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Lifestyle Weddings

Choosing wedding attendant dresses: Better to be a dictator or democratic?

A couple weekends ago, Enrique and I invited our friends over to his house for a barbeque. With everyone relaxed and having a good time, the conversation turned to our wedding plans.

First, “So, what’s your theme for the wedding?”

 “The theme is us,” I said.

Next came the follow-up, “What are your colors?”

“Red and blue, but not patriotic. They’re our favorite colors.”

“Do you know what the guys and girls are wearing for the wedding?”

I explained that the men are wearing tuxedos, but for the women, we would give each attendant our color choice and have her pick out a dress she felt best wearing. E and I will need to approve her dress beforehand to make sure it fits our wedding. We’re not women, so we’re deferring to our attendants on what style of dress works for each of them.

I might as well have said we were walking out in velvet bellbottoms and rainbow sequins.

 “You can’t just let everyone wear what they want.”

 “We need to know because I can’t wear a short dress.”

 “But I can’t wear a long dress. I'd much rather wear a pantsuit.”

 “Think of the photos. You don’t want jacked-up photos for your wedding.”

  “How about you send us what you’re wearing and we’ll match to you.”

 At 11:30 at night, after a couple of drinks, and a long day of entertaining people, none of these comments were sinking in.

Then, my dear friend Lesa replied, “Look, this is not a democracy, it’s a dictatorship. When you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, you know when you say ‘yes,’ you’re agreeing to do whatever the bride asks.”

Lesa may be on to something. Going the democratic route may spell more trouble, and autocratic rule is quite efficient. But, I’m a natural collaborator, not a dictator; it’s hard for me to just demand a person do something voluntarily. Maybe it’s somewhere in the middle, like a volun-told system of governance.  

Nonetheless, I’m debating how to go about this question of finding the right dress. Should I bring everyone to a bridal shop and we compromise on a certain style? Or, should I just tell them where to go and how much (which I’ll likely do for the guys)? Whatever happens, you’ll read about it in the future.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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