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Wedding: We have bridesmaid dresses!

by Meghann on August 30, 2012

After months of searching and waiting, I’m proud to announce that all of my bridesmaids have their dresses!!

Who knew bridesmaid dresses would be so much harder to select than the wedding dress or the groomsmen attire? Lesson learned – bridesmaids dresses are tough cookies!

I think the dresses were tougher because I had a specific look I was after. I was really inspired by a lot of the rustic weddings I had been pinning and decided I wanted a sleeves silk chiffon dress in navy. My goal was to pair that dress with cowboy boots and grey sweaters.

Like so.

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Except with cowboy boots, like you see below.

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The problem was, most of what I found out there that was similar to the look I was after was $$$. Of course, if we all had $$$ the process would have been really easy, but we don’t and my goal was to keep the bridesmaid dresses as reasonably priced as possible.

We did find one that I really, really liked. It was the right material, the right cut, and, thanks to a hefty discount, it was the right price. However, one of my bridesmaids was worried the dress wouldn’t look right with cowboy boots, so we decided to order one as a sample to see how it worked.

To make a very long and complicated story short, it took us months to get the single sample dress. The whole process ended up stressing me out, so even though I thought the dress was great when it arrived, I didn’t want to go through all of the hassle to get the remaining three dresses.

Some good did come from that dress, though. I was finally able to match-up the outfit I had been planning my head to see if it actually worked.

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Only instead of a green cardigan, picture grey. I don’t own a grey cardigan in the cut I was after, so the green was my stand-in.

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LOVED the dress with the boots. ๐Ÿ™‚

The day the dress arrived, I was on g-chat with one of my bridesmaids discussing the whole dilemma with the dress. I was questioning ordering the rest of the dresses, while she doing what all good bridesmaids out there should do, say that the decision is all mine, while secretly googling other options.

I could almost hear the gasp in her voice when she sent me a link to a dress she had just discovered on J. Crew.

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J. Crew Macie Dress in Silk Chiffon

I’d look at a few other J. Crew dresses, but the majority of them were out of my price range. This dress was on sale, had the sleeveless style I was after, AND still had the majority of sizes in the navy color available in stock. Ashley must have heard my gasp too.

The dress was perfect and ordering the dress directly from J. Crew online was so much easier than the other route we were taking. Honestly, at this point I probably would have said yes to anything. I just wanted a navy silk chiffon dress, I didn’t care where it came from or how we got it.

I sent the link to the rest of my bridesmaids and they all shared their own enthusiasm for the dress (and price point!). Since sale items on J. Crew seem to go pretty quickly in popular sizes, I knew this wasn’t something we could sit on for long. I made the quick decision and asked my bridesmaids to all order their dresses ASAP.

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They all ordered their dresses on Friday night and I think the majority of them had shipped by Monday. Last night (Wednesday) photo texts started to roll in as all of the girls shared photos of the new dresses (one of those instances where I wish I lived close to at least one of my rockin’ bridesmaids to see a dress in person).

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First reaction – they’re all too big! Oh, no.

FYI: J. Crew dresses run on the big side. I know – better to have the dresses be too big than too small, but coming from a girl who has spent way too much money on having alterations done ($80 on a $135 dress?! Seriously?!) I’m suggesting the girls return the dresses for a smaller size ( hard to tell in the photo, but they were more than a little big on a couple of them). Of course, since they are sale dresses (and a lot of the sizes go fast) this is something they’ll have to jump on sooner rather than later.

Even though the dresses are on the big side, I love the cut and color of them. They’re a nice dark navy that will go nicely with the ties we selected for the guys.

The girls are already on the hunt for cowboy boots and I’ve decided to go with a mis-matched grey sweater theme. This way the dresses will all match, but they’ll have cowboy boots and sweaters that are all different and unique to the individual bridesmaid. I can picture this all working in my head, now I just have to wait and see it in person. Gulp.

I know that no matter what all of my girls will be gorgeous because, well, they’re all gorgeous anyways. I would have to try really hard to hide that fact. ๐Ÿ™‚

Other bridesmaid posts:

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sonia the Mexigarian August 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

wow, I love the dress and the cowboy boots idea. very casual and fun! and the dress looks like it can be used again for other parties ๐Ÿ™‚ where did you get your cowboy boots btw? very cute!
Sonia the Mexigarian recently posted..Back to the cutting board. . .

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2 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats August 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm

we ordered dresses on sale from Jcrew for my brother’s wedding as well. I ended up purposefully ordering mine too big since I had to order it a year in advance and I was afraid I’d gain weight my first year in law school. Lol turns out I lost weight and it was waaaaay too big, but easy to get altered (well, easy when my mother was paying for it…).
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3 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale August 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Definitely cute and classic. What a great choice!! It really seems like a lot of the wedding details are reaching reality these days. You must be getting increasingly excited with each detail organized and each day that passes!! ๐Ÿ™‚
Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale recently posted..Thursday Thoughts โ€ฆ Things that made me smile

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4 Kelly August 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I think it’s hard to get away from having to alter a bridesmaid dress, especially if you’re going with one style for everyone. I say that because very few of us are the exact proportions of a commercial size. I know for me my chest and hips are one size while my waist is a completely different one. I think the difference is when you’re shopping for a non-bridesmaid dress you either have lower expectations for how well it should fit or if something isn’t quite right in all the dimensions at least for me, I don’t buy it.

Even if everyone chooses their own dress it can be tricky because I know for the one I ordered because it was custom I was trying on dresses that weren’t actually my size and having them clipped so it it makes it hard to choose something that will fit straight off the hanger.
Kelly recently posted..A Midwestern Meets Mediterranean Dinner Party

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5 Carolyn August 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Completely agree with Kelly – I’ve come to expect that if I’m a bridesmaid, I will have to get my dress altered. I just settle for clothes that don’t fit exactly right the rest of the time.

Love the look though! Pinterest done right. =)
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6 Erin @ erinberries August 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Cute! I like the Southern touch of cowboy boots to the wedding. I approve. ๐Ÿ™‚
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7 Megan August 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Love the dresses! And love the whole rustic look… can’t wait to see final results! ๐Ÿ™‚
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8 Laura @sweatingforit August 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I love the look! I also like that the dresses will be the same but the sweaters and the boots will be different. Very cool. That dress looks like a very flattering cut as well
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9 Katie Cummings August 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm

My cousin just got married on a farm and her bridesmaids had different sweaters and boots, it turns out cute so don’t worry!

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10 BroccoliHut August 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm

These dresses are so cute! I love the length and the neckline.

We must me on the same schedule–my bridesmaids’ dresses just shipped on Monday!
BroccoliHut recently posted..Fig + Flax Pancakes

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11 Megan @ Megan's Munchies August 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Love the dresses!! Wonderful pick!!
Megan @ Megan’s Munchies recently posted..Sugar Free Birthday Celebration

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12 Ash Bear August 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

So glad I made up for being a distant bridesmaid by finding this dress!!
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13 meghan August 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I love the dresses. Nice choice! I hope they can return them…a lot of sale J.Crew stuff is final sale…
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14 Abby August 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm

I got all my bridesmaids dresses from jcrew and we had similar sizing issues, except they were sold out online by the time we realized it. We called their main office and they hooked us up with extra dresses in the warehouse. Apparently they keep extra of the bridesmaids dresses in stock just for that reason. I’d recommend just giving them a call if you have issues! Good luck, the outfit is so cute! ๐Ÿ™‚

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15 sarah jane August 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I honestly think the gray cardigans will throw things off a bit, especially with brown cowboy boots. just my opinion

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16 Yo Momma Runs August 31, 2012 at 2:05 am

I love those j crew dresses. Bridesmaids’ dresses were one of the hardest parts of the wedding planning. To fit different people in one style is hard, but all of your girls look adorable. So no problem there!
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17 Kathy August 31, 2012 at 6:52 am

They are going to be adorable!!!!

LOVE that they are also wearing cowboy boots!!!!! I think I want some cowboy boots! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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18 Candice August 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm

those dresses are beautiful! I hope they can all get the right size.

PS– this is a little off subject but I have a WAY cute idea for your wedding. At my wedding I had a candy bar. It had a variety of different candy and each person got to fill their own bag as a thank you for coming to the wedding.
WELL… Since you have a western theme you could do a TRAIL MIX BAR!! It would be so cute! Each guest could put together their own little bag of trail mix! Almonds, Cashews, M&Ms, a variety dried fruit, peanuts, chocolate chips, raisins etc.
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19 Laura September 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

LOVE that idea!!!

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20 Danielle September 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I love this idea, too! How cute!

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21 Jess September 1, 2012 at 10:28 am

The dresses look so pretty on their own. Adding in the boots and Grey sweater distracts from the nice dress. Why have them all buy and alter a dress when it won’t even be seen? I’m really not a fan of the boots. You’re obsessed with this snowflake theme (which is strange for a wedding in Florida…) yet you are making everything else western. I guess I am just confused.

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22 Anne Weber-Falk September 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Love the dresses. Adding the sweaters is a nice, less formal, touch too. I found this photo on Iowagirleats.com today. Maybe you’ve seen it but I thought it was fun. http://iowagirleats.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Bridesquish.jpg

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23 mari September 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

Im not being rude but I do want to lend some styling insight on these… you can see in your inspiration pics that they are either wearing the cardigans OR the boots, not both together. Both items are sort of slouchy and non-structured, paired with the flow-y dress, its just a lot of “loose”-ness going on. With any good outfit you want a balance of structure and slouch. I would just consider picking one or the other, at least for pictures.

Just a different point of view! I get the appeal of both.

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24 MissPinkkate September 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Good points! I agree.

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25 Chickie September 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

TOTALLY AGREE: one or the other. The gray sweaters make it look sloppy for the most important day of your life!!!! I would ax them for the photos and have them wear them if they’re cold throughout the night.

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26 Meghann September 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I completely disagree. If the sweaters are all structured and close fitting – like you see I’m wearing in the photo above – then it totally works. I agree loose sweaters aren’t ideal, but fitted ones are great.

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27 Army Amy* September 4, 2012 at 3:17 am

The dresses are so pretty! The style looks really flattering.*
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28 Margo September 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Very pretty choice! I went with J. Crew dresses for my wedding, and I was really impressed with how helpful they were! One of my girls was really slow when ordering her dress, so I got really nervous about sizes. Luckily I worked with a great salesperson who made sure we got the bridesmaid her proper size! I love that their dresses don’t look too bridesmaidy so they can easily be worn again.

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29 Laura September 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Another cute option (might be a tad dressier…dont know if you’ll like that or not) instead of cardigans might be a cute gray pashmina…do a google image search of ‘bridesmaid pashmina shawl’…
You can get them for like $10 (here: http://www.peachcouture.com/bridal_pashmina.html), and an item like that is definitely somthing the girls could use again…you could give the pashminas to them as bridesmaids gifts!! Just a thought!
Ah wedding planning….wish I could get married again! Enjoy this time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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30 Erin September 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I love your dresses, but agree that the cardigans and boots are just too much. The cardigan looks off against the ruffled neckline of the dress. If you are getting fitted cardigans you may have lumpy shoulder area with the ruffles underneath, and you’ll also have to find a sweater that works with the deep v of the neckline. I think a pashmina would look so much better……more clean and polished and not frumpy, but to each their own and best of luck!

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31 ashlynn September 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm

By how much were the dresses off in size? I’m just asking because I’m going to have to order a bridesmaid dress from J crew soon.

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32 Meghann September 17, 2012 at 8:33 am

All four girls ended up with dresses that were too big. My sister in law and sister ended up exchanging their dresses for smaller sizes and the smaller size was perfect. My two friends opted to have theirs altered since there were only a little too big. It’s hard to tell how off they were since I didn’t get to see any of them in person.

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33 NancyRWard September 20, 2012 at 5:23 am

Long or short really depends upon the time of day but today it is more to the brides liking and most seem to chose short. I think it looks nicer when they all wear the same length and color if not the identical dress.

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34 Allie October 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I still follow my wedding photographer’s blog, and saw that she recently posted a wedding where the bridesmaids wore navy blue and cowboy boots. Just thought you might like to see the pics! http://www.acarrollphotography.net/2012/10/laura-jay-wedding-preview/

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