WEDDING WEDNESDAY: BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES

If you’ve been keeping up with my Wedding Wednesday series, you’ll know that so far I’ve covered finding my wedding dress, whether I’ll be wearing a veil, how I asked my bridesmaids, my favorite attire for groomsmen, and inspiration for our flowers. One big thing you may have noticed that I’ve yet to touch on? Bridesmaids’ dresses. And that’s because, while I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted for almost everything else, bridesmaids’ dresses have me totally stumped. It’s a cliché for a reason: there are so many ugly bridesmaids’ dresses out there! If I see one more shiny satin number, my eyes may actually bleed.

I started out thinking I wanted navy bridesmaids’ dresses. Hello, it’s my favorite color, it looks good on everyone, it makes sense for a nautical Nantucket wedding. But since the boys will be wearing navy blazers, I changed my mind and thought maybe a sky blue color would be pretty. Except that I can’t seem to find the shade I’m imagining (I call it hydrangea blue, not cobalt but not quite periwinkle) anywhere. So now I’m thinking maybe pink… but ask me next week and I’ll probably have changed my mind yet again.

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*images one / two / three / four / five

I love the range of blues in the first photo but I can’t decide if I’d actually want to mix and match different shades or stick to one color and style for simplicity’s sake. I love the “blue grotto” color in this,  this, and this but I was thinking we would do long dresses so as not to worry about everyone wearing matching shoes. What did you / will you have your bridesmaids wear? Any favorite designers I need to check out? I’m all ears!

36 thoughts on “WEDDING WEDNESDAY: BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES

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  1. We decided to just do one attendent on each side. It’s proven to be the right choice for us. My bridesmaid was able to pick out what she wanted to wear. The hardest part was the color. At first I wanted navy dresses too, but my groom and his best man will be wearing navy. I usually think there can never be enough blue but in this case decided to switch things up. We decided to do blush but just couldn’t find the right pink. Things were too peachy or too close to ivory. We ultimately decided on a color that is kind of chameleon like. In some lights it looks like lavender blush and in others a dusty rose. I’m loving it!

  2. Check out Bella Bridesmaids! I heard great things about the locations in Florida but they also have one in Dallas!

  3. Search for french or cornflower blue. There is some variance in those colors and some end up very similar to your hydrangea blue.

  4. Navy tea length gowns and Jack Rogers sandals in gold, platinum, navy or pink. Your bride’s maides probably already own them. 😉

  5. I can definitely see hydrangea blue being perfect.

    Another idea: Have you considered gingham dresses? With your style it could be so cute and so you. i don’t know, maybe it’s better in smaller doses but gingham tops with satin party skirts would be cute. Or white shirts with gingham skirts?

  6. Adding to the Bella Bridesmaid train. I had planned to do long dresses, but I didn’t have many tall maids and once we were there, I realized the short ones looked better on them.

    Mine were Lula Kate, which are totally customizable. They all wore the same fabric, color, and skirt/waist, but had different bodices. A nice way to look cohesive and fit my type-A matchy without looking like a creepy cocktail army (I had 12, which I also swore I’d never do… more fun to include friends than choose whom to exclude, IMO).

    I don’t think matching shoes are all that important even with matching dresses. Choosing nude/gold/other metallic and open-toe or closed-toe is probably enough. You don’t see the feet much in photos, and no one will notice the day of.

  7. i’m sure i’m not teh first person to recommend it – but cannot recommend bella bridesmaids more than enough! similar to you, i had a very specific shade of hunter green in mind for my ‘maids (and i wanted it in TULLE – very specifically). went to several other stores and they had nothing close to what i wanted – went to bella and sure enough they had exactly what i wanted in the style that i wanted and i didn’t have to make any concessions! not to mention their system is so easy if your maids are all around the country. i sound like an ad and don’t mean to sound that way – just cannot rave enough about my experience (or my sister’s wedding experience there) enough!!

  8. Amsale! Amazing dresses. A bit pricey but worth it. I let them chose the styles they wanted within the Silk Chiffon. Bella Bridesmaids carried the line which was perfect as all of my girls were around the country. Worked out great. Did mine in slate blue because of same issue with the navy blazers for the guys. Love this segment!

  9. Bridesmaids dresses have been a challenge for me too! I just found ones by Joanna August from Nordstrom that my bridesmaids and I both loved. I chose three different long styles that I loved and flattered the majority and they’re choosing from those. They’ll all be in the same nude color called All Tomorrow’s Parties!!

    Good luck on your quest, love!

  10. I’m a huge fan of the JCrew “leavers lace” dresses, even though they only have them in navy blue. I’m wearing the “Natasha” dress for my sister’s wedding this weekend and it fits beautifully, flattering my (extremely pale) skin even though it’s a deep navy shade.

    The “blue grotto” shade of the JCrew classic faille material is also beautiful, my sister considered that color instead, before she chose navy.

  11. We used Joanna August. She’s based out of California so her materials were light and might be perfect for a beach wedding. I liked her because she is at the Bella bridesmaids store and all my bridesmaids were located near one to go try on their size before ordering. She can mail you color samples too which helped me narrow down what color I selected. I can send you a photo if you’re interested.

  12. We went pink! I wanted the girls to all feel comfortable with their dress in terms of style to fit their body and in terms of price. I gave them a general color (coral) and style idea (knee-length or a little above) and with some tiny detail (like lace, a belt, or a texture to the fabric). Then I let them choose! We scoured places like Modcloth, Gap, Ann Taylor, Loft, Macy’s, Asos, Topshop, Banana Republic, etc etc. I didn’t force them to all buy a real “bridesmaid” dress because they can cost +$200, and I knew that wasn’t reasonable for all of my girls. As easy as it would have been to just have them all pick the same dress from J.Crew (and that would have been beautiful!), I really like how the search to find the right dress for each girl (and at the right price!) worked out. I also thought it made for more visually interesting photos. Here’s a photo if you’d like to see… https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/1556475_818680665625_1612966095_o.jpg

  13. I am having the same trouble with bridesmaid dresses! The colour I have in mind is what I call a “lilac grey.” It’s a pastel, but since my wedding is in the winter I want it to be a bit heavier, if that makes sense? I don’t want a simple lilac because it feels too summery to me. I have seen the exact colour I want online, but not in a cut I like and it is proving to be very difficult to find this colour elsewhere. I am about ready to switch to something else, but have been procrastinating choosing that colour too!

    Sarah
    Sweet Spontaneity

  14. I see you have a Lula Kate image in your post, those dresses are the best! Best color selection for dresses I could find, I wanted a very specific purple. Plus I thought it was great that the girls could customize the dress to suit their body best. I thought they were super easy to work with as well. I’m sure whatever you pick will look perfect!

  15. I’m having my girls wear the “dark cove” color in the JCrew long silk chiffon dresses. The nice part about ordering from a store like JCrew as opposed to a bridal salon is that they can try on in the boutiques in NYC, DC and Chicago and also the dresses are returnable and you can try different styles/sizes from home and then return in stores! Plus there are always sales so most of my friends have gotten a discount of at least 25%. For shoes I asked for any gold or nude. If they have both, I prefer the gold. I wanted a royal blue that wasn’t too bright and this color looks even better in person!

    I definitely think you should check out LulaKate! They are sold in Bella Bridesmaid stores, so most people will live close to one. The next to last photo in this post is LulaKate. (Fun fact: I modeled the first bridesmaid dress sample from them in a fashion show almost 10 years ago!)

  16. I’ll be excited to see which color you do choose! I love the top photo with all the different shades of blues. I also really like 4th photo with different length orange/pink dresses. The color will def lend itself to the vibe of your wedding! I’m also really curious on why Nantucket hold such a special place in you and your family’s heart.

    x Tali
    http://www.stylewithtali.com

  17. I had 4 bridesmaids and we did jewel tones. Pink, royal blue, Kelly green, and a plum purple! All the dresses were different – most from Nordstrom. They were about the same length (short) and had high necklines since my dress was a long low cut V-neck. I loved doing it this way because every girl picked one that was independently flattering for her body type, but admit it might be hard with more than 4 people. (I just hate dresses that look “bridesmaid-y”)

    There are some pics here if you’re interested 🙂

  18. I color mixed my bridesmaid’s dresses, but it was really tough!! I didn’t end up picking the colors i had originally wanted to but that was because i fell in love with a dress and then was confined to the colors that the designer had available. If you want to color mix, i’d recommend look at the designer color swatch cards FIRST and then once you’re sure they can do the dresses in the different colors you want, look at the styles they offer to see if you like anything.

  19. I had the exact same problem! I found most colors looked TOTALLY different online than in person, so it’s worth the trip to the store. J Crew used to have a great Hydrangea blue but I’m not sure they carry it any more. Monique Luhlier is great for black tie weddings and long dresses. If you’re looking to keep costs a bit lower, Alfred Angelo is a nationwide brand with stores all over and seemingly endless options. Good luck!

  20. It’s honestly tough to find a great bridesmaid dress! I recently saw a super chic bride who had her maids wear a white silk tank and navy maxi skirts – it looked SO good and was a total change up from the typical sweetheart neck dress.