Brace yourselves, we are entering the season of summer weddings. Beef and salmon producers are skipping joyfully to work, florists are planning beautiful bouquets and the purveyors of ivory spanx are stocking up.
And watching a bride walk up the aisle in her wedding dress is one of the highlights of the day. In fairness, the couple should be so happy that they are glowing, regardless of what they are wearing. In the words of Roald Dahl 'if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely'. And so follows the oohs and aahs of 'she looks STUNNING' and 'she's the most beautiful bride I've ever seen' and possibly a silent smattering of 'she looks nice but I think my dress was waaaay nicer'.
So we have established that the bride will look great. The surprise element in the wedding party is the dress chosen for the bridesmaids. Sometimes they look fabulously elegant and sometimes they look like they've escaped from a debs of the 1980s.
In fairness, it's a hard task. You are often dealing with women of all different shapes, sizes, hair colour, skin tone, bra size and taste. How on earth are you supposed to find a dress that works for all of them? Yes, it IS possible - I've been bridesmaid thrice (yes, I know what that means) and each time the bride put in such an effort to find something that suited her bridal collective that I wished I could have made her job easier.
I mean, wouldn't it make the task easier if she asked people, based not on friendship, family and emotion, but actually on the basis of those people having the same measurements? Acquaintances, work colleagues, sisters, the bus driver - if you fit, you're it.
The high street is a bridesmaid dress-shopper's best friend. The colour palette can be the same across a collection but the cut can be different. And Oasis have taken it a step further by launching their latest 'Wear it Your Way' dress. These multi-way dresses have been around for ages but this one, to my eyes, has bridesmaid written all over it.
Available online only, it can be worn nine different ways (you can see six more below). You may need a manual and a Brownie badge in knot tying to operate this drapery but I think it could work really well if you are struggling to find a gúna that covers arms/doesn't cover arms/is strapless/allows you to wear a good support bra.
And I reckon this is the kind of dress that you could wear again to a different event. But then maybe that's its drawback - you could easily see this dress turn up wearing one of your guests and this would lead to fierce confusion for the first dance.
This one will set you back €106 and is currently only available in grey but they may add more colours further down the line.
And while we've seen 'No Coast dresses please' on invites, are we looking at banning more high street shops from the festivities now too?
So what do you think? Is this kind of dress ideal for bridesmaids or do you feel like it's missing the 'special' factor? And if you've been bride/bridesmaid, what did your bridal party wear?