Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids!

Just because my wedding attire is all squared away doesn’t mean we’re done talking dresses – I still have a gaggle of bridesmaids to outfit.

My bridal party is on the smaller side: just my two sisters, B and K, and my future sister-in-law, Z. They’re all of similar height/build, so I could have put them in matching dresses and it probably would have worked just fine, but I opted to go the increasingly popular route of having everyone choose their own dress. This way, not only does everyone end up in a dress that really suits their body type, but their personalities can shine through too.

First step – and please, folks, DO NOT skip this step – was to confirm the bridesmaids’ budgets. After all, if I’m mandating a particular dress, the least I could do is make sure everyone can actually afford it.

I ultimately decided on silk chiffon dresses from J.Crew in dark eggplant. J.Crew dresses aren’t cheap, but the quality is excellent, and they have a variety of styles, so everyone has plenty to choose from. Plus, they offer student and teacher discounts – I’ve read online that the discounts don’t always apply to bridal purchases, but it worked fine for us – and if you’re not a student or teacher, there are sales pretty frequently. And, of course, the fact that you can order your dress online is a huge bonus when, like Z, you live four hours from the nearest J.Crew bridal store.

So B and K accompanied me when I tried on wedding dresses – it was only fair that I got to sit and watch them try dresses on for a change! We booked an appointment at the J.Crew bridal store in Manhattan – by the way, if you Google “J.Crew bridal”, the results indicate that it’s the Madison Avenue store. Don’t fall for this trick – it’s the 5th Avenue store. Unfortunately, Z couldn’t join us due to, you know, living in South Carolina, but we took pictures of each dress and emailed her what B and K liked and didn’t like about each selection.

Anyway, our in-store experience was okay. The woman who checked us in wasn’t the friendliest person on earth. The “bridal suite” (J. Crew’s term, not mine) was a tiny curtained-off area about the size of my bathroom, and we had to share the space with another party, which was a little awkward since there was only one couch. They only had samples available in sizes 6 and 8, so if you’re much larger than that (i.e. me), you’ll be out of luck as far as trying anything on. But our consultant, Finn, made up for it – she had a real eye for detail. Everything looked spectacular on B and K, so Finn was a real help when it came to narrowing down the final selections. If it weren’t for her, the appointment would have been a bust.

So what will everyone be wearing?

 Remember, guys, picture these in purple!

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K in Mirabelle

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B in Heidi, with a guest appearance by our mom!

And Z has decided that she will be wearing either Arabelle, but alas, no picture. Rest assured she’ll look absolutely beautiful.

I’m thinking nude shoes, whatever style, with these dresses. Other than that, everyone will be free to accessorize however they see fit. These ladies have excellent taste, so I know they’ll look stunning no matter what.

Gorgeous, right? Everyone gets the dress they want, the pictures will be fabulous, and the dresses are versatile enough that they can definitely be worn again.

How are you coordinating bridesmaids’ attire?

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