7/6 Real Bride Rachel: Bridesmaid Dresses on the Cheap

Affiliate Disclaimer NewThere is no question that bridesmaid dresses have come a long way. Hello, 1980s: you were cruel and unusual Even so, choosing the right dress for your girls can be daunting. Everyone has their own style, their own body type and their own budget. The more ladies in your wedding party, the more difficult it is to find something that works for every girl — so naturally I decided to have seven bridesmaids. Turns out I actually caught a break, because my little sister/maid of honor isn’t a dress kind of gal. I suppose I could have insisted she wear one, and it probably would have been hilarious, but I’m not that mean. You’re welcome, Caty! Anyway, I digress. I had six girls who needed to look fabulous on my wedding day, so I started looking for options that I thought would work for everyone.

Planning a wedding makes you acutely aware of money, and how precious it is. I knew I didn’t want my girls to drop a lot of cash on something they may never wear again, so that was my main requirement when it came to looking for dresses. I’ve actually lucked out in every single wedding I have been in when it comes to buying a dress: My friends have either picked a very affordable option, chipped in or outright purchased the dresses I’ve worn, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Let’s face it — being in a wedding can be very expensive, so I love that my friends and I share the same views on the whole thing. We see bridesmaid dresses that are hundreds of dollars, and we’re like um, no. More often than not, you’re never gonna wear the thing again, so why break the bank?

Style-wise, I knew I wanted something fairly casual. No ballgowns, sequins, crystals or the like. September in Ohio is tricky. It could be 50 degrees, or it could be 90, so long or short would have been fine. Short just seemed more cute and casual, so that’s what I focused on when I searched. I was fine with either pink or aqua to go with our colors and theme, but I had a feeling pink would be easier to find.

Having purchased three dresses at David’s Bridal in the past, I was fairly confident that they didn’t have what I was looking for, but it would have been silly not to at least look. They are popular for a reason — they have tons of styles and colors, and it’s easy for people to find a store near them to order from. After browsing their website, I didn’t find anything I loved, so I decided to move on.

I looked at local bridal shops to see what designers they carried, but most of them were out of the price range I had set, so that was out. I looked on Storenvy, department store websites and at local boutiques. I found shops on Instagram and while browsing on Pinterest, but nothing jumped out at me.

Throughout all this, I searched on Etsy a few times a week. There are soooo many shops and so many sellers that it’s easy to spend hours at a time browsing, and you still won’t get through them all. A few weeks into the process, I came across a dress I really liked. It fit the budget — $78! The style complemented the fun, casual wedding carnival we’re planning and the color seemed just right. Plus, it had pockets! Every girl loves a dress with pockets.

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Dress available from Etsy seller ShopApricity

After checking the shop reviews (they are fantastic), I messaged the seller to get all of the details. Since we’d be ordering without trying on, I wanted to check on the return policy, the sizing and the options for ordering a large quantity. Once I had the particulars, I emailed my ladies and asked them their thoughts.

They had some very understandable reservations. It’s tough ordering something without trying it on first, but there was a detailed size chart, plus the material is stretchy and forgiving. Add in that the seller accepts returns and exchanges, and I thought it was worth the risk. My bridesmaid Adrienne (who is also my roommate), volunteered to order one first so we could see how it looked in person. She placed her order that day and the dress was at our house a few short days later. We both agreed that we loved it even more in person. The material is high-quality and it’s super well-made, plus it’s a style that is flattering for almost any shape. Once we had her dress in hand, we made arrangements for my other girls to try it on if they wanted to, and then it was as easy as pie ordering the rest of them. The seller even made sure to send us the longest medium dress she had in stock since one of my girls is a tall, long-legged beauty. A+ for customer service.

All in all, I am completely thrilled with the end result. We love the dress, and it was affordable for everyone. I can’t wait to see all of my best gals looking fabulous on our wedding day … like for real I can’t stop imagining the amazing pictures I’ll have for the rest of my life. Yay!

How did you end up finding the right attire for your crew?