Bargain hunting: Bridesmaid Dresses

With two close friends in Australia, multiple good friends in America, and three sisters, I had a lot of options for bridesmaids. Part of me wanted to have one sister and a bunch of friends, part of me wanted all my sisters and one or two friends, and another part of me wanted to have a simple and small bridal party and just stick with my sisters, even though they are scattered across the globe.

My 3 sisters... and some type of monkey.

My 3 sisters... and some type of monkey.

I chose to have just my three sisters as my bridesmaids. I incorporated my other close friends into other roles, such as gift attendants, readers, and musicians. Also, with my bridesmaids scattered around the world, a lot of my American friends became my bridesmaid-dress-less bridesmaids! (all the crafting became a great excuse for hanging out with my girlfriends *and* we got to get to know each other better too).

While I was engaged, one of my sisters was living close by… in London! She decided to come over for a week shortly after we got engaged, and help me look for bridesmaids dresses. The benefit in having all my sisters as my bridesmaids was that we all look relatively the same, so by seeing one dress on one sister, I got a fairly good idea of what it would look like on the rest of them.

Prior to her arrival, I had her looking online at bridesmaids dresses and sending me the links of the dresses that she liked. My criteria was that it had to be a limey bright green sort of color (much to another of my sister’s horror), tea length, fun, and it had to be something that they might wear again (heh, how many of us say that? :P).

A friend of mine had a great tip for me – she told me to go to a bridal store and find a dress that I liked, then go to netbride.com and order it from them. So, that’s exactly what I did.

First we went to Demetrios at Macy’s. The staff was helpful and showed us a number of different options. They also offered 15% off because we would be getting 3 dresses (never hurts to ask for a discount!).

Dress #1:

I really liked this dress (After Six). I loved how it pulled to the side, was tea length, and looked like something you could easily wear again. I wasn’t convinced about the color though – it just wasn’t limey enough. (On the other hand, I was tempted to buy the dark blue version for myself!)

Next we went to a small boutique near my house and found:

Dress #2:

My sister absolutely loved this dress by Jasmine – it was absolutely perfect in every way except for the color. Rather than being the green that you see above, the green was actually more of a dark khaki color (when we looked at the 1″ square sample).

Dress #3:

This dress by Jordan was the closest we could find to the style of Dress #2 and was exactly the color I was looking for. The only problem was that it was only available in full length.

A week later, my sister was back in London and discovered that Dress #3 was now available in Tea Length! Yay! I had been quoted $179 for Dress #3 when I went into the bridal store, so I was really excited to get quoted $105 including shipping, handling & tax from Netbride.com.

Because one of my sisters got married in Australia before my wedding, I took the dresses with me so that my sisters could get them altered.

Skipping the middle man on your dresses *can* save you money, but sometimes there is also peace of mind by shopping at a “bricks and mortar” store. There are also a number of other online bridal boutiques out there, but Netbride is the only one I’ve used (or had friends use).  I should also mention that you don’t have to stick with the traditional bridesmaid dress look – there are great finds to be had at your favorite shopping spots (even at every girl’s dream store – Target!).

If you’ve had a good experience with an online bridal boutique, I’d love to hear about it!

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