Dirge of the Bridesmaid: Part 1

You're green with envy over how sexy I am, aren't you?

About a year ago, I was a bridesmaid in my brother-in-law’s wedding. The weeks leading up to the event were filled with a mild sense of apprehension on my part. I was honored to be included, but the vision that the bride-to-be painted for her big day made my non-girlie-girl knees shake. I was sure that this was going to be one of the most ghetto-fab weddings in the history of all nuptials. 

I was apprehensive when I went to be fitted for my gown. Strapless and long just didn’t bode well for a woman of my broad-shouldered, chesty proportions and clumsy gait. I felt like a linebacker for a football team called the Free Willy Whales.

And for the love of Rainbow Brite, the color. Of all the colors in the spectrum, my future sis-in-law chose one of the most gawdawful shades of green that could possibly exist. Naturally, the groomsmen–my hubs included–were to wear matching “clover green” vests and ties and white tuxes with long-tailed coats and shiny white shoes. I feared that when paired, we would look like a 1up.

Then, I got really scared when the bride called to let me know that she was having a meeting with her bridesmaids to discuss the finer details of hair and makeup. Because we live a couple of states away, she said that she’d send me an email with an outline of the meeting, including a picture of the hairstyle she wanted us to have. I was even more afraid of the hairstyle than I was of the dress. I kept having frightening visions of hairstyles like this:

When I received the email, the hair issue was still being decided, so she didn’t have a picture to include. However, she did send along the “guidelines” that she had discussed with everyone. I shit you not, folks; this is the actual cut and paste directly from my inbox:

Wedding  Bridesmaid Meeting

  1. Everyone needs to try on their dress to make sure it doesn’t need alterations
  2. Discuss hairstyles–opinions needed
  3. Discuss shoes, must not be visible if they’re not silver
  4. Jewelry… I will provide, no additional accessories allowed except rings
  5. Be on time at LaQuinta Inn at 12:30
  6. Everyone’s makeup must not be dramatic, no extreme colors
  7. Shave your armpits please
  8. Nails must have silver tips, toes silver or natural colors
  9. Please do not come to the wedding high or drunk
  10. We need volunteers to help set up on

Oh, hell to the yes, I was afraid.

I’ll be back with Part II in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, do tell: what is the most horrific wedding experience that you’ve been a part of, witnessed, or heard about?


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About JW Moxie

J-Dub Moxie has a BS in BS, but someone thought it was a good idea to make her responsible for educating adolescents. She does a good impression of an 8th Grade English teacher by day, but by night she's a gangsta nerd superhero. She wishes she could clone copies of her husband Frank to sell; he is that awesome. Despite Moxie's best efforts, their four children (ages 6-10) refuse to be corrupted into doing her evil bidding. Moxie is in love with carbohydrates and in hate with writing bios. She blogs at The Smartness and Tweets @JWMoxie. Word.


  1. Larissa says:

    Good grief, micromanaging bridezilla much?!

    Dictating right down to your hair and nails? Like anyone even notices nails? And I’ve always thought cloned hairstyles were creepy. Sheesh. Kudos on surviving the experience.

    My worst was being the bridesmaid for a good friend… I couldn’t make the dress-picking get together, so they did it without me. I knew they were going to Jessica McClintock, which I generally love, so I wasn’t too worried. They picked the ONE dress in the store I hated. Not kidding, the only one. It was this pale, washed-out lavender, that forced everyone except me to get a fake tan. It had a completely bland, blank front from neck to floor, with a muscle shirt type sleeve. It was also backless, with a V cut down to the waist. I don’t do backless and it required a special bra (and expensive) that I’ve never worn again (this was in the mid-90s). She dictated no necklaces, leaving the front of the dress completely blank. And she commented that because it was slim-fitted satin, we’d either have to go sans underwear or in g-strings. Comfortable with neither, I just smiled & nodded and wore my own damned underwear.

    I later considered cutting up the dress and dying the pieces to make curtains for my dollhouse but I donated it instead.

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    • JW Moxie says:

      Despite her ideas of having us be the Stepford bridesmaids, she actually didn’t have a “Bridezilla” type of attitude.

      I think you win on the ugly dress battle. Pale lavender and no decor whatsoever? Gag me.

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  2. Nails with silver tips? Holy Shamoly! Very Bridezillaesque.

    I once went to a wedding where we were all locked out of the church, including the bride and groom. Somebody eventually broke in through a window to unlock the door. Things went down from there, including, eventually, the happily-ever-after part.

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    • JW Moxie says:

      You guys had to break into a church to have the wedding? Wow. From the way it sounds, maybe that was God’s version of “speaking now” instead of “forever holding His peace.”


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  3. Lori N. says:

    I can’t quite get over #7 & 9.

    That dress has NOTHING on the bubblegum pink monstrosity I made my bridesmaids wear, way, way bank in the day.

    • JW Moxie says:

      Yeah, 7 through 9 threw me for a loop, too. I feared being a part of any group that had to be reminded not to show up at a wedding blitzed.

      Did your bubblegum pink monstrosity choice have loads of ruffles and/or big, poofy shoulders?

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      • Lori N. says:

        You nailed it! Big, poofy shoulders and a huge bow on the back. This was the mid eighties, but I look back and go “DAMN, WHAT was I thinking!”

  4. Mamatink says:

    I am in a wedding in May in that EXACT dress in that EXACT color. I feel your pain.

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  5. Jayde says:

    I don’t see a problem with her request. It is HER special day, not yours.

    • JW Moxie says:

      Of course it’s her special day, which is why I smiled enthusiastically and chirped agreeably whenever there was wedding talk. She had 12 other bridesmaids to fill her ears with complaints.

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  6. melissa says:

    Control freak: silver shoes, identical hair, no accessories allowed but rings

    Things you are all stupid: Shave your armpits.

    Worried about being outshone by bridesmaids: see the dress, make-up must be bland

    Delusional: After all that, help me set up.

    • JW Moxie says:

      The funny thing is that her idea of “extreme” did not match mine. Everyone looked nice, but some of the makeup was what I definitely would have called extreme.

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  7. Hellraisin says:

    Do not shave your armpits; spray-paint pit hair silver. Everyone’s happy!

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  8. Lee says:

    I was helping coordinate a wedding once that turned out to be the biggest white trash event of the decade. One of the bridesmaids didn’t show up until 10 minutes before the wedding, and she hadn’t even bothered to wash her hair. Some girl showed up wearing daisy dukes, a lime green leg cast up to her crotch, and a Grumpy t-shirt. A kid got to screaming and instead of taking him out the back, his mom ran after him, (right past the wedding party as the couple was saying their vows) and took the kid back behind the baptistry, slamming the door behind her – not once, but TWICE.

    I’ve never seen anything like it.

  9. Helen says:

    I can’t understand the desire to have bridesmaids looking like clones? I went with a pattern and a couple of pieces of silk sent to each of my bridesmaids by post as we were scattered around the country.
    Different girls chose the different sleeve styles for the bodice and one girl copied a favourite long skirt instead of the long skirt in the pattern … I was asked if I minded … Hell No! They are strong, capable, individuals with different tastes and different strengths and THAT’S WHY THEY WERE MY BRIDESMAIDS, Lol!
    We were co-ordinated in colours and fabric types but still the individual friends that we actually are, not a pretend ‘performance’ at being clones, like a chorus line.

    • JW Moxie says:

      That’s pretty much the same thing that I did for my wedding. I’m not sure if that stemmed more from my desire to let them keep some individuality or from my lack of girlie-girlness.

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  10. Kristin says:

    The first time I was a bridesmaid was a total nightmare. This bride went totally bridezilla on us…and since this was my first friend to get married, I didn’t even know that was a common thing — totally didn’t see it coming.

    Too many details to include here, but she spent $100/plate at a country club on a really crappy turkey dinner. Didn’t provide a vegetarian option — even for her immediate family members who were vegetarians. Told the bridesmaids she was canceling the bridesmaids’ brunch so she could spend time with her family in from out of state, but actually went to have a pedicure instead (which is fine — but lying about it? The lying to us was a theme throughout).

    And the dress, the dress. Hers was quite lovely. Ours were atrocious. Forest green velvet, totally plain front — sounds just like the lavender one described above. The back was also a V to the waist. It was a Morticia-type skirt with a slit damned near up to the waist. And AT the waist was a gigantic, ivory, satin bow. This bow was at least 8 inches from top-to-bottom (pre-tied, held together with a rhinestone clip) with long, ivory streamers running 3/4 of the way to the floor. The look was topped off (bottomed off?) with 3″ dye-able green heels that came out emerald green instead of forest green. OMG. And her behavior on the wedding day…DAMN! Its amazing the friendship survived.

    On the plus side, though, when another friend was getting married 5 years later, her sister organized a bachelorette party and we all had to wear our worst bridesmaid dress. I won the contest for the very worst dress with that green number…and the dye-ables, of course.

  11. Megan says:

    You had me at dirge.

    I live under some lucky star: I’ve never been in a wedding except for my own.

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  12. Jennifer says:

    I had to wear a teal green satin dress with hot pink accessories/cut outs. And it was so big it had to be pinned together so it wouldn’t fall off.

  13. Al_Pal says:

    I’ve actually been really lucky on this front, and also picked coordinated-but-not-matchy stuff for my gals to wear. I asked that they wear silver shoes, but any silver of their own choosing, not anything specific. Each dress style was different, but all in nice jewel-tone medium royal blue shades–two were the same color & one was a slightly darker shade that was discontinued. Whatever hair & jewelry they wanted. I didn’t get a manicure since I never wear nail polish on my fingers; chips too easily!

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