If you’re a bride planning your wedding, one of the more exciting things on your list is selecting your bridesmaid dresses. Yet despite the fact that a lot of thought goes into picking these dresses, they often get a bad rap. From overpriced to infamously unstylish, the reputation of the notorious bridesmaid dress may finally be changing.
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 the bridesmaids 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 nearly $300 on average. Just don’t forget alterations, which may run from $30 to $100 depending on what needs to be customized. “Given the expenses that come along with being a wedding party member, most people are likely to stick to this budget when you factor in wedding shower costs, bachelorette party costs, and more.”
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 with the bride and all her bridesmaids, it’s now easier than ever to shop for bridesmaids dresses. You can even do it from the comfort of your home! The prospect of shopping for bridesmaids dresses online has become increasingly popular over the last 5-10 years. But recently, shopping virtually has become the only feasible 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 nations and around the world.
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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 storefronts typically have more of a selection, but these stores have been wonderful options for made-to-order, custom 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.”
If you’re looking to purchase your bridesmaids dresses from an online boutique, here are some of the websites that 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, neckline, sleeve length and dress length. 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.
This is another online boutique that specializes in wedding attire and is best-suited for the luxe-yet-trendy wedding party, according to Carlson. “Baltic Born is known for its gorgeous, high-quality pieces, but the brand is a more budget-friendly alternative to other bridesmaid dresses,” 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 at the time of the wedding.
Designed and created with a wide range of skin tones and curves in mind, one of the best features of Bridal Babes aside from the styles and sizing is the filtering process. Once you arrive on the site, you can choose to shop for the bridesmaid or for 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.
“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, which is 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, as opposed to a singular shade assigned to all bridesmaids, but their colors are very consistent with nearly every style. It’s easy to find a dress cut and hue that flatters everyone.”
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 rental rate. 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.