Broke-Ass Tag: bridesmaid Dress Shopping

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Danielle's bridal party invitations

“Will you be my bridesmaid” card I made

Bridesmaids. This single word can hold so many emotions, meanings, joys, and nightmares. I have a whole gang of important women in my life that I want to stand by me on my special day. My fiance, Michael, has a lot fewer friends than I, so I’ve always known that the number of bridesmaids I had would be dictated by how many brothers he could rally to his side. Even numbers are a must in my book.

After Michael popped the question, I asked my sweetie to go out and find himself five groomsmen. We had already discussed making his older brother his Best Man and my little brother one of his groomsmen, that left him three gents to hunt down. Needless to say, I was a tiny bit peeved when Michael called me and happily declared that he had rallied all six of the groomsmen. Six … that number doesn’t at all sound like five. They don’t even start with the same sounds … how could you not underst- … *SIGH* yes, thank you dear. *Quietly grinding teeth*. Yeah, it’s a bit tacky to “unask” a guy to be one of your groomsmen so, I had to go rally another bridesmaid.

I had taken pains to ask all of them individually in a unique way to be my bridesmaid. I had a lass in mind, but it was legit MONTHS after I had asked all the other girls to be my bros. How do you ask a lass to be your wingman without making it look crazy obvious that you need her to fill a quota? Then, how do you tactfully drop the, oh by the way, we have an appointment this weekend to go look at bridesmaid dresses, I hope your Sunday is open?

A huge smile, a tiny bit of groveling, and a really nice card (with a killer presentation) help along your case if you land yourself in the same spot. She took it well, didn’t even blink or bat an eye when I gave her the card I’d made. Panic levels? Dropping back to manageable levels. Oh yeah, and thanks for saying you’d be a bridesmaid Ashlee, did I mention that we are going dress shopping in four days? Got plans this Sunday? *Panic-meter jumps* What? No plans you say? Great, meet you at David’s Bridal at 10am then.

Danielle's troupe goes bridesmaid dress shopping

My junior bridesmaid begging for a dress

For the complete trainwreck asking my girls to stand with me was, I’m surprised at how well they all got along while we went dress shopping. We hit David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo that day with a lunch break in between. I had asked them all to look at some dresses beforehand so we had some ideas of what they wanted. I secretly wanted everyone to pick the same dress, but as long as it was the same fabric and color, it didn’t matter. They all have vastly different body shapes, especially my just recently flowered junior bridesmaid who’s only 11. After at least 20 dresses and two stores, they were all leaning towards one dress that I pretty much hated but they all seemed rabid over … or so I thought.

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The dress we all apparently hated

We decided to order that dress in March to give some of them a chance to finish their weight loss plans. Weeks crawl into months and one by one they casually mention to me how much they also hate the dress. Seriously y’all, why didn’t anyone say something in the store? One of my ‘maids is a bit more … outspoken, than the others and must have led them down that path of least resistance. So … we find ourselves back at square one again. My sister, Angela, and I went out over Christmas break and picked a fabric, color and two designers. I think this time I will just pick a handful of dresses that I don’t think suck and just ask them to pick one from that selection instead. This way, if they hate the dress, they are the ones who picked it. I made it super clear that if all the ones I picked suck, to let me know and I can hunt out another dress they’ll like. I love all of them, but picking a dress is apparently like herding cats.

What about you, any bridesmaid moments that make you want to scream and pull out your hair?

  • 2/25

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    Credit: We Are The Parsons

    Shopping for bridesmaids dresses nearly killed me, you guys.

    Well, okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. But still, that was some hard work!

    I wasn’t too worried about getting the girls something they would wear again (which is a noble goal, but one I feel is difficult to hit even with the best intentions), but I had a particular vision in mind. The obvious choice would have been to select a simple black dress and move on, but I wanted more. I wanted them to have some SPARKLE!

    With this vision in mind, I took to the Internet. I Googled … and Googled … and Googled … and pinned … and pinned … and pinned. I started with all of my usual suspects: department stores, ModCloth, David’s Bridal, etc. I found a lot of pretty things (Adrianna Papell is my girl crush, people!), but I had a hard time aligning all of the most important factors. I have three bridesmaids, ranging in age from 25 to 33, ranging in height from 4’11 to 5’6, and with three unique body types in a wide range of sizes. They all wanted to keep the price under $150 before alterations, and I wanted something a little special and sparkly, black or gray, and preferably long.

    That is apparently a tall order! Everything I clicked on was either too expensive, not available in the sizes I needed, or not appropriate for a variety of body types. I did consider getting coordinated dresses in different styles so each could choose something that flattered them best, but the response from the girls was that they saw that as too much work! No help there.

    Back to the Internet I went. I stalked the Pinterest page of every wedding blog I knew, not particularly for the dresses they pinned, but just for other stores to try. And what makes the process harder is that there are so many shady websites out there that I’ve read horror stories about. It seemed like every dress I clicked on came from a questionable looking site and shipped from China, which was definitely not something I felt comfortable with.

    My obsessive googling took me down several different search term paths, until I eventually landed at Frock and Frill.  It was there that I found this lovely little number:

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    I knew immediately that I’d found the one. It isn’t long, like I wanted initially, but it checked so many of the other boxes, and I was swayed by all that pretty detail! We were a little hesitant to order from all the way across the pond — and NO ONE was fond of converting their US size to UK sizes! — but I verified that the site was legit and that the brand is carried at some major stores, so we placed the order.

    And now, we wait. Shipping has been fairly fast, but we got held up at customs. Word to the wise: packages over $300 get inspected, and you may owe additional taxes. We’re so excited for them to get here! It’s been a little scary ordering something sight unseen, but I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get them, they’ll be gorgeous, and that they’ll fit reasonably well.

    And, if they don’t, well, at least I left enough time to start the Googling process all over again!

  • 2/24

    Photo: Clane Gessel Photography One of the first questions I kept getting asked after “When’s the big day?” and “Where’s the big day?” was “And how many bridesmaids are you going to have?” I increasingly felt like the number of close female friends I could force to buy a dress was somehow crucial to my marriage’s success; I have only a few close ladyfriends, and I…

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