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I have been a bridesmaid eleven times. I have spent thousands of dollars on dresses, shoes, shower presents, bachelorette party presents, wedding presents, etc. It has been an honor to participate in the weddings of all of these wonderful women, and I am still very close with nearly every one. The dresses….what about the dresses? I have worn teal, red, green, orange (twice), gold, navy blue, aqua blue, eggplant purple, hot pink, and yellow. 

I would like to give a brief synopsis of the story surrounding the aqua blue dress. I was eight months pregnant with my third baby and was the size of Jabba the Hut. The cute (size 3) bride to be wanted me in her wedding but insisted I could wear the same dress as all of the other (never gave birth-size 3) bridesmaids. “Just order a larger than usual size,” she advised. Anyone who has ever given birth to more than one baby knows that by the 8th month of pregnancy, a gal’s breasts are quite large. I attempted to plead my case for an alternative maternity dress in a similar color to no avail. If the beautiful bride wanted me pouring down the aisle in the giant aqua blue dress-boobs popping out-who was I to argue? 

The day of the wedding was precarious. Another bridesmaid eyed my dress lying on the bed suspiciously and then eyed my curvy, naked body and shook her head in disbelief. It took two tiny bridesmaids and the strong, large hands of the brides Eastern European mother to squash me into the dress, hold the breasts down, and get the back zipped. It was “touch and go,” but it did, ultimately, zip. The pictures were, as expected, ridiculous. I looked like a giant tidal wave standing among beautiful, tiny, barely 20-something sorority girls. The dress? I slipped into my comfy, stretchy maternity shorts and left that dress in the Holiday Inn closet.

Photo credit: upton / Foter / CC BY-ND

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I asked a close friend and my future sister-in-law to be one of my bridesmaids. I explained that I wanted to do the dresses as inexpensively as possible, so I sent each one a sewing patterns, fabric, thread, zipper, etc. The night before the wedding, my future s-i-l hands me the bag with everything still in it and says, ‘I couldn’t find anyone to sew it for me.’ So, while my bridesmaids and matron of honor went to my Bachelorette party, I stayed home and sewed the dress.

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My first experience at being a bridesmaid was when I was only 19 years old. A friend of mine from the local retail electronics store was getting married. She was only a couple of years older than me but they were in “crazy love.”

The wedding was during Christmas season, so of course the colors were red and green. Our dresses were these long (really long), green velvet dresses with long sleeves. I felt like I was coming straight out of a medieval wedding. 

The ceremony began and I found myself at one point in the wedding as the only bridesmaid left standing. I was a Jew and had no idea that we had to kneel during the ceremony. I bent down to kneel and I tripped on my dress. Thankfully, one of my fellow bridesmaids was able to catch me and help me down without too much of a ruckus.