Two years ago, my fiancé and I were invited to 12 weddings. Last year, that number decreased only slightly to nine. This year, it appears we’re finally on the downward swing of marital madness with only six wedding invites. And yes, through this nuptial nuttiness, I’ve seen my share of bridesmaid dresses.
So far, my tally sits at nine. I’ve been in nine weddings. (I’ll just let you do some quick mental math on that). And you better believe that makes for a whole lot of taffeta and organza sitting in my closet.
So when I heard there was an event centered around those old bridesmaid dresses, I was all ears. The Bridesmaid Bar Crawl, which takes place this Friday, aims to get some second usage out of the bridal couture coined to “totally be wearable again.”
Whitney Mares came up with the idea for that exact reason.
“My friends and I are all at the stage where all of our friends have been getting married or we’ve recently been married and we just discovered that we’ve got these closets that are starting to fill with bridesmaid dresses, which are really cute but there aren’t a lot of occasions to wear them,” she said. “It becomes kind of an expensive endeavor to be in weddings and then never wear these dresses again.”
Mares said the idea of a Bridesmaid Bar Crawl was initially floated among her friends and it got a great initial reaction.
“We just thought, you know why not have an annual event where we can take some of those dresses out of the closet, dust them off and sport them for at least one night a year,” she said.
Mares said this marks the first Bridesmaid Bar Crawl in Minneapolis, with others planned for surrounding cities later this year. Beyond having an excuse for a fun night out in Minneapolis, the pub crawl has also partnered with Operation Glass Slipper, a local nonprofit organization that works to provide prom dresses free of charge to high school girls who may not be able to afford them.
All participants of the Bridesmaid Bar Crawl are encouraged to donate a gently used dress or accessory on the night of the event. For every donation, they’ll get a raffle ticket to win prizes like a Badgley Mischka Couture clutch or diamond earrings.
“I just think it’s always good business to give back. I wanted this to be an event all about women — by women, for women and be something that makes the event something different. It’s not all about us but the role that we play in the community,” Mares said.
The Bridesmaid Bar Crawl kicks off at 7 p.m. at Seven Sushi and Ultralounge in downtown Minneapolis. From there, the night will continue with drink specials at seven different downtown bars, including 508 Bar, Drink, The Local and Bootleggers. So far about 400 people are planning to attend.
Mares said they’re hoping to make it an annual event, with each year gaining more popularity — and yes, more varieties of hideous bridesmaid dresses.
“It’s going to look like the most hilarious wedding ever,” Mares said. “I think it’s going to be crazy but I think it’s going to be really fun to see so many women out and dressed up and looking their finest, or looking their craziest. Either one or both.”
Bridesmaid Bar Crawl starts at 7 p.m. Friday, June 17 at Seven Sushi and Ultralounge. For tickets or more information, visit their website.