Editor’s thoughts on bridesmaid dress shopping

Part of being maid of honor for your younger sister is shopping. I’ve already talked about shopping for table centerpieces for Carly’s bridal shower. We’re talking dress shopping.

Four-hour hauls to Erie with three other bridesmaids, who are my 13-year-old sister, my 15-year-old cousin and Carly’s 12-year-old future sister-in-law. Carly had a fitting the same day we decided on bridesmaid attire.

Once I helped her into her undergarments and she sampled her look in the mirrored walls of David’s Bridal for the second time since she picked her dress, we went back to the corner of the store that’s not bride-specific. Carly instructed us to pick a couple of dresses that we liked and worry about colors later.

We all made our selections and went back to our assigned dressing rooms. The David’s associate gave us two rooms to share. I paired up with my cousin Hayley and we all stepped out wearing something different.

Our bride-in-charge considered a dress with back detail that was some kind of ‘30s throwback. It had a faux sash that rested over the shoulders. We all tried it on, but she ultimately rejected it. She had me try a strapless dress and my sister Julie was in some swingy little number with a beaded neckline.

My mom and Carly’s future mother-in-law were waiting outside the dressing rooms with her, and at this point they were starting to get discouraged. We had probably spent an hour in the store at least.

Some other bride was across the floor from us with three or four family matrons and she was trying on headpieces.  I was more interested in her bicep tattoo when I tried on the next piece than what Carly had to say. Was it a hummingbird or a raven? Did she like Edgar Allen Poe?

Then it hit us. Hayley came out wearing a fluttery dress with two straps– one that went over the shoulder like a tank top and a second that swooped over the top of the arm. It was a stony lavender color that brought out her brown eyes from behind her glasses.

Surprisingly, there weren’t any mirrors in the dressing room. She asked me to zip her up and I was sure Carly was going to like it as much as I did.

“Hayley, wait till you see this one,” I said while pulling her zipper. “I think you’re going to like it once we get in front of those mirrors.”

I was right. Not only did Carly approve, both of the moms wanted to see everyone else in Hayley’s dress.  The skirt was a wispy chiffon somewhere between a fairy and a ballerina.

We did get everybody in the favorite dress, just not in the colors my sister wanted. We were wearing different shades of blue and my mom kept saying I needed a smaller size.

My retort was that I was just wearing a Barney the Dinosaur color and it was making me look like I was drowning in it. Carly’s original thought was to pick all different styles in the same color, but we scrapped that when we found a dress everyone liked.

She decided on a champagne shade close to her dress’ sash, sage green, Hayley’s “quartz,” and a soft pink.  Two pictures were circulating from Carly to her girlfriends — one of the dress style in all the wrong colors and one of the color samples that David’s somehow managed to make $4 on.

We capped the shopping trip for bridesmaid dresses off with more shopping.  We hit the Millcreek Mall so Carly could look for a graduation dress.  Her high school ceremony was set for the next week. Once that was accomplished, we enjoyed dinner at Max and Erma’s.

Hey, I don’t care how old you are, any restaurant that has a sundae bar in a bathtub is a good restaurant in my book. After one last stop at Kohl’s, we took 322 home, one less stress for the bridesmaids covered.

I’m actually looking forward to our next David’s excursion. I’m sure we’ll have even more fun at our fitting when Carly’s order comes in.



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