I was recently thrilled to be asked to participate in my first wedding, which will take place next May [jumps up and down with excitement; small girly squeal]. The bride also enlisted me for a little bridesmaids dress-hunting help. Now this is not exactly an area I am particularly familiar with (my own wedding will undoubtedly be something along the lines of a Vegas free-for-all, for which I will be able to justify several great designer outfits. Wedding dresses are nice and stuff, but I'd rather spend my money on Prada!) Still, I am taking my bridesmaid responsibilities seriously – nobody likes a bridal party slacker – and have been doing some scouting around.
Realization: Finding cute bridesmaids dresses is *hard*, even when you've established some simple basic criteria (non-strapless, non-pastel, non-outrageously expensive). Mega-bridal sites like The Knot and WeddingChannel.com do compile bridal party dress suggestions – but thousands and thousands of them. Trust me, once you've clicked past your 85th fuschia satin halter dress (yep, there's apparently still a humongous market for fuschia satin), you're ready to hang yourself with a color-coordinated chiffon scarf.
The other slightly tricky thing is that there are six of us bridesmaids for this wedding, so buying cute dresses from a regular store – which is what I would normally suggest to escape the glut of shiny pastels – could get problematic in trying to coordinate.
At best, I could come up with this, which is kinda pricey but which I love:
Vera Wang tulle gown, $330:
(Incidentally, I have to say that Vera Wang's Maids collection – created for bridesmaids, but really just a line of formal dresses – is a great source for black-tie attire. My favorite formal dress is a simple floor-length black Vera Wang dress that I've worn to a bunch of fancy functions. Even better: If you happen to, say, get a wee bit tipsy and spill wine down the front, it's likely no one will be able to tell.)
I also suggested something like this:
J. Crew Avery silk long cross-backed dress [but in black], $295
I also think a tea-length dress is very often overlooked, and can be very classic and pretty:
Vera Wang Bobinette high-neck dress, $260
Really, if it were MY wedding, I would be tempted to go with this:
Diane Von Furstenberg Jolie Empire-Waist dress [but in black], just knocked down to $165:
But… the bride requested floor-length. Apparently, church and knees do not mix. I am still desperately coveting this dress for myself, however.
I think the bride's ideal bridesmaid dress might be something like this, but in black and floor-length (and my suggestion would be a long, contrasting cream silk ribbon at the empire waist):
And so, a desperate plea! Can those of you with Actual Wedding Experience suggest any stores or sites to check out? Comments or e-mails would be highly appreciated.