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Courtney: Dressing a Bridal Party

08 Dresses on line

The hunt for one dress that’ll fit five very different bridesmaids.

By Courtney Danielson

I admit it. I haven’t been awesome at writing about my wedding recently, but that’s because, well, things are kind of at a standstill right now. We got all of the big things out of the way at the very beginning, and because our engagement is a bit on the long-ish side, we’re just now starting to get back into the swing of things.

Our tasting (which is what my fiance, Chuck, is probably the most excited for) is coming up soon. We’re down to the final contenders for our honeymoon, and at some point in the relatively near future, I am going to sit down and go through the multi-page questionnaire that our DJ sent over to get that ball rolling.

For now though, I’ll take you back to one of the most challenging parts of planning the wedding: the bridesmaids’ dresses.

The thing about bridesmaids is that they’re like brides — they come in all shapes and sizes and with different tastes. As I’ve previously mentioned, my bridesmaids are my two sisters (one of whom is five-foot-three and the other is five-foot-four), my future sister-in-law (who is around five-foot-nine) and my two cousins (one is around five-foot-six and the other is only twelve years old and charting in at a whopping four-foot-eleven). Although she’s technically a junior bridesmaid, I didn’t want my little cousin to wear a different dress than the rest of my girls (when I was in her mother’s wedding at age thirteen I got to wear the same dress as the big girls, so she should too!), which means I had to find something that looked gorgeous on everyone, and was still appropriate for a twelve-year-old.

My initial bridesmaids’ dress requirements were:

  • Floor-length.
  • All the same style.
  • Something with a little sleeve.

Other than that I didn’t have a particular idea of what I was looking for, other than the general color scheme. I wanted my girls to pick gowns that they would feel comfortable in and wouldn’t regret dropping the money on. I basically said to them, “Pick a gown, if you all like it, awesome!” I honestly wanted their comfort to be the deciding factor on this one.

After a couple of excursions trying on bridesmaid dresses with different segments of the group, we found the dress — the problem is that it didn’t come in the color I wanted. However, we all (my girls, the moms and I) liked the dress so much that I was almost willing to change my color scheme. And then I found a loophole.

You see, the dress we all liked was navy blue and available at David’s Bridal. On a whim, my sister, cousins and I decided to head to Nordstrom just to see if they had anything in their special occasion section and, boy, am I glad we did. It turns out that the designer of the dress at David’s Bridal also does a line for department stores, and the department store line had almost the same exact dress in just the perfect color. SCORE!

The problem with that was Nordstrom is a department store. There were only so many dresses to go around. I ended up working with the awesome sales team at the store in the Providence Place mall to have gowns shipped in from all over the country (literally, all over — one of them came from Alaska!) so the girls would have enough sizes to try on and purchase.

It took some finagling, and a couple of little snafus with getting the proper sizes into store, but in the end each of my girls — from my five-nine future sister-in-law to my four-eleven cousin — has a gown that looks absolutely gorgeous on them. And the best part yet: No one even really needs alterations. My little cousin will need her dress hemmed a bit, but otherwise everyone’s gown already fits perfectly and they all look absolutely stunningly in them.

They might actually steal the show!

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