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If it's just a are probably looking at a $15 alteration or so. My mother used to be a seamstress, she made all the dresses in my bridal party and severely altered my dress. RoseViolet's mother is also a seamstress, so she may have some input on the subject as well. When you all measured for teh dresses, did you go to a Tux shop or someplace else to be professionaly measured or did you just use a tapemeasure and measure yourselves? One thing I've noticed is that the wedding industry has a measureing system unto themselves! My dress was a size "12", but in reality was probably about an 8 before my mom altered it! Last time I was a bridesmaid I had to order at least 2 dress sizes larger than I usually wear.

I would not buy a new dress though. I can't believe that the place she ordered them from would not fix a faulty zipper though. It's one thing if you all measured wrong, and another if it is unusable to someone of any size! If teh bride paid with a credit card, which I'm imagining she did, I would do a charge back if teh company refuses to do anything about it
Pink, I'm sooooo sorry you're going through this! What a nightmare. Would you mind telling us which company the dresses came from? Because I'd be interested in checking out their website and reading their terms. Maybe we can find a loophole! Also, is there any way we can see what the dress looks like?

Replacing a zipper is one thing (and a pretty simple thing, at that). But making a too-small dress bigger is a whole other problem. It's not a story of simple alterations. The dress might have to be redesigned slightly to create something that will fit. Which brings me to my next question: where do the bridesmaids live? Do you all live in the same area or are you spread out around the country? I ask this because I think the ideal solution would be if you found a professional sewer/tailor - just ONE - who could fix all of the dresses. This would ensure consistency in design and fabric. If that isn't possible, that's okay. You can each find someone to do the alterations in your own town. That way you can each have your own, unique dress! But I have a feeling that altering the dresses would be cheaper than buying a whole new dress. Ask for an estimate on the work before agreeing to do anything & understand that the estimate may not include the cost of extra fabric.

The sad fact is that the bride screwed up. She should never have ordered dresses from a company with a no return/exchange policy. It was a recipe for disaster. I'm sure she regrets that terribly now, but at the time she just didn't know any better. If she could go back in time & do something different, I'm sure she would. That's why I suggest that you try your best not to take out your anger and frustration on the bride. The lady is already steeping in stress and she is relying on her bridesmaids to be a source of support and optimism. So do your best to look for helpful solutions.

The thing is (as you've already said) even if you'd bought your dresses in person, some alterations would have been required. Unfortunately because the dress is too small, you'll need more than just a simple alteration. But the zipper really shouldn't be a problem. If you honestly cannot afford to spend an extra $50 or so to fix this, then definitely tell the bride (in a tactful, humble way) and ask if she can help with the expenses. Attack the problem as a team looking to make lemons into lemonade. Maybe she can help pay for the alterations & skip giving you a bridal party present. Or maybe she could opt for smaller bridesmaids bouquets or centerpieces to absorb the costs. However, if you can afford it, I'd suggest that you swallow the extra expense. You can always get them a less expensive wedding gift or simplify her bachelorette party to absorb some of those costs.

I expect her third option (dropping out of the wedding) was said out of stress and exasperation. Wedding planning is sooooooo damn stressful. People have a strong tendency to say harsh things they don't mean while stressed out. However, you know this lady better than we do. If you honestly don't like her and don't want to support her on her wedding day, then drop out. If you care for her, then do your best to help. Think about the sort of bridesmaid you want to have by your side on your wedding day & just become that person for your friend.
thanks to everyone for your concern and suggestions. the bride and i have not spoken since we discussed the dress on friday and she gave the three choices. instead of calling her with little pieces of info, i am waiting until i have a full report to tell her of how we might resolve the issue. this is what i have decided to do- have the dress altered. i took the dress to a seamstress who has done great bridesmaid dress alterations for me before. she inspected the dress and opened a seam- it can be let out. she did confirm that the zipper was sewn incorrectly, but can be fixed without totally replacing the zipper. i am going for a fitting tommorrow. after that, when i feel like i fully understand what is going to be done to the dress and how much it will cost, i will contact the bride and be pleasant. i will thank her for the suggestions she made on friday, and let her know when my dress will be ready. i will ask how the other bridesmaids are doing, and recommend my seamstress if they need any help with their dresses.
the dress is made by dessy.
it was purchased via house of brides.
i looked at both sites but apparently, the dress has been discountinued. its black and strapless. the bodice is fitted and covered with ruched tulle. the skirt is a-line and covered with tulle. the length is just below the knee.
out of the four bridesmaids, three live in town (the dress fits one of us, my dress doesn't fit, and the zipper also malfunctions in the third girl's dress) and one lives out of town (her dress is too small). i've been in contact with the girl whose zipper doesn't work and we are trying to come up with solutions together.
our ordering process was as follows: the bride contacted us and asked for our measurements. i gave her my measurements. the bust and hips indicated i needed a size 16, however, the waist indicated i needed a size 18 as per the manufacturer's size chart. i told the bride we should order the 18. she insisted that the 16 would do, and that she was "sure" i'd fit into a smaller waist size if i wore the appropriate undergarment. i disagreed. she said that the size 18 cost more and she was going to order the 16. what could i do? in retrospect, probably tell her no, i'd pay the extra. but she seemed to know what she was doing, and she was the bride, so i was trying to be respectful.
this is a struggle for me anyway. the bride and i just clash on some things. her boyfriend and my boyfriend are pals, and i think she chose me so that she'd have "couples" in the wedding. my fiancee is a groomsman. the bride is really competitive with other girls (really makes me uncomfortable) and when we do things as a group (like go stay by the lake working as a team for cooking,cleaning, shopping, etc) she doesn't pitch in AT ALL. so there is some strain to this relationship. i am going to use my best people skills, though, and be as pleasant as possible to fulfill the role she has requested of me. the other girls are upset, too, but we know we need to just act nicely and try to be as understanding as possible.
thanks for all the help, ladies!
Wow! I can't belive the bride made you choose a smaller size because of cost when you were paying for it yourself! It is always better to go with the larger size if there is a question. It is much easier to take things in than let things out! I'm glad you have it under control. Sorry you have a bridezillah!
Wow, what a crappy situation. I had to deal with a bridezilla type a couple of years ago and it ended disasterously. She was a total bitch and un-invited me from the wedding for something that was her fault. Fortunately, I was not a full-fledged bridesmaid, I just helped her a lot because her friends and family were all out of town. Gah, I hope I'm not like that when I get married.
ugh, to go through all that and to not even be friends with the bride! I think that you're approaching this with as much grace and tact as possible under the circumstances, pinkmarytr, which is commendable. Keep us posted!

So...less than three weeks til our big day! Ack! We're still deciding on readings (which means we haven't printed the programs yet), but otherwise, we're nearly set.
lot, wow, i had no idea you were that close to your wedding day!
ps- how is your mom acting about it lately?

pixie- since you're already married, in retrospect, is there anything you would have changed/done differently/spent more or less money on? your expertise would help those of us who are still planning!

polly- i know what you mean about not wanting to be unfair to your friends/best women when it comes to the wedding. this situation has made me do a lot of thinking of how i can show the most respect to my bridal "entourage."
Humm..things I wish we had done different.....I should have appointed someone to oversee everything like a wedding planner. I thought my MIL was going to be able to do it, but as it was her MIL was dying that weekend and she had a ton of things on her mind! I also would have included RSVP cards with the invitations. We didn't because it just isn't taht popular here. Things are always way laid back and we weren't doing a full meal, but we had about half the people expected so we way over bought the finger food and such. We also forgot to try the candles in the candleabras prior to setting up and teh didn't fit quite right so some of them were leaning weird. Oh and I would have REQUIRED the wedding party to have thier hair professionally done. Me and minipixie had ours done, but Sil and Mr. P's minipixie were trying to do their hair when we were getting ready and neither turned out like they were hopeing. Also...make a list of picture groups you want the photographer to take and give it to her before hand. We ended up with very few pictures of my family grouped together. Everything was in a blur and It just didn't happen. But also let your photographer know you want candids. Most of the candids are my favorite pictures.
Pink, I'm sorry to say it, but I have to agree with the others: you've got a bridezilla on your hands! She clearly screwed up. If she were a gracious person who was capeable of acknowledging her mistakes, she'd apologize and pay for the alterations. But will she do this? You can judge that better than anyone. I think that if she's mature enough to get married, then she should be mature enough to take responsibility for this problem. But maybe I'm just being a bit snarky & defensive! At least the dress sounds gorgeous, hmm?

Only 3 weeks, Lot?! How exciting! What's left on your to-do list?

Pink, I got married just over a year ago. Mind if I answer the same question you asked Pixie?

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to hire a photographer who you genuinely like & trust as a person. Talent is important too, of course. But if you feel comfortable with your photographer, then your smile in your pictures will be far more genuine. We interviewed a few photographers, but went with a lovely lady who did a fantastic job (and saved us some cash, too!). Also, I agree with Pixie on making a bit of a list. At the very least, let the photographer know sopme of the family dynamics (especially if any of the parents are divorced or where any other tension may be). You don't what the photographer to suggest that a couple of ex-s get cozy in any of the pics!

Another thing I suggest is to have the ceremony & reception at the same place if possible. And if it's a place that doesn't need much decoration, that's all the better! Sheff and I were married at a gorgeous B&B where they had nearly everything we needed on-site. They provided the food, tables, dishes, tablecloths, & so much more. They also had TWO wedding coordinators, so there were people there the day of the ceremony who delegated things & made sure things happened on time. They were amazing. And we needed very little decoration because the place was already so gorgeous. We eliminated a lot of headaches by using them. I only wish the coordinators could have done things like buy favors & all of those other crazy little things!

Get your hair and make-up professionally done. It's worth it. Just make sure it's done by someone you trust. When you go, take photos of your dress & of the hair & make-up styles you're looking for. And wear a button-up shirt! No pullovers! I'm always surprized by how few people know that.

I probably would have spent a little less money on the flowers but only because most people don't remember what our centerpieces looked like! The setting was so gorgeous, that most of our flowers were just gilding the lilly.

One thing our guests remembered the most was our cake. We got the most amaaaaazing cream cake. Scrumptious. My best friend still talks about that cake! We weren't too concerned about appearances. Flavor was all! Luckily, it paid off.

Lastly, we did a bit of delegation that paid off a lot for us. My husband was raised as a Quaker and in Quaker weddings, the congregation is invited to speak during the ceremony - give advice, wish them luck, read scripture or poetry ... basically, whatever they feel moved to say at the moment. So instead of picking our own readings, we asked each of our parents to pick something. They were allowed to do whatever they wanted, which meant they got to speak from their hearts. It was a beautiful touch that everyone really loved.

Also, Sheff and I wrote our own vows, which made everyone cry. They were gorgeous. I may have to re-post them here since they got eaten by a thread clean-up last year.

If you're interested, you can see our pictures here (for the wedding pics) and here (for the reception pics).
pinkmartyr, i'm sorry you're going through that! that sucks. and like a few women have already said here, i really hope i'm not going to be a difficult bride to deal with (at least i don't think i have been up to this point). and i agree, you're dealing with this very tactfully!

lot, how are you doing at this point? do you find yourself able to relax and enjoy the last few weeks?

pixie, my best friend encountered the same problem with the pictures. i think there were a few really important pictures that were left out - like one just of her and her mom or just her and her immediate family. after learning about her experience with that, i will definately have a list for our photographer.

though i have oodles of time to plan - i'm debating on whether or not to have my hair and make-up professionally done. my hair is very short and will be for the wedding (but maybe by then long enough for a little something?). did any of you/do you any of you plan to do your own make-up or hair for the wedding?
pixiedust is my experience on a day as stressful as that..anything that can go wrong with hair and make up -WILL! I would opt for a professional. Even if all they do is wash and blow dry it. The have all the hair products to make it shiny and stay put.
rosev, what a beautiful setting! And you are just gorgeous!!!

We're also having our ceremony and reception at the same spot, overlooking a small lake and the Vermont mountains. The ceremony will be outside, on the lawn next to the lake, and the reception will be inside a pavilion on the lake -- you can see a 360-degree view of it here. (You have to click and drag on the image).

It really has made planning sooooo much easier -- no extra costs to rent two separate places, and our guests don't have to drive anywhere.

Advice I have so far....I would have decided not to do our wedding invitations ourselves. I had a vision of what I wanted them to look like and we wanted to save money, but they ended up not being as nice as I would have liked and I really don't know if we saved anything when it was all said and done. Plus, it was a huge hassle -- it would have been nice to have someone else handle all the components.

Our centerpieces are going to consist of three mason jars of varying sizes with white hydrangea in them -- nothing too expensive, and I think they will look lovely with the rustic setting. We've been trying to stay focused on what our guests will like (good food, open bar, an absolutely yummy buttercream-frosting cake) and avoiding spending huge sums on things they won't remember/care about.

At this point, we still need to figure out the ceremony stuff, write our vows, and print the programs. That's about it, but kind of important stuff, nonetheless! I'm not enjoying myself yet -- we both have tons of work to do before we leave. But we're off in a week to drive to the east coast and then we'll be spending about five days at a beach house with my SIL and her husband before going to Vermont. I'm so looking forward to the decompression time beforehand!

I am putting a ridiculous amount of effort into my hair compared with what we're spending overall. I'm going in today for a color consultation, getting it highlighted and colored before we leave next week, getting a trial run of my hairstyle done two days before the wedding, and then of course, professionally styled the day of. I have fine hair that's problematic to style, plus since our wedding is 3,000 miles away from our home, the stylist has never done my hair before. Dang right I'm getting a trial done! The makeup, I'm getting done at the same salon since it doesn't cost that much. If it were very expensive, I may have opted out of doing it, but I'm glad I'm having a professional do it nonetheless.

Hey ladies, I suppose it is time I dragged my in-denial ass in here.

Pinkmartyr, your dress trauma is totally shit. I am keen to see what the bride has to say when you give her the results of exhaustive research that actually tries to fix the problems.

Finaman and I have been engaged for over two months now and have done sweet fuck all in terms of plans. We live in Scotland but are Canadian and it is looking inevitable that we have the ceremony and a ceilidh reception here (because we want to) plus a second reception (or just party?) back home for family and friends unable to come to Scotland. I am having a heck of a time wrapping my head around how to do this, where specifically to do it, the timing etc. So far we have narrowed it down to autumn 2007. I would like something outside but that would be stupid with the unpredictable Scottish weather.

Fortunately friends of ours are getting hitched in a few weeks and the hall they have hired for their ceilidh reception is a mere 75 pounds for the night so I think we will likely book the same place, it's not particularly posh (it's an old friary) but is a great size for a ceilidh and I am pretty crafty so I expect I can nice it up a bit. It has a reasonably-stocked bar as well which is key.

Mainly at this point I am deeply afraid of the cost of what will essentially be two weddings. Once we start really making plans we will have to make a budget and then not have any fun for a year and a half while we save for this. I don't even want it to be crazy and overly big but that too seems inevitable at this point. I am trying to sell Finaman on the potluck dinner idea instead of gifts we don't need and don't have room to store (but don't think he'll go for it) and I don't want a princessy dress so think I can get something for a reasonable price at Monsoon. I can make the invites myself but still it just all seems overwhelming. I don't think we need attendants but it would be nice to recognize our closest pals like that... but why bother if we have a registry ceremony? Expecially considering the fact that it is tradition for the bride to pay for all of her bridesmaids shit here, dress, shoes, etc. Not sure if the same holds for men, but they will all need to hire a kilt if they don't have one anyway.

Must stop now or I will just spew forever. I think I am thinking too much about the details instead of the more general how/where/when that we need to figure out first.

Hope it all goes well for you, Lot!
Roseviolet, your pictures are beautiful! I especially like the ones of you and Sheff sitting on the couch in that vintagey-looking room with the great sense of light... I am all about getting a good cake, and I can definitely see what you are saying about the flowers/centerpieces not being remembered by everyone.

Pixie, I also agree with you and RoseV. that I should have my hair and make up professionally done. I just don't want to worry about it. I've got a great hair stylist already, and it will be fun looking for someone to do my make up. I've thought of doing it myself (I LOVE make up, love putting it on, etc) but I think I just want to relax on my wedding day.

Thanks for the advice about photographers- my friend Dennis is taking our pictures. He is a photo student in college, and is apprenticing for wedding photographers all summer long. I've seen his pictures- they are great. Dennis is fun, too, and it will be easy to explain all the family drama to him. We're on the same wavelength.
I've sent my cousin Sara a card asking her to be my coordinator but haven't heard from her yet. She's done wedding planning for three weddings so far, and wants to get into it as a career. Sara is also highly detail oriented, which is good. One of the main reasons I asked her is because I trust her judgement.

lot, your wedding sounds great. i especially like your centerpiece idea!

fina- congrats on your engagement! i agree with what you said at the end about just concentrating on the when and where. think about what is most important to both of you in a wedding, and come up with a list of what you are looking for in potential dates and places.

i'm off to hang with family this weekend, but here is the most recent update on the bridesmaid gown- it can be let out but the boning has to be moved. my seamstress is going to fix it up, and i left a friendly update on the bride's voicemail today like i mentioned.
Fina, I too am a bit in denial. We've been engaged for over a year and are also aiming for autumn 2007, so we both feel like there's loads of time yet to plan everything. Which means that we haven't started saving either, although we will both have money coming to us (separately) in 2007 as a result of a govt savings plan. My dad is also putting in a bit but not loads (nor should he IMO).

We have decided on a few things. We're going to marry in a church in Amsterdam, because it's beautiful, not insanely expensive and almost everyone will have to travel anyway to our side of the Atlantic (I am from the US but we live in Europe)... and Amsterdam is easy to fly to from just about anywhere. There's several traditional things we're not going for: probably no gift registry, no wedding party (just a maid of honour and a best man) and consequently no dress code per se. Probably no band as we both like the idea of a DJ playing our (and our guests') favourite tunes.

My dealbreakers are good food, enough wine and a nice reception space. The rest is still up in the air, but I think we're looking at a guest list of about 80-100.

I had heard mutterings that a long engagement could be problematic. I'm cool with it; we're in no hurry, but I am finding explaining our long engagement awkward. I also feel under a lot of pressure to be a good bride to be, keep family members happy... I feel there's an unwritten code of rules I somehow missed reading. At the same time my family is pretty mellow and not obsessed by tradition, so they will probably let us do whatever we want without kicking up a fuss. Thank cod.
Thank you so much for the compliments! Pink, those photos are my favorite, too ... especially because they were totally spontaneous. Immediately after the ceremony, Sheff & I walked into that sitting room, sat down, & just absorbed the whole thing together. I didn't even notice the photographer was in there with us.

Fina, I loooooove the idea of a ceilidh! What a fabulous thing to do! I wish we could have done the same for our wedding. How fun!

Syb, what are the laws regarding getting married in Amsterdam? Do you have to do anything unusual? It sounds goreous.

Lot, that setting looks lovely! And the idea of having the flowers in the jars sounds like the perfect touch for that setting.

I think long engagements can be a problem if you work yourself up too much during the course of the engagement. Afterall, it's just one day. In fact, it's less than one day; it's just a few hours! So if you fret & worry over every little detail for 18 months, I think you're doomed to disappoint yourself. But if you're not the fret-&-worrying type, then I imagine you'll be fine. I truly think it depends upon your personal disposition.

One last bit of advice! Remember that some of your vendors will be very visable to you and your guests - especially your photographer. So feel free to ask them what they tend to wear while on the job. I know this sounds odd, but I learned about this from my cousin's wedding. They had a photographer who showed up in a tacky Hawaiian shirt & stained shorts. His opinion was that, since he himself did not appear in the pictures, that it didn't matter what he wore. But it looked totally disrespectful & very distracting. So find a way to tactfully ask about that. Borrow this story if you have to. The vendors we hired were very understandable once they heard why I was concerned & they all dressed very nicely.
roseviolet, your pictures are beautiful! what a gorgeous place to hold a wedding.

sybarite, those are my dealbreakers, too. good food is a must! i have been to weddings where the food was just not even something i'd have on a casual day at home, let alone a wedding. i hope we're going to have enough wine/drink for our guests. what are peoples thoughts here on a cash bar? i mean, we'd be providing wine with the meal - and for every guest, and every guest doesn't drink wine, so there would be likely more for those that do. but on top of that, we're thinking of a cash bar.

fina, good luck planning two weddings! have fun with it, if you can.

pinkmartyr, i'm interested to hear about the bridesmaids dresses and what the other women have done with theirs, too. and how the bride is reacting. i hope all is well...

i think i may have found my wedding dress. i just happened to stumble across this shop yesterday and she (the owner and maker) had a few wedding gowns in stock. the one i really like is not typical of a wedding gown, but it is gorgeous. however, it's double my budget, though my budget for my dress is low enough that i am considering it. and she makes it here, so that is a huge plus in my books.

you ladies are convincing me to do the hair and make-up thing professionally. i'm even considering growing out my very very short hair in order to do something with it. depending on how much i can grow it in a year...

((((wedding busties!))))
hi -- sorry to crash in here with no time to respond to anyone else's posts, but can anyone give me any advice about feeding vendors? We're planning on feeding our DJ since he'll be there the whole night. But we have a photographer who is staying only 2.5 hours -- should we feed her as well? I hate that I'm cutting corners like this, but shaving the extra $40 off the tab could be a help since we're already over budget.
lot, i think feeding your dj is a good thing to do, especially if he's there the whole night (i just think it's a polite, nice thing to do (even though i have read in ettiquette books that you don't have to)). but feeding your photographer, if she's only there for a two and half hour job, i'm not so sure about.

i asked my fiance what he thought about it and he thought that no, you shouldn't have to feed her. if she's there during the supper hours working, then she should be working. if she's there before or prior, then you shouldn't worry about it.

of course, someone else might say differently. do you have a relationship with her other than she's hired to be your photographer? if you don't, and it's a job for her, then i don't think you should worry about feeding her.

good luck!! how's the planning? how are you feeling? i hope you're able to take the time to relax and enjoy!
amber, what did the dress you saw look like? maybe before you decide on that one (since it is out of your budget) you might try dresses with similar styles.

here is the update on the dress: i left the bride that voicemail telling her it was all good and asking if there was anything i could help her with on wednesday. thursday afternoon, she called and informed me that i was no longer a bridesmaid in her wedding because i was creating too much stress for her to worry about. i told her that my dress was already being altered and would be ready a week before the wedding, and she said that that didn't matter, she just decided she didn't want me involved and has already called the florist to cancel my bouquet. she cited several messages she left my fiance on myspace regarding instructions about my dress (he doesn't check it much- why didn't she call me?) when i told him that she fired me, he admitted that she called him the day before and said "tell her she's no longer a bridesmaid" and when he told her she'd have to call me herself because he refused to be the go-between, she hung up on him. additionally, my fiance has been demoted from "groomsman" to "usher."
i have called the other bridesmaid i'm friends with, and she is mad at the bride and says she doesn't even want to be in the wedding, she's just doing it for the groom. i shared my seamstress's number with her. then i called my fiance's sister and shared the story (they all hang together), she was really in disbelief about everything. i don't expect to be invited to the wedding, and i'm not going anyway. i'll still have the dress altered, because its nice and i could wear it for an evening at a nice restaurant or party i'm sure. whats unfortunate is that this is going to cause a lot of trouble for a group of friends who normally hang out together for trips out of town, barbecues, etc.
apparently, two of the guys have had sit-downs with the groom because they aren't sure he's making the right choice. when one of our friends got her engagement ring, the bride was pissed because the other girl's diamond was bigger than hers. that is the gist of the situation.
i was really shocked, and i'm hurt by her icy-ness, but at the same time, i feel off the hook, which is good.
Lot, we didn't feed our vendors. It isn't usually done.

Pink.OH.MY.GOD!!! Can we say Bridezillah! I'd demand my money back for the dress from her! And My MR. would be in so much trouble if he was still in the wedding after that! That chick needs help! And her he's in for quite a life.
pink - oooooh my goddess!!! that is one hell of a drama! i'm so sorry you had to go through all that! i would be relieved, too, to be let off the hook after all that. i feel bad for the rest of the wedding party. and that's interesting that two people sat the groom down to talk with him! eeek!

so, i've decided against the dress that i was thinking might have been "the one". i don't want to go over my budget by that much. i am going to the shop this week again, though, to see if she might be able to make it in a different material that may cut the cost a little. i feel bad about asking to her do that, but i will always wonder if i don't ask. and she has a few other gorgeous dresses in there that might be a little closer to my budget. and of course, i may find something similar somewhere else closer to my budget.

i will try to post a link to a dress that is very similar to the one i'm in love with a little later...

lot, your wedding must be coming up very soon! how are you doing?

this is close to the dress that i really like - when you click on the link, it's style 5327. the dress i like is a little different, though. down the left leg, there is a slit that is covered by lace (a gorgeous feature, in my opinion).;totlines=-1

That sucks, pink- I went through basically the same thing, fortunately my bridezilla was a former co-worker, so we never had to see each other after that. I hope she tripped going up the aisle and her cake fell on the ground mad.gif But there is a nice relief of being off the hook for the whole thing. I thought the bride bought your dress and that's why you offered to pay the difference for the size bigger, but she refused...maybe I mis-read.

ETA: love that dress, amber! I'm not normally an asymetrical skirt fan, but it just works on that dress.
QUOTE(ambercherry @ Jul 24 2006, 03:59 PM) *

lot, your wedding must be coming up very soon! how are you doing?


Seriously, we have less than two weeks to go! I'm excited, but mrlot and I have soooo much work to do before we leave to drive cross-country on Wednesday. Sorry that I only have time for short replies:

amber, that dress is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

holy flying bridezillas pink! I agree that you should be relieved that you're out of the wedding.

Thanks for all the advice on the vendor feeding everyone. I ended up asking my photographer if she could stay to eat, and she declined.

Lot, I'd agree with feeding the DJ, if it's not too late for my 2 cents.

That dress is lovely amber; I love that it's sleeveless, a little unusual but so flattering.

Pink, wow. She sounds like a complete nightmare. Does your fiance still want to attend the wedding?

Meant to say: thanks for the advice RV, good to know and it's hard to anticipate the things that could go wrong! The church in Amsterdam regularly holds weddings and we've both got EU passports so we're set legally.
thanks to everyone for being so supportive about the bridesmaid dress nightmare.

sybarite, not only is my fiance going to the wedding, he is an usher. he used to be a groomsman, but was demoted after my being fired from the position of bridesmaid. he is very close with the groom- they've known eachother way longer than we've even been dating, so his respectful obligation is to his friend, the groom, not the bride.

amber, that is a classy dress!!

is anyone familiar with they have several bridal gowns that are 40's/50's looking, all of which ring in at $400 and under. i'm interested in these two:
silk charmeuse- unlined- does this mean i'd have to buy a slip?
do you think the waist tie is weird?
lined silk georgette- but i heard georgette was hard to sew, surely impacting my alterations bill.
love the back of this one.

also, i ordered this cake topper!
Pink, that bride is a piece of work. Lucky you for being out of it and being philosophical about the dress.

Amber, that dress is amazing. Love it.

I can't face dress shopping yet!
Pink, I like the first one, it reminds me of Rita Hayworth in Gilda. Unfortunately I'm too short to be able to wear something like that. You may have to wear a slip, or just be extra careful with your underwear.

My only thoughts on my dress so far is that it be very simple and knee length or so. Floor length swamps me.
Pink, pardon my frankness, but I'm so sorry that the bride is using her wedding as an excuse to be an inconsiderate bitch. I know that planning a wedding is stressful, but her behavior (especially the fact that she insisted on using your fiance as the go-between) shows a severe lack of maturity. My sympathies go out to the groom. He's got a loooooong long road ahead of him.

As for the dresses, I love them both! How on earth can you choose?! Like Sybarite, the first one feels very Gilda to me. Ultra glamorous. I kinda wonder what the dress is doing under that sash, though. Are there darts? A seam along the waist? I'm just wondering how strongly you're bound to that sash. Luckily, you can tie it up in the front, back, or side, but I'm still itching to know what's under there! As for the second dress, it feels more delicate & feminine - slightly less va-va-voom. And I adore the waistline! I imagine it'd look gorgeous in a garden wedding.

Amber, that dress is ... wow! I gotta admit that it's not my style, but it's so unique & memorable! And I mean that in a good way! wink.gif

Syb, I'm glad to hear that things will work out legally-speaking! Sheff & I were originally going to be married in England & live there, but .... well, our lives changed, so our wedding plans had to change, too. The main issue was unexpected legal/immigration stuff. Just wanted to make sure it didn't hold you back!
I remember RV. Glad it worked out for you both, and your wedding pix are lovely!

In our case, I'm relieved to be dealing with the Dutch. They're so rational; e.g. even though it's a Catholic church (and a historical site) they're also offering a non-denominational service if we want it. Which is another story...
if you do indiebride at all, a girl was nice enough to post her pic wearing the Gilda-esque dress in the Trashy Diva topic under the thread "wedding dress alternatives." check out and click on "kvetch" to visit. the photo link is all the way at the bottom of the trashy diva thread. the top of the dress is a little more blousy looking than i had imagined.

if nothing promising pans out at my appointment this saturday, i may very well go for the jcrew sophia gown. it looks really pretty on actual girls, much lovlier than on the jcrew model, imho.

sybarite, what is going on with your ceremony planning? do you two have religious differences with one another's families? what kind of ceremony would you most like?
Pinkmartyr, it's over a year away so we're not doing much planning at the moment. However, we've established that I, given the choice, would rather a non-religious ceremony, as this would reflect my stance. The pre-mister has similar views but a slight Catholic hangover. My parents would be as non-religious as me. However, it looks like we will end up with a Catholic ceremony, mostly because his mum wants it. I realise how this sounds; to be honest I think my pre-mister has more of a Catholic affiliation than he admits to and won't feel it's 'real' unless it's a Catholic ceremony (he comes from a part of the world where Catholicism=cultural identity).

So *shrugs*, we'll probably go with a Catholic ceremony. I was baptised Catholic so it's not completely alien to me, ditto my parents. I'm looking at it as having cultural resonances as much as religious ones.
I'm sort of in the same boat, sybarite, but I have the excuse of never being baptised or raised with any religion. I'm pretty sure I can get away with not having a Catholic ceremony...I'll tell him that he can have any readings he wants, just no Catholic church, no priest, no praying to the BVM about the sin I'm about to commit that night (like *that* hasn't happened already).

That's one of the things I'm not looking forward to when I actually get engaged. The ceremony conversation. He already knows I want to have it at this Unitarian church (mostly because they've got a great garden outside, but also I felt really comfortable at the Unitarian service I went to) but he's just in denial about it and we haven't talked about it for real because I'm in that limbo stage where nothing is quite real yet....we own a house together, we've been together 5 years, but we don't have the $$ to buy a ring now, so until that happens, nothing's really real. ((sigh)) I just get to live vicariously through you ladies!
Pollystyrene, my sister says 'just think of the church as a venue' so I'm doing that. I'm no fan of the Catholic church but I live in a very Catholic area so it overlaps with daily life to a certain extent anyway.

Fwiw I don't have my ring yet either... and feel kind of the same way. It'll be real soon enough!
Pink, I went over to IndieBride & looked at the pictures. As the ladies there have already said, I think her dress needs some alteration. It doesn't have to be so blousy. The main thing that would concern me is the color. I can't pull off the slightly-yellow "antique white" look! But if you can, then it might still be a possibility.

"Slight Catholic hangover". Tee hee laugh.gif

I'm soooo glad Sheff & I didn't have too many issues when it came to the ceremony. Our parents voiced no requests at all. Frankly, I think they were all so happy that we were finally getting hitched that they didn't dare ask for anything more! We had a tiny bit of God in our ceremony (we were both raised in Xian households), but not a whole hell of a lot. We both insisted that we didn't want to emphasize gender. We were two souls who were marrying one another. Luckily, our minister is for gay marriage, too, so he respected our wishes.

Of course, sybarite- if it was realistic for me to get married at Old St. Pat's Cathedral in Chicago, I'd do it in a second. I don't think that's going to happen, though (expensive; they're very popular, so weddings are scheduled back-to-back)

I'd marry him anywhere, but when given the choice, chances are it won't be in a Catholic church.

I couldn't find the pics on indiebride! sad.gif
Hello, all! I'm obviously new and came to Bust's forums because I knew I'd find some good advice here from women who would be feminist and not think some of my wedding preferences were crazy. I haven't yet checked out indiebride because I've only just come across mention of it here.

QUOTE(roseviolet @ Jul 28 2006, 09:31 AM) *

We both insisted that we didn't want to emphasize gender. We were two souls who were marrying one another. Luckily, our minister is for gay marriage, too, so he respected our wishes.

May I ask how you and your minister did that? Because I identify as queer and am fairly politically involved in seeking equal marriage rights, it's really important to me that our officiant (whomever it may be) not stress the whole "man and wife" thing. What sort of language was used, etc.?

My fiance and I have been engaged two months (I asked him) and are planning on marrying next August. He's super supportive and pretty awesomely feminist (usually not even a conscious thing, but it just seems *gasp* rational to him). We aren't very far into the planning stages and I have no married friends to go to for advice.

Things we've decided on so far:
- No engagement party, bridal shower, etc. Most of our friends who would come have very limited finances, but would feel the need to bring a gift to everything. It's asking too much, we think.
- No religious ceremony, as we're both agnostic
- Non-traditional, ie., I am not being given away, but we're choosing to share ourselves with each other; he'll probably take my last name; etc.
- Hopefully a very short evening wedding (8ish) with the reception to follow immediately at the club/bar where we met, we'd like to serve desserts, fruit, & cheese only
- I'm having my sister and two closest friends as bridesmaids and they know they can wear pretty much whatever they want, as long as they don't look ridiculous
- Mr. Cakes is going to wear a black suit with hot pink shirt and matching converse tennis shoes, so I will be attired in a similarly comfortable yet cocktail-y way
- Our family and friends are the most important thing, so we'd like to have as many of them able to attend as possible, meaning possibly over 200 guests (YIKES)
- Our budget is less than $5,000 or so

With that last bit, I don't even know if all that is possible. I'm wondering about the etiquette of not providing dinner since it's an evening wedding, but paying for a dinner, even buffet style, is surely out of our budget.

Then there are the etiquette issues on the part of our guests. We're in our early and mid-20s, respectively, and our friends are much the same. While etiquette was a part of my childhood, it seems to be sorely lacking in our peers. I plan to send RSVP cards out with the invitations, but I am wondering whether I'll get any back. I've received no more than two RSVPs for any other event I've tried to pull off and it's made planning ludicrously difficult. I've planned for many more or many fewer people showing up, depending on the party. How do you tactfully insist on getting a response?

This is probably as overwhelming a post as I think it is, but I'm trying to get my worrying out in small doses over the next six months so that for the six months beforehand I can be calm and collected.
Hi there, Pam! Congrats on getting engaged! Love your handle! Here are some more exclamation points just to show you how thrilled we are to have you 'round!
!!!!!!! wink.gif

Okay. Let's see what I can remember. It's been about 16 months since our ceremony, so some of the details have faded from my memory, but I'll do what I can for you.

First of all, there's the "two souls/spirits" thing. I wish I could remember exactly what our minister said! All I can say is, one week before the ceremony, Sheff & I got together with our minister & talked about what we wanted, what we didn't want, & basically the whole series of events that make up a wedding ceremony. That's when we talked about our views on marriage. We made it clear that we loved one another's spirits & that the core of our love is not about gender, but about true support, acceptance, love, & encouraging eachother's spirits to grow. During the ceremony, the minister mentioned our meeting & our request and, without getting political, was able to express our feelings in a very special way. And he carried it through - refering to us as two people, two spirits, blahblahblah. He made it seamless. He's good like that. He's also a family friend, though, so I knew we could trust him.

Also, Sheff & I wrote our own vows. We did some research and one night while hanging out in the wedding section at Border's, we found a book on wedding ceremoies & vows. In that book, we found some vows that made us cry on the spot. We took cues from those vows & personalized it from there. I'll admit that we did say "husband" and "wife", but I didn't want us to get any more gender specific than that. Tomorrow I'll try to find our vows (we moved recently!) so I can post them here.

And as for being escorted down the aisle, Sheff and I did something I've never seen anyone else do. We were each escorted down the aisle by both of our parents. This was one of the ways that we honored the fact that they had supported us & been by our sides all of our lives. We talked about walking in together just the two of us (because he wsa raised as a Quaker & that's kinda a Quaker thing to do), but skipped it. The idea of honoring our parents was just too nice to pass up. But, no, nobody gave us away. If we'd done that, it would've made me feel more like a prize pig than a bride, so no.

I'm thinking that my BestGalPal's wedding ceremony may be very helpful to you. I actually called her just a bit ago to ask for advice on answering you, so BestGuyPal (her Person) e-mailed some links to me. They had a very simple, short, spontaneous wedding. Both are agnostic & were VERY picky about the wording of their vows. Their goal was to have no mention of the words "God", "husband", or "wife" in the ceremony. I don't even think they had "man" or "woman" in there. They structured their vows around a Buddhist wedding ceremony they found on the internet. BestGalPal told me that they only used about one page of the text of this document, but it was very helpful. They also wrote their own individual vows (& kept them secret from one another) in which they basically said, "Hey! I love you more than anybody else. So let's spend our lives hanging out & going on adventures together until we die! Wee!" Obviously that's not the exact words they used, but it's the feeling they went for.

BestGuyPal says that if you're interested in the Buddhist ceremony, you should also check out these links.

I've got plenty more to say about the subjects you've mentioned, so be expecting more from me later!
Thanks for the welcome, the remembering, and the links! I found a wonderful link on indiebride to the Mass. Supreme Court decision supporting civil marriage. I have since lost the link, but when I find it again, I'll post it. For reference, though, it's the Goodbridge decision. I'm hoping to edit it into a brief statement that we can put in the program or read before the ceremony, just so folks know exactly where we stand. If ever there's a time I can get on my soapbox a little, it's my wedding day (not that that's ever stopped me before).

I'm eager to receive any and all advice anyone may have on any and all topics wedding related. I figure an informed bride-to-be is a prepared bride-to-be.

Oooh, and on that note, was/is it difficult to get your partner involved in planning? So far, the only thing I've gotten out of Mr. Cakes is that he'd like to wear a pink shirt and shoes and that as the photographer in the relationship, he gets control over who shoots the wedding. I can't even get a rough idea of how many of his family members we're inviting.
Pamcakes...if you aren't having a dinner, it migth be difficult to persude peopel to RSVP. We got meat and cheese trays from Wal Mart very inexpensively. Always remember that as a general rule, about half the peopel you invite will not show up. I've been married twice, I don't know why this still shocks me!
Actually, rose, having both parents of both the bride and groom walk them down the aisle is a tradition in Jewish weddings. I plan on doing that, too. Thanks for the links to the Buddhist ceremony link. I really like the vows and might have to steal them.

pamcakes, sounds like a great wedding! Even with 200 guests, I'd think that since you're dropping a lot of the superfluous stuff that people do, you should still be able to do it for $5k or less. My friends threw a traditional wedding with about 125 guests for about $12K, so I think you'll be okay. I think my friend said this book was a great help to her. Not sure about your RSVP issue, though. I do know that when done correctly, it's not impolite to call people shortly after your RSVP deadline and just say, "I hadn't received your RSVP yet and I just wanted to make sure you got counted!" One idea to save money on postage and go with the more casual tone of your wedding would be to do RSVP postcards instead of the small folded ones. You could get a cute image of you and your fiance or something for the front.
Pamcakes, I think it is a good money-saving plan to not have an actual dinner for everyone (we are considering this as well), but it is good if you can somehow make that clear on the invites as a lot of people will just assume there will be a lot of food involved. One couple we know just had snacks and light salads but we didn't know we were supposed to eat first (the reception started at 8, I guess that implies it is after dinner?) as every other wedding we had been to involved a big dinner. So we were starving and there was not enough food to really make a meal out of. Still a fun night but I would have liked clear warning to eat first.

I'm having concerns about the wedding party- if you have a civil/registry ceremony, it doesn't seem like bridesmaids and best men serve any function. What are they for if you don't have a church wedding? We would like to have some because we do have some really good pals that it would be really nice to indicate "hey, we think you are really cool and we want you to have an important role in our big day" but if all they do is look good in the pictures it just seems odd.
pollystyrene, try this to see the trashydiva pics. when you get there, scroll down to a post from july 27. there are links to photos.

pamcakes, welcome! i really admire the way that you are standing up for what is personally meaningful to you, and especially the way you are doing all the research! we haven't begun planning our ceremony in detail yet- just the basics as far as people, music, ceremony length. before we got engaged, we actually talked more about what was important as far as vows and committment in the actual marriage, and i'm sure we'll get back to that now that our marrying-spot is secured. we are getting married at the unitarian church where i am a member, so both of us feel pretty free in customizing the ceremony and working with the minister. currently, the church has a big banner outside that says 'this church supports equal marriage for all' with a rainbow border. i am hoping its still up when we get married!! have you chosen your officiant or marriage site yet? a good officiant who shares your views could really help you have the ceremony you are dreaming of.

isn't this neat? my friends who were married yesterday had their marriage blessed at a buddhist temple a few days before the wedding.

i second fina on serving snacks but not neccessarily a meal, and also letting guests know. mayble hold the wedding/reception between meal times and denote on the invitation something like "cocktail reception to follow" or "light refreshments to follow." you could have the drinks of your choosing and a few snacks, followed by your cake (if you are having one.)

fina, i think just having your friends "be there" as your bridesmaids/groomsmen is cool. it gives you a little posse so that you're not up there all by yourself with your intended and the minister. even if you are being married privately, sharing the ceremony with your closest friends will be meaningful. my best friend did not have a religious ceremony and she was married at a historic theater. she told me last night that she felt much calmer at the supposed "altar" just having friends at her side. i think what i am trying to say is that bridesmaids and groomsmen can help in a more abstract spiritual/emotional way as opposed to just being there to serve in a certain "role."

sybarite, what does the catholic church require to marry you? is it enough that both of you have been baptised in the catholic faith, or do you need to be confirmed and members of the church?
Oh, good question pink! That reminds me I must check that out again. As I'm not really a practicing Catholic there's all kinds of fairly important stuff surrounding any Catholic ceremony I'm bound to forget.

They do a lot of international weddings so I think (or seem to remember?) they don't require we be members, but I need to confirm this asap (well, after my next deadline). I'll let you know fyi when I find out, if you like...

Fina, I think it'd be fine to have a wedding party if that's what you want. At least one of them needs to sign the marriage certificate as a witness, right? I can't remember how many witnesses are required over there, but two witnesses had to sign our marriage certificate.

Polly, thanks! I meant to say that I'd never seen it done at any of the weddings I've attended. I guess I should have worded that differently!

Pam, I agree that it can be difficult to get the men involved. I know it's a sad stereotype, but it can also be a sad truth. Sheff was more involved than many grooms simply because he wasn't working at the time (He isn't American & hadn't gotten his clearance to work in this country yet). Also, I insisted that WE were getting married - not just ME - so I made him get involved. He helped some with everything. We picked the site together. He did the research on photographers & eventually found the woman we chose. He hired the musicians (who I didn't meet until our wedding day!) and he planned the honeymoon and found some of the favors we used and all sorts of things. I'm not saying he enjoyed it (Well, he enjoyed picking out the cake!), but these were things that had to be done, so there you go.

I want to talk more about the things you mentioned in your first post, but if I tackle it all now, I'll never get today's chores done! smile.gif

But before I go ...

I unearthed the vows that Sheff & I wrote for our ceremony. I remember that at the begining of our wedding planning, I was frustrated because I could find oodles of books and magazines that talked about cakes and table decorations and everything but the actual ceremony. Drove me nuts! I mean, shouldn't the focus really be on the ceremony? Why isn't there more discussion about the actual vows exchanged & about the actual commitment the couple is taking on? Well, I know that the real reason why they don't talk about this is because there's not much money to be made in such things.
But throughout the wedding process, I tried to keep the real meaning of this affair in my mind. Oddly enough, we didn't officially finish writing our vows until the night before the ceremony, but I think it turned out well.

You have helped to heal my wounds
and solaced me in sorrow.
You have awakened joy in my heart
and brought peace to my spirit.
Surely all this goodness can be no mistake
and is a testament to our strength together.
Therefore I choose you, Tim, to become my beloved husband.

One day at a time, I will love you,
will share the truth in my heart,
and in honor of our love,
will encourage you always
in the beautiful and ever-unfolding process
of your spiritual growth.

I will honor you in all your undertakings
and stand at your side in times of discouragement and testing.
I will care for you in sickness,
cherish you in health,
give thanks for you always,
and with a glad heart I shall treasure you
all the days of our lives.

This is my heartfelt promise.
This is my solemn vow.

The last two lines were slightly different for Sheff (Tim) because Quakers don't believe in saying that the "promise" to do something. The fact that they say something at all means that the promise in implied (or something like that). So he said something involving the words "I affirm".
hey guys, just lurking in here so i just saw pinkmartyrs question. both parties do not need to be catholic to get married in the catholic church. i believe only one needs to be a baptized catholic. however, as a couple they need to attend what is called "pre cana" which is where they meet weekly with a priest and other engaged couples and they do lots of things related to forging a life together but also promise to raise their children catholic and set up a catholic household. i know many people that just go to this so they can get married in the church bc its hard to decide how you want to raise your kids and people change their minds. however, i believe that is the rule.
As long as you have your baptismal certificate, you're in with the Catholics. We're getting married in a Catholic church because he's catholic, I was raised to be, and the preist is one of his best friends.

Rose, such a beautiful vow. It made me all leaky eyed.

anywho, I thought I would drop in and say hello... My wedding is coming up so soon! October 22... I'm freaking out. we still have so much to do.... Here's some pretty things to look at though...

My engagement ring...IPB Image

My dress...IPB Image

My shoes *SQUEEEEEEE* IPB Image

I'm such a freakin' princess....
Oooh pretties! I love, love, love the dress and shoes!! I love the new trend of adding some color to the dress.
No problem, rose- not everyone's been to a Jewish wedding. I had no idea about the Quaker/"promise" thing. I like your vows, too!

And great choices, prettynpink, especially the shoes. I wish I could wear swanky shoes any time, not just for my wedding. Damn my picky feet!
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