DEAR ABBY: After reading your column on how to ensure that bridesmaids' dresses match perfectly, I would like to offer a different perspective.
I married for the first time last June at age 47, and I did it on a very low budget. I would have paid for my bridesmaids' dresses had I been able to afford them, but it wasn't possible. My solution was to simply tell my closest friends to wear what they looked and felt good in -- preferably something blue.
One friend could only afford to wear the mauve dress from her daughter's wedding, so I changed my color scheme to a "rainbow" wedding.
On my wedding day, my bridesmaids were more nervous than I was. So, after they helped me into my white gown and veil, I put on a white baseball cap, blew a whistle and gave the following pep talk: "OK, team. We've trained long and hard for this day, and it's here. There's tension and obstacles, but let me ask you -- have we got the heart? (Yes!) The desire? (Yes!) Are we in this together? (Yes!) Then what're we gonna do? Win! Win! Win! Yea, team!"
I didn't care if things matched perfectly. What mattered was these were the people I cared about the most, people who had a special place on our special day and enjoyed themselves. And do you know what? Everyone looked fabulous! If I was outshined, that was OK. I still had the husband, bless his patient, enduring soul.
A lot of our guests said it was one of the best weddings and receptions they had ever been to. So things weren't exact -- big deal! -- IMPERFECT BUT HAPPY BRIDE IN DAYTON, OHIO
DEAR HAPPY BRIDE: I'm sure no one shined brighter than you on your special day. You were beautiful, both from without and within. Even more important than the color scheme, your priorities were in order. I wish you and your husband many happy years together, surrounded by the friends who love you.