Thursday, October 01, 2009

Mel and the Girls Vs. Mass Culture: Bridal Edition

As most of our readers know our friends JohnOC and Myrrh are getting married this coming April.

I've been asked to be the acting Matron of Honor (vs. the actual Matron of Honor) a job which entails keeping Myrrh from getting too anxious, helping with decisions, and constantly saying "just because you're not making this difficult doesn't mean you're doing something wrong."

The only way Myrrh could be farther from being a Bridezilla is if she decided to get married in a nightgown. Seriously.

So the vast majority of preparations are done, documented, and deposited. In fact, once we visit with the florist today only 3 decisions will be left: menu (catering is already arranged), favors, and flower girl dresses.

Dear sweet Lord, the flower girl dresses.

In fact, clothing as a whole has been a bit of a bumpy ride.

Oh, the guys are easy. All the men will be in kilts, either bought or rented. John already has his (bought during OUR wedding planning actually), Chris's will be ordered soon, and the other two will be rented.

The wedding dress is already hanging in a closet. Due to serendipitous circumstances, Myrrh came across exactly what she wanted (modest and pretty) in her size, with perfect fit, never touched or tried on, and way under her budget. Of course she bought it already.

In fact, the odds of finding a modest dress were so low that math itself argued against the odds.

This isn't some ridiculous definition of "modest" either. Modest in this case meant something she'd be comfortable wearing in a Catholic church for an afternoon wedding instead of the equivalent of a cocktail dress with a train. In other words, something with sleeves that kept the *ahem* girls where they were supposed to be.

Contemporary wedding dresses are evidently allergic to sleeves and any neckline that doesn't require a plunging backless strapless bra.

But I digress.

After the dress was bought we brought our attention to bridesmaid dresses. Once again the goal being to dress like we were attending a Catholic ceremony instead of a club.

Finding a bridesmaid dress that is suitable for a church should not be difficult. Yet it is. Between strapless, spaghetti strap, halters, and OMG plunging necklines we determined the entire purpose of a bridesmaid dress is to pick up a groomsman.

2 of the 3 groomsmen are married or engaged. 2 of the 3 bridesmaids are married, and the third is a lesbian. Picking up the groomsmen wasn't a consideration.

Fortunately between the LDS and Catholics there seems to be a thriving niche market for form-fitting, pretty, and church-acceptable bridesmaid dresses out there and by looking at retailers tapping that market we were able to find bridesmaid dresses that fit our needs. It was a tedious, frustrating process but we managed it.

That leaves us with flower girl dresses for my daughters, who at the time of the wedding will be 6 and 8.

You'd think this would be easy, right? WRONG.

Yesterday after attending the cake testing and ordering the cake, Myrrh and I decided to drop by David's Bridal to pick something up and look at flower girl dresses.

We left in absolute shock.

Evidently everything I've written about wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses applies to flower girl dresses. Sleeveless, spaghetti straps, halter tops (wtf?) attempts at creating cleavage (!!!!!!!) and my personal favorite, mini-bride syndrome.

A few of the worst offenders:

The last one really gets me. Picking up groomsmen I somewhat get, but who is my 6-year-old going to pick up with this one? A Kindergartener?

Yeah, I know. That's what I get for looking at David's. But David's isn't the only offender. These dresses are all over the place, at every wedding site across the country. Why would so many designers make so many of them if people weren't buying them?!?!?!?

So I thought that like before, I'd take a different tack and maybe hunt down some confirmation or first holy communion dresses instead. They'd be white, pretty, and suitable for church, right?


WTF, over?

What are all these people smoking anyway? Why are they dressing little girls like women? What happened sleeves, high necklines, and foofy skirts? Why would I dress my little girls to show more skin and (attempts at) cleavage than the bride for godsake?

Who in their right mind dresses little girls up as pedo-bait, or anything other than little girls?

What the hell are we thinking as a culture anyway?

I for one refuse to have any part in this. If I have to search every inch of the internet, if I have to visit every shop in the Valley, if I have to buy the fabric and sew it myself my girls will attend the wedding looking like what they are: little girls. Not little brides. Not little women. Little girls.

Why the hell do I have to buck the trend just to be a responsible parent?