and the trust it takes to allow your friends to make executive fashion decisions. When a bride and groom exhibit tastefulness, trust, calm vibes, and happiness in every step of the way, harmony is sure to follow. Visual, spiritual, social and emotional harmony flowed throughout the wedding day, and we all proceeded to have one of the best and most fashionable days of our lives.