Once upon a time when my late sister decided to get married the scary question came up that a lot of women dread.
"Would I be her bridesmaid" she asked?
Having had a rocky relationship for many years with her due to my father, I really wanted to do this to mend fences. She told me to pick out a few ideas and we would go over them.
Not being a conservative dresser I was very careful to pick out simple things so as not to aggravate anyone. After a long discussion we both agreed on a satin sleeveless dress with a matching shawl. She was pleased and I was relieved, so I bought the fabric to make the dress.
One month before the wedding my stepmother put in her 4.5 cents and decided the bridesmaids should be sporting yellow floral hippie dresses. She also insisted that I had to wear the same dress and a loud argument began.
I have natural blonde hair, glow in the dark skin and yellow is not flattering on me. I asked my sister if there was any possibility of changing the dress since they had changed the bridesmaid dresses many times. She stated that my stepmother wanted these styles and there was no way she was going to argue with her.
If I could now change what happened after that phone call I would have in a split second. Linda would have stayed quiet, wore the damn dress and ripped it off as soon as she could. But because my stepmother only tolerated me only because of my father, WWII began. I told my sister I should have some say and she suddenly became silent on the phone. In a rage I told her with some choice words to find someone else. How awful was that?
That began the two years of silence with my family that did not end until my father became terminally ill. I seriously regret that decision to this day. When I got married the first time I let my sister and my best friend Sheila wear what they wanted. Sheila reciprocated when she got married allowing me do the same thing.
I have seen families almost kill each other over weddings. Former brides that shopped in my store used to argue with their bridesmaids all the time. The brides were always assuring them that they would be able to wear their dresses after the wedding. Anyone that believes that also believes we are all going to die on May 21st. How many ads do you see for used bridesmaid’s dresses in the classifieds? Someone could really profit from creating a landfill site for those darn dresses.
I have heard tales from former bridesmaids trying to resell their dresses such as:
“It's never been worn - my bro was going to get married and decided to do it small instead, so no need for the dress. The dress is still in its box and I have to pay my bro back soon before he puts a hit out on me.”
“I wore this lovely dress once as a bridesmaid and hope someone else can enjoy it. There is also a small sticky stain on the left-hand side of the dress from the sap/pollen from the bouquet I was carrying. It should probably come out when dry cleaned. Okay, it's not from the bouquet.
"Pink dress with sparkles-Size 4- Could also be used as a destination wedding dress. Never worn."
Destination to where? The Princess Castle at Disneyland?
"The bridesmaid dress is beautiful and I paid $170 for it. I ended up having to buy another one in a different size and colour because she changed her mind. That was a HUGE annoyance and I almost killed the bride! The groom ended up divorcing her and running off with her brother. Karma man Karma!"
"I have a beautiful black satin dress that I bought for a wedding but due to recently becoming pregnant the dress will not fit me by the time of the wedding. In fact I might not make it at all to the wedding."
"It was a beautiful bridesmaid dress, and if you are interested I know there are ten more girls that would probably be willing to sell theirs too!”
"I will only respond to emails that reference this bridesmaid dress in the body of the email -- no spam or dating offers please!”
Jean Paul Gaultier once said,
“It's always the badly dressed people who are the most interesting.”
If that's the case, then bridesmaids must be the most interesting people in the whole world - hands down! I am so looking forward to seeing the hits and misses of all the upcoming "White Wedding" days.
Text and Images: Linda Seccaspina 2011
Thanks to my family for showing taste and style picking their dresses. Their mother in law- not so much. Linda went down the aisle with a partially unhemmed dress.
Picture 1- My daughter in law Carolyn and her twin sister Trisha with their cousin. Better known to me as the" Kate and Pippa Middleton" of Canada.
Picture 2- Carolyn, Trisha, their sister Christine and Dan the man, their dad.
Picture 3- Linda's wedding 1972 to the Sonny Bono look alike.
Picture 4- Linda, Sheila and Neil Needham
Picture 5- Youngest son Perry and my daughter in law Stephanie. Sister Hannah, Carman Lalonde father and grandfather. Heather (mother) the Bride and her husband Carlos.
Picture 6- Heather and Stephanie
Picture 7- Linda and her late sister Robin at Vera Wilson Hadlock's wedding.
Short Shorts by Linda Seccaspina