Sunday, January 25, 2009

RECESSIONISTA BRIDE: Would You Wear a Bridesmaid Dress on Your Wedding Day?

Back in the days before the recession, most of my seasonal orders consisted of a certain number of made-to-measure gowns. Cut that in half this season. Yes, there is another half and those clients want restyling on vintage dresses or are bringing in a basic gown to be customized. Actually, customization work is great. I love the creativity involved with inventing hand-rolled florals and adding big, bright sashes. If you're looking into this as an option, and really want to save bucks, bring me any one of these gowns as a blank canvas and I'll help you translate your vision. Believe it or not these are all bridesmaids gowns. Yes, you've heard of the 'All-White Wedding'. Well, just for the record, they really do exist and bridesmaids gowns do indeed come in white and ivory.



Wearing a bridesmaid dress when you're a bride was a mum's-the-word sort of trend going on a few years back. No more. Brides are now boasting and blogging about it. Check out any wedding site like The Knot or and you'll find a whole section devoted to bridesmaids. Also notice bridesmaid dresses don't look so much like those Muriel's Wedding atrocities anymore; most have morphed into simple, unadorned styles, making them the perfect backdrop for customizing into a bridal gown. The bridesmaid dress option is the way to go if:

1.) You're price conscious. Bridesmaid dresses cost a fraction of what a bridal gown costs (start at about $200-300.00 and go up to $1500.00).
2.) You're using it as a foundation on which to customize with other adornments.
3.) You want a more low-key or informal look, sans the train, lace and bead work.
4.) You want color.
For brides who don't want to be in white or ivory, bridesmaid dresses are perfect. They come in just about as many colors as Crayola crayons from the palest pastels to deepest jewel tones. Once you start looking online, keep in mind not all manufacturers use first-rate fabrics and/or construction. Try to find styles in high-grade silk or silk blends. Especially if you plan on customizing, where you'll need as clean and pure a background as possible. Beware of over-the-top descriptions like 'Princess Satin' or 'Diamond Chiffon' if you're a fabric purist; it's simply another way of diverting your attention away from 100% polyester. And always remember, the simpler the dress, the more perfectly it should be made.



Here are my recommendations for bridesmaid designers offering the best in styles, fabric and construction: Lazaro Bridesmaids, Alvina Valenta Bridesmaids and Ann Taylor Celebrations. Most bridesmaid dresses can only be ordered through your salon. Allow 3-4 months delivery.
Even though the gowns by Jasmine here are not pure silks, I'm still impressed. Check out their website. It's probably the most extensive for finding such a selection of long, white formals (or any color under the sun). Most all colors on the color card can be viewed; but they recommend actually visiting the salon where you can get a real look at the gown sample colors and fabrics.


Girl next blog said...

I would never wear a bridesmaid dress on my wedding day, no matter how wonderful it is.


AmyJean said...

I would totally do it.. just a matter of finding the one i like, regardless of it being a "bridesmaid" or a "wedding" dress... :)


annechovie said...

Thanks so much for the lovely comment on my blog today - so kind of you! Hope you will come back often.

about me said...

I think this is a brilliant trend for the bride who wants a simple, classic look. J. Crew has jumped on this bandwagon with dresses that they market as bridal gowns that would in the past be put into the bridesmaid category. Whatever makes you feel beautiful on your big day! I would definately do it.

bridechic said...

Yes, I definately think with the recession on we're going to see more J. Crews . . .

Angelica said...

It sounds amazing to wear a bridesmaid dress on our wedding day. NEVER!!

Wedding headpiece said...

Fascinators never went out of fashion in so many years, and it is true that a bridal make up will not be completed without wearing a wedding headpiece.

SDavid said...

The different collection of bridal or bridesmaid dress are looking great. There several option are left for the brides and bridesmaid people. For searching the dress vendors easily, the wedding planner iPhone app is free will come handy for the shopping people.