Friday, November 07, 2008

Kylie’s 27 Dresses---Well, okay, only 4

I think I’ve mentioned before that two of my sons got married last summer. Five weeks apart, as a matter of fact. One got married the week before I went to San Francisco for RWA, and the other ceremony was a couple weeks after I returned.

Funny how mom doesn’t get a vote on the timing of important events like this ☺ You’d think they’d care that I was juggling two deadlines and two trips already for the summer when they made their plans. Not so much.

I actually thought I’d convinced my twenty-five year old son to wait until next summer. (There was the little matter of actually paying our share of two weddings to consider, as well.) After talking to him, he said, “Well, I’ll probably do what I’m told.” A huge sense of relief swept over me and I said, “Thank goodness.” He looked at me and said, “No, I mean by Carly.”

And so it began ☺

So I climbed on board the marathon wedding train (no pun intended) and started preparing. Which thankfully, for sons doesn’t include a whole lot, since I didn’t have a ton of time, juggling all these deadlines. You know the saying, the mother of the groom only needs to wear beige and keep her mouth shut? I figured one out of two wasn’t bad! Because the dress I bought was kinda sorta beige. Well, more champagne actually. And sparkly.

At least the first dress.

See I was afraid I wasn’t going to find anything so I went shopping with my husband (usually a mistake) and tried on dresses in front of him. What’s worse, I took his advice, forgetting his general guideline of fashion sense: if it clings, plunges and or reveals, it looks great. I was relieved. I had a dress—if I didn’t find anything I liked better.

A few weeks later I was in another town and went shopping--you guessed it--to see if I could find something I liked better. I found a dress in about the same color that didn’t cling, plunge or reveal. I decided it was more appropriate (read sedate) and bought it. Dress number two.

And then a week later I bought another dress. I was kind of in panic mode by now, because I wasn’t really in love with any of the dresses. This, I thought was the one. Maybe. Even though it did kind of plunge. Dress number three.

In the end, I tried on all three for my husband. (Yeah, I know, but there was no one else around.) We agreed that the third dress was best so the other two had to go back.

And for the next wedding? I wore something I already had in my closet. The last thing I needed was yet another long black dress since I already have three. And I've never loved shopping enough to want to go through the dress marathon again!

What is it about weddings that throw us in such a tizzy? Have you ever been in such a dither over what to wear to one? Or, like Kathleen Heigl in 27 Dresses, have you ever had to grit your teeth and don a hideous bridesmaid dress for a friend? Let’s talk about wedding wear—the good, the bad and the ugly ☺


Cindy Gerard said...

I think we go tazz over weddings and wedding attire because a wedding represents so much! It's a major life change - and not just for the bride and groom. If you're a parent, you've just become an -in-law. Even more, your child is officially an adult, responsible for more than just him or herself. We want to commemorate the gravity - and the joy - of the event with the most special dress we can find. Everyone we've ever known is going to be there. We want them to see that hey - look, I'm not only surviving life but I'm thriving - and all this without taking the focus off the bride and groom. A wedding, for the m-i-l is sort of like a class reunion without the class - er, I mean without the class mates.

Kylie said...

Well put, Cindy. Especially the part about everyone you know is invited. And the child becoming an adult is certainly something to commemorate, LOL!

At least with yearly RWA galas I can wear these dresses again. And my husband was sort of glad he actually got to see me in one of the long gowns I have in my closet (mostly I wear them at Nationals).

Vicki said...

It took me months to find the 'right' dress when my daughter got married. She wanted to shop with me and everytime I found something I liked, she say, no mom, not that one. Finally we found one we both liked and although I had to have it altered, the dress was beautiful.

Helen Brenna said...

Finding the right dress for the RITA ceremony this past summer did a number of me. But I only bought one, after trying on too many to count, and was happy with it.

I've only been in a couple of weddings and that was a long time ago. Can't say that at the time I felt the dresses were all that terrible. NOW, though, the lavender taffeta blob dress with poofy sleeves and a poofy skirt, comes to mind. Ick. Talk about washing me out and making me look about 40 pounds heavier. Hmm. Maybe that was the brides intention!

I once went to a black and white wedding that was gorgeous. The bride asked her bridesmaids to wear any black dress with black shoes they liked. Smart move and pretty, accented with bright flowers.

Kylie said...

Vicki, I can just imagine that it will be very similar here when my daughter gets married. And her taste in dresses for me are about twenty years younger than I'm comfortable wearing!

I have to say, though, I took her advice on what to wear four years ago when another son got married and I still do love the dress she picked out!

Kylie said...

Helen, the second wedding this summer (oldest son) was very similar. The bride told everyone to wear a black dress and shoes that suited them. It really was nice because everyone is a very different size/shape and I love it when each bridesmaid can pick something that looks great on her.

I think that works especially well with black, because you don't have to worry about different shades of the same color. And it was very elegant.

She couldn't find her favorite lime green for vests in a shade to suit her so they went with a muted golden yellow--so my son told everyone they were having Hawkeye colors in his wedding, which suited him, too, LOL!

Keri Ford said...

I have a harder time finding something for day-to-day wear than I do for something special! For my wedding dress, I picked it out in a magazing, found a store that carried it and went and tried it on. I knew that was MY dress. Mom made me try-on one other just to show me that others could work...but NOPE! Not for me.

At RWA in Dallas I only tried on 1 dress. Now that I think of it, I think I only tried on 1 dress for both of my proms in high school. :O) should I be ducking rotting fruit?

My sister can't make a decision to save her life, so I helped pick out the bridesmaid dresses. And for the other wedding I was in recently, the bride had very nice taste and picked a dress that really flattered my figure.

lois greiman said...

I was in a wedding a few years ago...I've written it into a book since. It was pepto bismol pink with an ass bow the size of a mother hippo. I was complaining about it to my husband who said, "Oh, it's not so bad. Let me take a picture. Kids, stand in front of your mom. Try to hide her hips."

Weddings can be very cruel affairs. :)

lois greiman said...

I was in a wedding a few years ago...I've written it into a book since. It was pepto bismol pink with an ass bow the size of a mother hippo. I was complaining about it to my husband who said, "Oh, it's not so bad. Let me take a picture. Kids, stand in front of your mom. Try to hide her hips."

Weddings can be very cruel affairs. :)

Kylie said...

Keri--it sounds like I need to take you shopping with me! You obviously have an unerring eye when you see something to know that it's perfect. Sigh. I *wish* I had that!

Christie Ridgway said...

I was planning on a very small wedding (it ended up close to 100 people, oh well). I lived 10 hours away from my mom and so I went wedding dress shopping on my own. Again, it was supposed to be small and simple. I bought this lovely white linen 1920s looking jacket and long skirt thing. I loved it.

My mom made me take it back. She picked out my wedding attire (not a "real" wedding dress, but this lovely white Edwardian thing from Magnin's). I didn't stand a chance or really, have a choice. Not that I didn't like it, but I was so intimidated by her appalled look at the first thing I selected that I just acquiesced!

So now I love big, frou-frou, traditional fancy wedding dresses. Hope my sons have brides who wear one some day.

Michele Hauf said...

I have to shop for a mother-of-the-bride dress next year (if my daughter's plans don't change yet again). I dread it. But I've got a year to lose some weight (fingers crossed), and pray she changes her mind about getting married in a red wedding dress. Aggh!

Never been a bridesmaid, so don't have any horror stories from that.

Kylie said...

Christie, what you had picked out originally sounds great to me!

What I notice is that my own taste has changed so much since I chose my wedding dress. At the time I wanted totally simple, no lace, no frills, beading etc. Now I'd pick out the more lace and beading the better, LOL!

But one of my d-i-l's chose something even simpler than the one I wore. She looked lovely. I love all the choices out there now.

Kylie said...

Michele, I have to admit I've never seen a red wedding dress! I'm dying for you to keep us posted as to what your daughter picks out!

Somehow I never managed to lose weight for any of the three weddings we've had :( I blame stress. It certainly can't be my love of candy!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Kylie, it was my daughter's wedding that taught me to love weddings. I used to think they were way overblown, especially the bill. We told Elizabeth what we thought we could afford (always less than what you end up spending, I'm sure)and suggested they have a small wedding and put the rest of the $ toward a house. Something practical, right? She wanted it all to go toward the wedding.

We were able to keep the cost down pretty well and still make most of our princess's wishes come true (with the dreams left up to the royal couple). I now know why it's important to get family and friends together for that really special day. There are scads of photos on my web site if anyone's interested. (My nickname was Martha for a while there.)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, and Elizabeth chose black and white tuxedo-ish style suits for the bridesmaids in the hope that they'd be useful after the wedding. The making of those outfits and more found its way into a subsequent book, of course--ONCE UPON A WEDDING. It's all grist for the mill...

What did I wear? We chose a snappy suit. I have to say, my Indian cowboy has an eye for clothes for me. He actually enjoys shopping with me, and invariably what he chooses looks much better on me than what I pull off the rack.

And here's the funny part: the clerks always pick up on that. They stop talking to me and start talking to him. I've learned to listen. They're generally right. I go for what's on sale, and half the time I hardly wear it. His picks always become wardrobe staples.

Kylie said...

Kathleen, I hear you on the salesladies catering to the guys. My husband is one of those rare 'likes to shop' guys too. By the time I come out of the dressing room the first time he's already somewhere else with the saleslady and comes back with an armful of dresses, LOL.

The suits sound very practical. I'm going to have to drop by your website and check them out!

Keri Ford said...

Michele, my Momma wore the same color as my bridesmaid--only completely different style. It was really pretty, and she matched in all the photos.

My bridesmaids wore butter yellow, but after I got married I found out bridesmaids typically wore white so to confuse the single men on who the bride was! Apparently back in the day, the men would 'try' for the bride. Or something like that. Would suck to be a bridesmaid then.

Susan Kay Law said...

Haven't had too much in the way of "dress" issues yet, including my own wedding.

Cost $99 dollars in a "non wedding" shop. Bought it in a couple of hours.

However, I wish I had worn my mom's dress. It was too formal for our wedding, and I really didn't want to cut it down (I'm a lot shorter than she is.) But it's gorgeous. Heavy satin, with a very, very fitted bodice with a wide scoop neck, just shy of being off the shoulder, and long tight sleeves that come to a point on the back of her hands, and then this huge sweeping satin skirt. They had a Christmas wedding, and it's just gorgeous. Plus, it makes your waist look like it's about ten inches around.


Kylie said...

Hey Keri, I've always tried to match the color chosen for the bridesmaids, too. But one of the weddings this time was brown and I just never found a brown dress I liked. So I went with champagne for that one.

I think it'd be easier to be the mother of the bride, because I'd be at the bridal places anyway so I could look for dresses in catalogs, etc. I just hate shopping so much that I don't get out often. My husband buys a lot of my clothes, brings them home for me to say yea or nay and then takes them back if I don't want them. It's like having a personal shopper, LOL.

Kylie said...

Susie, I always think it's extra special to attend weddings where the bride is wearing their mom or grandma's dress. I would have loved to wear my mom's too. But she was four inches shorter and weighed all of 90 pounds when she got married. I would have fit into it when I was maybe in 9th grade, LOL!

JoAnna said...

Weddings! Ahhhh! I was in three weddings THIS SUMMER! It was crazy! The dresses, the alterations, the shoes, the fittings,the hair, the bridal showers, the bachlorette parties, the makeup, the photos, the dinners, the rehersals. Even when the last one was done I felt like I should still be picking up a dress, dropping off a dress, or making center pieces!!!

The dresses were not too bad, two of them were comfortable, and lovely, the colors of all three were fantastic, but the third was so uncomfortable I felt as if I my rib was relocated into my lung. Not a good feeling.

I went to see 27 Dresses to study up for my part this summer.

Kylie said...

Wow, Joanna! You lived through your own version of 27 dresses! I can't even imagine how hectic your summer must have been!

It's just too bad you had to wear an uncomfortable dress all day! Weddings are long affairs!

flchen1 said...

Kylie, congrats on such a summer! Now that I'm already married, weddings are fun, but I figure that nobody's really looking at me, so I have a couple dresses I rotate, depending on the season :) Nearly all of my close friends got married within a year and a half, so I was in six weddings within that time, including my own. Most of those dresses were OK. The one dress I've never reworn was a teal brocade, custom made for my college roomie's wedding. I haven't given it away yet, but yikes--it's that dark blue/green that was so early 90s, and very dated at this point.

Congrats again to you and your family!

catslady said...

My daughter got married this past July. I hate clothes shopping. I kept putting it off and the mil kept asking me what color I was wearing. I kept telling her to get whatever she wanted but she didn't believe me. She finally gave up and bought one. I shopped the local malls and there was absolutely nothing. finally about 6 wks. before the wedding I tried a specialty shop. My daughters and mom came with me. It was horrible. I spent hours trying things on and hated them all except a black dress which my mother forbade me to wear (my daughter didn't care lol). I was ready to give up when the owner came up with this platinum dress with a small cape - well my hair is grey and it was perfect. Of course I had to order it in my size - they only had one of each dress and only in one color each. I could fit into the one but it was hard to breathe - my mom thought I should buy it (cheaper that way) and tough it out. I refused because I would have been miserable. I paid 3 times more than I wanted but it was a lovely dress if not the dress of my dreams. There was one there I liked better but it cost more than my daughter's dress lol.

JoAnna said...

I think there is almost as much pressure on the mother of the bride and groom to look just right now days as there is on the wedding party! It is getting crazy, I heard it all, what color is his mom wearing, is she wearing a long skirt, is this to formal, what color should I wear, I dont want to clash, I dont want to wear the same color she is wearing!! It was crazy, and then they can end up spending almost as much as the bridesmaids spend on their dresses! AHH!

Samantha Hunter said...

The worst wedding case I can think of was when a friend of mine from high school was getting married and *insisted* I be in her wedding -- right when I was in the middle of my divorce and on my own with a seven year old, while trying to finish grad school. I had NO money, and she insisted I had to be in the wedding, which meant I had to shell out $300 for a dress. I hated that dress, I hated the wedding, and frankly, I haven't spoken to her since. I know I should have just been happy for her, but you know, at that particular time in my life, I would have been happier for her as a guest. And the worst part? I have no idea where that freakin' dress went -- I wanted to shorten it for future use, and I swear, I thought it was at my mother's house, and I've never been able to find it. Maybe just as well. Still, $300 for something I wore once. Add insult to injury, she said something happened with the photos, and I don't even have a picture of the thing! LOL

On the contrary, when I got married again, it was completely casual in my parent's backyard, and it was *wonderful* -- my niece got married last Friday at the local courthouse, which was very lovely and romantic, and also dress/casual with a party at the house later, and it was also one of the better weddings I've ever been to. I'd take casual over dress any time. It allows you to focus on the meaning of the event more than the clothes, you know?


Playground Monitor said...

My son got married in September 2005. Earlier that year I'd found a gorgeous dress on sale and bought it for RWA in Reno that year. Then when they picked the date for the wedding, I asked my DIL-to-be if the dress would be appropriate (i.e. didn't clash with her mother's dress or, heaven forbid, wasn't the same dress). She said it was great, so I planned to wear it to RWA in July and the wedding in September since it was two different audiences and I was trying to be frugal. Then as RWA got closer, I decided that dress had to make its debut at the wedding, so instead, I wore my rehearsal dinner outfit to the Ritas. The wedding dress made an appearance in San Francisco this summer -- after I lost enough weight to wear it again. ::sigh::

I still have one unmarried son, but he's in grad school and probably won't be getting married for a while. But it's definitely easier for the mother of the groom than the bride's mother.


FIONA said...

My niece was married this summer-- an outdoor wedding in horrible heat and humidity. My dress was raw silk, fitted and lined. I felt like I was wearing a snowsuit by the end of the evening.

Her brother is getting married in May, and I plan to wear something I won't want to burn after the wedding.

I think we get all caught up in finding the perfect dress because of the pictures, and because we don't have "big events" very often.

The family pictures were taken about an hour after my niece's ceremony, and we were at the wedding site about an hour before the wedding started. My hair was a mess, and I had sweated off all the makeup. The pictures of EVERYONE looked like we were melting.

Nikki said...

My daughter got married in July and I bought three dresses for the wedding. The first two were both beautiful, but just not me. About 3 or 4 weeks before the wedding, I found a lovely
moss green fancy blouse with big sparkly buttons and a long black skirt. Totally me.
The bridesmaids all wore black dresses and shoes of their choice and the groomsmen wore black suits with blue shirts (no tuxes) so everything could be worn again without screaming WEDDING APPAREL.
My daughter's response to my question of color was to wear something that made me feel good about myself. I don't know how that happened. And the wedding was indeed beautiful, if I do say so myself.

Kylie said...

flchen--sounds like you could open your own prom shop! Our cheerleaders do a yearly fundraiser where they resell prom dresses. I'm tempted to take my daughter's in. Surely there are other teeny tiny girls who would love to wear the size 1 and 3 dresses!

Kylie said...

Catslady--comfort is tantamount! How awful it would have been if you'd been miserable the whole day for your daughter's wedding. They are looong days!

Kylie said...

Joanna--you're right and it's a big wedding racket, as well. Just one more way to pile on the $$$ cost for the wedding!

Samantha--I have a huge problem with asking wedding party attendants to pay for their clothes. We always pay for the groomsmen's tuxes because they get nothing out of the deal. Of course, I'm sure the bride believes she's picking out something wonderful that can be worn again by her attendants...but that's not always the case!

Kylie said...

Marilyn, you're right, of course. I only have one daughter (four sons) and I have the feeling she'll be sort of a bridezilla--but not because she wants things a certain way but because she isn't going to care, and decisions will need to be made!

Kylie said...

Fiona--the pictures! Of course that's a major reason we sweat finding the perfect dress. Invariably I end up seeing the pics and gasping, Oh my gosh, is that the way I looked???? My husband just looks puzzled and says, you always look like that, LOL.

Kylie said...

Nikki, it sounds like you had the same wedding dilemma that I did. Glad you found your perfect outfit!