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Wedding Tip of the Week: Bridesmaid Dresses!

Dressing your best girls is not an easy task. Here are some tips to help!

Bridesmaids dresses; the mere words often conjure images of poofy-sleeved 1980's satin dresses.  Looking back in pictures, or just looking in one’s own closet, it is not uncommon to think, “What was she thinking when she picked this bridesmaid's dress?" 

While there are still some… um, interesting, bridesmaid dress choices available, thankfully there is also a wide range of cute and stylish dresses that she just might wear again.  A few of my favorites:

J. Crew: Classic, comfortable, affordable and true-to-J.Crew-size, I can’t get enough of their bridal collection.  Available in select stores, online, and through the catalog, ordering a dress from J.Crew is just as easy as ordering a sweater! (And yes, the 15 percent student discount applies!)

Dessy: One of the leaders in bridesmaid wear, The Dessy Group offers a variety of designer lines sure to fit all price tags. Bonus: Dessy uses Pantone® color system which means that it is super easy to match your bridesmaids' dresses to your groomsmen's ties/cummerbunds or to your flower girl’s sash.  

David’s Bridal: So much more stylish than you think, David’s Bridal is accessible nationwide, making it easy for those long distance bridesmaids to get into the store for their measurements!  

Ivy & Aster:  If you follow my wedding blog you already know that I am head-over-heels for this soft and chic dress line.  In solids and prints, the Ivy & Aster collection cannot be missed! (Now available at !)

Coren Moore: The quintessential New England bridesmaid dress.  Need I say more? (Also available at in Clinton.)

A few words of advice…  at the moment, it may be trendy to let your girls pick their own dresses–and this look is absolutely adorable. (I do suggest you choose 1 designer for them to choose from for color continuity–do you know how many different shades of black there are?) But do not feel like a bridezilla asking them to all wear the same dress.  However, when choosing the dress, try to make sure it is as flattering and comfortable for all.  These girls are doing a lot to support you on your big day, it’s the least you can do to have them feel comfortable.  Plus the more comfortable they are, the happier they are and the better your photos look–win, win, win!

Newlymaid: Finally, I cannot hold myself back from telling you about the brand-new site Newlymaid.  In the case of that rare instance your girls might not wear that dress again, now they can exchange it!  Newlymaid allows you to send in your old bridesmaid dress and will ship you a new little black dress in return!  Absolutely brilliant!

Other dress suggestions?  I'd love to hear!  Newly married or engaged?  Share your news in the Announcements!

Author Erin Ethier is a shoreline CT resident who writes a daily wedding blog Sparkle & Hay: Inspirations for a Rustic Chic Wedding.

Alana Joli Abbott May 29, 2011 at 01:47 PM
I had really good luck buying a bridesmaid dress (provided just a fabric swatch by the bride and told to find a style that I liked) by taking my swatch in to Bridal Trousseau on Main in Branford. The staff there is incredibly helpful, and they helped me get a dress that I would definitely consider wearing again (to an appropriately upscale event).
Erin Ethier May 29, 2011 at 03:38 PM
That is SO great to know! Yes, it seems more and more that brides are giving the bridesmaids free reign for style but matching the color is SO important. (unless going looking to achieve an ombre or mixed colors look, which is also popular!)

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