Broke-Ass Tag: bridesmaid dress


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.




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?


  • 9/12

    Ask Heather: Where Can I Find Bridesmaid Dresses?

    Image courtesy of Photo Pink

    Dear Heather,

    I have no idea where to start for my bridesmaids’ dress shopping. Help!


    Dear Apanda,

    I have a confession to make: I hate shopping for clothing. Therefore, I am probably not the best person to be answering this. Hopefully, though, some of our readers will chime in and leave some comments!

    I’m not sure if you’re struggling with something like choosing a color or style, or where to actually purchase a dress. If you’re having trouble with the former issues, I’d suggest starting with your bridesmaids’ skin tones and figuring out what will or will not be flattering. For instance, in general, it takes a special someone to pull off yellow. So, if your wedding colors are yellow and grey, I’d go for grey for the dresses. If you’re deliberating over what style, check out some actual weddings and see if you are drawn to any looks. For more casual affairs, I’d avoid full-length gowns. And if any of your bridesmaids have concerns about certain styles (some folks really don’t like strapless dresses), take that into consideration.

    When it comes to shopping for dresses, there are several options. The first option, and the one I chose, is to simply say something to the effect of, “Buy a [color] dress that’s [this material] and [this length].” You can even leave out some of those descriptors. If you’re a bit more particular, feel free to send fabric swatches, or ask that your bridesmaids send you a picture of them in the dress before purchasing it (or make sure the return policy is reasonable). To see what this could potentially end up looking like, just check out the picture at the top of the post. Those are my bridesmaids (and bridesman, who was told “Get a grey suit. We’ll provide your tie.”) The only instructions they received were to purchase a knee-length cool-toned (blue rather than red undertones) purple dress. Bam.

    The second option is to simply choose a store and go for it! This can be a David’s Bridal, Alfred Angelo, Macy’s, Ann Taylor, Gap, Old Navy, or anywhere you shop on a regular basis. If you already shop there, odds are you like what they offer. There’s no reason why a bridesmaid dress has to be purchased at an official bridesmaid dress retailer (whatever that means). If not all of your bridesmaids are local to you, obviously make sure there’s a store available near them, or that the store you choose has an online presence and a good return policy.

    Which leads me into my last option – online. There are some retailers who offer bridesmaid dresses online but not in stores. Target is one such store. J. Crew is another. I’m positive there are more out there, but those are the ones that spring immediately to mind. If you have a favorite store, it’s probably worth looking into whether they fit this bill. I’m also a fan of Dessy and ModCloth for dress needs. You could also simply search for “[color] [length] bridesmaid dress” and see what pops up. (Also, check out BAB’s Resources page and look through the banners on our sidebar for more places to find great bridesmaids dresses. – Eds.)

    Readers, how about you? What did your bridesmaid selection process look like? Where did you end up getting your dresses? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 9/9

    Before I get into our final preparation/countdown phase and begin to lose the rest of my mind, I have a funny little story to tell y'all. LONG STORY SHORT: Two of my bridesmaids are knocked up! One was planning to do so and the other temporarily forgot what causes pregnancy and well, SURPRISE! So I will be twice aunted again and I am thrilled, thrilled,…

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    The weekend is upon us, so before you bust out your shopping shoes and grease up that debit card, take a gander at the 10 rockin' deals I found for this week's Ten for the Weekend! Whether you're aching for some killer Cole Haan pumps or scheming ways to share your wedding photos, there's surely something her to strike your fancy! 1. Make sure your…

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    We love Elizabeth St. John, and she's been especially sweet to our readers over the last few years - but this holiday season, she's rolling out a particularly eye-popping offer with savings that we can barely even fathom! Liz has agreed to sell a wide variety of her most popular wedding dress styles, gowns which usually retail for $400 - $2500, for...your best offer. Allow…

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    From left to right: Guest of Wind Dress ($35), Blueberry Iced Tea Dress ($45), Effortlessly Enchanting Dress ($60), and Antique Photos Dress ($45).  One of our biggest cost-saving tips for bridesmaid dress shopping is don't shop for a "bridesmaid" dress. Any dress that is prefaced with the word "bridesmaid" will cost your favorite ladies at least $300, on average. ModCloth has a ton of bridesmaid-ey…

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    You've got those ladies who've been by your side through crappy relationships, drunken nights, fire-breathing PMS and all the rest of those wild ups and downs that come with lady life. Now they'll be by your side as you get hitched to the love of your life. So of course you want to be sure they're lookin' their best on your wedding day. U.K.-based retailer…

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    Before ... BLERGH! Marisa Lynch is the author of the uber popular blog New Dress a Day, AND a brand spanking new book  that just launched this week -- "New Dress a Day: The Ultimate DIY Guide to Creating Fashion Dos from Thrift-Store Don'ts"! I received an advance copy, and I have to say, I am super stoked to try out some of these DIY projects…

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    "I wanted it to be pretty, in my colors, and something you could wear again!" You've heard these words. Maybe you've even said them yourself. And while anyone who has ever said these words has uttered them with the best of intentions, the odds of a bridesmaid finding another occasion upon which to wear a floor length brown chiffon dress with a yellow sash are…

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