Friday, December 4, 2020

Bridesmaid Revisited: a look at the sartorial details of my modest wedding glamour

After the deliciously romantic wedding day is over, what does a bridesmaid do with the gorgeous dress, the gasp-worthy shoes, the sparkly jewellery, the cute jar lantern hand-decorated for her by the bride?
My sister's forest wedding was four years ago this week. You can view the Boutique Narelle post about Sarah's special day here.

Today I'm revisiting the particulars of my luscious bridal array so that we can enjoy them together.

My Satin and Lace Dress

The *daffodil* stiff bridal satin and thick polyester lining were sourced from China ( - best tip: always order fabric samples first). The pale yellow nylon lace was found at the back of a local general supplies shop. It took 5 months of effort to get that far. And a knobfustered courier, who wandered past the house and into my back garden with the delivery from China, and deposited the box amongst pots on a garden bed. Where I happened upon it a couple of days later, thankfully before it rained.

Sarah was a generous and thoughtful bride. She offered her maids a dress pattern that was flexible, suited to our different figures and tastes. She gave us a preferred colour palette, and the two of us individually hunted for fabric that would please both bride and maid. This was an extended shopping effort conducted from our residences in three different cities. We could not have done it without handy phone cameras and photo messaging. Clearly we all have good taste, because we all approved of each other's choices.

To avoid the prickle of nylon lace,
I covered the neck and armhole seams 
with narrow satin ribbon.

It took me seven weeks to create my gown. I sought professional tutoring to help with getting a perfect fit. It meant it wasn't a cheap dress, but it was the most luscious and best fitting gown I'd ever worn. It was designed for me, and I felt like a princess in it.

The frustrating part is that after 10+ years of not being able to put on weight, in the four months following the wedding I put on over a stone (6.5kg). I've dropped some of that now, which is why I was able to attempt this photo shoot. The gown does, however, give evidence of being under strain. The buttons down the back met perfectly on the day, giving one guest, who conveyed he has an eye for the particular, a focal point to ponder.

My Bejewelled Shoes

With leather upper and lining, these fit my feet perfectly and felt great...except when walking. The factory missed a key point that the sole ought to be level and without ridges. I liked the upper portions enough that I decided not to return them to China. Besides, China had been a last resort because I couldn't find suitable shoes in New Zealand. I took yellow Jandeys (a Kiwi flip-flop brand) sporting a yellow gerbera each (my addition) to wear for the more casual reception.

The winter primroses flowering when the jandals arrived gave inspiration for the summer gerberas... Creative note: I didn't find a glue that would adhere plastic to flexible rubber. I recommend tying the flower onto the thong with thread.

My Golden Coronet

Sarah planned to wear her long tresses loose with just a little bit caught away from her face. She enhanced this by crafting her own floral wreath using satin flowers and ribbon which she also used on her dress.

We had begun pondering bridesmaid hair styling when I spotted a hair band at Farmers department store that seemed to blend quite well with the floral theme. A bonus was it came in both silvertone and goldtone, offering options to suit the different skin colouring of the two bridesmaids. I sent a photo to Sarah. She liked it. We showed Bethel. She liked it. Bethel bought a silver one. I bought a gold one. Everybody happy.

My Lantern Bouquet

The bride didn't want her bridesmaids carrying flowers. Instead, she handcrafted for each of us a glass jar lantern toned to match our dress, using brown construction paper and yellow and white tissue paper for mine, red construction paper and pink and white tissue paper for coral-gowned Bethel.

Sarah placed four battery-powered tealight candles in each jar. Their flickering light reflecting against the coloured tissue paper lining, caused the jar to glow. It created a beautiful effect in the glade of the redwood forest. The lanterns also created a thematic reflection of the Bible that the bride carried instead of a floral bouquet.

My Bridal Emergency Kit

Fulfilling my handmaiden duties with aplomb would not have been possible without my Bridal Emergency Kit. See today's bonus bridal post for more details on what my kit contained, and how the kit saved the bride from a wedding day disaster.

I hope you've been inspired today by something modest and beautiful.

Fiat lux.


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