I was a child bride, married so long ago I don’t even retain memories of the event. After a few decades my peers caught up and started pairing off and I’ve been very lucky. I’ve never had to endure spending a bajillion dollars on some funky bridesmaid’s dress with shoes dyed to match. Which is not to say I haven’t been tormented by being in weddings, because, oh I have. For all three weddings I’ve been a bridesmaid-ish-sort-of-thing in I’ll admit it, I totally choked under pressure when it came down to what to wear.
In one wedding (to a friend-who-was-as-close-as-a-sister) the entire enormous wedding party was told to wear whatever they wanted as long as it was black. Yes, black. Hmmmm.
(I started wondering if I could somehow back out, but given that I’d missed her first wedding…). So I had a seamstress copy a mauve sheath dress that I loved in black. Only she convinced me to use this totally cool fabric that was made of some special fancy silk, but somehow managed to look a) horrible on me and b) like cheap polyester when the dress was done. There was that funny look I got from the bride when she first saw me, but the day was about her, not me, so we pushed past it, and I ducked the cameras as much as I could.
With my sister’s wedding I was told to wear something champagne. So I found a champagne pant suit. Now, I’ve never worn a pant suit in my life, but I wore it with nylons and no undies to make sure all was smooth, if you know what I mean. The only problem was the photos. Standing there under blazing lights I started remembering a friend’s telling me about her experience on stage where pictures taken of her in costume under super bright lights had made her cat suit costume transparent in the photos–revealing her nipples and pubic hair. Quelle horror! What if the combo of light weight, light colored pantsuit, bright lights and no undies…ruined my sister’s wedding photos.
I started standing like Miss U.S.A. with one leg forward, hips turned to the side, torso straight on. Oh, and with my champagne clutch poised in my hand over my crotch. The photographer bustled up to straighten everyone out. He took away my clutch, turned my body, tapped my leg to get it even with the other…but by the time he got back to the camera and looked through the viewfinder I had turned again, my foot was out, and my arm was gracefully hanging like it was broken or something so it happened to dangle right over my crotch…You get the idea. I was relentless. That poor man.
The third wedding was my sister-in-law’s — we got to wear whatever we wanted. I found a super cute tangerine pink plaid dress made of raw silk on sale for $20.00. (Silk again–will I ever learn!) Of course, during the outdoor summer wedding I got massive sweat stains under the arms while reading a poem for the ceremony. I learned another lesson. Blurring sweaty dark stains in photoshop fools no one but yourself.
Given how hard it is for most women to wear white on her special day, don’t you think that Vera Wang is kinda onto something coming up with black wedding dresses? I mean, it’s sorta crazy, yes, but on the other hand, it probably allows that special bride to feel very bad ass. Because face it people, some brides just are bad ass.
And Vera doesn’t stop at black. She’s got a wonderful color of f*** me red too. Or–ahem–champagne. Do you think that she was facing another season of wedding dresses and had some kind of nervous fit? “Agh! My God–all that white! I can’t take it anymore!!!!”
Her collection still won’t save you from a funky bridesmaid dress experience, but it’ll add an edge to the proceedings for sure.
For some people–with their snark-o-friends, their exes, and complicated lives full of schadenfreude–a black dress makes the perfect statement of bouquet chewing bridezilla-esque angst and fury. But black minimizes all those bulges and bumps, so it doesn’t matter if the bride looks like Theresa Russell in Black Widow, Vera’s bride who wore black is sure to become the Next Big Thing.
Here are a few more photos. I can’t help myself, I am as always —
obsessed with all things wedding & unnatural. My first romance manuscript is about a bridezilla who experiences humiliating wedding fail then runs off to Paris with a hot wedding guest and winds up finding true love. At her wedding she can’t stop thinking about her family–killed in a sick tragedy, she mourns them. I don’t think she’d ever wear a black wedding dress–but given where her heart’s at, it would be an expressive statement of her true feelings on her Big Day.