My fiance and I are having an issue with the groomswoman's dress. I'm trying not to be too unreasonable here, but I am getting frustrated and upset with my fiance's actions. Perhaps if I get some outside perspectives it will help me deal with the situation in a logical, as-fair-as-possible manner.
Here's the situation: I have one maid of honor plus three bridesmaids. I let each person pick their own dress style, as long as the color is claret (from Alfred Angelo). That part's done. Now it's time for the groom's attendant clothing. The groomswoman suggested to my fiance that she wear a black dress. I said okay. She may have one that she can borrow. Since I'm trying to be budget minded, I'm okay if she doesn't buy a brand new dress. But I want to see what dress she picks out to make sure it coordinates with the rest of the party's attire. Well, the dress she wants to borrow is black and white. My fiance thinks that's fine. I don't necessarily agree. I want to see a picture of the dress before making a final decision. If it doesn't look like a good match, I'd like to tell her to get a solid black dress.
My fiance wants to let his groomswoman wear whatever she wants, arguing that he doesn't want to make her buy a new dress that might end up costing more than her own wedding dress (which she bought second-hand when she got married over ten years ago). My friends have purchased their own dresses (which had to be new since I wanted a specific color to match my ivory & claret wedding dress). Two of my bridesmaids are on very tight budgets, which is partially why I let them pick whatever style they wanted and price point they wanted. And the dresses are all very reasonably priced.
I am not an extravagant person. I'm working hard to keep things within budget. I've made lots of compromises so far to make sure his family and friends can travel and be at our wedding, even though some of those compromises do not thrill me. I'd like our wedding to have a coordinated look. I don't think it's fair to allow one member of the wedding party to dress however they want even if it clashes with everyone else. I don't want to force the groomswoman to buy a new dress, but I do want dictate the color (solid black) and length (full length since it's the end of December and formal). That may sound selfish of me, but in this case I'm okay with being a bit selfish.
I'm trying to keep my stress in check but then my fiance springs things like this on me. I end up being the bad guy if I stick to my guns. What do you think? Should I just drop it and let the groomswoman wear whatever? Her husband is one of the groomsmen as well. I'm afraid to think what kind of issue we're going to have with his attire! What if they both cite "budget" issues and ask to wear whatever they want?
I am so sorry about that whole situation and belive me I know the stress! But I agree with you: I think that the groomswomen should show you the dress. I also think she should take in consideration that you even allowed her to wear black. I think you should give this groomwomen a choice, your style you had in mind( matching the rest of the bridemaids, or just all black dress.I think that your FH should take in to mind thats its your dream wedding and of course his. He should only be worried about you and your feelings because he should understand that this weddignplanning is already stressful. You should mention this to him.
It's pretty traditional that if someone accepts a job as a bridal party member, it's understood that he/she is going to have to pay for an outfit. In your case, asking her to wear a long black dress is not unreasonable--cheesh, maybe she can find one in the same second-hand store she used for her wedding! If she can't (won't?) get herself a reasonable outfit, perhaps you might ask if, because the budget is so tight, she wishes to drop out of the wedding party (not being mean, just considerate of her difficult financial situation).
I don't think it's unreasonable to want to see the dress before the wedding. What are the guys wearing? If they are wearing say black tuxes with white shirts and red ties maybe she could pull off the b&w dress with a red necklace? The dress might work. If it doesn't look right with everyone else she should be able to find a reasonalby priced long black dress with out too much trouble.
"If we weren't all crazy we would go insane" ~Jimmy Buffett
I agree, I think you're being perfectly reasonable. If she were simply a guest, no, she could wear whatever she chooses (within reason), but since she is a member of the wedding party I think common courtesy obliges her to let you see and approve (or veto) the dress ahead of time. How much or how little she spent on her own wedding dress is totally irrelevant.
More central, however, is your comment that your FH's actions are upsetting you. Planning the wedding has its stresses, and guys often don't "get it" about attire and decor and other niceties. But if the general tone of your relationship has become one of ignoring each other's feelings or wishes, I would encourage you to discuss that in whatever premarital counseling you may be having. The wedding is one day, your marriage is supposed to last for the rest of your lives. I'm sure you both want that life to be happy and fulfilling.
Posted: Oct 23, 2007 3:27 PMGo to messagein response to: EveT2007
Thank you, everyone, for your input. I didn't think I was being unreasonable to begin with, but since you're not always the best judge of your own actions, I wanted some impartial perspectives. It's good to hear from others that I am acting within normal range here.
I hate to make gendered statements, but I do agree that some guys don't "get it" when it comes to all the wedding planning. I wonder if some of them think that we, as woman, are destined to go overboard no matter what our regular personality would indicate. So they in turn become more obstructionist and maybe even passive agressive because they think it's a way to "keep us in check" over all the planning. Instead, it just leads to more frustrating encounters.
I've talked with my fiance over this issue since posting. We've agreed that I will coordinate with the groomswoman on her dress. We've also talked about the planning disagreements and their implications for how we handle issues that will come up during our marriage. We're far from a full consensus, but we are talking.
It's funny, EveT, that you mentioned premaritial counseling. We've got a weekend retreat coming up in two weeks and I'm sure we'll be talking about these sorts of things again very soon! And I agree with your assessment that the wedding is one day. You don't want to have resentment from it that spills over into what should be a cooperative, happy marriage.
All this angst over a dress? Ah! Thanks everyone for helping me keep my sanity!
Hi, I hope you will find the weekend retreat enjoyable and constructive! I've never gone on one of those, but I have a cousin who's married to a pastor and they have led them. Frankly I'd hate to be in a retreat they were leading, but that probably has more to do with my baggage about family history, LOL.
Another anecdote: when my DH was married to his 1st wife (who, sadly, died of cancer when they'd been married more than 40 yrs), she convinced him to go on a Catholic "Marriage Encounter" weekend. He said it was the dumbest thing he'd ever seen, they were sitting around talking about infidelity and alcoholism and domestic violence and compulsive gambling, stuff that totally didn't apply to his marriage. By Sunday morning, when they were supposed to have Mass, less than half of the original group was still there, everbody else had bailed out. I hope yours is better than that!