The Bridal Gown…
When my daughter was about 16 years old, she decided that she “planned on” wearing a Vera Wang Wedding Dress at her future wedding (and this was well before David’s Bridal started carrying Vera Wang White at their stores). My reply to her declaration was, “Good luck with that, and you better start saving every penny you earn for that dress!”
So fast forward several years and here we were, ready to shop – for real – for my daughter’s bridal gown. No, she never did save enough of her money for a Vera Wang Bridal Gown, and no, we didn’t have a wedding budget that allowed for one either.
On a side note, though, my daughter did secure Vera Wang Black for the men’s tuxedos for her wedding.
The Basic Game Plan She and I Had for Shopping for “The Dress “
1. We set a budget on the price of her wedding gown. If my daughter decided she “had to have” a dress over that amount, she would pay the additional amount. The possibility to scale back spending on another wedding expense, such as flowers, and increase her dress budget, was not an option.
2. She would be willing to try on all styles of dresses and not just the style(s) she envisioned. She would keep an open mind…
3. Just the two of us would shop at multiple bridal salons and narrow down her choices to a few before asking any of my daughter’s entourage to shop with us.
Over the course of the next several months, we (always) made appointments and shopped at various bridal salons, as well as department store salons. One tip my sister-in-law passed on to me which I appreciated and found to be true was to let the saleswomen help my daughter put the gowns on her and take them off – due to the heavy weight of the gowns. A gal in one store did not offer to help and so I helped my daughter. I never did it again. The bridal saleswomen are professionals and truly know how to manage the wedding dresses best.
My daughter tried on all styles, and fairly quickly, we eliminated certain styles that didn’t look as well on her as others. She also didn’t limit the color of the dresses either and actually could see herself wearing a pink or blush-colored dress. Eventually, we got our search down to two specific bridal salons that had the dresses we both liked best. It was time to invite her entourage to shop with us…
And finally, my daughter said “Yes to the Dress”.
It ended up to be one of the first dresses she tried on and was originally displayed on a mannequin. My daughter didn’t like the dress when she first looked at it, but I convinced her to at least try it on. She did, and we both loved the dress on her!
The bride-to-be’s future wedding dress: this gorgeous Wedding Gown by Jim Hjelm. The dress came in two colors: an ivory and a champagne. She chose the champagne color.
Shopping for the Bridesmaids’ Dresses
I chose not to be too involved in the selection of the bridesmaids’ dresses. I felt it really should be the bride and her attendants’ choice. After all, it was her wedding, and they would be the ones wearing the dresses. The only real involvement I had was when my daughter and I were shopping for her dress, if we had the time at the bridal salons, we would also look at the bridesmaid dresses so she could get a feel for the different styles and colors available.
As I mentioned in The Engagement Party post, at that time and for several months afterwards, my daughter did not have a specific color, style or even a length in mind for her bridesmaid dresses. Then she and her fiancé went to a friend’s wedding that was quite informal – so informal that many of the guests wore jeans to the wedding. It was after attending this wedding, my daughter determined she did not want any jeans attire happening at her own wedding. Consequently, her wedding then became a “Black Tie Invited” affair…
And one bridesmaids’ dress decision was made – her girls would be wearing long dresses…
Since my daughter’s Maid of Honor was the only bridesmaid who lived in the same area, it left just the two of them to do the dress shopping. I do believe, though, my daughter would run the dress options by the other girls during the process. My daughter liked the idea of picking one dress color or hues of the same color, and then letting each girl pick out their own dress style (as long as the dress came in a long length). I also loved this idea for two reasons: her girls, like most bridesmaids, were different heights and weights, and I think it makes the wedding party visually more interesting and fun to look at. It also lets the bridesmaids display a little of their own taste in fashion.
The bride-to-be and MOH began their search. A month went by, then another, and another… the wedding plans pretty much came to a halt – until the “color” was chosen which drove many of the other wedding details and decisions to be made. Finally, the girls had chosen a dress designer and a color. Only to change the color again a couple of weeks later for one last time…
Ultimately, the girls chose an aqua (Tiffany blue) for their dress color. The dresses were designed by Wtoo (Watters). The girls could choose any Wtoo dress as long as it was in a long length and made in a crystal chiffon fabric. They also would wear any silver sandals/shoes of their choosing.
The (aqua) color of the bridesmaids’ dresses…
The Maid of Honor’s Dress
Both my daughter and I felt that her maid of honor (since she had a special role in the wedding and had played a major part in their dress shopping) should be able to pick her style of dress first. In addition, the style of the dress she chose would be reserved for only her to wear – none of the other bridemaids could choose that style.
The extraordinary dress her maid of honor chose to wear: Watters dress style 604. This photo shows the dress in one of Watters 2015 colors – blue topaz.
The back of the dress – shown in another of Watters 2015 colors – coral
My daughter’s maid of honor in her dress…she chose to wear it with the spaghetti straps
The Other Bridesmaids’ Dresses
Two of the girls chose to wear this dress: Watters dress style 491
One bridesmaid chose to wear it strapless…
The other chose to wear it with the spaghetti straps…so in a way, they looked like different dresses
Still another bridesmaid chose this “Grecian style” dress: Watters dress style 602x
She looked fabulous in the dress – just like a goddess…
The back of her dress was very attractive too…
The last bridesmaid chose to wear this very pretty halter dress: Watters dress style 495 shown in their 2015 color – mermaid
I just love the back of the dress too…
My daughter’s bridesmaid in her aqua halter dress
The Junior Bridesmaids
My niece’s delightful daughters (who were ages 8 and 10 at that time) were the junior bridesmaids. My daughter wanted the younger girls to feel totally comfortable in the bridesmaid dresses they would wear. So she left it up to them to decide on a color (as long as it didn’t clash with the aqua), and whether they wanted to wear long or short dresses.
On a day off of school, my niece made an appointment for them at a local bridal shop. They asked me to go along for input. Since my daughter was working, she was not able to go. Both girls tried on various styles and colors of dresses at the bridal shop (unfortunately in sizes much too large for their size). They didn’t love any of the dresses, but did make one decision – they decided they wanted to wear short dresses.
My niece then took it upon herself and spent a lot of time internet-dress-shopping for her girls. She and her husband would have to buy two dresses, so keeping the cost down was also a concern. After much looking, and some trails and errors, my niece finally found a dress on a department store website she thought would work. She ordered the dress in sizes to fit her daughters. When they received the dresses, my niece asked my daughter and I to come look at the dresses on her girls.
My daughter and I loved the dress(es)! We thought it was elegant, yet very appropriate for their ages. And the color appeared to be a close match to the bridesmaid dress swatch we had at the time…
Both juniors looked just beautiful the day of the wedding, and their dresses ended up to be a perfect match to the bridesmaids’ dress color!
Now that a “color theme” was chosen for the wedding, we could now continue in our Wedding Journey and make other decisions towards The Big Day.