Bridesmaids? No meringues please

What to do with my bridesmaids? That was the little thing niggling at me right from the start.

Choosing them was easy, no problem there. Four special girls:

Nina, who I met during my clubbing days in Manchester back in 2000, and has been in my life ever since. Fun, loyal, always up for a laugh and my most frequent visitor, whether I was living in London, Ibiza, Barcelona, or now Madrid.

bridesmaids-story.jpgEmma – a constant friend for the past 13 years or so, ever since we ended up going on holiday together as part of a big group, though we’d never met. (A mutual friend brought her and her boyfriend Ed along, saying how lovely they were – the friend was so right) Over the years we’ve shared so much – I just know we’ll be in touch forever.

Amy – A kindred spirit in every way. She moved into my flat in Ibiza because she couldn’t stand sharing with her flatmates’ pet duck. (Typical Ibizan randomness.) It turned out to be one of the best summers of my life. There’s no-one like her and I feel like I’ve known her always.

And Phoebe – my maid of honour. I almost don’t have words to describe how special she is to me. I feel like we did our growing up together over the last 12 years. And she was there on the night I met J. She was the first to cheer me up when we split for the first time, and she was there the night we got back together. She’s a big part of our story – the night I met J we were out celebrating her 21st birthday.

So choosing them was obvious. and four felt practically minimal compared to J’s EIGHT best men. But what to put them in? I thought it would come to me after I found my dress. But I was none the wiser.

Usually, looking at pictures of bridesmaids makes me cringe. I don’t know what it is, but seeing them all in matching dresses in brash colours just looks so tacky. And what about the colours? I’m really more a monochrome sort of girl… grey at a stretch. I don’t really do bright colours.

“What do you think about having the bridesmaids in black?” I asked Linda during one of our many chats about the wedding.

“Noooooooooooo!” she half screamed. Then more calmly: “Personally I think there are two colours you should never wear at a wedding: black and white.”

I googled “black bridesmaids dresses” and kind of went off the idea. Even with silver shoes and some sort of coloured accessory it was still going to look a bit gothic for our countryside wedding.

Then there was the problem of me being on the other side of the channel (and a bit further) from my girls – who span the country – Glasgow, Bristol, and London, as well as one being temporarily in France. Chances of getting them together in one room for a fitting? Zero.

In the end my mum came to the rescue. After checking out some bridesmaids dress shops in England, she found most of them to be quite pricey and full of designs that were to flouncy or fussy.

She suggested I have a look online at some of the websites of chains and department stores like Monsoon, Oasis and Debenhams to see if there was anything there I liked.

And there in the ‘Occasions’ section of the Debenhams website I found something perfect – a deep purple taffeta prom dress. Immediately my ideas about putting each of the girls in a different dress went out the window – this would be great for all of them.

I would need to get Phoebe’s delivered to France, but for the others, I could get them delivered to the closest store to each of my girls and they could try it on, and if need be, request another size.

The dresses are now ordered. I’m just crossing my fingers, and toes, and everything else that they don’t run out of stock before my order is dispatched, and that each of my bridesmaids find a size that fits and they feel gorgeous wearing them on the big day. And comfortable – that’s why I’m leaving it up to them what they wear on their feet.

Phoebe is going to help me look for some accessories, but we can sort that out closer to the day.

So for now at least, that’s one less thing to worry about.

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