Life is basically enduring one fashion crisis after another but on the Richter scale of aesthetic atrocities weddings would have to be Ground Zero. As usual men, along with workplace pay and queuing for a bathroom at the theatre, get off this lightly. While your male plus one can rely on black tie, a smart suit or quirky cuff links to express his personality, female friends of either the bride or groom (because generally you’re certain that one of them just isn’t right for the other) have to strategise their wardrobe.

We all know that you can’t wear white because this isn’t your day princess, but there’s also the minefield of looking too sexy, too frumpy and too much like an extra from Four Weddings and a Funeral.

But the ultimate dress death sentence goes far beyond this and has recently been issued to two of my friends: the invitation to be a bridesmaid. 

The only reasons why these two generally sane women would agree to this debasement is that the bride had copies of those iMovies from a girls weekend in Noosa or they think that they might rival Pippa Middleton as the only bridesmaid in wedding history to came out the church with her dignity intact. 

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The world’s most famous bridesmaid, Pippa Middleton, wore an Alexander McQueen gown most normal brides would save for themselves
Credit: Getty Images

Historically bridesmaids were meant to look “charming, yet not too charming; distinctive, yet not too prominent,” according to a 1920 issue of Vogue. There is also the persistent trend of making all the bridesmaids wear the same dress, or even worse, having some bridesmaids wear the same dress and making fat bridesmaids wear a different version that generally involved a taffeta bolero jacket.

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The promo poster for Bridesmaids (the movie) is the stuff of real-world bridal party nightmares

This madness must stop. One of these potential bridesmaids is my barista and every morning the taste of tears in my macchiato gets stronger as she contemplates how her knockout breasts can remain supported in a backless, dusty rose gown that would be perfect for Gwyneth Paltrow but won’t withstand her fierce curves. My other friend has very recently given birth and while relishing the opportunity to wear clothing without the faint aroma of baby vomit isn’t excited at attempting to conceal her boosted bust and post-baby body, unapproved by trainer Michelle Bridges, in the sheer pale fabric assigned to the bridal party.

Solange Knowles’ 2014 relaxed bridal party dress theme was a gift to bridesmaids everywhere
Credit: Roger Walker

The solution, like most things in life, comes from Beyoncé – well, one stepped removed. Destiny’s less favoured child Solange Knowles gave bridesmaids of the world hope by giving her wedding party a colour theme and letting them all wear a style that suited their frames and personalities. I don’t want to argue with Solange, especially after that elevator footage of her whooping Jay-Z’s arse (watch out Becky with the good hair) but this idea can be expanded to include dresses from a single design house. Let the theme for your next wedding (or the one after that) be Zimmermann, Ginger & Smart or Bianca Spender instead of peaches and cream, claret or sea foam.

Silk slip dresses are tricky, but it helped that half of Nicole Trunfio’s May 2016 wedding bridal party were models: (from left) Jessica Gomes, Gemma Ward, Lily Erlinger, Louise Trunfio, Pamela Edmonds
Credit: Instagram @nicoletrunfio

Weddings will remain a minefield as long as there are relatives who insist that sequins are for day and that Ugg boots can be formal attire but they can be more stylish. Set bridesmaids free on a number of styles and perhaps my coffee can stop tasting like salt.