Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bridesmaid Dresses

or, alternately:
or, third title option:
Bride Lesson: Stop Assuming Things Will Make Sense
and last but not least:
Please Help Me.

Let's go back that beautiful moment in Loomis when I realized that I was actually wearing the dress in which I would be married. It was a lovely moment. Things were in place. We decided while we were there that we should maybe look into bridesmaid dresses and have my sister (the Mrs-0-H) try on a few of the styles and colors I had been considering so we could see those colors next to my dress because, you know, it all goes around the dress.
Getting married is a very selfish endeavor.
Well it turns out I was once again wrong about what I wanted for this wedding. Or I suppose "Ignorant to the Beautiful Possibilities" is a nicer way to say it. I said I wanted a short, simple dress, and I end up with a long, elegant, pleated to within an inch of its life confection of dress perfectitude. I also thought I wanted plain brown dresses for the bridesmaids, possibly bought from an online source like jcrew,, or even Target. I figured brown was a nice neutral safe ground and would maximize re-wearability.
But then I realized, when I actually had Jessie trying on dresses next to my dress, that I had forgotten that I have really beautiful bridesmaids with lots of personality, and that neither of those things were being represented by "brown." So I decided to shake things up a bit and go back to a color scheme that I had briefly considered: purple and orange. Or, as we later discovered, "Grape" and "Sienna." These colors are really gorgeous together, are Halloween and Fall themed without making one gag, and lucky for me, I have two bridesmaids that will look brilliant in burnt orange and three that will glow in dark purple. Once we got down to the swatches, clearly the perfect colors were made by Alexia designs. They didn't have any dresses that really thrilled me in the store, but they gave me a website address where I could view all their styles. I went, I looked, and I was unimpressed...until I chanced a click on their separates collection, where I found this:

I really love this dress. The pleating on the top hollas back to my dress while also offering a little tummy camouflage (I figure if my dress lets me stick it out all the way, why not theirs?) I also loved the idea of separates because my maids are all different sizes and I didn't want them to spend an arm, a leg, and a sleepless night over alterations. It seemed perfect!
Until I emailed for a quote and it turns out they don't make tea-length skirts for their separates.
THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME WHATSOEVER, especially since most of their bridesmaid dress styles are available in tea-length and it's like the most popular style at the moment.
So I had to look somewhere else, where the colors are not "Grape" and "Sienna." (which, not to have a total bride moment, but other colors of burnt orange and dark purple are not the same. Boo hoo hoo. Poor me.)

I remembered Jessie trying on an Alfred Angelo at the store. I liked their purple color better, but the orange was just a little more orangey than I liked. But I would rather have "slightly orangey" than no orange at all, and I found out he has a separate line WITH TEA-LENGTH SKIRTS. As one OUGHT TO HAVE. Suck it, Alexia.Their separate line has several super cute options that add pleats and visual interest:

The only problem I have with their line is that in the virtual simulator the skirt seems to be a slightly lighter color than the tops. I'm not sure if this actually bothers me or not. Probably not. There's also a dress or two, although I'm not entirely willing to give up on the separates:
So I thought, let's go with Alfred Angelo then. These are pretty cute!

But then I was reminded today by one of my fabulous fellow costumer friends that if I really liked the Alexia ones, the skirts could probably just be chopped off by a skilled seamstress and it wouldn't look to funky. So now I'm totally torn.

Alexia pros: The orange is a prettier, more sophisticated color, and I think Alexia is slightly cheaper than Alfred Angelo. It also has the most structured pleating, and the skirt seems to match colors almost perfectly. And, here's a big one, Alexia is carried by net bride, so girls who couldn't find a salon or wanted a discount could order online through them.

Alfred Angelo pros: We wouldn't have to worry about someone butchering the bottom skirt because it would be the proper length. Alfred Angelo is also a lot easier to find in salon if not on net bride. Also I think the pleats on the first top pictured above look the most like the ones on my dress.

Please give input, ESPECIALLY if you're one of the bridesmaids in question...this has to be decided SOON!

But just so you can see I'm not crazy, check out how pretty the colors will look together:


Sister said...

I actually like the style of the AA dresses better. There would be a lot of extra cost for the shortening of a skirt. I'd say go with the ones that are easier to come by, even if the colors are a little off. (I do know the difference between Sienna and Burnt Orange, there is one!). Mrs. O-H votes AA. Deal.

Sister said...

OH, and, and, you could get different pleated tops with the AA which would make things not as mundane, yet not too over the top for a difference in the dresses. (Did that make sense? I'm kinda excited!)

Ashley said...

You know me, I'll be happy with anything that is a dress and helps me pretend I am fancy.

If the cost difference between Alexia and AA is very big, I may have a different opinion--I'll ask you about that tonight.

Otherwise, I agree with Mrs.O-H that the AA would be better. It would just be more simple--I think that making sure all of our dresses were altered would be complicated, even though it is a simple thing for a seamstress to do.

And I was totally going to say what she said in her second comment--if it didn't bother you, of course--we could do different variations of the top, which might end up being really fun.

And now, Ms.O-H has spoken. (Written)

Ashley said...

also, though there is a total difference between those colors, the lines may not actually show the difference and the online color of the AA dresses could be brighter than the real life color. thats how it is with all the DB dresses. that didn't make sense. anyhow.

katie said...

i agree with the above. although the alexia might be cheaper, after getting alterations to shorten, would it be about the same?
as far as ordering/salon/online business goes, just pick whatever dress you want and i'll make things work, since i'm sure i'll be the trouble-maker on that end of things.

also, i hung out with joe lachance this weekend and he suggests going to doniphan for the wedding---you know, part way between both of your home towns. great idea, no?