Bridesmaid Dress Inspiration – Reader Question

October 8, 2015

Dear Lindsey,

Not sure if you take requests, but I’d love to hear your take on bridesmaid dress shopping and see some of the spots you and your sisters looked at for your dresses. I am currently planning my wedding and the most stressful part so far has been bridesmaid dresses (style, cost, colors, etc.)

Having four sisters, it seems you might be an expert on how to be a good bride to your bridesmaids and a good bridesmaid to your bride 🙂

Just a thought. Love your blog!

How fun is this question? But YIKES! I got married 9 years ago and, yes ladies, that was before the generation of pinterest. Oh, what it could have been…. kidding. My wedding was awesome and probably for the best that I didn’t have the option to spend hours searching for the most creative, unique, show stopping ideas. In that sense, my wedding was fairly traditional. I ONLY wore one dress, my guests got penny store candy on the way out, we danced our butts off – no joke I didn’t even take a single bathroom break because I didn’t want to miss anything, and as for my bridesmaids, well I picked one dress, had them hack off some length, made them go strapless, and that was that!

But if I had to do my wedding all over again, the ONE thing I would probably change would be the bridesmaid dresses. Because one style doesn’t fit all, and I love that today’s weddings really have no rules.

Now, being that I am 9 years removed from the wedding scene, I called on Kaytlynn who got married almost exactly one year ago to share her thoughts, and no surprise, she has some of the best advice and bridesmaid dress inspiration:

I think picking dresses for your bridesmaids really depends on the vibe you want to send your guests. From a guest’s perspective, if I’m sitting at the ceremony and I start to see bridesmaids walking down in floor length peplum dresses with a tight low bun and understated jewelry, well then I’m getting the feeling that the bride and groom want this shindig to be a little buttoned-up and classic.

Personally, it was important to me that my guests really felt comfortable at our wedding, that’s one of the reasons that having our wedding my my husband’s parent’s house was a great option for us. In that vein, I wanted my bridesmaids to all feel relaxed and confident. As with every group I’m sure, there were of course a few girls that can be pretty particular about the way they look. I knew if they were fussing with their dress because they felt uncomfortable in the hours leading up to our ceremony that would only add to my nerves (selfish really). I also knew my personality would be to want to “fix” it for them. The last thing I wanted to be doing the morning of the wedding was trying to convince my friend they looked gorgeous in the bridesmaid dress — I wanted them to feel that way on their own. I gave everyone a paint swatch and just asked them to stay within that color scheme and find a dress they loved. This also helped keep them at a price point they were comfortable with which was important to me. If you want to do all dusty blue, but you’re still hoping to keep things a little fresh and fun, maybe pick up designer or fabric choice and tell your girls to find a fit flattering to them from that spectrum.

In my case, I liked that every dress was different and I think it said more about each girl’s personality. I also think it’s fun to throw a few patterns into the mix. It helps keep things interested and it adds some dynamic to your group photos. In a perfect world I would have had my maid-of-honor in a print but it just didn’t end up being what she fell in love with. They guys are all going to look relatively the same, so why not throw a bit of a wrench in there with the girl’s looks.

I attached some pictures that show a mix of different dresses, including two from our wedding.

bridesmaid dress inspiration

 Kaytlynn’s Wedding: Same color family/varied Style

bridesmaid dress inspiration

Abby’s Wedding: Same color family and fun with prints and lengths

bridal party inspirationLindsey’s Wedding: Same Color/Same Style

bridal party inspiration

Casey’s Wedding:

My sister’s Casey (and also my sister Elizabeth) went with another ingenious idea: BYOB! (Bring your own black dress). Everyone has one and the end result is effortlessly classy.

bridal party inspirationNow as for where to buy bridesmaid dresses, you have a few options based on the look you are going for. Weddington Way is a great resource for creating a virtual showroom of all the dresses you like. You can also order swatches and the dresses through that site. If you want to steer away from “traditional” bridesmaid dresses, BHLDN has a beautiful selection and they make it easy to shop by color as well as J.Crew Bridal. If you are going for more of the mismatched look (varied prints and styles) you can look anywhere but here are a few places to start:

Anthropologie – great prints (may have to wait for more spring seasonal items to come into stock)

Nordstrom – one stop shop for everything

Bloomingdales – their dress shop rocks

Rent the Runway – could be a great option and budget friendly

And just for a fun a created a little dusty blue inspired mood board:

dusty blue bridesmaid dresses

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight // Nine

We can’t wait to see what you come up with! Thanks for letting us indulge in some wedding party fun!

  • Hilary
    October 9, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I am totally with you about what my wedding would have been like if Pinterest existed. At the time, I thought that the same dress looked best on everyone, but I’ve change my tune since then. My sister’s wedding was absolutely gorgeous and had elements that I wish I thought of. One of which were our dresses. We picked what we wanted but we were all the same color. A bunch of us were also either going to be pregnant, were working on dropping the baby weight at the time of the first fitting, or would have just had a baby by the time of the wedding. Lots of factors there. But it all worked out!

  • Elizabeth Rafter
    October 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    As I am a bridesmaid tomorrow, I love this post! Being married 13 years now, I, too, am a little sad that Pinterest didn’t exist then, but I probably would’ve lost my job because of it, so maybe it’s a good thing! We had my bridesmaid dresses made and they all wore the same plaid silk skirt and chose whatever style top they liked. I still love those dresses, and I think my girls liked them, too! Another excellent option for non-traditional bridesmaid dresses is Shabby Apple. Really really great dresses and really affordable, too!

  • Ashley Chiles
    February 15, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    My sister is getting married this summer and we aboslutely LOVE the dusty blue bridesmaids dresses that are featured above in 9 different styles. Would you know/be willing to share the designer of the dress?
    Thank you so much! You have a great blog!

    • Lindsey
      February 16, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Yes! They are all by Dessy. Glad this post help!

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