Friday, June 18, 2010

I'd rather eat toothpicks than shop at David's Bridal

My best friend's wedding is next June and she is STUCK on David's Bridal Dresses. I have had numerous, long conversions with her (pre-wedding-planning) about how I feel about David's Bridal (in a nutshell: would rather eat toothpicks than shop or ask someone else to shop there). She seems to have forgotten those conversations and just sent me this:

I was looking through an album here on facebook where my friend was in a wedding and she, and the other bridesmaids, were wearing STUNNING COBALT BLUE DRESSES! So i messaged the bride, who I didn't know personally, raving about the dresses, and if she didn't mind can I know where she got them and the swatch color. Sure enough, David's bridal, Horizon Blue.
I went and looked at them AT the store and I decided the blue is PERFECT. And all of you know me well enough, that I would NEVER make you gals wear something that LOOKED cheap, but if it IS cheap and cute, I'm ALL FOR IT!!!
The item numbers if you want to see the two I am thinking of are
Style 83690
Style: F13695 LOOK AT THEM IN HORIZON!!!!! :)
I think I want to go every other with girls wearing the every other dresses. Tell me what you think about the dresses first, and then we'll get into more details!

...could use some shopping advice from you and the rest of your fantastic readers...


Yeah. No. Yuck.


Has anyone seen a good dress lately in a horizon-eque blue? (You know the rules: NO LINKING TO J. CREW.)


  1. Jesus, buying one article of clothing from a big chain and wearing it for six hours will not kill you, nor will your refusal make or break David's Bridal -- you will not be perceived as principled but as a sanctimonious bitch. Is this really worthing causing a fight over?

  2. get Miss Brache (aka Diane) to make them, she'll do basically any style, any fabrics, made to your measurements. she did my bridesmaid dresses and she was fabulous. ...a bit more expensive than DB but absolutely worth it.

  3. i agree 100 % with Becky. get over it. it's not your damn wedding.

  4. I consider myself to be of good taste. I'm not high maintenance, but I like to look nice. But really, is it THAT bad? No, I wouldn't wear it again, but maybe she’s trying to save her girls the expense of a high end dress. Maybe she's trying to save herself the trouble of looking any further, and really, who could blame her. She’s probably tired of planning!!

    And Hun, it's not your day, and it's not your decision. If she wants you to wear a potato sack with a peacock on your head- that’s what you do. Ya'll are obviously good friends, or you wouldn't be in her wedding- suck it up. It's not worth the fight. Dress it up with a killer pare of heals, and liquid liner. Save the toothpicks for another day.

  5. I'm agreeing with everyone else, here. It's not your wedding. She's your friend. It's a dress. They aren't that bad. If you hate them so much, bow out of being a bridesmaid.

  6. I have to say - I agree with the 'get over yourself and go with what your friend wants it's her wedding' sentiment. I also understand that it's hard to watch a beloved friend go through some clouded wedding judgement - which, honestly SHE might regret afterward.

    IF... and only IF she doesn't seem totally sold on the dress may I suggest:

    However, she seems pretty sold. So, you might have to suck it up and deal. It's. not. your. day.

  7. the thing is. the whole concept of bridesmaid dresses in general is kind of bogus.

    personally i cannot even fathom demanding that my friends wear a particularly color, style, overall hideous dress that they will never wear again. i just dont get it. i dont understand why bridesmaids need to look like an army of matching satin barbies.

    i'm clearly in the minority, but i am literally unable to wrap my head around the concept.

    i'm only having a MOH (my sister) and told her she could wear whatever the freak she wanted. honestly. i dont give a crap.

    on the other hand. this very evening i'm going to the tailors to pick up a black satin strapless bridesmaid dress that i'll be wearing in a friends wedding - i am pretty small and yet somehow it makes me look like an overstuffed sausage. i'm slightly bitter.

    don't get it.

  8. here's the deal... i'm kinda w/ @liz on this one.

    one of my closest girlfriends got married 2 years ago + made us wear these HEIN dresses from david's bridal that were NOT cheap. it was aqua blue, floor length, had more tulle than you can shake a stick at, and had what my husband refers to as "the band o' bedazzle' under the boobage area.

    the entire wedding was totally ridiculous, and my other best friend + i had a hard time keeping a straight face. but when someone thinks that their style is awesome, you can't really talk them out of it. you just have to go along with it + love them anyway. even if they make you wear an aqua blue dress from david's bridal for their hawaiian themed wedding in the middle of illinois.

    come to find out, we had a great time. it was her day, after all, and it was exactly what she wanted.

  9. I see both sides of this because I am getting married and was also in a good friend's wedding around the same time. I hate David's Bridal bridesmaids dresses for no other reason than that they are cheaply made (I could make the dress that they charge 130.00 for) and that none of their cute little strapless dresses, which seem to be all the rage, fit me correctly. I was guaranteed to need alterations on any dress that she chose including the non-strapless options. Now she went with a very common red color and I sent along a few dresses from department stores, boutiques etc. that were not labeled “bridesmaid” and they were cheaper and fit better, but she was hung up on DB. It caused a lot of heartache with all of her girls since the dress that she chose was neither cheap to a college student on a minimum wage job nor wearable again.
    I had no interest in dealing with the frustration of trying to fit six girls of different body types into the same dress and told each of my bridesmaids to go out and find what they liked- something that they would wear again and that they would feel comfortable paying for. There are stresses that way too, but I at least don’t feel bad about requiring someone to pay for something that they absolutely hate.

  10. There's a lot about DB that gives me the heebie jeebies but, if she has bridesmaids in a range of sizes (plus-size especially), it's one of the few places that makes flattering, affordable dresses for all women. Like the Sassy Kathy, I can't really imagine matching dresses for my own party, so I have no idea where else to get decent-but-affordable dresses in a range of styles. I was at Bella Bridesmaid recently and, dear god, the dresses were all $300. Stunning dresses, but $300.

  11. I agree with everyone. Suck it up. The dresses aren't hideously tacky or out of style, they're just cheaply made. Which works well since you'll probably never wear it again.

    Please don't fight her on this.

  12. donate an amount equal to the dress's value to a fashion institute's scholarship fund if it really pains you, boss, but you should take one for the team here.

  13. Yep. Get over yourself. And I'll add that yeah, they're not overly awful for bridesmaids dresses, but even if they were ... still, you wear it. Get over yourself.

  14. I can understand why this girl feels a bit of a burn after going on about how much she hates the place to her best friend, and her best friend is acting like those conversations never happened. if it were me I would have at least appreciated a side note saying "hey I know how you feel about DB but this is really important to me."

    from my own experience as a bridesmaid and a bride, there's a difference between the early "ok I think THIS is definitely what I want... maybe... what do you think?" and "Alright ladies this is it. Go get your measurements." If she's asking what you think about the dresses, maybe she's still in the wafflely stage and you're totally allowed to nicely offer some alternatives.

    BUT if she's really stuck on these two exact styles, yeah you'll have to suck it up and go with it.

  15. it's hard to knock the bride-to-be when she sounds super thrilled and excited in that email. I don't think the bridesmaid's feelings about David's Bridal really matter right now - when she gets married, she can stay far, far away from it.

  16. if the girl had that many ! points in her email about the dress, she seems pretty set on it. luckily, it may be cheap and kind of ugly, but it won't kill you and it will make your friend happy.

  17. I feel you. I just spent $130 on a Tiffany blue taffeta bridesmaid dress. Will I ever wear the f*cker again? Nope. BUT it's for my best friend's wedding, so I'm gonna rock it. For her. Hang in there. It SUCKS but if it makes your friend happy, then it's worth it!

  18. I say talk to your fellow maids. If no one else has an issue, suck it up. If the other ladies aren't thrilled, find something similar and email the bride back. @RAP is right. I don't know how many times I got caught up on one style descision, only to turn a full 180. There may still be wiggle room, but don't push it if she is set.

    Personally I think the whole "bride's day" thing is bullshit. Being the one in the white dress doesn't give us license to ask our closest friends to be uncomfortable for 8 hours. My bridal party consists of my sister and she's going to wear whatever the fuck she wants.

  19. just wear it, hon. then make her wear some gnarly shiz on your wedding day. :p

  20. Everyone said it, but I think Lauren said it best. Make a donation if it really matters to you. I mean, if the tables were turned, and one of your bridesmaids said she wouldn't shop etsy? or whatever? Yeah, that would not be ok.

    I think most of us have worn a DB bridesmaids dress at one point or another. I used mine for post-modern performance art when it was over. It was fun both times I wore it.

    I mean, I'm not big into the "it's her daaaayyyy" thing, but it IS her wedding, and the job of any sort of attendant is to make the brides job easier. You're there to protect her from drama, not cause it. It's a dress. That's all. Suck it up.

  21. a lot of brides get obsessed with having bmaids dresses that are actually meant to be bridesmaids dresses so its probably a good idea to pick an alternative to suggest that fits that bill... priscilla of boston dresses are surprisingly affordable and come in mix-n-match colors so she can pick 2 styles in the same color and do the same thing... that would be a safe suggestion to make anyway and she reacts badly, you might be stuck! good luck.

  22. Ok I'm writing this as a bride-to-be and also as a bridesmaid. I do agree with the whole "it's just a dress, suck it up" sentiment, but seeing as the wedding is a full year away, you have plenty of time to work on this.

    As a bridesmaid for a friend who wanted us to all wear different colours for her wedding (which left open waaaaay too many options for all of us), I offered to help coordinate the dresses/colours/styles with all the girls. I looked online at a couple different sites, picked out 6 different dresses in different colours, put all the images in a PDF and assigned each one to a different girl. I told them it didn't have to be that exact dress, just something similar to the colour and style. If they wanted to trade with each other, fine. It worked out wonderfully, everyone looked lovely, and everyone took home a dress they'd *gasp* actually wear again.

    The point to all that is this: If you don't like what your friend is picking out on her own, be proactive. Go pick out/try on dresses with her. Show her options that you do like, keeping in mind her choice is the deciding choice.

    Even if you do have to go to DB, try to enjoy it. When we went, we tried on every hideous dress there and took lots of photos and had a blast. No ended up getting their dress there, but we had a fun afternoon being champions in the dressing rooms.

  23. Yeah, I am wearing one next month, in "clover" no less and while not in love with the dress, it is the costume that was chosen for me for my role as a bridesmaid. I will do whatever my friend wants. I then donate my bridesmaids dresses to a local organization that gives them to girls for prom.

  24. Having just done the bridesmaid dress search (and found the most awesome dress on sale at Betsey Johnson, I'm so excited), I think that these aren't too bad, but that Vera Wang's bridesmaid's dresses aren't priced way out of range and are a little cooler (although still, obvs, a wedding chain). Here are a couple in the right color (I think), and there are some others on the website too: Gallery&ProductID=m-27M11-TIS(VWOW Bridesmaids Celebration)
    and Gallery&ProductID=m-27M17-CRI(VWOW Bridesmaids Celebration)

    But I do agree with most of the comments here. She sounds so happy about this dress, and she saw it in person and everything. I actually think they're ok. They're background kind of dresses, but if that's what she wants, that's understandable. And it's hard to find group dresses that are interesting. At least they're only $135 as opposed to $200. Accessories?? I mean, as others have said, at the end of the day it is about her.

  25. i agree that there's not much to do about it.

    i just wish the whole bridesmaid dress thing would just die overall.

    @meghan said "and while not in love with the dress, it is the costume that was chosen for me for my role as a bridesmaid"

    totally sums it up. its a costume. and why does our wedding have to be a performance?

    (sorry. this bridesmaid dress thing particularly infuriates needle is stuck)

  26. And we made a very poorly shot and edited video of the experience to send to the bride who lives across the country of us trying on ridiculous dresses.

  27. They are nothing special. I guess it depends what type of bridesmaid you want to be?

    Are you looking to hook up with an usher? It may come off sooner rather than later?!

    Yeah, I wouldn't be that excited about wearing it but just suck it up!

  28. C'mon, the first one is actually quite nice! Your friend is putting a lot of time, effort and emotional energy into this and stomping all over her ideas is going to hurt. And there's nothing worse than saying "eww no not that" without some constructive alternative. Sooo either find somewhere else that carries a selection of cobalt blue dresses *everyone* loves or suck it up and LIE that you love it. It's one day, the dress is simple and unfussy and, really and truly, just fine.

  29. Amen to pragmatism, sucking it up, and having fun with the ones you love regardless of what you're wearing.

    I didn't want my two best girls in bridesmaid dresses, so I told them to find dresses that made them feel fabulous. FYI, this takes time--yours and theirs. They want to please you, find dresses that "relate" without matching, fit the vibe of the wedding, etc. And, well, you probably do too. It's fun. For awhile.

    Dozens of dresses later, one of my ladies said "I think I've finally found a dress." It was a gorgeous bronze-y color; it was sexy; it would hold her boobs up whilst dancing; she would wear it again; it had pockets!

    "Where did you find it?", I asked. Don't judge, she said. You'll never believe it, she said. Ladies, it was from (gasp! the horror!) David's Bridal.

    My *indie* aspirations foiled. And, honestly, thank god.

  30. I know a lot of people have issues with matching dresses, and I'm not commenting to say whether that's a valid point or not. Instead I just want to say to obvious.

    This isn't your wedding.
    This isn't your marriage.

    You agreed to be a friend and support her in this HUGE event in her life. Whether you are wearing a burlap sack or a designer gown, it's not up to you. Of course we would all like to look our best and NO ONE likes to pay an arm and a leg for a dress we all know we won't wear again, but when you say you'll be a bridesmaid, that's a risk you take.

    Also, I think a lot of times we forget that the bride isn't just hearing our opinions. They are hearing hundreds of opinions every day from EVERYONE telling them "your idea is okay, but mine is SO much better." I remember complete strangers telling me why I should change colors, or our wedding date, or why I "had to have a train," so when a bridesmaid decided to pitch a fit about the dress I about fell apart. (And sadly, my other friends still mention the bridesmaid that pitched the fit, because that is what you will be remembered for.)

    You might think your "suggestion" of going with someone (anyone!) besides David's Bridal isn't a big deal, but trust me- it's just another headache for the bride. She picked what she liked. Hate it, love it, whatever- if you said you'd stand by her, you said you'd wear whatever she wanted.

    (Warning cheesy chick flick lesson) remember 27 Dresses? She wore all of those hideous dresses in support of her friends, knowing full well they would be there to support her. And that is why you are there. To support your friend in one of the biggest events of her life.

    So whether it's a burlap sack or a beautiful designer gown, put your big girl panties on and be there for your friend. Because in the end, it's not about the dress, it's about the marriage you're supporting.

  31. Honestly...Suck it up. Wear the dress. Be nice. That's all.

  32. @ melissa and sassy. yeah. any bride with an amount of sanity would tell her girls to wear whatever they wanted.

    but that's the ideal situation. not THIS situation. by agreeing to be a bridesmaid, you agree to wear whatever ugly crap is thrown at you. it's a package deal.

    though it's not "the bride's day" it's a hell of a lot more her day than yours.

  33. @Walshe, I heart your comment!

  34. I love the Shabby Apple suggestion ( a bride to be (six weeks! gah!) please don't cause your friend any extra drama. She doesn't need anything taking away from her happiness. Calmly and respectfully suggest alternate dresses. Don't just say "NO DB GAH!!", but come to her with the same color she loves but a dress that you love and maybe she'll change her mind. But, ultimately you'll do what she wants because you love her and want her to be happy.

    I actually had the reverse problem. I WANTED all my girls in different dresses that were not bridesmaids dresses and not crazy expensive. So I sent them all hunting for their dresses, but they just wanted me to choose something. Ultimately we settled on one dress that we ALL loved and each of them swore they would love to wear again (and it looks great on them all), but it was a bridesmaid dress and expensive. I told them all to wear whatever shoes they wanted in a specific color. The minute one of them chose shoes the rest ordered the same one. Ultimately sometimes it's simpler that way.

  35. for only $10 more:

    or $20 more:

    same price:

    There are quite a few similar styles on that site, all reasonable priced. If you really have an issue with it, I don't see anything wrong with bringing it up as long as you're nice about it.

    i.e. "Hey Jill, those dresses are actually really cute! If that's what you are set on then that's totally cool but (because you know my feelings towards David's Bridal in general) I found these other dresses that are really similar. Take a look and let me know what you think."

    and not: "I can't believe you picked Davids Bridal dresses. You KNOW how I feel about them! Why don't you pick from these."

    Good Luck.

  36. Whatevs. I've seen worse. I've worn worse.

    Letting everyone pick out their own dress sounds ideal (and if you only have one or two ladies, it works out perfectly) but it can be a huge pain in the ass. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is just pick something that isn't totally offensive and that is readily available to everyone. Hence, a store like DB.

    There is a whole wedding to plan and I'm guessing that things like the venue search and the food choices take up more mental room than the dresses.

    Of course, if you are able to source a similar color dress that comes in a couple of different styles that all the girls are willing to wear and that they actually have access to try on and afford and that comes in sizes for everyone, then present her with your plan and see if she goes for it. I think the issue is that it's tough to do, which is why people fall back on DB and the like.

  37. You're being a bit of a dick, although I'm sure you're a lovely person normally. No one wants to wear a dress they don't like. However, this isn't your wedding, it's your BEST FRIEND'S wedding and that means you get to wear whatever it is she wants you to wear to make her day exactly how she envisions it. And let's be honest, have we all not seen waaaaay worse bridesmaid's dresses? Seriously. It could be so much worse. So stop being selfish. Your friend is the only one that gets to be selfish in regards to the wedding. Wear the damn dress and stop whining about it to her. Fake it 'til you make it girlfriend.

  38. Remember all the talk about just crossing stuff off lists?

    This bride clearly wants one less thing weighing on her mind. Give her that peace of mind - or do the research and coordination for her, like Emily Takes Photos did. Just PLEASE don't add more drama!

  39. Being a bridesmaid doesn't mean being a yes man. Is that how you choose your best friends? The bride ASKED her opinion on the dresses. Just because she's telling it like it is doesn't mean she's "adding more drama". Get over it. If she still wants the David's Bridal dresses then at that point the bridesmaid can get over it.

  40. I'm gonna stick up for ESB here. (Sorry you're getting the bash!) Yeah, it sucks, and as much as previous posters aren't taking your side, they don't seem to be denying this either. I think your best line of defense is to find a preferable alternative. It's kinda like planning a wedding with your fiance/husband. If they just tell you something you want sucks you get mad, but if they tell you that it's "ok if that's what you really want" but suggest something else that will work better then he's helping. So go help your friend pick a better dress.

    I don't know if they fit the "horizon" criteria, but they're blue and hot:

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. I have never left a comment here before- but a longtime reader.


    Do not make her feel bad.

    When my best friend got married I tried on the dress & hated it. I told her I "didn't love" it. She chose it anyway- all the girls hated it.

    But I think I was the only one who said anything and, to this day, she repeats how she thinks it was a great dress & how I could wear it again in a nervous way. Basically, she remembers I hated it and that was MY MISTAKE to tell her & have that in her mind about her wedding.

    And that dress is a hell of a lot nicer than the one I had to wear.

  43. Why would a bride want her friends to wear a dress all the girls hate? That's upsetting and sad. I wouldn't want to spend my wedding day with my bridesmaids being uncomfortable or feeling ugly!


  45. honestly? i've seen some heinous shit out there, and that one is not that bad. i think we need to get a grip. people on blogs, and i've been guilty of this too at times, will totally rail against the evil, expensive wedding industry and then turn around and have the same kind of obnoxious, elitist attitude. being in a wedding is f*cking expensive and db is cheap and easy. i get it. my friend made us wear long halter horizon blue dresses too, and at first, i was all, "ew, gross" (to myself) but then i realized that my friend wanted to make this as cheap and easy as possible for all of us. she was super busy and didn't have time to scour etsy or find someone who will custom make dresses or make them herself, so she asked us if this dress was ok, and of course, we said sure, because you know what? who the f cares.
    sorry if i sound harsher than usual...i'm seriously pms'ing. :)

  46. @Verhext - while I really applaud your efforts to keep your wedding consumption ethical, it's unfair to assume that all any bride does with her "year(!)" of planning is plan a wedding. Sometimes when you're working 60-hour weeks and moving apartments and running side-projects on weekends, you just want things to quick and easy. Not all of us have the luxury of making it all count.

    Mind you, I told my bridesmaids to pick something long and colorful (they looked like a pack of skittles and it was awesome).

  47. If this is just about the dress and the aesthetic disagreement you have with the bride, then suck it up. Buy the dress and work it on her big day as if you love it. If your reservations are truly about a larger, ethical disagreement with David's Bridal and its business practices, then by all means talk it over with the bride. However, be a good friend and come prepared with some alternative dresses. And for god's sake don't suggest some crap from Alfred Angelo, Vera Wang, J. Crew, or any other box store that has exactly the same slippery ethics and David's Bridal.

    Here are some good blue dresses I found. As one might expect, it costs more to purchase ethically made garments:

    Etsy, $155,
    ModCloth, $48,
    Etsy, $268,
    Etsy, $345,
    ModCloth, $148,

  48. A dude's perspective....
    Future bridesmaids: Her day, her choice, her decision, just roll with it.
    Future brides: Don't be a bitch, you know bridesmaids' dresses are ugly and they will only be worn once, if you want a matching army give your girls a color and let them pick a dress they might actually like and wear again, even if it is just for a Halloween costume.

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Wow. This comment thread has become really obnoxious on lots of different fronts. (Although, it makes me think that I should try ModCloth some time. I'm always skeptical of clothes I can't try on first.)

  51. I am all for being prepared with alternative dresses if your friend is not set in stone. Best friends talk frankly about this stuff and if you're her friend you can be honest and know that if the DB dress is what she wants she will tell you (I hope).

    Here is something blue, pretty, and inexpensive:

  52. How about this one from Nordstrom?

    I dunno, it's not an awful dress, the cut should be flattering to most, and since lots of weddings shop at David's Bridal chances are you can unload it on Craigslist or Wedding Bee after you're done with it.

  53. As a bridesmaid I wore the ugliest, longest, hottest, heaviest dress known to human kind. I squeezed my chubby ass into it and called it a day. Why? I love my friend. Let me also add this dress was a twofer. As in the bottom parts, that looked like granny drapes, unbuttoned from the rest of the dress to make a mini-dress. Yea. Heinous.

    I also wore a three piece, green, ugly ass three piece dress that made me look like a rocket ship. Seriously, I should share pictures. It's ridick. But I wore it. Why? I love my family.

    I say wear it with a smile and get trashed. You won't care three drinks into the night.

  54. Angie - thanks for sending this comment thread into a undeniably happy direction. Where in god's name did those come from?! Twofer, heh-heh.

  55. I don't live in the US, we don't have DB here, I'm not sure that I get the angst it causes? Is it just a large chain store?

  56. Of all of the DB grossness that she could stuff you in, you complain about this one? Or hell, ANY fug dress labeled "bridesmaid" by any large company or dress store, this is the least offensive I've seen, DB though it may be.

    I think there are some very reasonable comments suggesting you find an alternative. But as a past-bride, I would have been really hurt if my friends reacted the way that many of the comments are instructing you to do. Don't be a bitch, this isn't the time.

  57. The closest of my bridesmaid lives 4 hours drive away. The next closest: 6 hour flight. The other two are in London and Spain.
    I wanted to pick a colour and tell them to go for it. I don't want barbies that I dress and tell them how to have their hair and makeup. I want my best friends to look like themselves in their own gorgeous ways. I thought it would be great.


    I have spent hours and hours browsing the internet and gathering inspiration pictures. I've spent hours trying on dresses, taking photos of myself and sending them. Until this week, none of them really provided much helpful feedback at all, just knocked down my ideas.

    It turns out, most of them want to look like bridesmaids. They think the dresses I like are too casual for a wedding. We're getting married in a forest!!! How dressy do they wanna be?!?! I pretty much can't handle even thinking about it right now, although I am in the middle of exams so that explains the abnormally high stress level. I just wanted to be a chilled out bride, I thought the bridesmaids dresses would be probably the easiest thing to cross off! Any advice would be great. And please don't just say "it's your wedding, you pick the dress". None of us have much money, I do not want them to have to buy dresses they can't wear again but that's where they are headed. Also the MOH is my big sister, so she is rather opinionated on what she wants to wear to her little sister's wedding.

    Sorry for such long rant!

  58. @Kerry- I'm not sure where they came from. But if you send me your email, I'll show you how awesome they are!

  59. don't be her bridesmaid. problem solved.

  60. ugh. so many negative comments! Ick! Anyway, if you're looking for something the same color, I think Ann Talyor's Peacock blue is close to the Horizon blue color your friend is looking for, but neither of the 2 dresses currently available in that color are similar is feel/style to the DB dress..... I'm with you on the no shopping there, when I gave it a chance the woman "helping me" opened the door to me in my panties, wiggling into my spanx, wide enough to show all my goods to a prom girl and her mom, and a bride and her dad. No bueno.

  61. holy shit- those bitches who are arguing FOR davids bridal have obviously never shopped there. if i were you i would gracefully bow out of my bridesmaid position- and i will, may i ever encounter a bride who makes me buy a dress there again

    it IS that bad, you idiots! it IS. not only do the dresses suck, the employees are relationship-less bitter hags, dresses are lost, sizes are screwed up, hair is pulled out, etc etc. i have not 1, not 2, but THREE db horror stories. it is not worth the drama

  62. I agree with you 110%. I think mostly because it reminds me of all the Pittsburgh weddings I went to as a child; You know the same cheesy wedding, just insert a different bride and groom. I ran far far away from David's Bridal, and nailed down an amazing Priscilla of Boston Vintage looking dress and hoping to do the same for the bride's maids. They are max $300. It's a good thing your friend has you for guidance! I'm sure you'll be honest with her!

  63. I think it depends where in the timeline she is of shopping for dresses. Are these some of the first dresses shes looked at? In that case, she is asking your opinion - gently say those dresses are ok but here are some better alternatives.

    If, on the other hand, this is the pick between the two finalists that she has finally decided on....then say they look great, wear it, and smile. You won't be the only one in it, its just a dress, and its just a day.

    I always assume when I take on the role of bridesmaid that I'm going to be put in an ugly dress that I will never wear again. Thats just my point blank assumption. And most of the time its true. I wouldn't be the person's bridesmaid if I didn't care about her enough to wear whatever ugly thing she picked out.

  64. If I had a friend that "ducked out" from being a bridesmaid because she "had" to wear a David's Bridal dress, I think I would think twice about ever calling her a friend again. Seriously, ladies. When did we get so mean to start calling each other "idiots," "bitches," and giving horrible possible friendship ending advice?!

    And this is coming from someone who's sister had her running all around a mall and the internet TWO DAYS before the wedding because her sister decided she didn't really like the dress on her anymore (the dress that she helped pick out) and "to compromise" she did a dress change at the reception.

    I felt pressured, taken advantage of, stressed, and hurt.

    People still "joke" about how the bride didn't change dresses but the MOH did. Sadly, even though she realized how crazy she was acting and apologized like no other (months after the fact), I still remember how upset it made me and how inconsiderate it was. And it wasn't about the dress, it was all of the stress I was already dealing with and then having my best friend tell me the dress we picked together "wasn't good enough anymore" and that all of her other friends thought "I'd be so irrational and unfair if I didn't give in." Talk about feeling pressured.

    If she wasn't my sister, I wouldn't have put up with the headaches and stress that brought me (and thus my husband) RIGHT BEFORE leaving town for our wedding.

    Just try to put yourself in her shoes and decide if you want something as small as a dress to come between you two.

  65. this is too funny...cause thats the dress I chose for my bridesmaids! In yellow though haha. I liked it because v-necks are flattering, and I liked the sort of vintagey-classy feel it has.

    Honestly, I never thought I'd ask anyone to buy a DB dress because it tends to be rather cheap quality, but I acutally liked the fabric of this dress, cotton and cool for summer. AND its in a price range that most people can afford...

    However much I might like this dress though, it is absolutely no reflection on how I feel about the service/presentation of the actual store. That is a whole other matter!!

    Last thing...two of my bridesmaids weren't impressed by it...and voiced their opinions. But you know what? I already wore dresses to their weddings that I hated, and said in my opinion, if she loves the dress, keep your mouth shut. Its respectful, and seriously the bride doesn't need battles on every front.

  66. i keep coming back to this post and feeding on the angst in the comments. i feel like the emperor in return of the jedi. is that wrong?

  67. I feel so sorry for the bride in this e-mail. She's happened across a dress that she loves and that will work for her various bridesmaids body types, found that it was a) available and b) affordable, has sent an excited e-mail around to all of her friends. Now one of these friends is going to come back and start bitching about how she hates the store it comes from and can't-we-find-something-else-what-about-this-one-i-am-a-special-snowflake.

    That poor bride is about to get her (potentially) first Wedding Disappointment, where she learns that while it really is her wedding and everyone claims that she gets to do as she pleases, she really has to bend what she wants around the rigidly-held opinions of everyone involved, or risk being labelled a "Bridezilla." She was probably expecting this from the older generation and the future in-laws, but it's a new and shiny fuck-you when she gets to find out that even her so-called closest friends want to make her wedding planning as fraught with stress as possible by forcing her to work around whatever opinions they might have, too.

    Friends suck it up for other friends, especially on their wedding day. Please just wear the damn dress and spare your friend the knowledge that you think your bullshit is more important than her happiness for one goddamned day.

  68. whew. this thread wore me out. seriously. wore-me-out.

    if you didn't know that the dress came from david's bridal...and you just saw a picture of it, would you still hate it?

  69. You should remember that the bride is probably thinking about the bridesmaids (I assume you don't fall into this category) who might not have the means to afford a designer dress.

    I know this blog is all about avoiding Big Box retailers, but the bottom line is the dress label suggested here are WAY more expensive than a J. Crew or David's Bridal dress. The listed prices of the dresses may not be, but I put my bridesmaids in Jenny Yoo and the alteration costs tacked on at least $50 to each dress, assuming the alterations were not extensive. That's because, for whatever reason, bridesmaid dresses don't come in normal sizes. You just don't have to alter a J. Crew dress - you can simply buy your size and be done with it. I'm not sure what the David's Bridal sizing is like, but I would assume that the dresses are so cheap, extra alterations would not be an issue.

    Sure, the Jenny Yoo material was actually nice, I picked a flattering color and I asked everyone chose their own dress style, but, in reality, that means maybe 2/3s of the bridesmaids will actually reuse the dress.

    If you have a problem with David's Bridal, don't chose that store for your own wedding. It might have been appropriate to bring up you issues with David's Bridal BEFORE the bride sent you the dress. It is not okay to do so now. You might try sending her a link to another dress that she may end up liking better. But, she's probably trying to be considerate and not force people to spend $300 on a dress at least some bridesmaids won't wear again.

    Basically, your question and the answer from East Side (as much as I like the blog) read as kind of snobby and holier than thou. Try to see it from the bride's point of view - it sounds like she's trying really hard to find something inexpensive and cute. By all means, suggest another dress but do so gently and prepared to buy the David's Bridal one if it's what she decides to go with. You can spend the $150 you save buying the David's Bridal dress donating to a nonprofit that specializes in labor practice issues for clothing companies.

  70. YESSSSS!!!! That photo is worth this whole entire thread!

  71. @L, re. the "wear any dress in X colour" approach:


    My sister wanted to look like a bridesmaid. My best friend wanted to look like a bridesmaid. My mom wanted them both to look like bridemaids. All three had totally different visions of what a "bridesmaid" wears. The emails were RIDICULOUS.

    In hindsight, I should have just bought them dresses I thought suited their bodies and personalities.

    (To add insult to injury? I PAID FOR THEIR DRESSES.)

  72. Also: I concur with the majority, as in...

    Not expensive. Not a ballgown. No "sparkle vomit". So count your lucky stars and WEAR IT.

    a) The styles are not terrible; in fact, they're borderline pretty! Look pretty flattering, too... check out the reviews.
    b) The blue is also not terrible.
    c) They are COTTON DRESSES, for gods sake. Do you know how phenomentally rare a natural fabric is in an affordable bridesmaid dress? Thank your lucky starts that YOUR SKIN CAN BREATHE.

  73. I think the fact that it's in email form somehow makes it worse too. Like if my bridesmaids and I could all just meet up, go look dresses together we could have a normal discussion about it and I'm sure their knocking back my suggestions wouldn't hurt so much.
    But when you've gone out on your own, pulled together all these ideas and inspirations, loaded the photos into an email and typed up massive summaries for each dress, then you get super short emails back totally dismissing it, it feels pretty shitty. And the amount of back and forth over what I thought were quick easy decisions is just insane.
    I think I'm just going to end up buying the dresses and sending them out with no more discussion. I'm so done with this!!

  74. @ L:

    An excelent plan. Get them something pretty you think will suit them, and be done with it. I wish I had done the same. I'm sorry your friends aren't meeting you halfway on this.

    For what it's worth, my best friend got a $40 satin minidress from H&M and my sister got a $300 designer bridesmaid dress. They will look equally gorgeous and be equally happy, thank god.

    Other amazing resources we could easily have gone with? Zappo's and Bluefly! Do it for the free shipping if you live in the US... if you get the wrong size, no worries.

    To everyone in the comment thread asking, "Why don't brides just let bridesmaids pick their dresses?":

    THIS is why. Unless you've done gone that route yourself, you have no idea the strain it can put on a friendship.

  75. Wow. The range of responses is absolutely amazing.

    First off, I'd like to say I get where you're coming from completely. I've had my "Death to David's Bridal" rant several times already...and my friends are nowhere near getting married! The service is horrendous and alterations are a bitch that somehow cost an arm and a half. So a dress that costs about 150 now becomes 200-250. And the whole wedding machine complex shit just kills me a little inside each time.

    Here's my advice:

    Don't just "suck it up". Honestly don't - you and the bride-to-be are friends for a reason. She respects you for who you are and appreciates all the quirky shit that makes you you.

    HOWEVER, do be gracious about it. Round up the bridesmaids (as many as possible), go to David's Bridal with an open mind, and try on the dresses. Crack a smile. Don't whine or immediately dismiss the options. If that means one more glass of champagne than usual, go for it. Then, see how everyone else reacts, especially the bride. Odds are she'll have doubts and if she voices them, THEN feel free to suggest an alternative. I would respect the color and style she has.

    You could even ask if you could take the whole bridesmaid dresses search as a mission of sorts, thus making you a proactive, helpful bridesmaid and a good friend. Ask her what she wants, ask the other bridesmaids what their budget is and what looks good on them and start searching ASAP.

    Love and respect your friend. Don't make her feel uncomfortable for her choices/ideas - there are plenty of people doing that for her wedding as is - I PROMISE. I'm sure she isn't disregarding your views; in the wedding world, finding the perfect dress at the perfect price in the perfect color is damn near impossible to find.

    Hope that helps! If nothing else, accessorize like there's no tomorrow!

  76. i have let my bridesmaids pick their dresses, and it was awesome, nightlarke.

  77. First of all, I'd like to know - why the hatred towards David's Bridal? I don't like them because my experience with the company has NEVER been great. But I'm curious why, East Side Bride, you do not like the company.

    For my wedding four weeks ago, my bridesmaids wore a gorgeous Alfred Angelo dress in a dark gold... they all loved it, and two have them have worn the dress since.


    You agreed to be a bridesmaid. Period. It's the bride's wedding, get the eff over it.

    I can't believe there is an argument about this.

    Be a good friend and stop being so damn selfish.

  79. Wow, when I see these responses, I think I deserve a big pat on the back, because I not only allowed my bridesmaids to choose their own dresses, but I also paid for them, and I know for a fact that my chief bridesmaid wore her dress again at least twice.

    Brides turning into obsessed monsters is the exact reason why I have bowed out being a bridesmaid at three weddings in my twenties. I have a severe polyester allergy (painful, itchy rash with blisters within an hour of wearing that crap), and there is nobody, please let me repeat, nobody, in the world whose wedding vision is worth harming my health.

    Here's my take on this situation: if you want people to wear a specific item, you pay for it. If you cannot do that, you let them wear a suitable dress they own. Full stop. End of drama.