Post # 1
I don’t want my girls to buy dresses that they think are totally awful or unflattering, so I’ve asked them to provide some input on what they think looks good on them and if they have cut preferences. They have all expressed the desire to get a dress that they can wear again in the future.
A couple problems have come out of this: first of all, my wedding is going to be a black tie affair, and I know it’s really tough to buy a formal gown that one would plan to wear again. I’ve heard of buying a dress that could easily be altered into something shorter, and so far that’s the best solution I’ve come up with.
One of my Maids of Honor (I have two) has become very insistent, however, on choosing the stores we go to for the dresses. She seems set on the idea that we are going to find something at Nordstrom’s and doesn’t want me going near David’s Bridal with a ten-foot stick! Frankly, for more formal gowns, I just don’t know that a department store is the best place, and I would really rather shop around and keep options open!!
Post # 3
You’re the bride, you should have final say on all dresses if that is what you want. You have an idea in your head that you want to see become reality so it is your choice and your wedding.
I’ve had to learn to say no to some things over the course of planning my wedding and that might be what you need to do as well. Take charge!
Post # 4
I would say that even though you have given them some input (which is more than a lot of brides do) that this is your wedding and you have final say. Tell your maid of honor that it doesn’t hurt to look at David’s Bridal, plus it would probably be more affordable than something from Nordstrom’s. If she still doesn’t want to you could play the bride card. 🙂
Post # 5
For the record, a dress NOT designed for bridal will be a lot better quality and nicer to re wear! Also cheaper, I did the same and wanted input and we found amazing dresses on clearance at macy’s.
Post # 6
When I first started looking at dresses, I narrowed down the options for my BMs. Then they went and tried them on and narrowed down their favorites. We ended up going with what the majority liked.
An easy way to tell your Maid/Matron of Honor would be to say something like, "I like your suggestion of looking at Nordstrom’s, but we will also be checking out David’s Bridal and other bridal shops, just to see what they have." That keeps your options open and then you Maid/Matron of Honor won’t be surprised when you pull into the David’s parking lot!
Post # 7
I actually think that if you are having a black tie wedding and want the girls to look elegant, you have a much better chance of finding something appropriate at Nordstrom or another department store than you do at DB. Look on their websites, you may be surprised to see what they have.
Post # 8
I would personally stay away from David’s Bridal, too! They’re VERY expensive! For a black tie gown, you can totally go to Macys or Dillards or Nordstrom (i love nordstrom and you might catch a great sale online). Look at online formal dress shops that dont’ specifically say "bridal" or "prom". Cache, Spiegel. I like Chadwicks. They have really pretty stuff! It doesn’t hurt to look at DB….they’ll just look very weddingy. So it depends what kind of look you want. You are the bride!
Post # 9
Thanks guys! This is really good feedback and will help me out:)
Post # 10
I agree that you mgiht be surprised what you can find at Nordy’s. I hink your BMs could be a bit more open. "We want to be able to wear it again" is a bit vague. (eye of the beholder stuff), especially as you mentioned it needs to be formal. I think you need to discuss with themwhat type of dress you need them to wear. they might not have known what the situation was before they made the request. (And you did ask.)
Also, I think while a bride has a vision of what she want sher girls to wear, there is plety of room for everyone to be a little open so that the BMs look pretty in teir dresses. I suggest you stand pretty firm on the color you want, and take into account their body styles. Hopefully you know them well enough to know if one has a tatoo you want to hide or a big ugly mole on her back etc. Then from that figure out what styles you favor, and everyone go to try them on. They can give some input and feel better. You can see how they look.
Honestly, if they are paying for their dresses I think it’s fair to be somewhat open. Just don’t let situation get so out of your hands that they have bridal salon brawls over what to get.
Post # 11
I would keep all options open – you never know what you’ll find! To get the ball rolling, you might want to look at some websites and pick out dresses you like, then open it up to your bridesmaids to help – have them all look for dresses that are (for example) "black, long, and under $200". You oculd then go out and try them on and see which ones the girls like the most. The "it should be re-wearable" request really goes out the door for formal events – unless your girls are being invited to numeorus galas. Or if they’re willing to put out the money later to have it shortened. But really, it’ sno t like people wear short satin dresses to work, so… 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
Check out Nordstrom online… they actually have a pretty decent selection of bridesmaid-y dresses (they even have a section for it!) that are better priced than Davids Bridal (as others have mentioned).
Maybe you should let them brainstorm some ideas on their own, and come to you with a selection of 5-6 dresses and let you have the final say? That seems like it might be a good compromise. It’s fair for you to lay down the rules, like "Must be XXX color, must be formal, must fit XXX season" and then maybe see where they go with it? You can even send them suggestions along the way… but I think they might pleasantly surprise you! As long as you don’t give them TOTAL free rein by setting your small list of ground rules, they will probably find something appropriate, and because they picked it themselves, they wlll be happy!
Post # 13
Another option besides Nordstrom…if you have one near you is Lord & Taylor. We had three family black-tie weddings in rapid succession a couple of years ago and my mom & I both hit the jackpot each time at L&T.
Post # 14
Tanya123- you actually bring up a good point- the girls know that this is a formal event but are still insisting on rewearability for their dresses. We have discussed floor-length dresses and they think those would be pretty, but I’m just not sure how floor length dress = re-wearable and this Maid/Matron of Honor remarked that she didn’t want it to be like a prom dress or anything. (What is that supposed to mean???)
Mrs. Penguin, I like your idea of setting some basic perameters and letting them find their own dresses. I’m definitely not going to find one dress that will look good on all the girls, as they vary in height and body shape so much. I’m just worried that they will gripe about buying a dress they don’t really love or that they won’t wear that often because it’s formal.
Happilywaiting- nope, no Lord & Taylor for the west coast. Thanks for the suggestion anyway!
Post # 15
What’s the harm in looking at Nordies? And if you do find something there, great!! if you don’t find anything there at least you will have appeased your Bridesmaid or Best Man and then you can then move on to look at other stores.
Ultimately you have final say so if you don’t end up liking the dresses your BMs like, tough for them ; )
Post # 16
I think you’re being a very generous bride by letting your bridesmaids have a say in what their dresses will look like! I definitely think you should keep your options open – you never know where you will find the perfect dress! I found my flower girls’ dresses at Macy’s on clearance right after Easter!
Ann Taylor also has a bridesmaid line that have dresses you can certainly wear again (perhaps to another black tie affair)! Try there also!