The Bridesmaid Dress Search
Brides, are you struggling to find a bridesmaid dress that will make all of your gals smile as big as mine did on wedding day? I was in the same boat. I had 11 (yes, I said 11) bridesmaids that have very different body types and personal styles. Of course I could have picked a random dress and they would have worn it without a gripe (they are sweethearts) but it was important to me to pick a dress that would be comfortable and flattering for all. I honestly wanted them to feel like princesses on the big day too!
But how were we going to pick the perfect dress with that many girls? (and not make it a miserable experience)
I really wanted my girls’ input and for us to make a collective decision on a dress. In a perfect world, we would all go to a store together, but in real life, that would’ve been chaos. Luckily, I found a few online companies that offer sample dresses to try on before making a decision. Prayers answered! So I talked to my girls and got to work planning our “Try On Party.”
What is a Try-On Party and how does it work?
Since we now had the option of trying on samples dresses, I decided to make an event out of it (not shocking for those who know me)- so the “Try-On Party” was born. During the party (my grandma graciously hosted at her house), the girls would pick a sample dress, try it on for the group, and then we discussed thoughts on each together- you could call it an interactive fashion show. After each “round” the girls would switch dresses until they all tried on the favorites.
To make the elimination processes easier, I made “ranking sheets” for the girls to note their feelings about each dress. The sheet listed the individual names of the sample dresses, a space for ranking, and a space for comments. Very nerdy, but very helpful.
By the end of the fashion show, we had our definite NO’s and two top contenders. So a couple of girls put the top two back on. After a few minutes of comparing notes and chatting about fit and style – WE PICKED THE PERFECT DRESS! AND WE HAD FUN DOING IT!
How I coordinated the Try-On Party:
First, I talked to my girls to pick a date that worked for all of us to get together. With our busy schedules, I made sure to start asking about dates a little over a month before I knew I wanted the dresses to be ordered. This was the perfect amount of time to plan and order the samples! Next, I picked out my top 8 favorite dress styles from two of the online stores I found, Azazie and KennedyBlue. Once I knew which dresses I wanted to order, I reached out to both companies to ask about their order/shipping times. This way I knew exactly when I needed to order the samples to be sure they arrived in time for the party!
Tips and things to know:
- Schedule your Try-On Party at least 6-7 months out from your wedding. Your girls will need that time to order their dresses, shipping, and alterations!
- Both Azazie and Kennedy Blue have limits to how many samples can be ordered per transaction (I believe it’s 3) so once I hit my limit, my mom ordered the rest for me!
- Ordering samples dresses costs $10-$15 per dress, including shipping for both companies mentioned here!
- The sample dresses come in limited sizes and colors, so focus on the dress style when ordering and trying on. The samples will allow you to see dress structure, style, and feel. Colors and sizes can be adjusted when purchasing the real dresses, but structure, style, and feel can’t!
- Since the samples only come in limited color and style combos, be sure to order at least one sample in the color you like (no matter the style) so you can see it in person.
- Both companies include a pre-paid shipping label for you to return the dresses within their required timeframe (Azazie: 1 week/Kennedy Blue: 3 days).
- Once you and your girls have decided on a dress, send the detailed dress info and DEADLINES to the group. The word deadline sounds harsh, but giving the group dates for ordering and alterations will save everyone pain in the long run. Say it nicely like “be sure to order your dress by the end of May so it gets here in time for alterations!” 🙂
It brought me joy to know we had picked a dress that all of my gals were excited to wear. A few of them have even worn the dresses for other events since the wedding- I do believe that’s a win in the bridal world.
If you want more details about planning, ordering, and scheduling your Try On Party, shoot me an email- I’d love to help out!
Happy Wedding Planning!
Interested in having the Jackson & June team coordinate, plan, or design your wedding? Find out more info here!