A White Bridesmaid Dress in Kuala Lumpur, Like a Needle in a Haystack

ERICA: Call me crazy, but I assumed just giving my bridesmaids a color and allowing them to choose ANY dress, ANY style or ANY length they wanted was a fairly easy request. I actually gave myself a pat on the back for being such a progressive bride. Little did I know that by choosing white as their color, I was offering up an assignment comparable to that of negotiating peace in the Middle East.

Yesterday I got a phonecall from my sister Robyn, my Maid of Honor, who inquired:

“I know you said white, but is ivory OK? How about cream? Or how about white with a colored sash?”

Apparently, white dresses are a dime a dozen if you are lucky enough to be a bride, but as any other contributing member to a sacred union, finding a white dress is not so freakin’ easy. And, of course, I’ve asked all of my bridesmaids as well as my mom, grandma and mother-in-law to wear white.

This morning I received the following email from my best friend Cara, another one of my bridesmaids. She’s studying to be a yoga teacher half way around the world and, apparently, our “white situation” has now reached international proportions, as Cara relates below:

The scene: The mall between the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The shops here are so posh I really have no business even shopping there, but I looked at every white dress in every store anyway. I was (mistakenly) in Max Mara, until I looked at a price tag. I was legging it out of there when a nice saleslady blocked my path to ask if she could help me.

Cara: Um, well, I am looking for a white dress. I am in a wedding but the bride is wearing pink so the bridesmaids are wearing white.

saleslady: Oh… how about this? (points at dress with price tag I was running away from… dress is 1960s Sienna Miller type bubble thing)

Cara: Well, her dress is a 50s style, so I think that might look weird (plus it costs $800) (said under breath)

saleslady: How about a nice pastel colour?

Cara: Well, as I said, the bride is wearing pink, so I really need a white dress.

saleslady: How about peach?

Cara: Um, the bride is wearing pink. I have to wear white.

saleslady: peach would be nice.

Cara: (backing away slowly)

saleslady: (annoyed) I think you are going to have trouble finding something like that.

Cara: (running)

Add to this the situation of my mother-in-law who has reported that “white is not really a color she feels comfortable wearing” and we have a full on “white situation” of epic proportions.