Mother of the Bride – Or How Am I Going to Fit into a Size 10 Dress in 16 Months?

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I ask so little of my children.  And when you consider what I’ve done for them – months of pregnancy related illnesses; days of of my life spent trying to get spit up stains out of Every. Single. Favorite. Shirt.; not throwing up when they showed me wiggly teeth until after they were out of the room; countless hours sitting at teachers’ desks for conferences – I really, truly haven’t asked for much in return.

Except that one thing.

Most moms whisper lullabies to their babies as they rock their tiny newborns to sleep.  I sang to the beat of my own insecure drummer.  On any given day, you could see me happily gliding in my glider, singing “Fat Bottomed Girls” to my babies.  Other moms were playing Laurie Berkner on the cassette player while they drove their children to preschool.  My girls listened to Sir Mix-A-Lot and the virtues of a big butt.  Granuaile was serenaded by Mika singing “Big Girl You are Beautiful” as we dropped her sisters off at school and skipped a walk around the lake in favor of going for ice cream.

I felt I had primed them for that one thing I was going to ask.  I laid the ground work for the appreciation of plus sized people.  They should have seen it coming.

“Don’t marry anyone with a mom thinner than me.”

Simple request, no?  Remember, this was in exchange for countless changed diapers, nights sitting up with ear infections and broken hearts, and too numerous to count school plays, concerts, and talent shows.  Yes, I did.  I sat through talent shows.  Even when my kids’ grade performed last.  I know – why have I not been canonized?

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But do they listen to me?  No.  My daughter’s future mother-in-law is down right svelte.  Spindly and sylphlike. Clearly, this kid did not get the memo.  Or the subtle reminders.  Or being verbally beaten over the head with my pleas of a plump parent.

So I am back at the game I have lost so often.  Dieting.  Exercise.  Torturing myself in the name of not being triple chinned in a photo.

Wish me luck.  Say a prayer.  Send me rice cakes.  And if you don’t see this fat bottomed girl at the gym, give me grief.  Just dip it in chocolate first.

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Bridesmaids – Beautiful on a Budget

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The time has come for the most difficult task of your wedding. You have to approach the people you love the most and ask them to spend hundreds of dollars on your wedding, with the biggest chunk going to a dress they will likely Never. Wear. Again. You want your bridesmaids to be beautiful, but your idea of beautiful might be their idea of breaking the budget. How do you have beautiful and happy bridesmaids in your wedding? Keep an eye on a realistic budget for EVERY member of your bridal party and consider borrowing (or renting) your bridesmaid dresses.

Would you be caught dead in this? Don't let your bridesmaids!

Would you be caught dead in this? Don’t let your bridesmaids!

Renting formal wear has always been an option for men, but is becoming increasingly popular for women as well. Many women are familiar with Rent the Runway which rents out designer gowns for a fraction of their purchase price. The shop carries bridesmaid appropriate gowns and dresses, and you’ll find Monique Lhullier, Halston, and Badgley Mischka among the available designers. An $850 Badgley Mischka rents for about $100 on the site.

Weddington Way is another bridesmaid dress rental option. They keep things simple, offering only six different styles in six different colors, but a dress that normally retails for $150 can be rented for half that price and returned after the wedding. It won’t even take up precious room in your closet.

Another option to keep your bridesmaid budget in mind is to choose a color instead of a gown. If you tell your bridesmaids your color is navy blue, they can then purchase a dress that suits your wedding vision, their body type, and their budget. It allows them to shop at the mall or look for discounts that might not be available at your local bridal salon.

No.  Just no.  Not on any budget.

No. Just no. Not on any budget.

Also consider the re-wearability factor of the bridesmaid dresses you choose. Someone who just can’t rationalize spending $200 or $300 on a gown for one day might be able to see the value in paying that same price for a dress that they can wear out to a club, on a cruise, or to another nice affair. Choose something in a practical fabric without a lot of embellishment that can be dressed up or down for another function.

It’s such an honor to be asked to be in someone’s wedding. It means that you cherish them in your life and want them to be a big part of one of the most important days of your life. Make sure the experience doesn’t cause them any unnecessary stress. Beauty on a budget is possible – even for a bridesmaid.