I’ve only been a bridesmaid once in my life. It was at my brother’s wedding. I was just 14, but a gangly half-a-foot taller than the other girls, and far less well endowed in the chest region.
This resulted in an entire day of me yanking up the gaping front of my golden dress that just about prevented my nipples from flashing various relatives like ambulance sirens. It was a spaghetti-strapped satin number that made me look like a bit like the Oscars statue, only with less curves. I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t fit, and to this day I cringe at how uncomfortable my exposed fleabites made me feel.
As it turns out, I am far from alone. A survey of more than 1,000 women in the U.K has revealed that almost eight out of 10 bridesmaids secretly hate their dresses.
The research, conducted by fashion retailer Simply Be, went on to suggest that the British tradition for stoic politeness and good manners could be responsible for so many remaining silent about their awful outfits.
Apparently, 86 per cent of the women surveyed believed that bridesmaids should put up and shut up and accept the bride’s choice for them without complaint. Only the daring two per cent said they would be prepared to refuse the role of bridesmaid altogether if they were forced into a gown that made them feel uncomfortable.
The most unpopular shade of dress for bridesmaids was peach, while pistachio, green, yellow and lilac were also less than desired tones among bridesmaids-to-be.
Speaking to the Daily Express, Simply Be’s Suzi Burns said “involving bridesmaids in decisions over their outfits” could prevent women from feeling uncomfortable on a day that may well involve many of their friends and relatives too.
By doing this, she continued, “the bridesmaid can choose something that flatters their body type that they will be able to wear at other events – rather than a pastel creation that will probably end up in the back of a wardrobe or the rail of a charity shop.”
This isn’t an easy task for brides looking to match their bridesmaids’ dresses. In itself, however, its a tradition with a rather more sinister origin.
In Ancient Roman times, it was believed that weddings could draw evil spirits – and ex-boyfriends – to the fore. So, the bride’s friends would wear almost the same dress as her to act as decoys against potential threats (including rape and kidnapping) ahead of the exchange of vows.
So yeah. Matching is weird anyway. Let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses, OK?