As soon as you have your wedding date (and your dress), you’ll want to start thinking about bridesmaid dresses. While this SHOULD be a super fun checklist item, they often get a bad rap. The truth is bridesmaid dresses are no longer overpriced or unstylish. In fact, most companies are making dresses you’d probably wear again!
Kylie Carson, owner of The Wedding Academy, agrees that in recent years, there’s been a unique shift in the type of dresses worn by bridesmaids. This includes the variety of dresses they have to choose from, as well as direction to choose their own styles. “The bride may give bridal party members the freedom to choose their dress with certain constraints. This may include the color palette, required length, or even the fabric they’d like them to wear,” she says.
So, before we get into the best places to buy bridesmaid dresses, lets go over the basics:
How Much Do Bridesmaid Dresses Cost?
Pricing can vary, but Carlson notes that most bridesmaid dresses range anywhere from just under $100 to $300 on average. Just don’t forget alterations, which may run from $30 to $100 depending on what you need to tailor.
WGM Says: When sending possible dress options to your bridesmaids, make sure to ask them not only if they like the style, but if the price works for them as well.
Where to Buy Bridesmaid Dresses
While shopping for bridesmaids dresses used to entail a well-coordinated trip to a bridal salon, shopping for bridesmaids dresses online has become increasingly popular over the last 5-10 years. But recently, shopping virtually has become the only option for some brides.
During the past year, Ashley Y, founder of Bridal Babes, quickly pivoted her business model to cater to the bride at home who was planning the dream look for her bridesmaids. “This allowed us to connect with the bride and her tribe on a different level,” she says, adding that their contact-free buying process and virtual consultations have been a great solution for bridal parties across the country.
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Carlson agrees that shopping for bridesmaids dresses online can often make for an even better experience than in-store shopping. “Not only do online stores typically have more of a selection, but they have wonderful options for made-to-order dresses,” she says. “All of these small details can add up quickly, and online shopping can really ensure that you receive the exact match and style needed for the big day.”
Whether you’re looking for a short bridesmaid dress for a beach wedding or long bridesmaid dresses for a garden wedding, here are the websites the experts recommend.
If you’re already familiar with this website, then you know they have a wide range of styles for all sorts of occasions with a super friendly price tag. And this now includes weddings. On their bridesmaids dresses page, you can shop by color—black, blushes, roses, burgundys, creams, taupes, yellows, florals…the list goes on. You can also filter by size (certain styles even go up to 3X) , price, sleeve and dress length. You can even filter by neckline (we love a good sweetheart neckline).
Aside from their great selection, we love that their prices are super affordable, ranging anywhere from $68 to $200. “The dresses are very true-to-size, and the upgraded shipping costs are very reasonable if you need your package in a pinch,” adds Carlson. So no matter your bridesmaids’ body types or timeline, they’ll be able to find something they love.
You don’t have to sort through thousands of gowns to find an affordable price point on Birdy Grey, since every single gown is under $100. Whether you’re planning a black-tie wedding or a destination wedding, Birdy Grey has hundreds of styles, colors and fabrics to choose from. Our current fave from their collection? The Grace convertible dress in chiffon champagne, a flowy, convertible dress with romantic details that also features pockets!
This is another online boutique that specializes in wedding attire and is best-suited for the luxe-yet-trendy formal wedding party, according to Carlson. “Baltic Born is known for its gorgeous, high-quality pieces, but the brand is a more budget-friendly alternative” she says. “Most dresses can be purchased for under $100, and they come with a wide selection of colors and fabrics to match easily with other brands.” They also offer bump-friendly styles, which can accommodate any bridesmaids who may be expecting.
“This online store is perfect for the luxury, boho bride,” says Carlson. Offering styles by popular wedding designers, bridesmaids will find tons of options when it comes to fabric, style, and color. BHLDN, the wedding brand of Anthropologie, also makes it fairly easy if you’re having them pick out their own dresses, says Carlson. “Not only does this website pair beautifully with the concept of a color palette, but their colors are very consistent with nearly every style. It’s easy to find a dress cut and hue that flatters everyone.” If you’re looking for the best bridal party dresses, this bridal shop should be top on your list!
Without a doubt Azazie has the biggest selection of bridesmaid dresses at the best prices ($79+), which makes them really hard to beat. On top of that you can order custom sizes, meaning your bridesmaid dress will fit like a glove. They offer an at-home try on service for not only their bridesmaid dresses but for their Mother of the Bride dresses as well as wedding gowns. There is a $10-$15 non-refundable fee per dress (wedding dresses are $15), however shipping is free. If your friends don’t like any of the selected styles they have a week to return them using a prepaid label.
Designed and created with a wide range of skin tones and curves in mind, one of the best features of Bridal Babes is the filtering process. Once you arrive on the site, you can choose to shop for the bridesmaid or the bride and then choose between shopping by color, price and even shipping speed. The site also offers various virtual styling packages to help you find the perfect look, from $100 and up.
Amber Padilla, celebrity stylist, is a huge fan of this brand and was psyched when they finally put out a bridal collection. “Their main collection has always been amazing, so I didn’t expect anything less with this new category,” she says. “Their dresses are very fashion-forward and flattering for all shapes and sizes, and their offering accommodates casual to formal.”
You might be familiar with this clothing rental company that allows consumers to rent high-end, designer clothing at an affordable price. Well, in 2018, they launched a full-service wedding concierge service to help both brides and bridesmaids find the ideal dress for the big occasion. Each package starts at $199 and includes accessories, at-home fittings, personal styling and an 8-day rental.
While this might be the most expensive option on this list (dresses run between $250-$300), Jenny Yoo has some of the most gorgeous silhouettes you’ll find. Even though their Made-to-Order options have to be purchased via an official retailer, they also have a nice selection of Ready-to-Ship dresses in sizes 0-18. Some Ready-to-Ship styles also offer additional customizations, such as adding an additional 3″-6″ of length for anywhere from $20-$40. If you’re looking for something different, don’t miss their separates! Instead of a dress you can choose a gorgeous lace top and tulle skirt that your bridesmaids will definitely wear again!
The most important part of picking a bridesmaid dress? Making sure it works for both your wedding theme AND your friends’ budget. Before you decide on a look, make sure you ask your bridesmaids these important questions first:
- Does this style make you feel great?
- Is the price point in your budget?
- What about the cost of alternations?
- If the price doesn’t work, which range do you feel comfortable with instead?