They said it couldn’t be done. They said it was a ridiculous idea. They said, frankly, I was nuts.
They were wrong.
I am talking, of course, about finding mismatched high-street bridesmaids dresses. And we did it!
Fellow brides, there is a LOT of pressure to buy bridesmaids dresses from bridal stores, and the mark up on those bad boys is RIDICULOUS. And why? Because people feel they have to have a certain look, or make their maids all look the same, or it’s just (*sigh*) easier.
But I am here to tell you, if you wanna broke-ass it properly, you can and should look elsewhere.
Here’s what you need to find your Broke-Ass Bridesmaid Dresses…
1) Awesome Maids. Mine are all amazing women, but totally different style-wise. Forcing them all to wear the same type of dress would have made at least two of them feel less than their best, no matter the combination. All the same, I think a couple of mine were skeptical to the idea of finding mismatched stuff on the high street BUT they all went for it on the day, and were completely brilliant and flexible with their choices. Their open-mindedness is Reason 1 why we managed to find such gorgeous gowns for all of them.
2) An open mind. I had pinned a few different ideas of mismatched bridesmaids dresses on my boards, but what we ended up with was totally different. And you know what? It was better. But if I had been trying to fit into a Pinterest version of a wedding, I’d never have found them.
3) To reevaluate what a bridesmaids dress should be. It doesn’t have to be boring, it doesn’t have to be staid, it doesn’t have to be anything at all, other than something your maids will be really excited to wear.
4) Someone who can see the potential in things (even if you can’t). I’m lucky to have a Maid of Honour who is more than a little handy stylewise. She was able to spot whether dresses could be altered to fit people better (crucial if you do what I did and buy stuff from sale racks, where there are limited sizes available). By buying sales items we ended up with all four dresses for approximately £200 — original price would have been over £700! They’ll need a little nip and tuck to fit my maids perfectly, but that’ll still cost an awful lot less than full price bridesmaid’s dresses.
5) A dash of luck! We were lucky that the entire sale rail in the first dress shop we found (Monsoon) was in the sort of tones and colours that I liked, and that suited the Maids. We were able to take about fifteen dresses into the changing rooms and then just have fun swapping them all around.
The iconic dressing room scene from “The Sweetest Thing.”
Other ideas for getting your Maids looking super-kick-ass for much less cash…
1) Do you know anyone who is handy with a needle and thread who could make dresses for you? That way you can get exactly what you like, and probably still spend less than if you bought them in a shop.
2) Have you seen a dress you like but can’t afford it? Try eBay! There’s loads of fantastic brand new dresses on there that are a fraction of the price of high street versions.
3) Ask your maids if they have dresses they already adore that they’d want to wear again. When I suggested my original colour scheme, Maid Lizzy was straight in there with “I’ve got loads in that colour, I’d happily wear one of them to your wedding.” Boom! Broke-Ass Bridesmaidery right there.
Good luck Brides, and remember — do it your way on your budget and you won’t go wrong.
Am dram Bride – out.