Read an Excerpt
We've all got bridesmaid horror stories: The dress with ruffles that added ten pounds, the $300 silk sheath in hot pink, the plunging back (perfect for winter months and pale, less-than-perfect skin), and everyone's favorite, the southern belle theme. While most of the dresses wind up hanging in the far reaches of crowded closets or bunched in old suitcases, I heard about one woman who actually dug a hole in her backyard and buried her burnt orange number. Another, who endured pink polyester during the summer, cut her dress into squares and used them to polish her car. We relate the tales with glee: Being a part of the inner circle at a close friend's wedding can be fun, but as part of postwedding etiquette we must mock the dresses.
Someplace between laughing at them and conducting burials come the ideas in this book. Ridiculous and not very practical, these suggestions are an antidote for situations like Cathy's, the woman who was made to wear the above-mentioned orange dress during a bridesmaid's worst nightmare: the Christmas wedding of a distant friend, featuring nine attendants in various hues of the rainbow and dresses with three ruffles across the bottom of each. To make matters worse, she was the only one not tanned from the California sun.
It's clear why Cathy had to put this dress five feet under. Still, you can get pretty silly trying to imagine just what else she might have done with it. For the last few months, in fact, it's all I've thought about. On the hacks Of envelopes, on napkins, in the margins of magazines, I've been collecting ideas. "Don't bury those dresses!" I cried out in encouragement to myself,muttering, "Martha Stewart, eat your heart out," as the list grew longer and longer, wackier and wilder. I felt certain that Martha would approve of the yellow silk bedroom slippers and lime-green cocktail napkins. 101 Uses was on its way.
I hope it brings you as much pleasure as every bride feels when she's surrounded by her friends in pink tulle. I couldn't help but giggle when I came across an old bridesmaid dress in my closet recently and, with this book in mind, got out the scissors. The top of the dress became a festive halter, and the bottom . . . a pretty blanket for my stallion, Handsome. I'll wear the halter just for laughs as he and I ride the hills of my family's Virginia farm. After all, I've got plenty more to play with.