Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Dress Bonanza

So this week we are talking about Bridesmaids dresses, fun right!

From day 1 I didn't have an overwhelming opinion about my bridesmaids dresses, after all, I wasn't going to be the one wearing them. I wanted to make sure my 4 girls felt classy and comfortable in whatever was chosen, especially since with different tastes and shapes, it is highly unlikely that all 4 of them will think it was the absolute perfect choice, but I have still been very active on getting their input on possible dresses because, again, I don't have to wear it, they do.

I didn't try to convince myself of the ever popular "they will wear them again" because while I *might* get lucky and have 1 that will, the odds just typically don't fall that way. Considering the above statement I wanted to make sure I found something that would be affordable and as I have already said, classy.

When the dress search began I looked at several designers, including the one who made the wedding dresses I fell in love with. I spent much of the first few weeks looking at Jim Hjelm dresses and some Priscilla of Boston.

While I certainly found some beautiful dresses, when it was time to go try them on many of them were not as elegant and flattering in person as they were in the pictures. Bummer. I found that many of the styles looked funny, bunched weird, were too low, or too preggers looking. Also, many of the fabrics were very "bridesmaids-y".

In my opinion,a bridesmaids dress should look like a great dress that 4 people happen to be wearing, I hate when something looks like a bridesmaids dress when it is just sitting on the hanger, and some fabrics just have that effect.

After a few strike outs at the bridal salons, I decided to hit up my 2 favorite stores, Ann Taylor and JCrew. Both carry bridesmaids line and I think put out an elegant and quality product.

Well apparently every other bride agrees with me, in that all of the 4 styles I liked had several sizes sold out in the color I wanted, and after a few phone calls I found out that either the style is being discontinued or my color will not be appearing in the summer line that will be re-released at the end of April :(

Next up I tried some of your nicer department stores: Macy's, Nordstrom, and Dillards, they all carry nice designers like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren so I figured I might find one or 2 options, right...

I found like 10! Great news right, except the same situation happened there as with JCrew, all out of the sizes I needed with no hopes of getting more in, I was pretty heart broken. And once I found the one I wanted, and found out I couldn't have it, nothing else seemed to look as elegant.

I did not think picking a bridesmaids dress would require this much work, but maybe I am being too picky??

I have been very apprehensive to try a mass retail chain like David's or Alfred Angelo thus far as I feel like their fabrics kind of define that bridesmaids look I am trying to avoid, but at the same time I feel like I am running low on options with less than 6 months to go now.
Have you ever been a bridesmaid before? Did you get to be a part of picking your dress? Was it fun or work?

Do you think I should turn to the traditional bridesmaid dress stores and designers or keep looking for something a little more mainstream???

***Edited to Add:  Patience pays off! I went back this morning to my favorite dress that was sold out in 2 sizes I needed and magically they were there. Bridesmaids dresses have been ordered, and I feel so relieved!!! I love them and have gotten positve reponse on them, they had over 20 positive reviews online and I am really hoping they look great and my girls like how they look and feel in them!


  1. So I just wrote the biggest rant about bridesmaid dresses ever and got an error when I went to post!!! So rather then retype my rant I will say this, THANK YOU for being so diligent with your bridesmaid's and their opinions of the dresses THEY will wear. Long story (that I already wrote) short, I'm in my cousins wedding NEXT September and she already picked out and made us buy our dresses, I HATE it. Actually hate does not really even define how I feel about this dress and she didn't even care when I initially said it wasn't my favorite. She also picked out 4" high stiletto's to wear, again without asking my opinion. Do you think I'm capable of wearing high heels let alone stiletto's?!?! I've never resented being in a wedding before until now. So again I thank you for taking the time to make sure your bridesmaid's actually like the dresses they will wear.

  2. you are awesome for being so patient and picky with those dresses. bummer you had to go through all that work though. i've never been a bridesmaid but if i ever am then i hope the bride is like you!

  3. Woohoo!!! So excited about the dresses!! I can not wait to put it on :) I love them!!! I showed a picture to all of the girls at work and they loved them too!!

  4. Yayyy so glad everything worked out. I am thinking JCrew will be my first stop for bridesmaids dresses...