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A Bridesmaid's Story

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Laura Furlough

I am so blessed to have 5 totally awesome girls that will be standing by my side on my wedding day. Truly, I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends and they have been very patient while I have been trying to make a decision about the whole bridesmaid dress situation.

I was in my friend Natalie’s (who also happens to be one of my bridesmaids!) wedding last year and she had us pick any dress we wanted as long as it was in her general color scheme of pink/coral/fuchsia. I think the dresses looked great together.

bridesmaid's dressPhoto Courtesy of Studio 563

That’s me on the far right, the Bride, Natalie, is one of my bridesmaids, and my MOH, Katie, is the one on the far left

There were so many pro’s when going this route:

  • We were able to find a dress that was comfortable for us and fit our particular body type
  • We were able to pick dresses that we actually WOULD wear again (I’ve worn mine twice since the wedding)
  • We were able to spend as much money as we wanted. (I was able to find mine on sale for $50 at J.Crew)

After having such a good experience with this method of choosing bridesmaid’s dresses, I decided that I would do the same for my own bridesmaids. I’m trying to be as budget conscious for them as I am for myself, since 4 of the 5 are traveling from out of state to be with me (seriously, they are the best!), so I thought they would appreciate being able to choose how much they wanted to spend on a bridesmaid’s dress.

So I sent out an email to everyone and told them that they could choose any dress they wanted, with these parameters:

  1. It was navy in color
  2. It was not floor length
  3. They would send me a picture of the dress and I could have the final say

I was going for something kind of along these lines:

bridesmaid's dressPhoto Courtesy of Jennifer Eileen, via Wedding Chicks

I really liked the look of the different navy dresses, but when Geoff and I decided that the groomsmen would all wear navy sport coats (after he completely nixed my idea of them wearing khaki suits because he said they would all look like they were deputy sheriffs *insert eye roll here*). I realized that it might be a whole lotta navy going on.

So I went to Plan B, I’m still letting my bridesmaid’s choose their own dresses, but now I want them to find dresses in a neutral color palette. Like these:

bridesmaid's dressPhoto Courtesy of Jaclyn Davis Photography via Green Wedding Shoes

bridesmaid's dress
Photo Courtesy of Elisa B Photography via Southern Weddings

Fortunately, since it’s still kind of early in the planning process, none of my bridesmaids had bought a dress, so it wasn’t any problem to change the color. I really do like the look of neutral’s, but my only concern is that I’ve only seen them done for Spring and Summer weddings. I’m worried that it might look out of place for a fall wedding. What do you think?

Laura Furlough

is a DIY bride who planned an autumn wedding in North Carolina in 6 months a budget of $7,500. You can read her wedding planning posts here.