Bridesmaid Master Class, Lesson 3: How to Say NO to a Dress

It might be an ugly bridesmaid dress. It might be a too-sexy bridesmaid dress with a slit up to your waist, or one with too much cleavage. It might be a wildly expensive bridesmaid dress. Whatever the issue, when the bride, maid of honor or bridesmaid group submits a dress photo for consideration, and it’s definitely not going to work for you, you can say NO.

Don’t worry about being the problem bridesmaid. Every bridesmaid has the right to say No to a dress possibility, and there may be three other bridesmaids who are glad you had the courage to stand up and say No.

Here’s your Master Class lesson: don’t just say No to a dress and ask for other contenders, submit other contenders. Send an email with URLs to four or five dresses that are more affordable, more wear-again-able, more stylish, classier. It’s your message with it that’s really important, too: “(Maid of Honor,) I know you spent a lot of time looking for bridesmaid dresses, and while these are way above my budget range, I hope everyone will take a look at these dresses I found and consider them for our style. Thanks!” No need to go into how the dress she chose is too sexy…criticism could get your picks rejected out of spite.

It’s a good idea to write the bride and maid of honor with your new picks first, to see if they’re open to your submissions. If you copy all of the bridesmaids, the bride and maid of honor could take that as mutiny…overstepping your bounds, and inviting chaos when all the other bridesmaids (who were afraid to say no to Sexy Dress) chime in on dresses you picked out before they get the bride’s seal of approval.

You’ve gotta be diplomatic about it.

Brides know it’s a trend for bridesmaids to wear style variations suited to their body shapes and best assets, so if that hasn’t been brought to the table, bring it to the table… The ones who like Sexy Dress can wear it, and you and the other objecting bridesmaids can wear a similar style in the same color. If the bride allows it.

If the bride is set on Sexy Dress for all of you, and if there’s no chance of a new dress being picked, you’ll likely get a ‘thanks for sharing, but…’ email. At least you tried. And then you can go buy lots of fabric tape to keep that sexy dress from showing tons of skin.

Get more tips from my book, Bridesmaid on a Budget

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