Attire Torture For Bridesmaids

by admin on April 22, 2014

I want to firstly go ahead and admit that I have no knowledge about what went on in the planning of this wedding and how this story panned out after it left my sphere of observation.

A little over a year ago I was working at a little restaurant downtown. It was about 3pm, so the place was completely empty until three bridesmaids came tottering in. I use the term tottering very literally. You see, for the bridesmaids dresses the bride had chosen these tiny metallic silver, strapless mini dresses that that were shrink wrapped on to these three women. I will say that these ladies were attractive and looked nice in the dresses, even if they didn’t cover much. The problem was the shoes. Bride had chosen to pair the mini dresses with canary yellow, super high platform stilettos. By super high I mean that these three women were darn near en pointe.

It was obvious that none of the three women were used to walking in stilettos that high and we were honestly worried that one might take a spill. It was especially bad for one poor woman that trailed behind the other two and was clinging desperately to chairs as she went by to keep her balance. During conversation while they were waiting for their food, they said that the wedding was for a bit later in the afternoon and they had been running around all day with the bride and hadn’t eaten anything. They ordered the quickest thing on the menu and inhaled it so they could get back to last minute wedding prep.

I just have to wonder how the shoe-dress combination got past the initial planning phase. I cannot accurately express how much trouble the one who even bothered sitting had just easing herself down without twisting an ankle or having her dress ride up to her waist. Really, the phrase ‘newborn colt’ comes to mind remembering these ladies. I have no clue how any of them made it down the isle during the ceremony.

The women themselves were very sweet and were great customers, though it was obvious how much they were suffering between the shoes and going around in the heat (late spring in Louisiana so 90s with high humidity). Again, all three women were attractive and if they were just standing they made a pretty picture. I just have to wonder if it never occurred to the bride that the image would be ruined in the very likely event that one stumbled, flashed everyone, and broke an ankle during the ceremony.   0422-14

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Lakey April 22, 2014 at 10:58 am

Wow. Since the bride and these women, and presumably the bride’s mother, were running around doing wedding preparations, it didn’t occur to even one of them to use a separate, more comfortable, pair of shoes for the pre wedding chasing around?


Michelle C. Young April 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Maybe they thought they would not have time to change shoes/clothes, but they probably could have done all the pre-wedding stuff much faster in track suits and sneakers, and with the time-savings, they would have had time to change.

That would also alleviate the risk of one of them spoiling the outfit and/or injuring herself before the wedding even started!

Common sense. It’s a good thing. More party-planners (wedding or whatever type of party) really should invest in it. I hear they’re having a sale on Common Sense at Hobby Lobby! Check it out!


Jessie April 23, 2014 at 5:52 am

Perhaps it was a desperate attempt to gain SOME mastery of those horrid shoes before the big event? I know for my own mother’s second wedding, I spent a whole two days beforehand and the day of walking around in the shoes she had chosen for the bridesmaid dresses. Now, they weren’t anywhere near as horrid as these ladies’ shoes sound, but I have absolutely ZERO poise when it comes to walking in heels of any kind, so I was attempting to make sure I would at least survive until the reception, where I could slip them off for the night. Maybe these ladies had the same idea I did.


The Elf April 23, 2014 at 9:38 am

That ws the first thing that I thought of! It really doesn’t matter why those shoes were chosen and who agreed to it. There is absolutely no reason why they couldn’t have gone with a regular pair of shoes – something that goes on and off easily and doesn’t require socks – for all the running around. If it were me, those heels would have gone on about 30 seconds before showtime. (And I would have pleaded with the bride for more reasonable shoes).

Last time I was a bridesmaid – the bride’s only attendant – I wore very low heels. (Part of that was height. Standing flat-footed, I was still as tall or taller than bride, groom, and best man.) I still slipped them on just moments before the ceremony! There’s just so much running around to do to help the bride, why wouldn’t I wear comfortable shoes doing it? Shoes aren’t like a dress, where you might mess up makeup/hair slipping it on.


ShellyLynne2611 April 22, 2014 at 11:10 am

To me, there comes a time when you have to put love and friendship aside and stand up for yourself. I understand not making it all about you and wanting to let the bride have what she wants, but when it makes you miserable, it’s time to say something. I only wear heels, and very low ones at that, on very special, formal occasions. If my friend wanted me in her wedding and asked me to wear those shoes, I would have chuckled and said no and offered to help look for shoes with her that I wouldn’t be so uncomfortable in. If she pushed the issue and demanded I wear them, I would have politely declined being in her wedding, no matter how late in the planning process it was. Anybody who values a pair of shoes over the safety and comfort of her friends is clearly someone I am willing to be miserable for. I have only been a bridesmaid once and I wore heels and a big, purple dress that made me look like Grape Ape. I would never have chosen it myself, but my sister made sure we were at least reasonably comfortable. Bridesmaids are there to help, love and support a bride on her special day, not be a servant to just do whatever they are told, no matter what.


Library Diva April 22, 2014 at 11:20 am

It sounds like the bride doesn’t really have good taste. This sounds like a cute outfit for clubbing, but for a wedding? And in triplicate? I, too, am amazed this got past the planning phase. Either they enjoy such a strong friendship with the bride that all of them would do literally anything for each other, or no one wanted to admit that they didn’t know how to walk in stilettos, or the bride was so awful that they chose not to confront her about this. I really kind of hope it’s the first one.

But still, as a bride, you do have some obligation to your bridesmaids to consider their comfort level somewhat when it comes to attire. You should take everyone’s wants and needs into consideration. Don’t go skin-tight if you know one of them is sort of self-conscious about their body. Don’t choose shoes that are more akin to torture devices. Don’t pick a color that looks good on .00001 percent of people. Make sure to be age-appropriate, and if you have one who’s an outlier, consider dressing her a little differently. Of course, the look you want for the wedding should come into play as well, but you do have to think of them. It’s an honor for them to be in your wedding, sure, but they’re also doing you a favor.


Kimstu April 22, 2014 at 11:29 am

While I completely agree that some bridezillas have no compunction about inflicting “attire torture” (great phrase) on their bridesmaids, I kind of wonder how the LW could have known that this particular bad sartorial choice was exclusively the bride’s decision. Maybe the ‘maids themselves had originally been enthusiastic about the snazzy outfits until they realized what it was like to run around all day in them?

Anyway, maybe it’s just my non-fashionista ignorance, but I have to say that metallic silver mini-sheaths with canary-yellow platform stilettos sounds just ewww. (And for comfort in hot weather in non-beach settings you need graceful lightweight unrestrictive flowing draperies that help cool you by moving the air, not tight-fitting structured garments that expose a lot of skin.)


Nannerdoman April 22, 2014 at 11:32 am

This is the type of story that makes me glad I’ve never been a bridesmaid.

Frankly, if I were one of those women, I’d have bailed the minute the bride decreed this outfit–especially the shoes!


Cecilia April 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I think would burn in e-hell before I tried to walk around in a tiny, strapless mini dress and super high platform stilettos to attend to last-minute wedding details. Those seem to be the kind of dresses & shoes you put on just before walking down the aisle and change out of immediately following the ceremony. I cannot even fathom trying to dance or walk around a reception in super high shoes.

Of course, it seems over the last decade or two, everything involving a wedding has become how to achieve the bride and/or groom (or their mother/father/etc.’s) vision of the “perfect wedding”and how to top all other weddings, instead of simply celebrating two people deciding to spend their lives together and having family & friends around them.

Don’t get me wrong- I think a bride and/or groom should get what they want for their wedding day, *within reason*. I think the bride was very inconsiderate to her bridesmaids regarding the outfit, especially the shoes. I would have been a very bad friend/bridesmaid before I would have worn a peek-a-boo outfit and stilt shoes, even if I would have looked fantastic in them. Maybe it was a case of the bride not wanting the bridesmaids to “outshine” her on her wedding day , so she intentionally picked a garish outfit?? Of course, if one of the attendants had fallen or flashed the attendees, that would have been a major fail!


Michelle C. Young April 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

” Those seem to be the kind of dresses & shoes you put on just before walking down the aisle and change out of immediately following the ceremony.”

OH, golly! I just got a mental image of these bridesmaids tottering down the aisle, desperately grabbing at the people in the pews, for balance, possibly tripping and sprawling their legs at the altar, with no flowing dress to cover them, then screaming for an ambulance, because of the broken bones. And all while the organist is getting ready to play the Wedding March for the bride.

Now, in that case, would the bride be crying about how the bridesmaid “ruined my wedding!”? Odds are, ummm, yeah. Because the type of bride who would be so illogical in making them wear dangerous clothes is also the type of bride who would be so illogical as to blame someone else for suffering the natural consequences of wearing dangerous clothes.


manybellsdown April 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

I was almost one of those “tottering bridesmaids”, but it was all on me. I flew 6 hours for my best friend’s wedding and got some kind of charley horse from sitting so long on the plane. I was in loads of pain and could barely walk the day before the wedding. I was terrified I wasn’t going to be able to even stand up in the heels I’d bought!

Fortunately, I recovered in time, but your mental image of tottering down the aisle grabbing at pews describes how I felt pretty accurately!


oregonbird October 30, 2015 at 9:53 pm

It sounds as if you suffered a vein thrombosis — which is a common and sometimes life threatening issue for long distance travelers. You were lucky it resolved without issue, but it can be a recurring problem for some people, unless you take care of yourself during travel; walk around, exercise in your seat, drink water. Life threatening! If it happens again on the plan, have the airline call ahead to arrange for you to go directly from the airport to the hospital.


Lo April 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm

My opinion on this is that the dresses can be as ugly or weird as the bride wants and I won’t say boo but I won’t stand in your wedding if you insist on a certain type of footwear. Due to foot problems I cannot wear stilettos, the highest heel I can manage is a gentle 1″ with a lot of support. I’ll happily show you a note from my podiatrist that confirms this. It’s not the bride’s job to accomodate me so if it’s really important to you that all your attendants have matching high heels I’ll gracefully bow out no questions asked, but you can’t hold it against me.

If these women couldn’t walk in those shoes they should have been proactive in telling the bride so. No one can force you to wear anything you don’t want to wear. It’s a shame they didn’t get together and say, “This is unrealistic, I can’t stand in a wedding wearing these.”

They have only themselves to blame for not saying no.


Ellen CA April 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

It sounds horrifying, but I have to wonder why they felt they needed to wear those shoes when they were just going out to get a bite to eat? I would certainly have worn my flats or sneakers until the very moment I had to totter down the aisle.


Cat April 22, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Some brides seem to lose their minds during their wedding planning days. I once ended up in a baby-blue full gown (that no one would ever wear unless at gun-point) with bright pink bedroom slippers (slide-ons with woven plastic tops) and a blue straw beach hat that was meant to be a wall decoration. I still cringe when I think of going out in public dressed like that.


Kimstu April 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm

MUST SEE FOTOS. 😀 Sorry @Cat, I’m not really expecting you to provide the incriminating evidence, but I’m absolutely mesmerized by the concept of baby-blue ball gown with pink plastic mules and blue straw hat. Can’t even visualize.


Cat April 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm

I was not offered any wedding photos and I certainly did not request any. You have no idea as to how we looked and felt.
Some years later, I entered religious life in England. We were changing out of our traditional habits; and I volunteered to make a sample modern habit and to wear it so the sisters could judge what they wanted.
I had to go to London suddenly and had no time to change.Yes, I went to London in a jumper made out of an old, brown curtain with my blouse on backwards; and I still looked better than I did in the blue dress with that hat and those shoes.


AnnaMontana April 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Some brides are just plain crazy! When I married, my flower girl chose her own dress and my bridesmaids were given the money and told ‘go buy a nice dress/outfit. I don’t care about matching or anything, as long as you have something blue in there.’ As it happened, both of my bridesmaids fell in love with the same cornflower blue, chiffon gown with an empire waist and no sleeves. I refused point blank to have my bridesmaids suffer and now, one is planning on wearing her dress to prom and the other has shortened her dress and wears it as a summer dress.
My best friend who did a reading at the wedding knew we’d had a vintage/blue theme and wore a light blue and cream seersucker dress for the daytime and changed at night. Before the wedding, she actually was running around checking centerpieces and putting cake onto our cake stands and so on. She did all this whilst wearing two huge black bin bags over her dress and wore her trainers for comfort.
I was asked to be another friends’ maid-of-honor before I got married. I said yes and the next weekend I had available, she insisted we look for gowns. Hers was an ivory and gold concoction that wouldn’t look out of place on a loo roll, it was so big and puffy. However, she wanted her bridesmaids to wear bright shocking red, sleeveless dress, fitted to the top and then puffy at the bottom. It was horrid. I was blonde then, and looked like some cheap barbie Christmas cracker in the dress. Not only that, but I have a fairly large bust and simply cannot purchase strapless bras in my size, much less go without a bra. I explained this to my friend several times, and each time she replied ‘Well, you have to make it work’. I suggested that I purchased straps for the dress or even that I could wear the same as the rest of her younger bridesmaids (in a ballet-skirt style with wide straps at the top) but she was adamant. This was all before I grew my polite spine, and therefore I paid for the dress and the shoes, which didn’t fit, had super-high heels (I had broken my ankle and the doctor had advised me to wear completely flat shoes until my muscles had re-knit) and didn’t stay on my feet. I then had to purchase a ‘ring of flowers’ for my hair and special jewellery.
The wedding did not take place!
Moral of these stories?
If you are asked to be a bridesmaid, you say ‘No’ and run away screaming the SECOND the bride asks you to wear (or pay for) something that you KNOW will not be suitable!


Michelle C. Young April 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm

AnnaMontana, bless you for being a beautiful bride who gave her bridesmaids money to buy whatever they liked best! You are my hero!

Seriously, I grew up thinking that was what all brides were SUPPOSED to do. I don’t know where I got the idea, except it just makes the most sense. Happy bridesmaids mean much better pictures, because the smiles are real. And you know, the wedding is ALL about the photos, right?



VR518 April 22, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Anna, while you have my sympathies, I have to ask, why did the wedding not take place?


AnnaMontana April 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Hmm…she was only 20. I say only, but she was a very, very young 20. She’d known her fiance for 3 months and was proposed to on NYE in front of everyone. (Awkward!) She said she felt like she couldn’t say no.
She still lived at home with her parents and younger brother and her mum did not approve of her getting married at that age. Plus her mum has/had a really competitive streak and was openly jealous of my stable relationship with my (now) husband as well as being jealous of my getting a degree, whilst her daughter worked in a shop. (No problem with shop work as far as I’m concerned, but the mum didn’t like it).
It was a catalouge of errors.


bap April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

My oldest daughter was married almost 10 years ago. The bridesmaids wore simple street length dresses in solid pastel colors and my daughter told them to wear whatever clear (in vogue at the time) sandals/heels they chose.
The morning of the wedding, her maid of honor makes it to the dressing room in tears. She suffers with a medical condition (I forget the name) that causes one leg/foot to swell. In spite of all she had done to try to keep the swelling down and everything she and her mom had done to work with her shoes, there was absolutely no way that shoe was even going on her toes – much less the entire foot. She (the maid of honor) was extremely upset, volunteering to bow out of the ceremony, etc. My daughter just simply and matter-of-factly informed her that she asked *Her* into the wedding, not her shoes. She then looked at the other girls and said something akin to “Well, I think it’s obvious what we need to do!”. They all grinned and removed their shoes. They proceeded to go down the aisle barefoot.
I know we received a few looks, but as far as I am aware, no one in the audience even thought about questioning the decision. The pictures are perhaps not your everyday wedding pics, but family and friends know and understand and that’s all we care about.


Michelle C. Young April 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Yaaaaay! Your raised her up right!

All weddings should be memorable because of what goes RIGHT, not what goes wrong. And being kind to each other is RIGHT.


SV April 23, 2014 at 9:20 am

I love this 🙂


The Elf April 23, 2014 at 9:42 am

I love that story. What a show of solidarity for the woman!


Michelle C. Young April 22, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Oh, those poor women!


Mer April 23, 2014 at 4:50 am

I’ve never understood the desire for matching outfits. Matching colors I can understand easily, to avoid eye-sore combinations, but find a same dress that fits group of different women well… nearly impossible. But no matter, matching dresses is not big thing around here, never been to such wedding myself.

I wonder, if the shoes were such that as you try them on, take few steps on level store floor and so on, they seem fine and so one thinks “how bad it can be”. And when you face the long and uneven reality it’s too late to fix the mistake. I’ve had normal shoes like this, not stilettos but slightly heeled, which have their balance point slightly off (for me) and result is endless tottering. On the other hand higher heel that just happens to be perfectly balanced for you can be surprisingly comfortable.


Mary G. April 28, 2014 at 1:09 am

I was at the wedding of my best friend’s 20 year old dippy daughter. She INSISTED on wearing ridiculous sky high heels that had a lace up boot. She not only couldn’t walk in them, but by the time the reception came, she was limping and lumbering and leaning on the groom so badly that one of her relatives leaned over to me and asked what had happened to her, assuming she’d had a bad fall.


Enna May 10, 2014 at 11:03 am

I would not wear such an outfit. Sometimes you have to say no. Maybe they were as tacky as the bride for agreeing to wear such clothes?


Angel May 16, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I let my bridesmaids pick out their own shoes–as long as the color matched the dress–they could pick whatever style they wanted. I couldn’t imagine making any of them wear stilettos. I can’t wear stilettos!


tasryn June 20, 2014 at 11:15 am

I confess that my bridesmaids wore matching dresses but the length, style, etc they chose themselves. It actually wasn’t a dress I would have chosen if I were picking but it was a style that all of them felt comfortable in, was a style (empire waist and then flaring out) that flattered all of their body types, and was in a color (navy blue) that generally looks good on most women.

I however do NOT understand the thing about matching shoes, especially with long gowns where the shoes won’t be seen anyway. My bridesmaids wore everything from combat boots to stilettos and they all chose the style that suited them. And no I didn’t care about the combat boots. At most you could see the tip of the boot peeking out and it didn’t bother me at all.

What is really creepy was attending a wedding where the bridesmaids not only had matching gowns and shoes but also matching hair styles. The whole thing became very Stepford Wife-y. At the end of the day these ladies are still individuals so let them add a few pieces of individuality into the outfit whether it be a necklace, a pair of shoes, a specially chosen hairstyle, etc.


Kimbubbley July 14, 2014 at 10:16 am

When I got married, I had what my father referred to as a “bridal gang”, not a bridal party. There were NINE guys and girls walking down the aisle with us and finding something suitable for all of them was just never going to happen.

My original plan was to pick a color and tell them to go crazy with themselves but the girls insisted that I HAD TO have more say than that.

I found beautiful fabric and a lovely, local seamstress and then I spent weeks poring through bridal magazines, tracing different bodice and skirt shapes and making copies of them – like the Fashion Plates that we used to play with when we were younger.

I had all of the girls over for brunch and everyone got a packet of tops and skirts and got to mix and match until they had “made” the perfect dress for them. Then we brought it all to the seamstress (who was very reasonably priced and who I gave a sizable down payment to in order to offset the cost.) and she began working. Each dress cost the girls between $75 – $100 and they wore whatever shoes they liked.

The dresses were BEAUTIFUL on each lady at the final fitting and we were all so pleased that the “experiment” had turned out so well! Everyone picked up their dresses the day before the wedding and, of course, having already had the final fitting, not one of the nine thought to try it on, again.

The morning of my wedding, all we did was field telephone calls from the girls who were getting ready down the block while those of us at my mother’s house were crying with laughter at the mysterious re-sizing of the dresses. My D chested sister couldn’t get hers to zip without a borrowed sports bra from one of the A-cup ladies. My smaller busted sister’s dress had had cups sewn into it so that she was pouring out of it like Pamela Anderson. Another girl’s was so long that my mother ran down and made a make-shift bustle on it to take up the extra fabric. My niece had to be sewn into hers after the seams kept splitting while she was putting it on. We were DYING.

Everyone got down the aisle in one piece, mostly. One pregnant maid couldn’t get her shoes on and was wearing blue fuzzy bedroom slippers that she borrowed from someone’s mom. Every time she was in my line of sight, she would poke her toes out from under her skirt and make me laugh.

After the pictures were taken (which were BEAUTIFUL, partly because of the incredible teamwork that was keeping everyone safely in their dresses!!), the dresses were slowly disassembled throughout the night. Cups came out so that the ladies could breathe, my sister borrowed a wrap from someone so that her boobies were tucked safely out of sight. The only one with no recourse was my big busted sister in the tiny bra who opted to drink more than she usually would to help alleviate her pulmonary distress. 🙂 🙂 I commented to her that these dresses – that EVERYONE thought that they would wear again – were only going to be good for dinner napkins or car washing rags.

My first married Christmas, when we got home from Christmas Eve festivities, there was a large, gaily wrapped box on our front porch. Inside were 75 hastily and shoddily hemmed “dinner napkins” all formally rolled and tied up with beautiful Christmas ribbons with a note signed by all nine ladies that said, “Merry First Christmas to you and DH!! We still love you, anyway!”

I kept that box handy for years. I’d whip out a few “napkins” at a pool party to dry the kids off, bring them over when someone was painting as rags, etc. Years later, those dresses were STILL making us laugh. And we never did find out what the heck happened in the week between final fitting and pick up!!


Tiff May 4, 2016 at 4:49 pm

I gave my bridesmaids a colour scheme and told them to go pick out their dresses. They weren’t required to have certain dress styles or lengths and no shoe requirement. They ended up going out together and picking a dress, no idea about the shoes because they had long dresses, OP has no way of knowing who picked the outfits, including the shoes. I always start out wearing shoes that are pretty but a pain to walk in for fancy occasion.


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