Shopping Outside of the Box: Bridesmaids Dresses for Under $100

Back in 2009, I posted a poll asking how much brides can ask bridesmaids to spend on a wedding and the winning answer was “It depends on the financial situation of each bridesmaid.” But that answer didn’t win by much! The next most popular answers were “$100-$250” and “$250-$500.” Now me, if a friend asked me to spend $500 as one of her wedding attendants, I’d politely decline – which is the right thing to do if you can’t afford all the *stuff* associated with a wedding. Of course, it’s equally polite to not ask friends to break their budgets to be a part of your wedding!

With that in mind, here are nine bridesmaids’ dresses for under $100 – they’re all different, but what they have in common is that none of them are sold as ‘bridesmaids’ dresses’.


The top three are from Nordstrom, the middle three are from Chadwicks, and the bottom three are from Target (and also very patriotic, for some reason). Almost all of them are available in other colors.

Brides who want to outfit their bridesmaids on a budget should look for special occasion dresses, party dresses, and formal dresses at shops that aren’t geared toward weddings. The only thing to be aware of is that inventory can run out, so if you find a bridesmaids dress you love at a non-weddingy store, check to make sure it’s still available in the sizes your bridesmaids will need. If it is, let your ladies know they need to buy ASAP – it can always wait in the back of a closet until it’s time to visit a seamstress.

In a lot of cases, your bridesmaids will pay a lot less for a better quality dress if you avoid the dreaded W word while shopping around for their frocks. Will you be shopping outside of the box for your bridesmaids’ dresses?

5 Responses to “Shopping Outside of the Box: Bridesmaids Dresses for Under $100”

  1. Kayla says:

    I’m not even going to demand my attendants wear a particular dress at all. I find the whole tradition of the bride dictating what everyone wears to be appalling anyway. I’m just going to give them a length and color and have them buy/wear whatever suits them – even if that includes a suit.

  2. AJ says:

    Wish I had done this for my wedding! It just seemed “easier” to go with traditional bridesmaid stuff. I also let them have some input- sent out a few designs I liked, let them help choose. That also gave them a heads-up on price range, and a chance to chime in on that.

  3. Isabel says:

    this is a great idea! Suppose not many brides can spend the fortune for their bridesmaids outfits, and here is the solution! Actually some of those dresses are really pretty, and some of bridesmaids dresses i’ve seen were terrible! If i had to chose i’m sure there would’t be any doubts.

  4. I can’t believe they are all under $100! They all would look appropriate for a bridesmaid to wear, so what a great way to save money!

  5. Annie says:

    Modcloth.com has some cute, cheap dresses for the indie or vintage-slanting ladies. Almost everything is under $100. I shop there all the time for myself, but a lot of the reviews mention using the dresses there for engagement photoshoots/receptions/bridesmaids’ dresses, etc. Plugging a vendor is pretty weird for me, but … I like them a lot. So.