8 weeks to wedding - matrons of honor fighting over dresses


Dear ESB:

A little background.  Several weeks ago one of my oldest and dearest friends took her own life.  I have been dealing with the grief as well as the memory of having been the person who went to her house to be with her mother while the coroner came.  My fiance has been a constant source of support.

In light of the tragedy as well as having lost another good friend in the past year, my fiance looked at me and said, "Life is too short to spend a year planning the the perfect party.  I want to marry you right away." We quickly found a venue available eight weeks from now, cleared the date with our family and closest friends and made some fast decisions. All has been going well until I spoke with my sister and best friend, both of whom I hoped would stand up with me, about what they should wear.

I thought I was being laid back by telling them there is no time to worry about traditional bridesmaid attire.  I let them know that what is important to me is that they are there by my side, and feel comfortable and beautiful in whatever they select. Since both ladies are infinitely more fashionable than I am, I didn't think it was my place to tell them what to wear.  They both are familiar with the venue, know what my dress looks like and attend formal events on a regular basis.  Wrongly. I assumed they would be thrilled for the chance to either shop for something new and fabulous without any restrictions, or wear something beautiful and appropriate that they already own. I offered to go shopping with them either as a group or each individually if they would like. `

Since I discussed this with them there has been nothing but drama.  Both are very concerned that the other is going to select something that will be "better or more sexy" than their selection.  I tried providing guidelines, based on their input, I even suggested that both just wear black to keep it simple. This escalated to more infighting and no one willing to even discuss what they might wear because they want to wait until the other one selects something.  I finally asked if it would be easier if I just picked a dress off the rack for both of them.  This was met by looks of horror and the exclamation of one with "You know Matron 1 is a completely different body type than me." and "That just won't work. I am not a cookie-cutter person." from the other.

How do I handle this? Do I give them each other's phone numbers and tell them to hash it out? I was in both of their weddings and wore the dresses they selected for their bridesmaids without complaint.  There is so much bad blood about something so trivial that I fear that the real reason My fiance and I are getting married is being eclipsed by this diva war.

Any advice would be very welcome.

Thank you

25 comments:

  1. Ignore them.

    Seriously, tell them you're not talking to them about the dresses until they show up (together or separately) with the dress they're planning to wear in their hands.

    You don't have to be mean or agressive about it, but you can still say in a friendly way: "I have so many things that I'm planning, I'm sorry but I can't play go-between with you two." Then you have to enforce it and not let them talk to you about it.

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  2. If you'd like to take a less sugar-coated stance, tell them this is not prom and their greatest concern should not be what everyone else is fucking wearing. Tell them they're acting like fucking preteens and to grow up and wear whatever they damn well want. Tell them to just wear fucking potato sacks if they're insisting on behaving like this. Tell them to stop worrying about the other trying to one-up them, because your wedding is not about either of them and what they're wearing, it's about you and your fiance and your lives together and with your community, including them.

    Honestly, though, I would tell them everything you told us. Then kick one foot up each of their asses and try to focus on what really is important. I really do hope they stop hurting you with their pettiness though. It sounds like more hurt is truly the very last thing you need right now.

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  3. Remind them, gently, WHY you decided to get married NOW, and why they are both important to you. No guilt trip, no drama, just remind them what you are focusing on. Then give them each the other person's phone number (keep e-mail out of it, too passive-aggressive) and ask them to please work something out.

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  4. Pick a date and tell them that if they can't decide by then, then you would select the dresses! OR show them this post & ask them to grow up! :)

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  5. "Thanks for your support but we've decided not to have a bridal party any more. Where what you want."

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    1. I think we have a winner here. If they're going to act like this, then they shouldn't be standing up there with you weeks after you've gracefully dealt with tragedy and life-assessing. Fuck. That. Noise.

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    2. This is the right response. Nail on the head.

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    3. WEAR. Jesus christ. I was so overwhelmed by the cuntiness that I forgot how to spell.

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    4. Sure, but the bride ALREADY told them "where what you want."

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    5. Ha, WEAR. I did it, too.

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    6. yes but 'come to my wedding a guest, wear what you want' leaves much less room for discussion than 'will you be my bridesmaid? you can wear what you want.'

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  6. I'd have to say, I'd probably forgo the bridal party as well.

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  7. I'm with all of the other ladies on this one, nix the bridal party. If they are going to behave like children they should not be part of the ceremony. Then they can wear whatever they please without overwhelming the bride with their vanity.

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  8. As tempting as it is to just yell at them and tell them they are being a bunch of preteen cunts that will probably result in more crap from them and thus more emotional hurt from you.

    Also unless they are planning on heading down the aisle butt naked sooner or later they will need to pick an outfit. So I'd take Katie's suggestion but set some ground rules about what they wear (say at least knee high and not low cut to avoid attention grabbing maneuver from one MOH) and either say I don't want to see it until the wedding or set date for them meeting with you to show you what they are wearing.


    Also this will sound incredibly trite and hard in light of your recent trauma but perhaps you can change how you feel about their antics so it doesn't feel so hard to deal with. Is their any way you can change how you think about their drama and thus how you feel about the situation? Can you make fun of them in your head or with your fiance instead of feeling ground down by it?

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  9. Exchange contact info between the two of them. Make sure if there is anything they could do that would upset you (i.e. tons of cleavage, ball gown, tiaras) let them know. After that it's their job. They know the date and I'm sure can find something suitable if they work together.

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  10. I think with your revised ceremony, it makes sense to say this: You know what, what's important to me is marrying my fiance. I trust that you'll show up in something appropriate and beautiful, no need to coordinate with me!

    Leave it at that. You wouldn't need to know ahead of time what friends are wearing to a party, so I think with your focus firmly in the right place, that you give them each other's numbers and tell them you're looking forward to seeing them the day of the wedding. Hugs to you!!

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    1. Agreed, I'd say "Please don't ask me about this any more, I don't want to be involved at all."

      Then swap phone their numbers.

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    2. "their phone numbers" honestly!

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  11. I say you just check out of it entirely. It sounds like you don't really care so much about what they wear, so let them sort it out on their own. Send them a lovely note saying, "I'm afraid I'm just not any use in helping out with your dress selection. Know that I love you and just want you being there; the dress you pick does not matter to me. You've got far better fashion sense than me, and I know you will be beautiful no matter what. I have other wedding things to attend to, so I'm sure you've got this handled." The reality is that they will show up in something...so it sounds like you shouldn't let their concerns become yours, especially when their concerns are so ridiculously superficial!

    I had several bridesmaids and also allowed them to wear whatever they wanted in a color range (which was several colors). There was some emails where some tried to make suggestions which involved more cohesion, such as shoes/no shoes (beach wedding) decision, dress length, having matching accessories... I let them sort it out and in the end, as can be expected, there was no cohesion beyond the rule I already laid down (how could there be when they live in all different parts of the world and know me from different times in my life!?)...and they looked fabulous. End of story.

    As you yourself noted, your plate is full, and there are more important things in life. Let the other stuff roll off your back.

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  12. I let my TWO sister/maids of honors pick their own dresses. One is 35 the other is 15. I thought it would be PERFECT! They have different styles, completely different body types, and opposite personalities.

    Much to my surprise it was like PULLING TEETH! We didn't get a dress for both until three weeks before the wedding!! (We looked for at least 8 months).

    Sometimes a little freedom is the hardest thing.

    Your matrons, btw, are acting like jerks. I'm with everyone else: tell them to figure it out, change your perspective on the whole thing so it bothers you less, and have a WONDERFUL time at your wedding. Even if they come matching and naked.

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  13. Fire them both.

    Knowing what you've been through, they don't deserve to have a place of honor in your wedding. .... because they are not honoring you.

    I know Cara and Co said all of this before; just throwing my hat into that ring of thought. They would perhaps be better guests .... it's clear they can't deal with more than that.

    "Please be my wedding guest. You've made it clear that being more is too difficult and I'm sorry I put you in that position."

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  14. fire them.
    love your supportive man. life is too short for such bullshit.

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