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Always a Bridesmaid…

August 1, 2011

A wedding day is a day of celebration. A day filled with love shared by the bride and groom, family and friends. Every moment of that day is brought to fruition by legions of people. Everywhere you look, you can spot a detail that was dreamt up and brought to life by one person or handfuls of them. And each and every detail represents the blissfully happy couple, down to the bridesmaids & groomsmen and their attire.

If you’ve ever been in a wedding party, you have probably seen firsthand how much work the couple puts into making the day perfect. They’ve also chosen their wedding party with care and consideration, so you better not let them down. You’re the best friend or close relative that has always been there for them and now is not the time for that to change. The size of the bridal party is not that relevant, only the relationships are. But, whether small or large, you better look good & to do that dresses and tuxedos are the norm. You won’t have much say generally in what you will wear but you will have a say in what happens to the attire after the special day, so keep reading to see what you can do to be a greener member of the wedding party.

Greening up the groomsmen is easier in the attire department than bridesmaids. Typically tuxedos are rented, which is greener than buying a tux that you never plan to wear again. Other wedding parties simply wear suits that the gentlemen already own. How much better does it get than that? I would suggest that one area that can be greened up here is to select a green dry-cleaning service after the wedding day and also ask the tux shop if they use one as well.

Bridesmaids have been told on at least one occasion that whatever dress they are asked to purchase and wear is a keeper that can be worn again and again (a green statement). I’m hear to say that with some creativity, that statement can, in fact, be true. It is also more sustainable to not let the dress go to waste. I have now been a bridesmaid on four separate occasions, and the thought of keeping the four dresses in my closet for eternity (because 1) they cost an arm to buy and 2) they have sentimental value) as is was not an option. I live in a small apartment with limited closet space, so this is just not an option anyway. So, below is a short list of how you can find a new life for that beautiful bridesmaid dress:

  1. Save it with your halloween costume stash to become a prom queen or Miss America. Then the following year you can take it to a costume swap and someone else can have an opportunity to do the same.
  2. Dye it black and it becomes a LBD, perfect for holidays or date nights.
  3. Give it to a daughter, niece or neighbor’s daughter for their dress up collection. Every little girl needs fun dresses to play in and spark their creativity. My favorite dress up clothes when I was a kid were the bridesmaid dresses my mom wore in my aunts’ weddings. The same went for my friends at that age too.

    Playing Dress Up

  4. You’ve already decided you won’t be wearing it again? There’s always the standbys:,, and consignment shops if you think the dress has value. Or you can go the free route with freecycle, Salvation Army, or Goodwill.
  5. Nontraditional charitable organizations like Fairy Godmothers provides prom dresses to teenagers with financial hardships so they can have an opportunity to also attend prom.
  6. Really pull out those creative, crafty ideas now. Use the fabric in a non-traditional way. Make the couple a scrapbook page with some of the fabric if they plan to scrapbook. Or wrap a picture frame with it and add a pic of you with the couple at the wedding. Depending on your skill level & amount of fabric, get your sew on by turning the dress into a: pillow with the wedding date stitched in, an outfit for their firstborn, or handkerchief / pocket square.

Since some of the brides I’ve stood up for will hopefully read this post I don’t want to state exactly which option I chose for their dresses, but I do hope that they are inspired to choose one of these for the other bridesmaid dresses I know they all have in their closets now. Don’t let that dress die a slow death in the back of your jam packed closet. Breath some life into it with the ideas above or comment below with your ideas. And remember, the solution here is reuse, don’t trash it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    August 1, 2011 5:45 PM

    Or, you can hold onto them and host a Bridesmaid’s Ball! Loads of fun to see everyone dressed up in beautiful (er, awkward?) dresses. Let the cheesy party games begin!

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