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Wedding: Let’s Talk About Bridesmaid Dresses

by Meghann on April 18, 2012

Now that I’ve introduced you to my bridesmaids…. let’s talk dresses. :)

I’m envisioning my four gorgeous girls in sleeveless chiffon navy dresses with cowgirl boots and baby’s breath bouquets for the big day.

The more I see bridesmaids in navy dresses, the more I LOVE them. The color just works on everybody and I love how they create a bit of a contrasting statement without going over the top. It was the idea of navy bridesmaid dresses that actually inspired the rest of the navy color theme for the wedding.

Of course, bridesmaid dress shopping is starting to feel more difficult than wedding dress shopping. Not only do I have four different girls with four different shapes and sizes, but they’re also scattered all over the country. One in NYC, one in Philly, one in Orlando, one in Titusville, and I’m in Tampa. Getting everyone together for a big shopping trip is next to impossible and I haven’t even found the time to hit up any bridal stores myself to see what they have. As of now I’ve only done a bit of online shopping, which is fun, but it’s hard to commit to anything without seeing it in person.

Once again, budget is a big concern as well. There are a ton of gorgeous dresses out there, but there are also a ton of gorgeous expensive dresses. We want to stay away from the expensive dresses as much as possible. My goal is to keep under a $150-ish budget per dress and the farther I keep it under it, the better. I’m hoping for closer to $100 than $150. ;)

With only four girls and a smaller than average dress budget (average cost for a bridesmaid dress is $200+), I’ve explored a few non-traditional dress routes on sites like ModCloth, Dorothy Perkins, Anthropologie,Target, etc. There have been some cute dresses, but nothing worth committing too. I’ve also found myself seeking out navy dresses anytime I’m out shopping, hoping one will sorta spring out of nowhere, but I’ve had no such luck yet. Here’s hoping?

Also, most of the navy chiffon dresses I’ve come across are strapless. Since the wedding will be in January, I would prefer the dresses be sleeveless with some some coverage on top. I’m not 100% against strapless, but if I could avoid it, I would prefer that. :)

The good news is that we still have time. We have 8.5 months and bridesmaids’ dresses luckily don’t take as long to come in as wedding dresses. I’m confident we’ll find something someday, we just don’t have one today.

Where did you find your bridesmaid dresses? Any bridesmaid dress hunting advice to share?

{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsey April 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm

We bought ours a the same store where we got my wedding dress, I cannot remember that exact price but our goal was under $200, and it was well below that. I did only take my MOH dress shopping the first time, and we choose 3 dresses we thought would look great on everyone, then the other girls all went in (some with me, some on their own) and tried them on. We were lucky when everyone told me their choice, it was the same one.
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2 Stephanie April 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm

banan republic and ann taylor

They often run sales and have great dresses.
I noticed yesterday that banana has quite a few awesome navy dresses!

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3 Lindsay April 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I found my bridesmaid dresses at JCrew. My girls ended up lucking out too because when I was outlet shopping I found them at the JCrew outlet so a few who had purchased theirs at regular price were able to return theirs and for the $20 ones that I found. Others were able to find theirs discounted on ebay.
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4 Margaret April 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I am MOH in a wedding where we got the dresses from J.Crew on wicked sale so a dress that is normally $220ish was $90. The bride knew what she wanted and then she and I haunted the website. The biggest complication was that I am in OR another bridesmaid is in IN and the other two are in Europe where the bride lives and there is no J.Crew. God did I hold my breath about the dresses fitting, but the bride bought them, sent them to my place and I mailed them to Europe and the girls reimbursed her. Short of having the dresses made, the bride couldn’t figure out a way to have us all be able to purchase the same dress at the store.

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5 janene April 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I also had bridesmaids allllll over (one was even in Antarctica during the planning process!), so I went with David’s Bridal since they have locations pretty much anywhere.

We didn’t really choose colors, but I knew from the get go that I wanted grey bridesmaids dresses. Then I stumbled upon this one in Pewter…

http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_V-Neck-Cotton-Sateen-Dress-with-Pleats-and-Ruching-F14259

… and I was sold! I really wish I had one, too! It’s so adorable and flattering…. and it has POCKETS!!! In fact, it’s so versatile that one of my bridesmaids wore as a guest to a wedding BEFORE she wore it in mine! I was totally pumped about that! :)
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6 Julie April 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm

That is a really cute dress for only $60?! I might buy one just for me – not even in a wedding! :)

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7 janene April 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Um, yeah, I noticed that it was marked down, too! I’ll be heading to a Davids Bridal tomorrow to investigate!! :)
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8 Kristen April 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Sorry, this is not to knock this dress at all! I wore this dress for a summer wedding and it made me sweat like crazy under it and I am not normally a sweater. There is something with the lining inside that was sticking to our skin. We also had problems with them needing to be pressed. We still ended up with wrinkles and they also wrinkled on our bums when we sat at the reception! If you look at the default picture, you can actually see even the models had some wrinkling!

I love a good deal as much as the next girl but I did feel compelled to warn of this experience.

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9 janene April 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm

We got married in October in Ohio, so I never would have thought about the sweating issue!

And you’re right, they do wrinkle, probably more than other dresses since they’re cotton sateen. I honestly just don’t notice wrinkles, EVER, so I’m not a very good judge when it comes to that. I’m notoriously wrinkly… it’s just one of those details I don’t really care much about. :)
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10 Cara April 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I got my (navy!) bridesmaid dresses at J.Crew. They OFTEN have sales (check J.Crew Factory, too!), and it’s super easy for girls to get the right size all over the country!

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11 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope April 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I found my bridesmaids dresses at David’s Bridal where I also bought my wedding gown. I instantly fell in love with the one dress and it completely made the vision that I had in my head come to life when I saw my girls wearing the dress. The color is exactly what I wanted. The most important thing though was that they all felt comfortable and loved it. My girls have a wide range of body types and I was glad that I was able to find a dress that looks great on all of them. Good luck! You will find something that you love :)
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12 Sarah April 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I found bridesmaid dress shopping more frustrating than wedding dress shopping. With three girls in three different states and budget, i found David’s to be the easiest to work with.
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13 Krissy @ Shiawase Life April 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

We actually went with a really cute gold dress we found on gojane.com!

http://www.amandamcmahonblog.com/orlando-wedding-photographer-krissy-and-eric-november-21-2009/

I think they turned out so cute! Several guests asked about them and one of our invited guests even ordered one after our wedding since she liked it so much :)
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14 Krista April 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I did navy too for my bridesmaids! I found mine at a local bridal store where I got my wedding dress & they each got a small discount since that’s where I purchased my dress too. I think they were around $160?

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15 Maddie April 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I had navy bridesmaids dresses too! I love the color so much and it goes with most skin tones. I was in the exact same boat that I didn’t want something too expensive and all the traditional places were just too much/too fancy. I ended up finding sundress at Lands End that I absolutely loved. They were well priced and absolutely fit the look I was going for. Their dresses are all on the more casual side, but they were exactly what I was looking for. It definitely pays to keep looking at the “off the beaten path” places. You’ll find what you’re looking for!
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16 Cynthia April 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I had bridesmaids all over the place as well. Plus, they all had different body types. Here is what I did: I went to David’s Bridal and picked a color that I wanted. Then I told my wedding party that they could pick any style they wanted as long as it came in the color I picked. That worked out well. I liked that none of the girl’s dresses were exactly alike. I also had the maid of honor dress a bit different. My colors were blue and yellow. I actually had my bridesmaids in a blue dress, while my maid of honor was in a yellow one. It made for a nice contrast.

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17 Lindsay April 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Won’t the cowboy boots be more expensive than (or about the same cost as) the dresses??

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18 Meghann April 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I plan to do a post about the cowboy boots, but I got mine from Target for $30 (and love them!). I’ve also found some nice pairs on OverStock.com and have friends that are willing to loan my bridesmaids a pair if need be. :)

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19 Allison April 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

We had navy bridesmaids dresses as well from Aria (ariadress.com). My bridesmaids were scattered across the country as well and Aria had a good try-on program.

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20 Erin April 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I asked my bridesmaids to wear a black dress. That was it. They could pick their own style, price-point, etc. And since everyone should have at least one little black dress in their closet I figured it was a good time for them to get a wardrobe staple! I was less concerned about them all wearing the exact same thing and more about them being comfy and getting something they could re-wear.
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21 Lauren April 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Bridesmaid dress shopping is so hard because you want them to love the dress as much as you do, but sometimes that is just not going to happen. I originally went shopping with two of my bridesmaid and after one of them hated every single dress I decided to go with my gut and have them order a dress I loved off of Ann Taylor. I even found them coupon codes so it would not be too expensive.

My advice is be conscious of your bridesmaids budget’s, but don’t let it make all of the decision for you. You have to love the dress since it is your wedding. If they did not have the money to buy a dress they should not have agreed to be in your wedding. Have fun with it!

Lauren

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22 Kat April 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

Yikes! Thankfully I don’t have dive friends but if someone asked me to buy anything above $150 I would politely decline being in their wedding.

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23 Kat April 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

*diva

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24 Sara April 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm

eShakti.com has some cute dresses that I think could work for bridesmaids. And the best part is you can order by custom size – for no extra charge!

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25 Meghann April 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I’ve looked at eShakti too! I didn’t see anything that jumped out at me, but I’m on their email list, so I get the pings for new arrivals. :)

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26 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

We found the girls’ dresses at Demetrios in Tampa, the same day that we got my dress. I was originally going to go with chocolate brown dresses, but I ended up loving these bright red dresses, and it made sense because my wedding was a week before Christmas. I’m so happy I went with the red dresses (and red roses for me) … they added such a nice pop of color in the photos! :)
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27 Mel April 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I think navy is a beautiful colour. In order to take some of the stress off of you though I think it would be a good idea for you to choose the colour/length of the dress style that you’d like and maybe let the girls choose what they would like on top?
I did this with my girls because some didn’t feel comfortable in strapless and the last thing I wanted was to make my best friend feel uncomfortable for the whole day/pictures, even if it was “my day”. So they picked their own neckline, and type of strap (one shoulder/strapless/halter/etc.) and everybody was happy & comfortable. :)

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28 Meghann April 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

My fear is having different shades of Navy blue :) If I find the same dress material/color in different in styles, I have no problem having them select whatever style they feel comfortable in. My sister-in-law did this for her wedding and we all ended up selecting the same style in the end!

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29 Mel April 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Sorry yes that’s what I meant :) That many companies do the same dress with different top sections!

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30 RunEatRepeat April 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I think a reader recently said they were wearing an Ann Klein dress I got at Marshall’s in a wedding. If you time time you are often able to find many of the same dress at different locations. It’s time consuming, but saves a ton of money.
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31 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

For my brother’s wedding, my sister in law found us dresses at Jcrew bridal and they were on sale for $100!
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32 Grace @ Healthy Dreaming April 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

My cousin did navy bridesmaid dresses and it definitely flatters everyone! I am a fan of the color too :)

I’m not married yet but I feel like online shopping you can get some really great deals like ideeli, gilt, hautelook, and ruelala. You might have to wait a while to see it but it doesn’t hurt to browse daily!
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33 Anne @strawberryjampackedlife April 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

We’re wearing navy for my friend’s wedding in three weeks. (THREE WEEKS!?!)

Anyway, she did the same thing that I did (and other friends did). We chose a designer, color, length, and fabric. Then we let the girls choose their dresses. I really like the flexibility of choosing my own dress, especially when all of the girls are totally different sizes. I used “alfred angelo”, and my friend chose “alfred sung”.
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34 Sara April 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Your wedding posts have been hugely helpful for me, there are always such good tips in the comments!

I’m also going for navy dresses for my wedding. I just love how simple and elegant the color is. I also love how that leaves me the freedom to do something really fun with the flowers and they will look great with the dresses.

My bridesmaids are really scattered too. I’ve been scouring J Crew and the like for stuff, but honestly, 1 of my bridesmaids is on the heavier side so I’m worried about a dress from J Crew fitting her. We’ll see though, if I find something we’ll definitely have to try. I’m lucky, I still have a year to figure it out!

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35 Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Not sure if this helps, but I got my bridesmaid (Evie style) dresses from J Crew. The girls are varying sizes, and the sizes definitely ran large and we got dresses from 0 to 18, and they all fit well and love the dress! I think they even go higher in size too.
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36 Meghann April 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I actually looked into the Evie, but a couple of the girls vetoed it. It was one that I had considered for a while though. I think it’s a great classic dress. :)

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37 Melanie April 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

This is a cute dress and is currently on sale (after you add it to your cart) for $139! It’s strapless but you could get the girls to wear a cute shawl or something if you are worried about their shoulders being exposed.
http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/AT-Weddings-%26-Events/AT-Weddings-View-All/Layered-Strapless-Dress/267999?colorExplode=false&skuId=10052136&catid=cata000012&productPageType=fullPriceProducts&defaultColor=1039

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38 Julie April 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I am getting married this summer and also have bridesmaids that each live in a different state! Shopping was tough, I just went with my MOH and emailed the others the choices. We bought ours at David’s Bridal– they have locations across the US so my bridesmaids went to their local David’s to get theirs. They’re pretty reasonable with prices too- my maids dresses were around $100.
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39 Amanda April 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I am going through the same thing right now with my bridesmaids (I also found my wedding dress at David’s!)

I ended up deciding that as long as they all pick out a dress in a coral shade – they could get whatever the heck they wanted. That way they would be comfortable with the style and price but all still look as a cohesive group. I’m planning a girls shopping trip soon so they can get a feel for what I’m looking for and what everyone likes but it’s really up to them to make the final decision. I’m hoping this doesn’t backfire. Luckily all my girls are close – I’m sorry you’re dealing with such great distances!

Keep us updated on what they find :)
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40 Yellow Haired Girl April 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I love those! Absolutely beautiful! Navy is definitely flattering on everyone.

I’m going to be a bridesmaid for my best friend this summer, and she’s doing things a little differently. We’re all going to get dresses in the same color palette, but ultimately we all get to choose our own color/style/fabric. She’s doing a lot of earthy tones – so we’re all going to go shopping together soon and pick our dresses in different shades of brown and grey :)
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41 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups April 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

My bridesmaids got their dresses from Alfred Angelo…we went there because I knew it’d be affordable. But, I just picked up a really cute navy blue dress from J. Crew for my engagement photos. Keep looking for things in stores that can be found anywhere. My next door neighbor found a pretty dress at Gap that worked with her colors, and her bridesmaids each went to their local Gap to get it.
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42 Holly April 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

My bridesmaids also wore navy and I loved it! I got mine at the same shop as my wedding dress (a small store in New Orleans), but they were navy chiffon sleeveless dresses for less than $150 so it can be done (even though my wedding was over 12 years ago)! I agree with the discount store shopping and J Crew Factory. The Factory is online every weekend and I believe I’ve seen the one shoulder dress on there recently. Happy planning! :)
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43 Sarah April 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I also had bridesmaids with varying shapes and style concerns so I just let them choose whatever they wanted as long as it was dark brown. They all ended up with similar styles but I think felt more comfortable with their own chosen fabric, length, straps, etc.

I have a sneaking suspicion that at least one of them would have preferred I do all the searching and just picked a single dress. But I think once all was said and done, it worked out for the best. Plus I love the subtle variations of their dresses in the photos! Adds a bit more texture and interest.

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44 Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

My bridesmaid dresses are from J Crew! I needed a non-sleeveless option (so many body types) but a good price. They ended up getting a chiffon, v neck dresses for $99! I think one girl who was a certain size ended up paying $139 for some reason though. But the quality is fantastic and honestly, they actually are wear-able again!
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45 Rebecca April 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

My aunt is an amazing seamstress (she made her own wedding dress, as well as the bridesmaid, flower girl, and junior bride dresses), so she made my bridesmaid dresses. They were beautiful, in three different styles that the bridesmaids chose based on their preferences, and the cost for all of the materials (there ended up being enough extra to make wraps for five bridesmaids, ties for the ushers, and still leftovers) as well as a gift for my aunt at the end was well under what we would have spent on two dresses (I would’ve shot for a $100-$150 price range as well).
For my sister’s wedding, we randomly stopped into The Limited when out shopping and happened to find the perfect bridesmaid dresses- on sale for $40! You never know where you’ll find them!

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46 Heather April 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Navy is such a flattering color on everyone. I found my bridesmaid’s dresses at the same shop where I got my dress. My SIL went the David’s Bridal route and that worked out well as we were all over the country.
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47 Kathy April 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Navy seems perfect with you and your blue sapphire in your ring…these dresses are cute…I like the idea of letting the girls choose what dress style looks best on each too. Whether it be strap less, one shoulder, spaghetti straps etc…then hopefully they will want to and be able to wear it again and again.

;-)
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48 Sara J April 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I got mine from Alfred Angelo. Same price range as David’s Bridal ($100-150), but a liked the styles much better! One of my bridesmaids was coming from England, so I looked up a dress boutique near where she lived that she could order the dress. Each of my 3 bridesmaids wore a slightly different style, same fabric and length.
These 2 are really pretty:
http://www.alfredangelo.com/collections/productdisplay.aspx?productID=b7473058-3809-4793-8cad-eb1a3be87b52&categoryID=772f03c9-de43-4942-bfa0-da77e21ebd65&pg=0&colorId1=8349408b-af3a-4649-aba0-9030d960d624

http://www.alfredangelo.com/collections/productdisplay.aspx?productID=185e915a-47df-4491-89fc-bad90778c70b&categoryID=772f03c9-de43-4942-bfa0-da77e21ebd65&pg=0&colorId1=8349408b-af3a-4649-aba0-9030d960d624

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49 Cheryl April 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I got one bridesmaid dress from ann taylor and it was really affordable… A lot of the retail stores that have them are actually not too expensive (j.crew, ann taylor, etc)
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50 Molly P @mollyontherun April 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Go with the most odd shaped bridesmaid to find a dress if possible! That way you know what looks good on her, and hopefully it’ll look good on everyone.
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51 katie didit April 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm
52 Amy April 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I had navy and silver for my wedding colors. My BM’s were pretty gorgeous, and we got married on NYE so it was a great color combo I thought!

Looks super sharp in photos too!
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53 Rachel April 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I bought my girls navy blue Cynthia Rowley dresses for $30 each from Marshall’s. They aren’t the dressiest of dresses, but they are easily dressed up. Everyone loves them and they are definitely wearable in the future. In fact, I actually already owned the dress in another shade of blue!

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54 Kristine April 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

My wedding dress was technically a bridesmaid dress. My two best women and I all got our dresses from shopjoielle.com. They have amazing customer service and beautiful dresses for very reasonable $$. I was a little nervous about ordering online but we struck gold with Joielle! Plus they have a 10% discount for bridal parties of 4 or more…perfect for you. :-)

Some possibilities that fit your price range and preferences…
http://www.shopjoielle.com/product/alfred-sung-bridesmaid-dress-style-d504/
http://www.shopjoielle.com/product/landa-designs-bridesmaid-dress-style-mc447/
http://www.shopjoielle.com/product/dessy-alfred-sung-bridesmaid-dress-style-d443/

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55 Hilary April 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm

My bridesmaids got their dresses from Maurices but then they really aren’t the traditional bridesmaids dress.

And hopefully the dresses won’t take long to come in!! I got my wedding dress from David’s Bridal in St. Louis, MO and it only took 4 weeks to come in. I just got a call from them about bridesmaids dress shopping and the woman said it was taking anywhere from 15-24 weeks for the bridesmaids dresses to arrive!!!

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56 Anna Portman April 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Are you buying the dresses or are the girls? What I did was give my girls a color (black), a length (short) and a fabric (chiffon) and told them to go buy a dress they loved but that met my requirements. It turned out perfect and everyone ended up in a dress they were happy with and would wear again.

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57 Jess April 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm

First, I LOVE that you went with navy… but I’m biased since I just did the same thing for my wedding in November. :)

My bridesmaids dresses were Alfred Sung. I also had bridesmaids all over so one day when my MOH was in town, I took her to a local shop that had them all there to try on. She tried on 5 different ones, and I left the option for which dress each girl wanted up to them. I lucked out and each girl picked a different dress (without knowing!). Alfred Sung has TONS of styles to pick from and I liked their dresses because they weren’t the typical shiny satin. I almost wanted to get one for myself because they were so cute.

My point: check Alfred Sung. Each dress was around $130- I also didn’t want my maids to pay much!

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58 Stephanie Clement April 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hi! So I was all about being the no-stress bride. It just wasn’t happening, and I wouldn’t let it. My absolute favourite no-stress decision was choosing the bridesmaid color/fabric and that.was.it.! I told all my girls that I’d like them to order the ___ color in chiffon at David’s Bridal, but that they could choose their style! All girls know what looks good on them, and more importantly woman look a million times better when they LIKE what they’re wearing (their smile just illuminates more)! Also, I think its very common (as I did this) to have your bridesmaids pay for their own dresses. It’s kind of apart of the deal, I think. In terms of them, it’s not that much money (but you save a lot!) and if they get to choose their own style then their probably more likely to choose one their wear again. Anyways just my 2cents :)

I love the navy!!!! (that’s what I did too, with apple green accents)

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59 Maria April 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

We went to J.Crew and ordered dresses during one of their many promotions.
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60 sweeter salt April 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm

my bridesmaids were spread out too so i knew it had to be something that could be ordered online. i wound up picking rented dresses from rent the runway – it worked out perfectly! my dresses were navy too, and the girls wound up paying less than $100 for them (using a coupon code). you get two sizes with the rentals, so everyone’s dress fit, and they all looked adorable (picture: http://sweetersalt.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/298422_828899656390_10901417_40073874_1587_n.jpg)

highly recommended!

laura
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61 Lindsey April 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

It’s refreshing to hear that you actually care about your maids concerns. My (now ex) best friend got married last year, and only was she the biggest bridezilla in the world, her dresses were $300! They were from some fancy boutique. And they weren’t even cute! they were uncomfortable and an awful color of champagne, plus all of her bridesmaids were different body types & it was a strapless pleated taffeta dress. ugh just talking about it makes me so mad! That being said, http://www.houseofbrides.com is great!

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62 Kelly April 19, 2012 at 12:25 am

I agree with everything you’ve written. Personally I think the way a bride handles the bridesmaid dresses says a lot about her personality. I really lucked out in that this time around the bride is chose black and is giving us leeway to find dresses based on our body types.

Whenever people say that the bride should just do whatever the heck she wants because it’s her day it bugs me a little bit. People always imply that you can say no to being a bridesmaid, but I personally think a lot of friendships would end if people actually did that. Not to mention the dress is rarely the only thing a bridesmaid pays for. I have a feeling I’ll end up spending $2,000 before this next wedding is said and done (Which is sad because I cannot remember the last time I took a vacation that cost that much). Considering bridesmaids feelings when looking at dresses says to me the bride gets that being a bridesmaid is a huge financial and time commitment and is willing to make it a little easier on her friends.

Also re: all the chiffon dresses being strapless. I think you’re going to find that because chiffon is such a flowy material and it’s more of a summer vs. winter material, hence more dresses that are strapless and summer like in nature. If you were willing to consider other fabric types it would probably open up your options a lot.

The other thing I will say about budget is that if you were able to open it up such your bridesmaids had some room to choose a style they may be willing to spend more since navy is a color that can easily be worn again. For the first wedding I was in the dresses were a robin’s egg blue (hideous and impossible to wear again) so I was grateful they came in at $120, but since the wedding I am in now is a more practical color and I get a little bit more control I’d gladly spend more for something I feel good in and want to wear again, vs. something I’d only wear once.
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63 Andrea April 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

A friend of mine (who is getting married 2 weeks after me!) has the same problem with her bridesmaids scattered all over. She chose Alfred Angelo dresses, which are easy to find in any city, and had all of her bridesmaids go and try on a dress that she chose and get their size. She then ordered from from House of Brides so that all of the dresses would be from the same dye lot and delivered them as she saw them when they came in. House of Brides is a lot cheaper than buying the dresses in a store.

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64 Hillary April 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I LOVE that one shoulder dress in the photo above. Perfection.

JCrew has my favorite bridesmaid’s dresses. They’re expensive, but they also have some great sales worth checking out!
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65 Emily April 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Eshakti.com is a great site for dresses! Each one can be completely custom made, including adding sleeves to ANY dress! :)

I got mine from ShabbyApple. Their customer services kind of sucks, but the dresses were fabulous and inexpensive!
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66 Elisabeth April 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm

My best friend is getting married next July & I’m her maid of honor. She also got 4 other bridesmaids in the wedding & we’re all different shapes & sizes. I’m bigger on top than the other girls & was definitely not into strapless. We ended up picking a dress at David’s Bridal (in black & her other color is magenta) that’s only $99 (plus, she bought her dress there, which means a discount for all the bridesmaid dresses bought there – I think you bought your dress at David’s, too, right?). It’s not chiffon, but it does come in a navy-ish color, and it’s not strapless :)

http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Style-Satin-Wide-Strap-Tea-Length-Dress-F14556_Bridal-Party-Bridesmaids-Dresses-Under-$100#BVRRWidgetID

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67 Malinda April 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I actually just picked out my bridesmaids dresses. After a lot of searching we went with an Ann Taylor Design that was 30% off a few weeks ago. So it went from being in the $200s to being around $150, which was great. I also chose Navy as my main color, I am loving it!

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68 Cher April 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I commented before and you had asked me about deals on cowboy boots. I got mine from zappos and in addition to having a 20% off sale as well as a discount of about $8.00 for being a new customer, my boots were $100.00. It does seem steep but I have always wanted cowboy boots but could never bring myself to commit to buy them. They fit perfectly and will be perfect for my bachelorette party and future country concerts (big fan here!)
Anyway! Depending on your budget I would check them out (free shipping AND return shipping if you happen to not like it). Check out shoebuy.com, too. Same deal there, usually they have the same shoes so check to compare prices before buying!
As for bridesmaid dresses, I love the way the navy dresses look with cowboy boots and those colors would be perfect for your winter/snowflake themed wedding.
For myself, I’m having a rustic summer wedding and I love the look of mismatched neutral bridesmaids with cowboy boots (google it! A lot of people cannot understand why I would want that, but it looks great, I swear!)
I gave my girls a color scheme and told them to get whatever they feel comfortable in. I also asked that they were not too “formal”, for example, no shiny material. Phew, long comment lol.
Good luck!

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69 Cher April 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I should mention, my maid of honor is the only one who has her dress, and it was only $50.00! Mind you she spent close to $200.00 on her boots!

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70 Hannah April 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I got convertible dresses for my bridesmaids, loved them! The dresses can be styled differently according to the bridesmaid’s needs or they can all be styled the same. I recommend bandeau tops for anyone C cup and up, it allows for full bra coverage. I ordered them from etsy here’s the link: http://www.etsy.com/listing/70936431/swallows-tail-navy-blue-octopus

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71 kristinp April 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm

So, two suggestions:

1) my favorite bridesmaids dress was from JCPenney.com – it was a prom close out and the bride was able to get the right sizes sent to local stores for all of us. They cost $29 each :-)

2) eShakti.com has great dresses in a variety of styles for very reasonable prices ($50-80). They can be tailor made to sent in measurements for no additional cost and can be modified for different sleeve types, necklines and lengths. If they arrive and don’t fit, you can return for free (even the custom made dresses). Plus most of them have pockets!

Good luck!

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72 Rachel @ Runner's Tales April 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I know that it is higher than your price point but Two Birds Bridesmaid makes great, versatile dresses and they have matching ties for the groomsmen. I saw them on David Tutera’s My Fair Wedding and absolutely fell in love them. The biggest pluses for me is that the dress can be worn again and they can worn in the exact style that you want.
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73 Stephanie April 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm

My bridesmaids wore navy chiffon v-neck dresses in my wedding this past September. I found them online at Nordstrom for $99 plus tax and free shipping. They were quality, beautiful and affordable, my girls loved them.
Also, I think they still have them if you look or maybe a similar one. Good luck!

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74 Part Time House Wife April 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I was on a major deadline! I had to rush order my dresses, I brought my youngest sister and MOH and we all tried dresses on like crazy people until we found a really pretty black strapless gown that was totally affordable even with the rush shipment fee!
My wedding anniversary is January 8th! Cheers to January weddings!
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75 Army Amy* April 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm

The navy dress + boots combo is super cute! I only had one bridesmaid, so choosing a dress was easy peasy. I told her she could buy the dress from anywhere, and it ended up being from David’s Bridal.*

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76 Macrae April 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Those colors remind me of my brother’s wedding. As bridesmaids we had navy Anne Klein dresses and the bride gave up pink wraps as gifts for after the wedding and in some pictures. The dress was perfect and I still have it for cocktail parties and such! (The wedding in NC was cool at night, but wedding was warm) The groomsmen were in khaki suits with navy ties that had think pink stripes. The groom’s tie was baby blue with the same pink stripe. It all looked AWESOME! I’d love to email you some pics if you are interested :)

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77 Kristen @ The Concrete Runner April 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm

The last wedding I was in, we got our navy (not chiffon) dresses from J Crew, but I think they were about $170, so more than you want to spend. As for my wedding, I knew I wanted them in black floor length dresses, so I let them pick them out themselves. That way they could spend what they could afford. I think most of them got them from David’s Bridal, but my MOH found hers on clearance at a bridal store for $70!
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78 Cait @ Beyond Bananas April 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I had a vision of what I wanted for my dresses. Something tea length – that complimented my dress. I went bridesmaid dress shopping three times. The first time I went with my MOH with the intentions of narrowing it down to 2 or 3 dresses and then decide from there. We narrowed it down, but I ultimately decided that I didn’t really like either of them.. they weren’t what I had pictured in my head.

So – I went to another shop ALONE. Schedules are are to coordinate. So I found 3 dresses I loved. I brought 2 of the girls back a couple weeks later and made the final decision. All 5 girls then went out and got their measurements – and called them into the store where I bought them from!

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79 Lee April 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm

J. Crew. They were a little pricier though – around $200-$250.
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80 Mandi April 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I’ve been a bridesmaid SEVEN times and would say that David’s bridal and JCrew were the easiest dresses for all of the bridesmaids to find anywhere in the country.

Bonus to JCrew (in my opinion) is that they are dresses that truly are re-wearable for other formal occasions after the wedding.

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81 Sara@RunningInPinkProject April 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm

As much as I despite Davids Bridal it was the only was I was able to let my girls go try dresses on in 3 different states. I just got a bridesmaids dress there for a wedding Im in this coming May and my dress is cute- I have to admit.
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82 MrsSwan April 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm

David’s Bridal If you got your dress there then they will get $20 off of an non sale dress. My sister was trying to keep them cheaper but we kept getting scared by the web sites out of China that sew dresses mimicking the name brands.

This is what I am wearing in a month:

http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Long-Strapless-Dress-with-Front-Ruffle-Cascade-F14336
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83 Amanda (modernation) April 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm

My bridesmaids wore dresses from Anthropologie. They have both worn them again since which is great. I am in my friend’s wedding in the fall and she has asked all to pick any navy dress we like. It is nice to have the freedom to pick something that works for our individual bodies and budget. Check The Limited and Ann Taylor – they have good deals.
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84 julia April 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm

ann taylor has amazing sales. I’ve been in one wedding where we all wore j.crew dresses but i didnt’ like the dress very much (even though we were able to pick out anything and the bride was super chill). the fabric quality definitely felt cheap. for my wedding the girls got ann taylor dresses 50% off. my weddings in a few weeks–they all tell me they like them but who knows! atleast they only spend a total of $150 including shipping and tax.

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85 Deva @ Deva by Definition April 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I just got my bridesmaid dresses picked out – my wedding is next May. I ended up picking a red halter style from bill levkoff that we are getting from Cincinnati Bridal and Formal in Cincinnati’s Bridal District. I took my MOH and one of my girls with me and the dress we picked is stunning!
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86 DefineDiana April 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Deciding bridesmaid dresses was such a frustrating process. I had a very opinionated group of girls. I also couldn’t find what I wanted in the right price range. Like you, wanted my dresses for under $150/girl.
I ended up finding an Alfred Sung dress I loved but it was retailing around $200. So I decided to look at on-line retailer. I ended going with netbride.com and I have nothing but good things to say about them.

You just give them the model# of the dress you are looking and and they give you a quote with a (by the latest) arrival date. The dress I wanted ended up being $119/each $20 shipping for all 6 dresses (just one location, but you can choose to ship to multiple locations for a slightly higher fee).

I was nervous but did my research on the company. I was also told to make sure an on-line retailer will give you a ship by date. The dresses came in a month earlier than estimated and they looked beautiful. I was so happy with my decision to go that route. I can’t wait to see all my girls in their dresses next week at my wedding!

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87 emlod10 April 18, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Emma Graham Designs has very cute ones!
wore “Jenn” at a wedding and a few times since then!
http://emmagrahamdesigns.com

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88 SaraRM April 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I know people in those pics!!!! Crazy, from a TX wedding to a FL blog…. ha

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89 marjorie April 18, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Ann Taylor is a great place, they often have really good sales like 40% off the entire purchase. I got my bridesmaid dress for 127 versus the original 215.

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90 Colleen April 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

I had the same issues: different sizes, physical location:separation, budget, etc. So I decided to pick a color-navy blue- and let them pick their own dress/style ( didnt have to be a tradionsl bridesmaid Dress. That way they get a dress that fits them, that they could wear again, fits their budget, and didn’t require a lot of hunting and scheduling. Everyone loved it and each dress was perfect. I did buy matching ear rings and necklaces for them.

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91 Kat April 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

It’s really popular now r(and considerate, I think!) to allow the bridesmaids whatever style they want in the color you choose. Since everyone has different body types!

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92 kaitlin April 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

try dessy.com. my best friend is getting married in september and we all got the convertible dress. it feels like a jersey cotton material (but much nicer in person) and can be worn 100 times after the wedding. also comes out to a happy price of $140!

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93 Melanie April 19, 2012 at 9:08 am

My matron of honor wore a Two Birds dress. It was beautiful and the best part is that you can change the dress into different configurations! So they can wear it again after the wedding!

http://www.twobirdsbridesmaid.com/

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94 Melanie April 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

Oh forgot to say too though that we found the dress on Gilt.com so it was less expensive

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95 CindyD. April 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

I was recently in a wedding (3/31) and we wore navy dresses – from David’s, but all the bride specified was the color and the length. We all ended up with a different dress and everyone felt comfortable and confident in a dress that suited her body type. There are pros and cons to both matching dresses and mis-matching ones, but if your concern is really that your maids not spend a lot and feel beautiful, I would heartily vote for letting them select the style they like, with some guidelines. For my 6 bridesmaids, I did the same thing – I picked the fabric and they all picked a style they liked. My mom made the dresses so all the girls had to do was pay for fabric (less than $30 each). If you know someone who can sew, that’s another option. p.s. I was able to score my dress from David’s online clearance for $29.95!!!! With shipping it was less than $50 total and fit perfectly.

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96 Annie April 19, 2012 at 10:00 am

My bridesmaids were also scattered across the country. My mom and I scoured the internet for a bit and found several dresses we liked (mostly from Macy’s). I emailed my three bridesmaids and asked which style/cut/color they liked best. All three liked my first pick best. One girl actually went to Macy’s and tried on the dress (in a different color) and took some pictures. The girls ordered the dress online for $90. I was thrilled and the girls were happy to have some input.

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97 Laura April 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

My girls got their dresses at David’s Bridal for about $110 after a $20 off coupon. They are short, strapless, and really cute-they picked them out themselves!

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98 Katherine April 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

You should check out dessy.com. There are a TON of dresses in every price and in every color. You can enter your zip code on the website to see where the dresses are sold, or you can purchase them on the website.

Good luck!
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99 Lynn April 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm

My bridesmaids are goegraphically far from me. I went to a store and chose a fabric and length and designer and they went on their own to pick a dress from that collection. They ended up with the same dress which thrills me but if they wanted different dresses it would not have bothered me.

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100 Chris April 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm

i read good things about netbride and we went with that! it was a little risky since we were not able to see all the colors in person or have everyone try the dress on (it was the same style, 5 colors) but here is how it worked for me: i did not care much about what the girls wore as long as they were comfy and it was not too $$. they all skimmed the netbride site, i pointed out a few i liked and they all gravitated towards the same one. my sister and i tracked down a bridal store that carried that style, saw it in person and saw the swatches (it was amazing how different the real life colors were from internet!). everyone took their measurements, ordered their dresses and held their breath. it all worked great! the dresses were listed as $200 in most bridal shops and we got them for $120 each. free shipping b.c they all came to my house (i had same issues – girls all over but i would be seeing them all in the months before the wedding so just had them come to my house instead of shipping and adding $). They all said they were comfortable and they looked gorgeous! Great deal if you don’t mind a little risk and have low key girls who won’t get stressed about it (which I luckily did!).

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101 Danielle @ Long May You Run April 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I had three bridesmaids all in three different states- Florida, Ohio and Virginia. We were all in college and butt poor. Because I didn’t feel like I could ask my bridesmaids to fork over $100+ on a dress they might never wear again, I told them they could find their own black dress – with a few perimeters like knee length, must have straps, not too low, not backless, etc. I figure everyone can rewear a black dress, right? Then to tie them into the color scheme, I had them each wear a colored sash that was sewn in around the waist (and could easily be taken out). And the black and white pictures turned out awesome!!
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102 Kristen April 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm
103 Katie April 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

J. Crew is my suggestion! Most everyone will fit into one of their sizes without needing to have alterations, which is a big plus! And, they have so many options of different styles, so if you’re ok with it, they could even each pick out the style they like the best/flatters them the most but everyone can be in the same color/fabric. I think a lot of people get scared of J. Crew because it’s “expensive,” but to compare: a J. Crew bm dress I bought for one wedding (and didn’t need alterations) ended up costing about $50 or so less than the Alfred Angelo one (which at first blush seems the “cheaper” route) that I bought and had to have altered out the wazoo!
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104 Katherine July 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I love navy dresses for bridesmaids! I found pretty silk dresses on sale at a boutique for $50… marked down from $300! I was not going to pass up that deal, so I had my bridesmaids text me their sizes. I also knew that one of them preferred having straps, one liked pockets, etc. They were the same fabric and were gorgeous!
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