The Bridesmaid Dress Search

In contemplating bridesmaid dresses, I’d always had my heart at least half set on champagne dresses. I toyed with the idea of going with a stunning shade of blue, but ultimately loved the sweet sophistication of champagne dresses. My mother initially protested, fearful that it would in someway “detract” from a bride in white/ivory, but swaying her to my side was a rather simple process. After all, it’s pretty hard to deny how chic and classy champagne satin is without even trying. Being a July wedding in Upstate NY, the weather is bound to be insanely hot and with NY summers comes a relentless humidity that is outright miserable at times. Needless to say, I never even considered a full length dress and knew immediately that my fabulous ladies would be fashioned in a knee-length frock of some kind. And with those thoughts in mind, we went shopping.

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This dress was an early contender and I’m fairly certain it’s by Forever Yours. The navy and light blue colors here, as modeled by lovely Bridesmaid S, were among the shades of blue I was considering instead of the champagne and I really loved them together. Somewhere on a scrap of paper that was lost months ago, we smuggled the style number down and filed it away as a strong possibility.

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This dress, as worn by annoyingly cute little sister/Maid of Honor A, is by Mori Lee although once again the style number escapes me. While positively adorable on A, the bubble hemline was difficult to pull off for some of my other ladies and we quickly nixed this one even though we found it really cute.

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We all very much liked this dress from David’s Bridal, modeled today by Bridesmaid M. I thought the chiffon would be beautifully lightweight in July and the shirred sweetheart neckline proved universally flattering. However, the one snag we encountered with this dress and all of the others we liked at DB were the colors. I just don’t love David’s color palette and it’s really that simple. While some of their dresses are very cute and undoubtedly affordable, I didn’t love their version of champagne nor most of the blue shades and that left me unable to commit.

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The one shade of blue at David’s Bridal that I seriously considered for at least five minutes was their Cornflower color, shown here with a sash in their color Marine, which is basically a navy blue. This dress was adorable and when we left David’s that day to head to our third and final destination, the girls and I had basically decided on this dress, leaving me to debate colors. It was extremely affordable at just $105 so I figured there was some way to make the color options work. It was short, it was flirty and cute, and it was very inexpensive compared to a lot of bridesmaid options. There wasn’t a whole lot not to love.

Leaving David’s Bridal we headed to another locally owned shop where I continued my love affair with Casablanca dresses that ultimately led me to my dress. As I was trying on the dress I initially thought would be the dress for the second time that afternoon, one of my girls held up a bridesmaid dress from a rack in a stunning shade of champagne. I thought it was cute, but decided I really needed to see it on someone. My sister happened to be the lady of the closest size so she hopped into a dressing room to try it on…and came out wearing a grin from ear to ear.

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Instantly we all fell madly in love with this dress, Dessy style 2510. It has a gorgeous pleated satin bodice with a dropped waist and the cutest of flirty skirts with layered tulle over satin. The sample dress is in the color Palamino and it was the absolute perfect shade of champagne to pair with ivory. Leaving that day we knew we had found the perfect bridesmaid dress. And then, naturally, being the somewhat indecisive bride that I am, I had a hard time committing, but only because I am in love with the modern trend of mismatched bridesmaid dresses, particularly when the lineup involves varying styles in the same color. That’s right, I’m basically the only bride in the world who had bridesmaids of different body types and with wildly different personal styles all in love with the same dress, and I was itching to switch it up somehow. Yes, I intentionally and deliberately complicated life.

I have to take a quick moment to share that I am an incredibly lucky woman surrounded by amazing friends and family that mean the world to me. I have a Maid of Honor (my sister), a Matron of Honor (my best friend/future sister in-law) and five bridesmaids (a cousin, a lifelong friend turned cousin in-law, my high school best friend, another dear friend who dates back to junior high, and my sister in-law) for a total of seven ladies in my wedding party. So because I’m so lucky to have such amazing women in my life and because I rebel against the idea of a bridal party as bride’s personal army complete with uniform, I just had to switch it up a bit. Luckily, the Dessy Group, which includes the Dessy, After Six and Alfred Sung lines, released a new dress for 2009 that we all fell madly in love with and a solution was born. After having recently learned that Bridesmaid M (aka the lifelong friend turned cousin in-law) is expecting her first baby this fall, we added a third dress, which is the perfect Alfred Sung maternity complement to the other two dresses and my beautiful gals will be dressed a bit like this for the wedding…

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Three lovely girls in Dessy 2510

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Another three in After Six 6553

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And one glowing mommy to-be in Alfred Sung M423

All of the girls are thrilled about their dresses and I’m happy in our ability to have found three gorgeous options that make everyone excited. The bridal shop we are working with gave the girls a great deal as I also bought my dress through them making the usually $265, $235 and $195 dresses, respectively, much more affordable. I’m ecstatic and really anxious for the dresses to arrive in late April or early May. I’m so happy we went with champagne and even happier we’re incorporating more than one dress style. Is anyone else switching it up with multiple bridesmaid dress styles and/or colors?