Color Me InsanePosted: July 8, 2011
Our wedding is just three weeks away now, and while I should have plenty to say from “the eye of the storm,” as one friend put it, I have really been at a loss for commentary. I prefer to just cry, throw tantrums, and hide in the bathroom. But the other day I found some inspiration and I hope no one minds a broken record: yes, BHLDN is my muse once again. Poor dears, I have already exhausted BHLDN so much that yesterday Special Someone told me he had “Beholden: Crazy Shit for Your Head!” stuck in his head all day. Of course I had to remind him it is pronounced without the vowels.
Now, let me be clear, this is not another close reading of the BHLDN catalog. BHLDN is very incidental here. My friend Sara‘s birthday is on Saturday, and I was thinking of getting her a present (I still am thinking of getting her a present, have just had to refocus). Sara is a dedicated Anthropologie shopper and a true BHLDN admirer. I know for certain she will be wearing a BHLDN dress to my wedding (even I must admit they have very cute cocktail dresses), and she has said on more than one occasion that she would like to also wear the crazy Damselfly headband* but admits the expense is not justifiable. So, I went to the BHLDN site the other day, hoping to find something she might like that costs under a million dollars, but ended up getting absorbed in the store’s new home page.
Their latest sales campaign is “Like Maid, Like Room,” which makes absolutely no sense unless you are looking at it, so go look at it if you haven’t already. What BHLDN is trying to do is convince you that you and your bridesmaids have to match all the decorations at your wedding. They have created five new “themes” — “lace,” “feathered,” “garden variety,” “in the fold” (all decorations and outfits are pleated), and “graphic” (polka dots and stripes). I’m not really faulting BHLDN for this new campaign — the more bridesmaid dresses and matching tablecloths they sell, the more money they make. BHLDN, I sympathize, I’m a struggling salesperson too (when I’m not busy reading wedding blogs, that is). But what’s more bothersome is the “matchy” aesthetic that brides-to-be try so hard to achieve. And when they don’t try to achieve matchiness, other forces — and I don’t just mean retailers — make them think they should.
The question “What are your colors?” is one I get asked a lot, and one I always answer rather awkwardly. I know most people are just trying to make conversation, so it’s not that I take offense when I hear it, but…I just don’t know what my colors are! I don’t have colors! That, or all the colors of the rainbow are my colors? Sounds a bit too kumbaya, but let’s see, my invitations were red, white and black; my bridesmaid dresses are black; but don’t worry, my main color is not black!; my flowers are mostly purple and orange with I think some lime green thrown in there; the linens at the reception are “champagne”; the dudes in my wedding are wearing dark-colored suits with any tie they want; I’m not sure what color banners the church will have that day; and I’m pretty sure the food will be a tempting mélange of off-brown and off-white. That answer is too long, though, so usually I go with, “Well, I don’t really have colors,” which inevitably elicits a look of confusion.
My mother also appears to be afflicted with wedding colors neurosis. The most recent trigger was the guest book, one of many details I probably would have forgotten about but am happy she remembered. I told her I didn’t care what it looked like as long as it wasn’t too weddingy — not because I’m trying to be rebellious, but because any intimation of an item’s utility for weddings bumps up the cost an extra 50 percent, mark my words. Sure enough, most of the flowery or damask-bordered white and off-white guestbooks she found cost around $50. Fifty dollars! But she did find this very pretty light yellow one with an attractive print for only $18. She called me about it before buying, and after a bit of back-and-forth — “Are you sure it’s okay?” “A spiral notebook from CVS would be okay!” — I declared in my usual exasperated way, “I DON’T CARE!” (No wonder my mom called me “a Bridezilla…but weird” recently.) So she bought it. Then she showed it to me a few days later and kept insisting she could return it, the implication being she was worried the yellow wouldn’t match with the rest of my wedding. I kept insisting I thought it was great. She did not return it. End of story. So, um, sorry that was a rather boring story, but it’s all meant to show that WE NEED TO STOP BEATING OURSELVES UP OVER THINGS NOT MATCHING. (And, as a sidenote, this story is also meant show that my mom is really nice for doing so much for this wedding and for putting up with a daughter who’s so bad at being a bride. I love you, Moth!)
*Shocking update: The Damselfly headband is SOLD OUT! You may recall this hairpiece retailed for $245. Two hundred forty five dollars! Either BHLDN made just a few of them or weddings obscure people’s judgment even more than I thought possible.