The Lightness Is the Rightness (For Some)

As much as I like the bold, bright bridesmaids dresses I featured in Inspiration for Ashley #5 — and as popular as they are right now — there’s still a huge contingent of brides-to-be out there planning weddings with predominantly pastel color schemes. And good for them, I say. While it’s not my bag, I support a bride-to-be’s choice to outfit her wedding party in any color, from black to neon green to white!

That said, if you favor a wedding color scheme that could be described as soft, pretty, and/or feminine, don’t think you have to go running straight to the bridal salon for your bridesmaids’ dresses. For the same money you’d spend at David’s Bridal or a similar shop for your bridesmaid frocks, you can outfit your best girlfriends in pretty Amsale cocktail dresses from Bluefly. True story. And none of the potential bridesmaids dresses below cost more than $180, while all of them promise to look beautiful on your ‘maids without needing all that much alteration.

Amsale wisteria sateen strapless cocktail dressAmsale sage pleated chiffon v-neck dressAmsale turquoise satin strapless dress
Amsale celedon satin strapless dressAmsale butter ruched chiffon strapless empire dressAmsale ice pleated chiffon v-neck dress

How about pairing them with slightly brighter bridesmaids bouquets similar to this one from One Source Weddings:


Suggesting to my bridesmaids that they look outside of the world of weddings to find their dresses (I gave them some color and cut parameters but let them shop on their own) was something I really ought to have done. After all, I write about weddings for a living. Maybe, just maybe, they would have found their bridesmaid attire before the last possible second if they had realized they could have shopped online or at the mall.

(As always, click on any of the dresses for prices and availability)

6 Responses to “The Lightness Is the Rightness (For Some)”

  1. Toni says:

    I’ve never understood why people who have never taken anything to the tailor, ever, will pay excessive amounts of money to have a bridesmaid dress altered to death, when they will likely never wear it again.

    I mean, I realize it’s because the bridal places aggressively act like alterations are the “norm” but it just seems silly to me. (I’ve been helping a friend wedding dress shop recently, and am always astounded at the prices they charge for alterations.) David’s Bridal kept trying to convince my friend that she needed to go up a size “just in case” and I’m convinced that it’s because they want to charge her more to just alter it back down.

  2. I guess it all depends on how clothes fit, Toni. I, for example, am all mismatched — my boobs belong on a larger person, my hips would fit better on a taller person… at least according to clothing manufacturers! Then again, I know this about myself, and that it goes double when I’m shopping for formal dresses. Shopping for a dress that will fit off the rack (from a dept. store or anywhere else) takes ages. If I had a bride-to-be telling me to wear such-and-such a dress, it’s extremely unlikely it would fit properly on the first try, at least to my liking.

    Are there actually people out there who can rock formal clothing without a nip and a tuck here and there? If so, I envy them!

  3. Toni says:

    (I suppose I’ll neglect to mention that neither of the two bridesmaid dresses I wore, nor my wedding gown, needed alterations, including hemming. Just forget I said anything.)

    In all seriousness, I realize how lucky I am. I do understand the importance of a great tailor, but my point was, it just seems like there’s a much higher proportion of people altering BM dresses over formal dresses in general. The alterations price list at David’s made my jaw drop. Maybe it’s because it’s harder to find one BM dress style that will easily flatter all body types, but I still think the stores push it as a way to make more profit. Yet another reason to pick a color, and let your ‘maids choose the style.

  4. Toni says:

    And I’m in love with that first dress in wisteria.

  5. Melissa B. says:

    The last time I was a bridesmaid, the Jim Hjelm we wore was a) surprisingly figure-friendly for all 6 of us, and b) none of us had it altered. And as far as I know, none of my bridesmaids are having alterations either. I share Toni’s suspicion that bridal salons often try to net more money for alterations by encouraging bridesmaids to order a larger size.

    But I also agree that if you’ve got multiple gals in the same dress, unless they’re identical quadruplets or something, the dress isn’t going to fit quite right on someone. If my last dress had been way too big in the boobs (a common problem for me) I absolutely would have had it taken in rather than look sloppy (not to mention risk flashing someone!) in my friend’s wedding.

  6. Yet another reason to pick a color, and let your ‘maids choose the style.


    I can’t say I disagree with the assertion that bridal salons will push unnecessary alterations. I think all brides-to-be and bridesmaids-to-be should do themselves a favor and have their measurements taken by a pro before going dress shopping so they have a firm idea of what size(s) they’ll need to look at.