It is very common in my line of work to perform alterations for several members of one family. Usually, it’s for the same event, but I will often see sisters from one family, for instance, for their wedding gown alterations a year or so apart from one another. What isn’t as common is doing alterations for two sisters’ weddings in the same year.
This particular set of sisters were only a couple years apart in age, but I could tell that there was a bitter rivalry between them even though there were other sisters in the family. Their mother joined them for many of their fittings. Though she didn’t say much when it came to her daughters’ relationship, I could tell that it had been a family issue since day one. For this telling, I will call them Monica and Terri*.
Monica was the older of the two in question, athletically built but not without curves, medium brown hair of medium length, sparkling eyes full of mischief, and a very bohemian outlook on life. Her wedding was first and she was getting married on the beach in Mexico wearing a strapless A-line gown with a crocheted lace overlay. Like I said, VERY bohemian.
Terri, the younger of the two, was very slightly built, no curves, long blonde hair, and steely grey eyes. Her dress was a lot more traditional–sweetheart neckline with a plain illusion bodice and a satin ballgown skirt. She was the more conservative of the two, getting married in a church and planning a very reserved reception.
Of course, they were both bridesmaids in one another’s weddings, albeit grudgingly. Monica let her bridesmaids choose their gowns to suit their body types with three stipulations: color (soft shades evoking the beach in Mexico), easy flowing style, and mid-calf length for comfort. Terri chose satin column dresses with a high jewel neckline in a dark burgundy for her bridesmaids. Are we seeing a pattern yet?
Monica’s wedding came and went, and I saw both afterwards for the dress alterations for Terri’s wedding. The story of Monica’s wedding from Monica’s point of view and Terri’s were night and day.
The first thing that was brought up was the fact that their parents had relatively recently divorced and neither daughter really wanted the new girlfriend there for their mother’s sake. At least their father adhered to that request. The second thing was the massive bachelor/bachelorette party that happened the night before the nuptials. If you’ve seen the movie Hangover, you get the idea–lots of drinking and debauchery, the groom arrested and bailed out, taken to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning to get fixed up so he was in reasonable condition for the wedding in a few hours’ time. The bride was no better apparently. She managed to dislocate her shoulder in all the chaos and silliness and ALSO had to be taken to the emergency room to get fixed up.
Of course, Monica was giggling during the entire telling, sprinkling crazy anecdotes all throughout. It was quite clear she viewed the whole trip as a massive success.
Terri, on the other hand, was thoroughly embarrassed by everyone’s behavior and clearly thought her sister should be thrown in wedding jail for the mockery she made of such a solemn institution.
Being the reverently irreverent person I am, I found Monica’s rendition of the story far more entertaining and had a hard time relating to Terri’s feelings of shock and horror.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hear about Terri’s wedding from either sister. I can only imagine that Monica was bored out of her mind and might have been intent on mischief just to lighten the mood, much to the chagrin of Terri. As I have a sister myself, I can completely imagine both reactions to the inevitable chaos of the day. I just hope they are still speaking to one another. LOL
Throughout my career, I’ve seen hundreds of brides and hundreds of dresses. I’ve heard hundreds of “how we met” stories and been sent hundreds of wedding photos. The one thing I’m certain of is that no one configuration of this ritual will satisfy everyone. This ritual for this immensely important rite of passage is intensely personal and SHOULD be a reflection of the two people making this solemn promise to one another. It’s not for me or anyone else, especially a sister, to judge what makes this ritual meaningful to any one person.
What made your special day meaningful to you? Please share … I love a good story. J
Until next time dear reader!
*All names have been changed to protect the innocent or extremely crabby.