Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Inspiration

When thinking about BM dresses, I had two criteria that I considered very important:

  • Straps
  • No more than $200

and additionally…

  • availability in colors that I liked, although the ultimate choice would be up to my BMs

Be it cap sleeves, spaghetti straps, or a sheer covering, anything is better than nothing. I didn’t want my ladies to have to worry about body parts making an unplanned escape. They should be able to dance the night away or bend down without worrying.

Regarding the cost, I wanted to avoid spending a huge amount of money on a dress that will only get little wear. (I am aware that a “huge amount of money” is different for everyone.) Because my bridesmaids are still in school and I’m asking them to wear something that I like, I’ve offered to foot half of the bill. This way the actual cost for each dress is around or less than $100.

Shortly after getting engaged I saw this dress in a magazine and loved it. Chiffon, a great color, and additional spaghetti straps:


{Priscilla of Boston}

Two bridesmaids gave positive feedback when I showed them this dress. However, Priscilla of Boston went out of business before we were able to get down to business. I was distraught when I heard this news. I had found a dress with no stress and little research…and now I saw a ton of work headed my way. Ughhh.

So as a girl who is back on the market for BM dresses, I started clicking through collections on the web.

First off, I’ve had a love relationship going on with BHLDN since they launched last year. Their dresses: le sigh. My specifications left two cute dresses in the running:


Beribboned dress in pewter & Savoy dress in navy

{collage by me, photos via BHLDN}

While some catalogues had so many options that my head was spinning, the Dessy collections were neatly presented. I especially liked this style by Alfred Sung:


Alfred Sung D502 in ebony & D503 in fresh

{collage by me, photos via Alfred Sung}

But I’d never ask my ladies to wear something that I or we did not see in person. How would we know whether the material is nice, the color is accurate, or if the seams are well sewn? Logically, trying some on for real was our next step…

What requirements did you have for your bridesmaids’ dresses?


Mrs. Bracelet

Frankfurt, Germany/Rapid City, SD
Wedding Date:
September 2012
The Rain That Ruined My Parade
DC Area Meet Up!
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  1. Member
    raspberry bride 407 posts, Helper bee @ 6:59 am

    I am wearing that Alfred Sung dress for my FSIL’s wedding in August (the short one).

    It comes in two fabrics (the names escape me). One is terrible, the other (which I believe is the peau de soie) is actually very nice :)

  2. msunicorn Member
    msunicorn 149 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:03 am

    I looove those BHLDN dresses!! The blue one is beautiful! As for the Alfred Sung dresses, I gotta say I love the shorter style. Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  3. Member
    vivshanks 325 posts, Helper bee @ 7:48 am

    I really didn’t have much of a requirement except that it made my larger girls and my girls who are well endowed look good. Many dresses I had seen online all looked great on thinner women b/c the models were thin, but what would they look like on curvy ones? My other criteria was that it was in the bright turquoise blue that I wanted. It was difficult to find since all but 1 of my girls was out of town. I finally found a dress. Unfortunately, there was no return policy and you could only order it online. My MOH stepped up and said she’d test it out for me. She looked great in it. I never got to see the other girls in the dress b/c they didn’t get back to me (AY YI YI!). So, I just put down my foot and said this is it, buy it by such-and-such date. Get it altered. Of course, there’s always 1 who doesn’t follow directions. (Sigh) Her dress ended up being too big on the day of. GRRRRR!

  4. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:49 am

    I love those BHLDN dresses, so pretty!
    I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted for bridesmaids dresses, since I wore the same dress in a different color for my MOH’s wedding. Luckily my girls liked it too :)

  5. Member
    Miss T-Rex 688 posts, Busy bee @ 8:50 am

    I agree with Mrs. Pony, I’m a HUGE fan of the BHLDN dresses but I understand your concern about the material. I myself am a sensory oriented person and if it feels funny I can’t wear it. :/
    Best of luck in your BM dress endeavors!

  6. Member
    All In 1550 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:57 am

    My reqs were pretty much the same as yours! I definitely did not want strapless–I just knew my girls would be more comfortable with straps. I ended up finding an awesome Y neck gown from David’s Bridal that was on sale that week for $120! And it had to come in my color, navy. And as a bonus, it’s floor length, which I think will be perfect for November. Woohoo!

  7. mstreasure Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:38 am

    I absolutely love those Alfred Sung dresses. I seriously contemplated them for my girls. They’re very classic and elegant. But the BHLDN ones are great, too! Such a tough choice!

  8. msdragon Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 11:43 am

    I left it all up to my ladies aside from the colour… I’ve had a few too many dresses I’ve hated but had to wear, and I didn’t want to make anyone have to do the same thing!

    The dresses you picked out, though, I’d be happy to wear! :)

  9. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:57 am

    I love the Alfred Sung dresses, but they’re so up up and beyond our price range. If I could afford I’d buy one for myself.

  10. beanstalk Member
    Mrs. Beanstalk 770 posts, Busy bee @ 3:25 pm

    I let my girls have fun with their dress selection… I just gave them a color, length, material (and designer). The only girl I really had a dress planned for was my sister. I wanted her in a one shoulder with flower detailing and low and behold that was the dress she fell in love with too!

  11. coyote Member
    coyote 1933 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:11 pm

    Such great choices! Can’t wait to see what the girls choose!

  12. Member
    priyathescientist 1514 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:35 pm

    I know this is just setting myself up for failure, but I want my [future] bridesmaids to wear something that makes them feel pretty.

    Of course, I’m going to be having a partial Indian wedding, so they may end up in Traditional Indian clothes … this may change their perspective on what makes them feel pretty since it’s such a different kind of attire.

  13. parasol Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:01 pm

    Love your inspiration photos! And POB had the most amazing BM dress selection ever. So sad they’re no longer in business. :(

  14. genie Member
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 10:04 pm

    Ahhh! That navy BHLDN dress makes me swoon!

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