Attempt #2 - lengthy vent about bridesmaids and dresses . . .
I am so fustrated and need some advice BADLY! This may be a long vent so just bear with me please.
A little background - We are an encore wedding couple. Both of us were married before for a VERY long time (21 years for me). Neither of us had a wedding the first time either in a church or with our family present. Both of us are Catholic and went through all of the requirements to get married this time IN the church. We are very involved in our parish and absolutely LOVE our church. Both of us decided that getting married in our church and with family/friends present are important to us. Both families have given their blessings - as that they see that we are great together. Our priest is even excited about our wedding.
When I married the first time I was pregnant. My two sisters got on a soap box at that time and not only refused to attend the wedding they took it upon themselves to give me a very difficult time because I was pregnant and wanting to wear a wedding dress/have a wedding. They were so poisonous that eventually none of my siblings attended my wedding. I married in a small ceremony with very few people on my side but the only family I had there were my parents. I was broken hearted but my mother and my then groom got me through the planning and day.
Fast forward MANY years and I'm planning to marry my soulmate in our church and want my family to be there. When we started planning we decided upon four attendants on each side. Each of us chose my future sister in law as my MOH, one of my brothers as the best man, as bridesmaids I chose a good friend, neice and daughter and as groomsmen he chose a good friend, nephew and my son. We carefully chose these people because they love and support us and are closest to us.
Over the years I've had some healing time with my sisters and though we are much better than we were many years ago - I wouldn't call us "close". However having a wedding surrounded by family is important so I asked my two sisters to read during the Nuptual Mass. Both agreed but my youngest (and prettiest) sister kept pitching mini fits about being a bridesmaid. For the longest time I told her I didn't want a huge wedding party and that I couldn't in good conscience have one sister without my other sister be a bridesmaid. But in a moment of weakness (because my parents were present) I agreed to add both sisters. That is when my wedding planning nightmare began!
My younger sister married four years ago for the second time (her first marriage lasted 16 years and she was pregnant when she married but that is a story for another time). She didn't have either of her sisters as bridesmaids because she wanted a small bridal party and not have one sister without having the other. However - she DID have a huge, expensive and extravagant wedding.
My older sister just married off two of her four children last year and spent a boat load of money to do it. Because she planned two weddings last year she is now an expert on planning weddings and wedding style.
When we started planning our wedding in the church - we took the church guidelines to heart. They say that dresses should be modest; shoulders should be covered; backs should not be exposed and knees should be covered. I looked forever to find a dress that I liked that would suit those specifics. In the process I found inspiration from vintage weddings such as Audrey Hepburn:
I didn't really want that full of a gown but I did want a bateau neckline and A-line dress. I found this one that I love and that suits the church requirements. I may shorten it to be more Audrey-like but I haven't decided yet.
Anyway - to go along with this style I found several dresses through Alfred Sung that I like. Specifically these which I feel would look wonderful not only next to my dress but also within the look that I'm trying to acheive.
We all met in Atlanta this weekend looking at dresses. Three of my four bridesmaids were good with whatever style I chose. My neice was following the lead of my two sisters with whatever THEY wanted NOT what I wanted. My older sister poo-pooed my selections saying that none would look good on a big girl (she is much larger than any of us and has the taa-taas to match). She says if she hadn't just gone through it twice last year she wouldn't be so vocal. My younger sister kept wanting styles that were NOT what I wanted.
My younger sister pitched a fit and said she wants to wear this dress.
Both of my sisters say the above dress will suit the look that I am going for . . . but it will NOT. Besides it is a halter and does not meet the requirements set forth by the church.
Then they both decided that this dress would be a better choice . . . which I disagree with completely.
Finally they found this one which would be a compromise between what I want and what they want (a more flowy fabric):
But the last dress does NOT cover the knees. So I'm not sold on it yet.
As a last resort - I looked online and found this number that I think will suit everyone and that I actually LIKE but after the fiasco of this past weekend I'm not sure what to do.
THis dress comes up to 3X and I think it's fun, flirty and meets the church criteria. We could add color with the crinoline and I do like the pattern. The problem is that NONE of the bridesmaids have emailed me back about the possibility and now my older sister is saying she doesn't "have to be a bridesmaid" that she can just read instead.
Ugh! I am SO over this whole bridesmaid dress thing and wish I could demote BOTH sisters back to readers . . . but family is important to the both of us which makes me want to be a peace keeper.
The kicker of the whole thing is the blue dress above with the lines that I like and the fabric that they like is $225 and they want a cheaper dress. I can understand my older sister saying that but my younger sister who is an attorney? WTH?
Help! I need words of wisdom!