This weekend marked the premiere of Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids, a show that’s been tantalizing me with its premise for weeks now. I’ve been a bridesmaid four times — one of which, as maid of honor — and I’ve been a bride myself. I’m quite familiar with the many ways that bridesmaids dresses are chosen. A bride can go into it with a style in mind, no doubts. You can spend hours in a dressing room trying on multiple styles alongside fellow bridesmaids. You could get a phone call saying, “I chose! Call the store. They’ll tell you what they need. You’ll be beautiful!”
And as a bridesmaid, you know that the bride is your best friend (or one of them), and you are just tickled pink to know that she chose you as part of her day, so you take your measurements, hand over a couple hundred dollars, and smile pretty for the camera on the wedding day. And as a bride, you know that your bridesmaids are doing the exact same thing, whether they would have chosen your pick or not. Because they’re your friends. And they love you.
Unless, of course, you’re on Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids, which is apparently TLC’s attempt to combat Bridezillas, as that’s really the only thing I can think of while I’m watching pouting bridesmaids and bitchy brides. Please note: This quote was an actual line said by a bride on an episode:
If you can’t get the dress, just be a guest.
Now, I must say, I was pretty lucky. For one thing, my brides seemed to at least understand about budget. Not on this show. Not that the show really let us know how much a lot of dresses were, but when a bride insists that a dress be around $500 (it was in the email, she kept saying) and then figured they could go over budget because she herself went over budget…that’s a bit ridiculous. This was also a bride that had something like 15 bridesmaids and seemed to care less if any dropped out because she couldn’t afford the wedding.
Are people really so mean and self-centered? I suppose this show wants us to think that way. The show was less about finding a dream dress (unlike when the bride chooses her own dress), and it was all about the conflict. One bride finally is thrilled with her pick, only to have another bridesmaid ask, “Yeah, but how’s it going to look on me?” Get up there and try it on you, wench! Geez.
Then there were the pouty bridesmaids, who insisted that if the bride didn’t choose a dress she liked, she refused to be in the wedding. It’s the bride’s day; it’s about her. Somehow I think she gets final say. Don’t get me wrong. It’s rough to spend a lot of money on a dress that you might not wear again, but for someone you care about, is it really worth saying no and causing worse trouble?
I don’t know. I suppose I expected to be shown flashy, pretty dresses — be dazzled by color formalwear, like I am with Say Yes to the Dress in white. But it all just seemed so mean, so stressful. I guess showing a bride with her real friends trying on dresses doesn’t cause all that much drama, but it sure would make me feel better than having three girls prance out in forced formalwear, only to have the bride insult one of them over and over and over (hey, it happened). It was just so stressful and not enjoyable.
Will I watch again? Well, perhaps a few more episodes at least. I was a bridesmaid four times! Somehow, there’s this part of me that just needs to see what other dresses are out there, so I can go, “Ha! [Friend’s name] has such better taste in [dress length] dresses in [color]!” I like pretty dresses. What can I say?
But I do hope that it gets a little happier. No more of the meanness. I mean, who wants to be a part of a mean person’s wedding?
PS – I should mention that one of my brides chose a dress that was also chosen for David Tutera’s My Fair Wedding. See? My friends have good tastes. And if they didn’t? Well, I’d wear it anyway.