5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid
Oh, the bridesmaid dress. That much-maligned, expensive bit of fabric that, depending on the style chosen, can make a group of women look like ravishing goddesses or bloated Disney princess rejects.
I have felt very honored every time I've been asked to be part of a bridal party. The weddings I have participated in have been for people who I love dearly. But when it comes time to buy The Bridesmaid Dress, I — a woman who will rarely spend over $50 on a dress that I get to choose the fit and color of myself — grit my teeth a bit. Yes, I'm happy to buy the dress to make this day special for my friend. But spending $150 (or much, much more) on one piece of clothing makes me...well. Here's a way to describe how I feel about the cost of bridesmaid dresses — the first time I ever found a grey hair on my head, it was during a bridesmaid dress fitting. Take from that what you will.
Now, I certainly hope any former or future brides who picked or will pick me for their bridal parties won't feel like I'm laying down a guilt trip. I feel lucky to have participated in your weddings, and you've all been good, sane brides. And I should also issue a disclaimer — I have not been a bride, nor do I have any plans to be one soon. I know the wedding day is not about the bridesmaids. That said, here are a few humble dress suggestions from a woman who's had to wear her share. (See also: Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings)
1. Give Options
I happily just plunked down $215 for a bridesmaid dress. Why happily? Because the bride in question found a line of dresses that gave all of her maids options for different tops and skirts. The resulting dresses manage to flatter each of our body types while still looking like one cohesive style. Even better? We got to choose from a small selection of bride-approved colors as well.
2. Consider a Non-Bridesmaid Dress
I love this bridesmaid dress slideshow from Glamour. Not only are all of the dresses are under $150, but several of them are inexpensive-yet-elegant options from easy-to-access shops like Express, Dillards, and even Wet Seal.
3. If You're Going to Say It's Something We Can Wear Again, Mean It
I have heard this refrain every time I have been a bridesmaid, and I have appreciated it. But what the bride would have occasion to wear again is not necessarily what her maids would wear. I'm not trying to tear down your image of a perfect wedding, brides. Just ponder that, OK?
4. Think About the Cost
I know, you're reading Wise Bread; this should be obvious. But your bridesmaids might also be shelling out funds for cross-country airfare, hotel stays, and (hopefully) a sweet bachelorette party as well. Take all of that into consideration.
5. Remember the Reception
Yeah, we'll all look lovely in our slinky, floor-length gowns when you say "I do." But please, please do not expect us to dance the "Electric Slide" in those. I am clumsy. I will fall, and I will take your aunt with me.
Do you have any other bridesmaid dress tips? Share them in the comments!