Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Always a bridesmaid or With friends like these

Since getting married, I've been introduced to an idea which I find completely baffling. Basically, I'll sum it up as "because you're a great friend, I want you to honour you by causing you to spend $250 on something that you won't particularly like and can only use once". First response? Thanks but no thanks maybe?

Yet the idea that I'm talking about is one that is firmly ingrained, at least into American Jewish society.

I'm talking of course, about bestowing the honour of being a bridesmaid upon close friends. This is a beautiful custom and one that I think is a great way of involving your nearest and dearest in your simcha. The killer sentence of course is "the theme colour is........(insert outlandish colour)"

Now look around at any simcha or through the wardrobe of your better half and the chances are that you won't find too much variety - at any simcha, black is the dominant colour amongst the ladies, most likely dressed up with some flashes of colour in the form of jewellery, wraps, pashminas etc.

The whole point of having a colour theme for the bridesmaids is of course to make sure that they are differentiated from the crowd and therefore the price of loyalty is the cost of an elegant dress in sky blue, cranberry or salmon pink; all colours which many women would not choose to wear normally (none of them is the new black after all) and will most probably not wear again in a hurry.

With guys it is a far simpler operation - in the event that there is some sort of theme it will be in the form of a kippa or tie of the same colour at a cost of a few dollars, matched to a standard dark suit. So why don't girls do the same thing? Everyone wear an LBD but add a wrap, sash or trim in the chosen colour to differentiate the group whilst keeping costs down?

I'm genuinely intrigued to know what you ladies think about the phenomenon - look forward to your comments...



yudit said...

Frankly, i've never seen a bridesmaid in an Israeli wedding. I guess this is a very American thing really.
The frineds of the bride just wear what they like, both in Religious and in hiloni weddings

IsraLuv said...

i am in favor of the bride buying the material for each of her bridesmaids and chosing an neutral color that will look good on all.... black (my personal fav) navy, dark green, etc.

each of the bridesmaids then could create a dress that she'd like and might wear again.

also - a LOT of girls borrow dresses from a gamach and do not buy or create a new one

Dot Co Dot Il said...

And how about going one step further and putting numbers on their back as well.

Gilly said...

Yudit - my wife is of the American persuasion. We didn't have bridesmaids but she has been one on more than one occasion - traditions travel with you when you make Aliyah.

Israluv - I'm totally with you - but lots of brides like "original" colours!

Dot - wouldn't work - everyone would want to be number 9.

Benji Lovitt said...

The American wedding is insanity. Don't forget about the registry where you're compelled to buy a completely impersonal gift that you won't remember having given a few hours after the purchase.

Karl said...

If the bride (or groom) wants bridesmaids - she (or he) should pay for them. Luckily for us, having over 40 nieces & nephews made the decision a lot easier!

Eugene Gershin said...

Hi! Please grab anti-Olmert's Purim buttons from http://samsonblinded.org/blog/purim_banners.htm
The buttons are free and could be hotlinked. Let's make some fun of Olmert!