Bridesmaid dresses have always stressed me out. I started looking at them long before I was engaged in anticipation of how difficult it would be to find one that I liked (and my girls liked). I have eight bridesmaids (yes, a large number, I know), so I wanted something that worked for everyone but also matched (I'm a sucker for symmetry).
I started the search with two of my bridesmaids in Minneapolis and we looked at a few options at both Monique and Flutter. I have been in enough weddings to know what I like and don't like: I want long since our wedding will be pretty formal, the color is navy, and since it is a July wedding I don't want a really thick fabric. So I honed in on navy, chiffon, floor-length gowns.
My maid of honor is getting married in March and our dress for her wedding is a beautiful Monique gown (pictured at left in the middle, but without the halter straps), so I didn't want to emulate her look exactly since a large portion of the wedding party is the same. To start, the lavender gown (pictured at left) was a front-runner, but the dip in the front was a little low, and my ceremony is in a pretty strict Catholic church . . . the idea of peeving off our priest wasn't too appealing to me.
We were intrigued by some of the Lela Rose gowns at Flutter, and I was really optimistic about the assortment of Amsale dresses, but I wasn't loving how wrinkly the crinkle chiffon felt and looked. There were a few options that I wrote down, but I ended my Minneapolis shopping endeavor feeling like I had yet to find a dress that all the girls would like and feel comfortable in.
We resumed our shopping in Chicago, where I was fortunate enough to have four of the eight gals with me to look around. The Bella Bridesmaid space was amazing, and I can't say enough good things about the service. The manager knew exactly what I was looking for and helped me narrow down options that would and wouldn't look good on my variety of gals.
The dress that we ultimately decided on was actually one we had seen on another client while we were perusing and each one of my four girls commented that they liked its unique yet classic look. I had seen it online previously but dismissed it quickly because I didn't love how it looked with a bow in front (we're moving the bow to the back . . . much better). Anyway, we saw it on the neighboring gal and decided to give it a shot.
There were two samples and four girls, and as each one tried it on we grew increasingly excited that everyone (so far) had liked it. I was actually the last one to give it a whirl since I'm built like some of the ladies who couldn't make it, and amazingly enough, I even liked it. (I was definitely the harshest judge through the whole process.) It's different, but still pretty (in my opinion) and most importantly, all of my girls who tried it on felt comfortable.
So now we're on to ordering process. The Milwaukee Bella Bridesmaid was closest for a number of the Midwest bridesmaids, and it's a sister store with Chicago so it was an easy option. (If only we placed the order this week, and then the Minnesota Bella would have been open!)
Nonetheless, the BM dresses are done. My dress is done. It's time for a sigh of relief. And to move on to the shoes!