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BM dress length input

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Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
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3,136
My mom and I are really disagreeing about the BM dresses, and I just wanted additional input.

FI and I are having a fairly formal daytime wedding. The guys are going to be in kilts and Prince Charlie jackets and I''m wearing a floor length dress with a fingertip veil. Weather-permitting, the ceremony is going to be outdoors, in May, which can get fairly warm in Virginia.

My biggest wants for the BM dresses is that they flatter my BMs, that my BMs are comfortable, and that the dresses are relatively affordable. Two of my BMs are students, and the other one recently started her first job, and I really don''t want our wedding to be a financial burden to them. I''m hoping to keep the price to $150 or less. If we fall in love with a dress that''s more expensive than that, I''m willing to pay part of the cost. I''d prefer that the dresses be navy, green, ivory, or another shade of blue.

I discovered yesterday that a lot of the JCrew dresses are on sale, plus I found a discount code for an extra $20 off. My MOH, FI, and I really like some of the knee length dresses (and the antique blue and hunter are both so pretty). They also look very re-wearable, which is a plus considering my BMs incomes, and I thought that the shorter length might be more comfortable for my girls if the weather''s pretty warm. But my mom''s insisting that since my dress is floor length, etiquette/tradition dictates that my BMs must have floor length dresses. She just sent me an email with lots of links supporting this. Emily Post (Peggy Post?) says that the lengths don''t have to match, but that both should be long if the wedding is formal. Our guys are wearing formal Scottish attire, but FI and I are expecting that few of our guests would wear tuxes and gowns to an 11:30 am ceremony. A lot of the other aspects of our wedding will be fairly formal -- traditional engraved invitations, for example. So is our wedding formal, or semi-formal? Would it be a faux pas for us to have shorter bridesmaid dresses?

Also, whenever I come up with any dress alternative that costs less than $200, my mom tells me that the bridesmaids are going to be standing in front of everyone and that she doesn''t want cheap dresses to cheapen the look of the entire wedding. Is anyone actually going to walk away thinking, "Wow, their wedding was so cheap, their BM dresses looked like they only cost $100"??
(Sorry, this is turning into a rant.)

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have. This is just getting so frustrating.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
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11,016
Well I think things are a bit different now, though dress length is not something I know about. I had a black tie wedding, in the evening, 16 years ago. It was in Southern California in August. I had my bridesmaids wear black knee length cocktail dresses. They were from the evening wear department of Neimans, not a bridal store. The hotel where I got married is very fancy and elegant and you cannot get more formal than black tie, and no one made a comment to me about the length of the dresses. I think you should handle it how you want, it is your wedding, and I am sure you could find just a many articles debunking that myth so I would just continue to hold your ground!
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
1,082
Date: 12/8/2006 11:35:03 PM
Author:Blenheim
My mom and I are really disagreeing about the BM dresses, and I just wanted additional input.


FI and I are having a fairly formal daytime wedding. The guys are going to be in kilts and Prince Charlie jackets and I''m wearing a floor length dress with a fingertip veil. Weather-permitting, the ceremony is going to be outdoors, in May, which can get fairly warm in Virginia.


I discovered yesterday that a lot of the JCrew dresses are on sale, plus I found a discount code for an extra $20 off. My MOH, FI, and I really like some of the knee length dresses (and the antique blue and hunter are both so pretty). They also look very re-wearable, which is a plus considering my BMs incomes, and I thought that the shorter length might be more comfortable for my girls if the weather''s pretty warm. But my mom''s insisting that since my dress is floor length, etiquette/tradition dictates that my BMs must have floor length dresses. She just sent me an email with lots of links supporting this. Emily Post (Peggy Post?) says that the lengths don''t have to match, but that both should be long if the wedding is formal. Our guys are wearing formal Scottish attire, but FI and I are expecting that few of our guests would wear tuxes and gowns to an 11:30 am ceremony. A lot of the other aspects of our wedding will be fairly formal -- traditional engraved invitations, for example. So is our wedding formal, or semi-formal? Would it be a faux pas for us to have shorter bridesmaid dresses?


Also, whenever I come up with any dress alternative that costs less than $200, my mom tells me that the bridesmaids are going to be standing in front of everyone and that she doesn''t want cheap dresses to cheapen the look of the entire wedding. Is anyone actually going to walk away thinking, ''Wow, their wedding was so cheap, their BM dresses looked like they only cost $100''??
(Sorry, this is turning into a rant.)
1st, I want to commend you for being concerned about your BM''s comfort, wallets and about what would be flattering on them! you are a TRUE rarity among brides.
2nd- your mother should realize that a daytime wedding can''t be UBER-formal, it''s not proper to have a daytime blacktie event.

I had a 6 pm Saturday (Memorial Day weekend in Balto) black-tie wedding and my girls wore knee-length J. Crew dresses and they didn''t even all wear the same styles! the horror! We had engraved invitations & our reception was at a private men''s club, I wore a cathedral length veil w/ blusher, church ceremony, etc.

My girls looked fantastic! assure your mother that J. Crew dresses don''t look cheap, they are high quality and NOT polyester! SO many of the BM dresses from bridal salons that are from fancy designers and cost $$$ are synthetic- ick who wants ladies up on the altar in polyester? tacky! I felt that if my dress was silk, that my girls should be in silk too. Definitely more comfortable & attractive! I was told by more than one guest that my wedding party looked like they had stepped out of a magazine or movie because each of them wore a style of dress that flattered her and the dresses looked so nice. Also we let our guys wear their own tuxes and my DH wore his own tux.

Yes, long dresses are more formal, but knee-length, cocktail length dresses can be formal as well. Also on Sex and the City when Trey and Charlotte got married the guys wore kilts and the BMs wore knee-length dresses- yes they got divorced, but it was TV show.
I put a pic of just the girls in a thread "show me your bridal party outfits" or something like that - Here is a pic of all of us just to give you an idea:


 

MustangGal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
2,029
I think the knee length dresses would balance the length of the kilts on the groomsmen, then everything will be the same length on both sides of the ceremony. (just a thought...)
 

FacetFire

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
1,879
FIs and my plan is to have a formal, evening wedding. I''ll be wearing a floor length gown, and even then, I won''t put my BM in a floor length dress. She''s going to wear a tea length or just below the knee dress. What color are you planning on for the BM dresses? Ann Taylor Loft Online has some really nice looking ones in black right now for under $150, and I know the quality is good.
 

Kit

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
501
Hmm, grey area. Here''s my thoughts: Technically you aren''t supposed to wear black tie (tux) before 5:00 or 6:00 pm. I don''t even think that morning weddings can ever technically be classified as "formal." Formal affairs are really, technically, in the evening and black tie only. So....I think that yours by default falls into semi formal, even though many elements are more formal. (I think this is true of ~95% of weddings.) Therefore, I think you can get away with a shorter length.

My concerns are
1) cheaper dresses may have poor quality. My friend was a bm at her cousin''s, they got cheap dresses and the straps literally came apart during the reception (!!). They had to do some creative tying.

2) the overall look of the wedding party...if your groomsmen are in tuxes (the top half?) and your bm''s are in shorter dresses....I am not sure if that would mesh. Apologies but I don''t know what a Prince Charlie is so disregard my comment if it''s not tux-esque.
 

larussel03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
1,747
I hear ya, Blenheim!

My mom and I are going around and around with this issue as well. I originally wanted cocktail dresses that the girls can pick themselves (mainly b/c, to be honest, I don't want them to pay alot BUT I also don't want to deal with different body types and potential pouting over nto liking the dress, so it's kind of me wussing out of making a decision) but my mom is insisting that they all wear the same dress and that it be floor length...she doesnt fight me on it so much but makes it very clear that she does not like my idea of cocktail dresses. My philosophy has become with this that it's something that I personally dont care so much about, or am really trying to avoid, but she really does and since she and my dad are footing most of the bill I have to choose a dress for the girls to wear and it will likely be long.

I'm basically getting everything I want within reason, so if she really feels that strongly about them having the same dresses, then in my sitch I'm letting her have it. That way later when i really want something (ie: ice blue tablecloths AND white lace overlays, both of which will cost extra $$), she may be willing to pay for that. Give a little, take a little


Hopefully you guys can work something out! If you REALLY want them in those dresses, then go for it though! It's your wedding afterall!

ETA: it would not be a faux pas to have shorter dresses for your wedding--I was considering them for a night wedding!\

ETA, again: actually, scratch that! Since our colors are white/blue/silver, and I will not put my girls in a white/blue or silver dress (I just don't think silver or ice blue is a flattering dress color on anyone in the winter when everyone's pale) I'm going to pick a black cocktail dress. I JUST looked at longer black dresses, and I just dont think I like them. Do what you want--this is going to be my battle too with my mom...
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,136
Thanks for the advice, girls! Fortunately, my mom sent me an email today saying that while she''s not wild about short dresses, it''s my wedding and that she trusts me to make a good decision. Whew.

Dtnyc, I love the way that your bridal party looks.


Facetfire, thanks for the suggestion! Ann Taylor Loft has some really pretty dresses, but it seems like most of them are black. I''m trying to find something blue/green/ivory. Two of my bridesmaids really like the J Crew and Ann Taylor celebrations dresses, though.

Kit, formal affairs can technically be at any time of day. It''s just that in the evening, you wear black tie or white tie, and in the morning/afternoon you wear morning dress. I think that Charles and Diana got married sometime around 11 am or noon, and their wedding certainly was very formal.

Prince Charles jackets:


Thanks for pointing out the problems with cheaper dresses. My feeling (which may or may not be correct) is that "bridesmaid dresses" tend to not be of as good quality as similarly priced dresses from companies who aren''t marketing brides as much. I hope that J Crew wouldn''t have the falling apart issues - I''d hate for my girls to have to deal with that.

Sweetpea, I originally just wanted my girls to choose their own dresses too, partially because I''m trying to avoid the whole issue of dresses. They (and my parents) wanted for them to match, so match they will. It just means that I''m having to be a lot more involved than I originally hoped. And while my parents aren''t footing the bill for the bridesmaids dresses, they''re paying for almost all of the rest of the wedding, so I feel really bad doing something that they feel strongly against.
 
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