When Jon and I talked about our aesthetic, I promised that we wouldn't go overboard on the pink. We liked the idea of gray bridesmaids dresses; the darker shades, like those above, would be equally flattering with Sarah's glowing olive skin and Ellie's peaches and cream complexion.
We flirted for a minute with picking cocktail-length dresses. I thought that maybe they'd be more versatile, but wasn't sure they'd match the formality of the morning suits that the boys will be wearing. (More on that in a future post!) Sarah and Ellie didn't feel strongly either way, though Jon preferred long gowns. In the end, we decided to go with floor-length frocks so that their elegance would pair well with the rest of the wedding party. Also, Sarah and Ellie both have tons of shorter fancy dresses that they wear all the time - gowns are a bit more special!
A quick note on money: I don't know if you remember my budget spreadsheet, where I included a line for "clothes and beauty for bride and maids," but one of the differences between US and UK weddings is that the bride pays for the bridesmaids' dresses. (Maybe this is why most weddings in the UK have smaller bridal parties, like Megan said!) I'm sure every bride swears this, but I was very happy to put aside a decent chunk of money for them because I really want the girls to be able to wear their gowns after the wedding for any future black-tie events they might attend.
So, because of that, I decided to go with a brand that Sarah and I know and love: J.Crew. Once we'd filtered our search to gray and long, we were left with four options, all silk chiffon. (There's a fifth dress online now, the Rosa, that wasn't available a few months ago.) I love the look of bridesmaids wearing styles that work for their individual bodies and personalities, so I told the girls that they could pick whichever they wanted. When I went to visit Jon in September, I brought Ellie her top two choices to try on, and when we saw her in them we all agreed that there was a clear winner. Sarah ordered her two favorite dresses to try on, too, and texted me a picture of her final selection - and it was the same dress that Ellie had chosen!
We haven't talked about anything else for the girls yet - accessories and shoes and things will be decided down the line - but they look stunning in this dress and I can't wait to see everything come together in August! I can't say enough in praise of the J.Crew weddings team, who mailed me swatches and answered my questions and sent me a follow-up email and even gave me notice about the discount (25% if you spend $150 or more, which made a big difference!) that was about to kick in. The experience of choosing our bridesmaids' dresses, which I'm sure can be a minefield of hurt feelings and awkwardness, really was a joy. It's encouraged me for my own search!
linking up with something charming today