When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, one style does not fit all. Forget the unflattering matchy-matchy dresses and have your bridal party wear different dresses in the same color family (make sure to find a shade that will flatter all skin tones in your group), or let your girls choose their own, mixing and matching colors and even prints. Not only will a variety of colors and styles make for fun wedding photographs, but you’ll also score “cool bride” points with your friends, who will appreciate a dress they actually can wear again.
Check out 20 stylish (and affordable—most are under $250) bridesmaid dress options in the slideshow.
We know how much you love your bridesmaids, but do they? Show them your gratitude and appreciation by giving them one of these pretty and personal items, most of which they’ll be able to use and cherish long after you’ve set off on your honeymoon. And best of all, they won’t break your bridal budget. From dainty jewelry to useful beauty products, check out our foolproof guide to 15 gifts that will let your ’maids know how grateful you are for them.
Jenny Yoo's patent-pending convertible bridesmaid dress. All photographs courtesy of Jenny Yoo
We’ve said it before, but we’ll keep saying it: Do not pick bridesmaid dresses your girls cannot wear again. Even though they’ll be smiling on your wedding day, inside they’ll be stewing. Luckily, Jenny Yoo makes some of the most wear-again-worthy bridesmaid dresses around, and we’ve got the new collection to share with you (check out yesterday’s post to view Yoo’s simple-but-gorgeous wedding gowns). While Yoo’s dresses come in a wide variety of colors, her featured hues are more muted shades such as grays, blues, rich purples, and barely-there nudes—again, the types of universally flattering shades your ’maids are more likely to wear again. And for your pregnant bridesmaids, there are some maternity styles as well.
Yoo has also introduced a collection of (patent-pending) convertible bridesmaid styles. The Keira style, shown above, can be worn as a one-shoulder, halter, or strapless dress with two different skirt drapings—an easy way for your bridesmaids to personalize their look without going too rogue. Oh, and PS: We just had to include her two new flower girl styles at the bottom of the page—too cute, right?
If you’re interested in checking out any of these styles, call up your girls and schedule an appointment with Fabulous Frocks in Alexandria, which is having a Jenny Yoo trunk show this weekend. Click the jump to view the rest of the new Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dresses.
A "Will You Be My Bridesmaid" gift box. Photograph courtesy of Something Turquoise
The setting was romantic, the ring was stunning, and his proposal was everything you ever dreamed of. Now it’s your turn to pop the question—to your best friends! Choosing the women you want to have by your side throughout the wedding planning process can be one of the most fun and meaningful moments of the whole journey. And asking them to participate is an important milestone in your relationship—so why not get a little creative to make sure it’s special? Check out our favorite ways to pop the question.
We’ve received a lot of questions from maids of honor, bridesmaids, and moms lately about bridal showers: “We don’t want to do just the standard luncheon at someone’s house. How can we make a shower a little more creative and fun?” Well, your friends at Washingtonian Bride & Groom are here to help.
We asked wedding planner Teresa Lee of Rex & Regina to come up with a few ideas for bridal showers that don’t involve making toilet paper wedding dresses in your great-aunt’s living room.
I Knew You When . . . “For this wedding shower, each guest should bring an object, like a newspaper headline, a song, or a clothing item, from the year they met the bride. As the bride opens the ‘artifact,’ the guest can share with the group how [he or she] met the bride,” says Lee.
This is a particularly great idea to liven up showers at a friend or relative’s house or at a restaurant.
Wine Tasting A fun and informative way to spend an afternoon, no flight to Napa required. Lee likes Zola Wine & Kitchen in DC for this type of shower because of its “open kitchen and casual atmosphere,” but many area restaurants would also be able to do a wine tasting party.
“To make the party even more personal, taste a flight of the bride’s favorite varietal,” says Lee.
Maintaining your friendships with your bridesmaids should be an important goal of wedding planning. Ergo, it’s probably not the best idea to make them spend half their paycheck on a dress they’ll only wear once. We promise you, they’ll be bitter. So of course we’re super-psyched about a new diffusion line from one of our favorite bridesmaid dress designers, Ivy & Aster—all of these super-cute dresses are under $220.
The Love Lane Collection, available exclusively at Bella Bridesmaid stores (including the shop in Bethesda), features dresses available in either crinkle chiffon or charmeuse, and in about 20 color options. We’re particularly loving the chiffon Kate style (shown at right)—it’s just so flirty, swingy, and fun. For more-formal weddings, full-length gowns are available, as well.
To view the full collection, visit Love Lane’s website, and if you’d like to see these dresses in person, give the Bethesda Bella Bridesmaid a call at 301-664-6436 to set up an appointment.
Hopefully you’ve voted in the finals of our wedding dress poll by now, but we didn’t want the bridesmaids to feel left out. We selected four of our favorite new bridesmaid dresses that each feature a hot trend (cowl necks, patterns, ruffles, and blush hues), and will leave it up to you to decide the one you’d most like to wear—and maybe even wear again long after the wedding’s over.
The Brides Box from Birchbox—a lovely shower gift. Photograph courtesy of Birchbox
Searching for a bridesmaid gift isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright stressful. But here’s a great gift idea for the beauty buffs in your life. We just heard about the Birchbox, a monthly subscription service that sends four or five curated oversized samples of high-end beauty products from the likes of NARS and Deborah Lippmann to your best gals. It costs $10 a month or $110 for a yearly membership.
If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and can’t decide what to get a bride-to-be for a shower gift, Birchbox just came out with a limited-edition Brides box (photo above). For $55, the bride in your life will get a sampling of on-trend products, like Automatic Apparel roll-up ballet flats, a Dr. Hauschka skincare set, and Tiny Prints thank-you cards. It’s definitely a nice idea if you’re the type that thinks just one gift isn’t enough.
Visit Birchbox’s Web site for more information.
For fall, select bridesmaid dresses with non-strapless necklines in neutral tones. Photographs courtesy of designers
For fall weddings, summer seersucker, and springtime pastel bridesmaid dresses probably aren’t going to fit the bill. So we asked Carin Rosenberg Levine and Julia Lichtman Kepniss of Hitched Maids in Georgetown, to share their top three bridesmaid dresses for autumn weddings.
1. Jenny Yoo “Justine” in slate Eastern silk shantung
“These Jenny Yoo dresses offer enough structure to be figure-flattering, but the fun pleated skirt is party-ready. Eastern silk shantung is a great fabric for fall since it has movement without looking too beachy, and a silky sheen without looking too heavy,” say Rosenberg Levine and Lichtman Kepniss.
2. Amsale “Style G558C” in charcoal silk chiffon
“Flowy chiffon dresses are fall-appropriate when worn long; you can still have a romantic look for your bridal party while giving your girls a bit more coverage. A statement-making one shoulder is a fun alternative to a strapless dress, but keep it classic by choosing a muted neutral color,” say Rosenberg Levine and Lichtman Kepniss.
3. Thread “Tyler” in blackberry duchesse satin
“This chic cocktail dress has clean lines with a retro-inspired neckline, all in a rich, cool-weather appropriate duchesse satin for a polished and sophisticated fall look,” say Rosenberg Levine and Lichtman Kepniss.
All of these dresses are available at Hitched Maids, visit their Web site for more details.
Afternoon tea at the Jefferson Hotel is a classy alternative to a bridesmaid getaway in Vegas. Photograph courtesy of the Jefferson.
If you’re the type of bride who’s more Lady Di than Lady Gaga, a booze-soaked bender in Vegas is probably not your idea of a good time. The Champagne tea at the historic Jefferson Hotel is perhaps a more genteel choice for bachelorette parties and other bridal fêtes, and will spare you and your maids the airfare—and the hangover—required of a weekend in Sin City.
In 2009, the 86-year-old Jefferson Hotel reopened after a two-year overhaul, which revived former spaces and created new ones. The Greenhouse, which plays host to the hotel’s traditional afternoon teas, is an example; its elaborate skylight, hidden since World War II, was uncovered during the renovation. Bridal parties of up to eight can be accommodated in the Greenhouse, located just off the hotel’s lobby, where they can sip teas from a menu of greens and blacks and nibble on seasonal tea sandwiches (we’d like to try Chef Chris’s smoked salmon with lemon aioli or his braised roast beef on rye), an assortment of scones and clotted creams with homemade preserves, and miniature pastries (the Virginia Peanut Praline caught our eye). Traditional tea is $39 per guest; a Champagne tea is available for $55.