I thought the toughest part in wedding planning was done once I found my wedding dress. It's perfect, and I ordered it in early January, after reading that you need to allow 4-5 months for the dress! The crazy thing was the dress came in 3 WEEKS later! I couldn't believe when I got the phone call. They must have had my size and color in stock! (It is hanging at my house, but I am going to bring it to my parent's so I am not tempted to wear it around the house on the weekends!)
Once I asked all of my bridesmaids to be in my wedding by "proposing" with a ring in a special box (and for some reason I was nervous like a guy would be), they all said yes and we planned a day for bridesmaid shopping fun! One of my bridesmaids recently moved to Milwaukee so we had to work around getting her into town, and a big snowstorm almost kept her from getting here but she perservered through the snowy conditions.
I did some pre-shopping at stores and online to get some ideas, but I definitely wanted their opinions to find something they liked and felt beautiful in. With a few ideas in mind, we started the day meeting for lunch at Potbelly (ironic name since we were trying on dresses immediately following it . . . ha ha)!
I joked that I would be providing them contracts to sign to commit their lives to me for the next few months, but really I just gave them contact information of the other bridesmaids along with a classy photoshopped pic of the four of them in really tacky 1980's bridesmaid dresses and me in a gown with poofy sleeves . . . just to set the tone for the day!
We went to a few different stores starting with a mass retailer with tons of dresses, which you can imagine was crazy busy (even with an appointment) but we still had a fun time and had a lot of laughs.
We then traveled downtown to Rush's Bridal (which is where I ordered my wedding dress). They were great to work with and had a good selection of dresses. After the girls tried on numerous dresses, we found the one! It is a beautiful satin strapless dress by Bill Levkoff with soft asymmetrical pleats.
It was beautiful on all of the ladies (even though my gals are so naturally pretty they could wear Hefty's cinch sack garbage bags down the aisle and still look beautiful), but these really looked great and the best thing is they were lightweight and not as thick and heavy as other satin dresses (which is great for a summer wedding). The girls got sized and ordered the dresses, and we all felt a great sense of accomplishment!
Whew! Check that off the list . . . no wait . . . this is me and I never do anything the easy way. My bridesmaid Nicole made the comment when we were ordering the dresses, "Wow! I am so proud of you! You made the decision on the first day!" (Just to clarify a little something about me: I tend to over think and overanalyze most decisions . . . except the decision to say "yes" to Mike of course). I HAVE been working on this (since there are SO MANY decisions with a wedding), so was pretty proud of myself. However the next day I fell off the bandwagon and thought I would run out to the mall and just "take a peek" at other dresses to confirm I made the right decision.
That was not a great idea. While I didn't find any dresses that I liked as much as the one we ordered, I found some with corset backs and thought that could help save on alterations for the girls and guarantee a great fit throughout the day. Great . . . now what do I do?? I tried the dresses on myself and then ran home to get my wonderful roommate/bridesmaid Nicole to be my Barbie Doll and to get her opinions (she is the one who made the congratulatory comment to me so she knows she asked for it ha ha)! She is great at not giving me her opinion until I give mine, but she did like the dress and was definitely open to either.
I could order the dress through Rush's Bridal and was considering it, but after taking my sister/Matron of Honor to try it on and discussing with my mom, sister, and friends, I really realized that I loved the first one for so many reasons. It was the first and right choice . . . I just needed to put my mind at rest . . . and now it finally is.
The dresses are ordered and I can't wait to see my bridesmaid beauties on that special day!
Here are a few of my tips for shopping for bridesmaid dresses:
1. Pre-shop on your own at the stores and online to get a feel for the style, fabric, and even designer you like. This also helps you understand the price points because they can vary greatly!
2. Have the girls try on a lot! Looks can be deceiving on the hanger!
3. Make appointments early. Just like making appointments for your wedding dress, the stores book out early on the weekends.
4. Have every girl try on the dress (if possible) before you make a decision to ensure everyone is confortable in it and likes it.
5. Consider your season. There are some beautiful dresses that have small crinolines; however, they can get hot in a summer wedding.
6. Thinking about something different for each bridesmaid? Read Danielle's "Real Bride" blog on Mismatched Maids!
Picture Info: Bridesmaid Dress Picture