Children’s author Tammi Sauer had a fairytale wedding 22 years ago – but unlike her marriage, her bridesmaid dresses haven’t aged as well.
Even if you haven’t had to buy a bridesmaid dress, you know the stereotype – tacky and expensive. And promises that bridesmaids will get lots of use out of those dresses in the future usually go unfulfilled.
Unless you’re Heidi Mann.
When Sauer marked the anniversary of her 1995 wedding by posting photos to Facebook 12 years later, she reminisced about the dresses, which were handmade from the infamous Jessica McClintock patterns of yore.
The dresses truly weren’t that bad (relatively speaking), but Sauer joked with BuzzFeed:
“Apparently, not everyone in 1995 wanted a long, off-the-shoulder gown in a burgundy brocade fabric that looked like a Thanksgiving tablecloth. Those dresses were handmade by moms, grandmas, and random seamstresses. Sorry about those dresses ladies.”
More than one bride has issued a mea culpa for putting her bridesmaids through what seemed like a good idea at the time – and most indiscretions are forgiven.
But in 2017, former bridesmaid Heidi Mann was ready to show her friend that her epic 90s-style dress was still coming in handy for important day-to-day tasks.
After all, who doesn’t wear formalwear to water the garden?
Mann, who has a habit of hanging on to her special occasion clothing, took a series of hilarious photos proving that she still loved her dress.
At the time of her wedding, Sauer really did think the dresses would be re-wearable – albeit maybe not to do laundry in.
“I remember eagerly telling my bridesmaids that they could just shorten their gowns and they’d have great little cocktail dresses,” she said. “I don’t think anyone ever followed through on that suggestion.”
But it turns out that Sauer was underestimating her friend, who has a flair for the fun and absurd.
Mann told TODAY:
“Over the years, I’ve been known to randomly put one of (my former bridesmaid dresses) on, join whatever the family is doing and act like it’s completely normal to be wearing an off-the-shoulder evening gown.”
“The thought of someone determined to get good use out of their bridesmaid dresses by wearing them for everyday activities made me laugh,” Mann said. “I knew it would make Tammi laugh, too, so I did it.”
And Mann did just about everything in her dress: she did laundry, laid on the couch and read, watered the plants, and moved some tools around- all in her floor-length gown, as one does.
Not everyone appreciated her genius:
“My son took the pictures, my daughter rolled her eyes at me, the neighbors stared, the dogs thought I had lost my legs and my husband asked me why I was wearing a lampshade, but everyone had a good laugh,” she said.
But Sauer found it hysterical:
“I laughed. I cried. I’m pretty sure it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” she told BuzzFeed.
Mann said in addition to this bridesmaid dress, she has 8 other bridesmaid dresses, three prom dresses, and one eighth-grade dance dress laying around.
Hey, if we still fit into our old special occasion dress, you’d better believe we’d still be wearing them!
So next time you’re reflecting on the frustration of spending hundreds of dollars on a dress you’ll only wear once, think of the joy you’ll bring to others by wearing it to mow the lawn!