No, not talking about diamonds :P
Talking about bridesmaids! Shopping for your best girlfriends' dresses can be a daunting task - especially if they have different styles, preferences, and body type. I've talked to people who have had upwards of eight to ten bridesmaids in their bridal parties and I just can't really imagine how overwhelming that must be to coordinate - not just dresses, but parties, rehearsals, showers....
I kept it relatively simple and have three of my best girlfriends with me for the wedding. So far, we haven't had any major hiccups - except for the first time Rachel and I went to go try on dresses in Manhattan because I failed to make an appointment beforehand. HA. Oblivious - I really thought that the place would just be one big showroom and we can pick and choose whatever dress we wanted to try and didn't understand the need for a stylist. Fortunately, Bella Bridesmaids in NYC (the dress boutique we went to) was nice enough for Rach and I to try on dresses on our own without a stylist. I had a blast without a stylist anyway. The second time around, I made an appointment and worked with a stylist and I have to say, I have mixed feelings about the experience. But more on that later. To the fun stuff first.
When it came to deciding on a style for my bridesmaids, I started thinking about it in a very general sense: long vs. short, what kind of fabric, and how I wanted them to feel in the dress. Picking the fabric was easy - I knew I didn't want shiny, satin-y material or anything that was too fitted. So I went with luxe chiffon - a flowy fabric that would complement the overall look and feel of the wedding. I wanted them to be comfortable and able to move around in the dress, and not too hot, since September in California is tail end of summer and can still be quite warm. Now, I had to think about the long vs. short a little more - all three of my bridesmaids are rather petite, so I was concerned that long dresses, although beautiful, could be overwhelming on their frames. Since our wedding is outdoors, I was also concerned that they would drag on the floor and get dirty. But after Rachel tried on both long and short options, I was convinced that I wanted my girls to be in long dresses. Not only did they not overwhelm their petite frames, they actually helped the girls look elongated, and tall. Beautiful!
My bridesmaids are bi-coastal, meaning two of them are in California, and the other one is in Connecticut. Naturally, bridesmaids boutiques have made it very easy for brides with friends in different locations.
Bella's, in particular, has boutiques all over the country. Even though I went to the NYC store first, I ended up ordering from the San Francisco location. Our overall experience in San Francisco was better in terms of service. Plus, two of my bridesmaids live in California so I figured it'd be easier to order from there. When going to your fittings, bring pictures of styles you like, and ask for fabric swatches of the dress you select. I ended bring my swatch to the tux shop to match with groomsmen outfits, to the caterers to match linens, and ribbons for my stationery. They can come in very handy!
Below are some pictures from the girls' fittings - I pretty much fell in love with Amsale dresses and only had the girls try on Amsale. The actual color and style is a surprise so I'll reveal which style we picked after our wedding :)