Save on Bridesmaids Dresses
This article was sent in our Cost-Effective Bride Newsletter
on September 24, 2001. If you would like to receive helpful
articles and money-saving tips for your wedding, subscribe here.
Save on Bridesmaids Dresses
Aren't bridesmaids dresses expensive? But even worse,
they are often so gaudy. What's up with that? Why do
we ask our bridesmaids to spend so much money on a
dress that they are not excited to wear, nor will they
ever wear again?
This just doesn't seem practical or cost-effective. If
you are going to spend a lot of money on something then
you should at least get a lot of use out of it, right?
Well, I have a couple of ideas for you - some are
radical (not really) others take a bit of effort, but
all will save you money.
First, have you thought about looking at the prom
dresses at a department store? You can often get a
pretty nice dress for less in the women's department.
And, if you know far enough ahead of time, you can wait
until just after the Prom or Homecoming seasons are
over and find dresses on sale! There are just two
potential problems - if you do wait, they may not have
enough dresses or in the sizes you need. And, if you
have plus-sized or petite bridesmaids you may have some
Second, if you like the idea of department stores, why
not check out their catalogs? Sometimes catalogs can
have more sizes available or just more of the same
style available. Go to your favorite department store
and ask if you can take a look at their catalog. You
can even ask them how you can receive their catalog at
Third, if you want to be really cost-effective, try
choosing a dress that your bridesmaids can wear over
again. Take them with you shopping and see what kind
of styles they like. If you are getting married in the
summer a light sundress could be very beautiful and
really make your ceremony bright. There is no rule
that says that bridesmaids dresses have to be all one
color. You CAN choose dresses with patterns on the
material. Your bridesmaids would be more likely to
enjoy wearing a dress that they can get more than one
use out of and they will be more excited that the money
spent on the dress will not be just for one day. As a
result, they will probably be more happy to participate
in your wedding, too.
Fourth, there is also no rule that says that
bridesmaids all have to wear the same dress. What if
you picked out a color and told your bridesmaids to try
and find a dress that matched a swatch of that color.
You could apply some simple rules - no dress above the
knee, or no strapless dress (whatever YOU want for your
wedding) and then let them go out and pick a dress that
matches their personality. It would be best to pick a
color that is relatively common in dresses - like navy
blue, or right now lavender seems to be a popular
color. This way, they will be able to pick a dress
that they like at a price that they enjoy, as well.
A twist to this would be to go to a fabric store and
pick out a material or patterned material that you can
envision your bridesmaids wearing at your wedding.
Then each of your bridesmaids could pick out a dress
pattern that they like and use the material that you
picked to make their dress. Obviously, either your
bridesmaids have to be able to sew, or you have to know
someone who can sew however many dresses you need in
the time span that you have before your wedding.
Hiring a seamstress can get expensive, so knowing
someone who would be willing to sew the dresses for you
would be helpful. But, this would create a fun effect
of having similar looking dresses, but each unique to
the different personalities of your different
And finally, along the same lines, you can pick out the
material and the pattern and have someone sew the
dresses for each of your bridesmaids. Buying the
material and patterns will be less expensive than
buying dresses already made and sold in bridal stores.
Your local fabric store should carry patterns for
bridesmaids dresses, but you may want to just look at
the patterns for regular dresses. This way, you might
be able to find a dress pattern that your bridesmaids
could also wear again.
In the end, when picking out your bridesmaids dresses
it is best to keep your bridesmaids in mind. Looking
back on your wedding, you probably will not care too
much about what your bridesmaids dresses looked like,
but you will care about what your bridesmaids thought.
Their budgets, personalities, shapes, sizes, and
opinions should all be factored into your decision.
When it comes down to it, it is your decision because
it is your wedding. But, don't forget that the reason
they are standing up in your wedding is because they
are the ones who have been and will be there for you in
your life. You do not want to embarrass them or make
them uncomfortable just for your happiness. The
dresses will eventually be out of style and unusable,
but your friends will never go out of style and they
will always be needed.
Kelly Kons, Editor
P.S. If you have ideas that you would like to share
with other brides, please e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org I
would love to hear what you are doing to make your
wedding unique and memorable!