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February 22, 2019  

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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 difficulties.

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 your house.

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.

You look nervously down the aisle.You look nervously down the endless aisle...

...Wasn't it just yesterday when it seemed like this day would never come? Now, all that stands between you and your future is this quickly-shrinking bridge to marriage.

Did you know you could be so happy?

  Why We're the Best

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 bridesmaids.

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: I would love to hear what you are doing to make your wedding unique and memorable!

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