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Hey there! Welcome back to Emily Plans a Wedding! We’ve already discussed what my dress might look like, so now it’s time to turn to the ladies who will be standing next to me.

Before we talk about what everyone will be wearing, though, I thought you might like to meet the ladies themselves!

I am very lucky to have two wonderful sisters — one older, one younger — so they were obvious bridesmaid choices. My family is very close, and I couldn’t imagine not including them in my bridal party. Here we are at Kate’s wedding last summer:

Photo by Jenna Cole (see more from Kate’s wedding here, here, here, here + here!)

We like to laugh :) Also, we’ve heard everything from we all look nothing alike, to Kate and I look alike, to Kim and I look alike, to Kate and Kim look alike, so feel free to weigh in in the comments!

I am also very lucky to be gaining not just a husband but two more wonderful sisters next September. John’s older sisters, Natalie and Marget, were also easy choices for me. Yep, our families are full of girls, with not a brother in sight between the two! Here we are, with Marget’s fiance, Seth, a few summers ago:

Personal photo

When it comes to bridesmaid fashion, I suppose I’m pretty traditional. I’m 90% sure that my ladies will all be wearing the same dress, and that that dress will be floor-length. I don’t have any grand illusions that it will necessarily be a dress they’ll wear again (after all, even if they like it, how many opportunities do most of us have to wear evening gowns??), but I want to make sure they’re comfortable, pleased with how they look in the dress, and okay with the price.

Here’s some of the inspiration I’ve been collecting:

Credits, from top to bottom: Photo by A Bryan Photo via Caroline Brewer Styling; Jenny Yoo dress photo by Charlotte Jenks Lewis via Style Me Pretty; navy bridesmaid dress photo by A Bryan Photo; David’s Bridal dress photo by Tanja Lippert via Style Me Pretty; J.Crew dress photo by Steve Steinhardt via Style Me Pretty; J.Crew dress photo by Brita Photography via Style Me Pretty; J.Crew “Alisanne”; White House, Black Market dress photo by Katie Neal; custom Azadeh Couture dress photo by Meg Smith via Style Me Pretty

Oh, and in case you’re wondering after viewing the above, no, I have not decided what color dress they’ll be wearing. The current contenders are black, navy blue, deep navy plum, and gray.

With the above inspiration in mind, I set out to find a few budget-conscious possibilities that fit my desired look. It took some time, but I waded through the abundance of options to find a few I think are both stylish AND reasonably priced. (The Jenny Yoo and J.Crew numbers are more than we’d like to spend, but they were too pretty to exclude!) Side note: Why are so many bridesmaid collections horrifically styled?? Please disregard some of the more dramatic poses below :)

Sources, from left to right and top to bottom: J.Crew Arabelle long dress in graphite silk chiffon ($365), J.Crew Gabby dress in spiced wine cotton taffeta ($225), David’s Bridal chiffon and charmeuse dress in marine ($119), David’s Bridal one-shoulder jersey dress in black ($149), Eden Bridals 7324 in chiffon (unknown), Eden Bridals 7339 in chiffon (unknown), WToo Style 183 in crinkle chiffon ($202), Watters Style 9531 ($198), Bill Levkoff Stye 380 (unknown), Jenny Yoo “Rowan” in crinkle chiffon ($400), Jenny Yoo “Hannah” in crinkle chiffon ($337.50), Jenny Yoo “Margaux” in crinkle chiffon ($355.50)

So tell me: What do you think? Which is your favorite of the options I’ve rounded up? Have a dress I need to check out? Leave a comment below! I’d also love to hear where your bridesmaid dresses are coming from, and what you think is a reasonable price to ask your ‘maids to spend!

P.S. In case you missed a post…
The main characters
Where we’re getting married
I go dress shopping
We choose a photographer

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Kelsey reply

    Amsale has lots of beautiful long dresses at under $300. You also get a discount if you have 7 or more maids!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Kelsey! Thank you so much for the tip! I love a lot of Amsale’s designs, but I guess I assumed they would be too expensive because of the price point of her bridal gowns. Alas, I only have four bridesmaids, but I’ll still check them out!

  2. avatar Tiffany Lee reply

    Oh I love that Eden 7324! It makes me want to change my wedding colors. So gorgeous. Great colection! I am going for the same kind of look. I love that you mentioned it might not be something they would wear again. I agree, and I want to make it so they don’t hate me with the price too. We decided to get some good use out of our old bridesmaid and prom dresses by wearing them for my bachelorette party next year. Should be fun!

  3. avatar *holly | MagnoliaPair reply

    My sister’s wedding is in March, and we had a hard time choosing between some of those gorgeous options above. She decided on an Amsale that is very similar style…j’adore! The long flowy dresses are just beautiful to me. Can’t wait to see which you decide upon.

  4. avatar Melissa Schollaert reply

    Love the feel of these Emily! I had a recent wedding that had similar dresses – by Amsale:

  5. avatar Kate {domestikatedlife} reply

    A friend of mine picked the J.Crew tafetta dresses and I LOVED wearing the bow monde style in the color you’ve shown above — they looked good on everyone!

    You can see them here:

  6. avatar Mary reply

    I keep trying to forget about the fact that I have to pick dresses out. I have girls of all different heights/ sizes so it feels daunting.

    P.s. I think it would be funny to come up with captions for the more ridiculously posed pictures.

  7. avatar shelby reply

    The Watter’s gown is one of my personal favorites! It’s so flattering on any shape & it’s so whimsical and perfect! Your bridesmaids would look perfect next to you in it! I also have a minor crush on the Margaux, but who wouldn’t?

  8. avatar emily hansel reply

    I love the look of the all chiffon ones, especially the Jenny Yoos. It seems like a great choice for September and the summer/fall transition. And if someone did particulary love their dress, a lot of those styles seem like they could be shortened…
    The posing is ridiculous, but at least they are styled well. I had the hardest time choosing a bridesmaids dress from Vera Wang for a wedding once because the models all had messed up hair and dark circles under their eyes. That does not help visualization!

  9. avatar Stephanie reply

    Hey Emily! I am currently planning my 2012 wedding here in Chapel Hill and came across a beautiful floor length chiffon gown at Bridal Mart in Burlington! It took some digging but we are going with Pretty Maids Style BM39 in Royal. It is more than affordable and is gorgeous on! My second option was the Jenny Yoo “Margaux”. Happy Planning!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Stephanie! I am actually headed to Bridal Mart with my Mom, mostly to look at Watters bridal gowns, but also because they have several of these bridesmaid lines! I’ll keep an eye out for Pretty Maids!

  10. avatar Sarah reply

    Don’t make me choose! I find long bridesmaid dresses to be so beautiful…they almost lend an added sense of whimsy to the day. And I am a sucker for anything gray with a sweetheart neckline…so flattering on so many body types! Also, I don’t know the cost, but have heard great things about Belsoie…

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Sarah! I’ve heard good things about Belsoie, too, and I think they fit into the general price point we’re looking at!

  11. avatar Madelynne Miller reply

    The Eden bridals one is beautiful for a more formal look. I love the Watters for a more laid back look. There is a definite relaxed look to the chiffon numbers.

    My advice? Take the girls with you and let them try on most of the styles and see which one looks most flattering on all of them! I took all my girls to the bella bridesmaid and we decided on Lula Kate. I did let them pick out their own top of the silhouette but we decided on one skirt style. We all went to brunch after and had mimosas. It was SO much fun!

    • avatar Emily reply

      That sounds like SO much fun, Madelynne! I might be able to get everyone together around Christmas…

  12. avatar Katie reply

    Emily, FYI, the dress that you call “unknown” with the bow in the back is J.Crew’s cotton taffeta Alisanne. In fact, two of my bridesmaids will be wearing that in navy for my June wedding :) and it’s a good price!

  13. avatar Kathryn reply

    I was in a wedding last December and we wore the one strap one from Davids bridal. It looked great on everyone (her bridesmaids were ALL shapes and sizes). It was by far the most comfortable and affordable Bridesmaid dress I have ever worn and held up better than the more expensive ones I have bought that had boning come out during the wedding! To make it look a little less David’s Bridal she had us cut the “tail” that hang down off of the back of the dress when we got it altered. Here is a link to a picture. GOOD LUCK!

  14. avatar Alysha reply

    I agree with the comment above that a sweetheart neckline is flattering for basically any body type. Your sisters and soon to be sisters-in-law are all gorgeous, so I think they’ll probably look good in anything. I think price point all depends on where you’re coming from. My bridesmaids were all still paying for university, or paying off university loans. We scored gorgeous dresses from RW&co. for $8, nice for them (and me!) but not quite what you’re looking for! Blessings on your planning!

  15. avatar Kate reply

    I agree with Sarah- Belsoie is a great line. I just recently married and used style L2064 in black for my bridesmaids. It was absolutely stunning on every single one of my girls, and I had all different shapes and sizes. They all have very different personalities and styles, and every one of them loved the dress (phew!). I did the dress in tiffany chiffon but you can change the fabric to your liking. It’s under $250, but since it sounds like you’re going with a more neutral/classic color your bridesmaids could shorten it and wear it to other events. I worked in a bridal shop and have seen the dress done in all the colors you mentioned except grey, and it’s beautiful.

    Here’s the link for the dress-

  16. avatar Amanda reply

    Two thoughts:

    1) I have heard that grey dresses can really show sweat and/or spilled drinks! If you have any sweaty maids, they might suffer with a grey dress, especially silk chiffon. Just what I’ve heard…!!

    2) You mentioned JCrew dresses are too expensive… My BMs are wearing the navy silk taffeta dresses (any style they choose), and several of them bought their dress for super cheap while JCrew was having a sale! One BM got hers for $79!! Three others got theirs for $179!! So, JCrew can be inexpensive if you watch the sales online. Just a tip!

    GOOD LUCK!! Love your taste!

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