My mantra throughout this planning process is "Simplify." While I know that I am a fiend for details, this may not always happen, but I'm working on being mellow when it comes to much of the decisions.
For the bridesmaids, I'm being a bit unorthodox. Instead of having them debut in some snazzy aqua taffeta number with a matching sequined hairpiece, I've informed them to arrive wearing a plain-ish black dress, preferably cocktail length. Bonus if it's sleeveless. I don't even care if they've already worn it, as long as it's in good condition. How zen-like of me!
(An example dress from the ever-lovely JCrew.)
I think this idea is going to be best on several different fronts. First, it cuts down on the stress of trying to find a dress that flatters each of them. Second, it prevents the unnecessary spend of $200 on a dress that they won't wear again. Third, I think it will still provide a cohesive, sophisticated look without making them look like they're runaways from a show choir competition gone wrong. I haven't really given much thought to shoes and jewelry, but I'm assuming they'll all just wear simple black shoes (again, bonus if they're strappy or peep toe!), and either pearl jewelry or simple necklaces that I can have my lovely MOH and younger sister, Nicole, design and create for them. In terms of hair/makeup, I decided early on that I won't be using a stylist or makeup artist. I've had bad experiences with the professionals, and always end up re-doing it myself anyway. They're under the same direction. Do what looks best and dress it up a bit.
For the gents:
We're looking into the gents just wearing simple black suits instead of renting tuxes. We'll provide them all with matching (go figure!) ties and pocket squares in our signature blue or green. I like this idea a lot better than tuxes, since I've heard horror stories (and witnessed) wrong orders, ill-fitting tuxes, and mismatched shoes. Since Tom already owns a suit that has been tailored to fit him perfectly (those athletic shoulders mess everything up!), I know that this will be the best option for him. We're going to have to take a poll of the guys and see who already owns suits before we make any decisions, though. :(
As for me:
Le sigh. I still love my dress. Possibly even more than when I first ordered it. So what if it doesn't exactly fit yet? Me and my new buddy Jillian Michaels will fix that problem in no time! :) In late February/March, once I've bought shoes, I plan to visit a seamstress and evaluate what alterations will be needed. I have a sinking feeling that it will need to be hemmed, which I'm not looking forward to. Here's to hoping I grow 2 more inches this month! :-)
Anyone out there with additional thoughts/opinions on attire, jewelry, suits/tuxes, etc.?