Twenty-Seven (Thousand) Dresses
Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Alyn Wharmby is an Ohio native turned middle school teacher and graduate student, currently earning a degree in School Administration at UNC Charlotte. She is beginning her new life with fiance Erik and chihuahua Bella on July 13, 2013. Contact Alyn here.
Im not someone who is super-decisive about clothing. I suppose if I could afford a professional stylist, I would feel differently, but right now, Im just not a fashionista and will never claim to be. I have good-enough taste; I think I dress myself attractively and appropriately each day and reassess my wardrobe as needed. Right now I spend most of my time looking frumpy and complaining about how none of my clothes fit properly (probably shouldnt be complaining when theyre too big!) because I refuse to buy new ones until I drop more weight.When I go shopping, I like to have advice. I need that reliable girl friend to say a definite yes or no to whatever Im purchasing. I like to try things on, think about them, and try them on again. If it is this difficult for me to choose clothes for myself, you can imagine what a process it was choosing bridesmaid dresses for others! There are a few interesting current trends in bridesmaids, like the choose-your-own style phenomenon, the dresses in various hues of the same color look, and the ever-reliable just wear something black.Having six bridesmaids in three states and five cities meant finding dresses available online, and not really planning on seeing them try them on. Bridesmaids of varying size (2 to 14), stature (51 to 511), and age (14 to late thirties), meant searching the gamut of dress possibilities. I scoured the internet. I pinned and pinned possibility after possibility. I hemmed and hawed over the exorbitant amount companies expect people to pay for a dress that (yesadmit it!) they will only wear once!As always, I created a few must-haves. I wanted a neutral color, possibly paired with ivory. I also wanted short or tea length, light fabric, and inexpensive. I wanted the dresses to fit my vintage-Southern theme at least somewhat. Turns out, that was harder to find than I had anticipated.I found options and sent them to the girls. We could have dresses that could be styled 12 different ways (Coralie Beatrixs Etsy store), gorgeous two-toned dresses far out of my price-range (Lula Kate), or try our hand at all picking dresses that we hoped look alike (Outblush). Option after option, and still nothing definite. Cost was important to me, being that I have no desire to Bridezilla my bridal party into $300 dresses, so I started with that in mind.Along the way of wedding planning, one of the most reliable ways to find inspiration is to follow magazines and photographer blogs that document REAL weddings. Somehow, in the midst of simply browsing blogs, I came upon this gorgeous (Southern spectacle). I was sold; THOSE were my bridesmaids dresses. Thankfully the blog listed where they came from, and after a little searching, some coupon-finding, and wait-time for them to go on clearance . I had bridesmaid dresses!I did all my communicating via a group message on Facebook. I got their opinions, made the decision, and left them to their devices: order the dress in that color, knee-length silk-taffeta in any style youd like. If they didnt want to pay too much or couldnt find one on clearance, there was always Ebay or Recycled Bride. The whole process was quick and painless. Im lucky to have such flexible and easy-to-please friends, and such gorgeous sites for inspiration!My advice? Start the bridesmaids dress search early, and use the internet as a resource. Stow your bridezilla-instincts and remember that youre shopping for your best friends. Maybe in the chaos of 27,000 dresses -- youll find the one!
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