Inexpensive Options: Bridesmaid’s Edition

One of the oldest wedding jokes is how traditionally awful the bridesmaid's dresses are. Sitcoms have based entire episodes around it (remember Rachel's awful Bo-Beep get-up for ex-Barry's wedding to Mindy?) and Glamour has even had a contest about it for their Do's and Don'ts page.

Here's the deal, Brides.

1. Take into account your wedding party's coloring, sizes, and shapes. Is one girl a blonde Glamzon and another an Italian curvy queen? The same exact dress will not (no, trust me, it will not) work on both ladies.

2. Think about the season and where your ceremony and reception will be taking place. A cotton minidress may look cute for your ultramod wedding but not so much if it's held at an open air venue in November and your 'maids are a-shiverin'.

3. Be honest about how much your wedding party can spend on a dress. Yes, you may have found the perfect option (great color, beautiful fabric, looks good on everyone) at Vera Wang but, honestly, very few people can afford the fee (or want to).

4. Don't fool yourself. The dress will never get worn again. Really.

So, how does a bride deal with the above in the classiest way and still achieve the look she's hoping for?

1. Pick a choice of colors and cuts. Stick to 3 of each and work with the group to make sure you get a pleasing finished look. Every party has that one girl who looks great in anything so I'd concentrate on clothing the "harder" bodies (i.e. pregnant, very tall, curvy, etc) first. Just a note, pencil or A-line skirts look great on everyone, as do wrap dresses and tailored shirtdresses.

2. It's important to match your attire to the season and it will make budget dress hunting easier for you and your 'maids. Still dying for a minidress in November? Pick one in a heavy material (wool blend, sweater-y, etc) and pair it with knee-height boots and tights. And possibly a shawl or wrap.

3. Budget. Just because you've alloted $100 per bridesmaid outfit for your ladies does not mean that they can swing those funds. Have an honest conversation with each lady individually about how much you were thinking of as an outfit budget and what types of clothing you are considering. Someone might have a part of the outfit (i.e. knee-high boots, a cashmere wrap, etc) already in their closet. Someone else moght be able to do a little browsing and find budget options below your original estimate. But sometimes, someone simply cannot afford to be in your wedding. And that's okay.

4. Seriously, never again. Stop dreamin'.

In order to help you (and your 'maids) out in making these overwhelming decisions, I have browsed around and found some pretty, colorful, and summer season appropriate bridesmaid outfits (top to bottom) for under $100. Here's what I came up with:

Option #1 (Total Cost of Outfit – $85.47):

Old Navy Tiered Maxi Tube Dresses in Cyclamen – $29.50:
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Photo Courtesy of: Old Navy

Have a fun beach wedding? Let your bridesmaid's outfits be the pops of color in your decor! Plus, this style of gown is super flattering (with the proper foundation garments) and very forgiving of heat, sweat, and sand.

Old Navy Jeweled T-Strap Sandals in Caymen Pink – $15.00:
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Photo Courtesy of: Old Navy

Chic enough for a wedding but with that little bit of girly bling for fun.

Bamboo 54 Bracelet Clutch Bag in White – $19.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: ebags

Tiny and cute. The little bamboo handle just sings summer.

Target Multi Strand Seed Bead Necklace in Brown & White – $12.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Target

**PAIRED WITH**

Target Sead Beaded and Shell Earrings – $7.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Target

Seed baeds and small shells make this necklace and earring combo a perfect finish for this outfit.

Option #2 (Total Cost of Outfit – $96.96):

Target Strapless Dress in Turquoise – $39.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Target

Definately a good choice for a more formal summer wedding. The fabric says class while the cut and length says fresh and ready for fun. And like the dress in Option #1, this is a very forgiving and flattering cut for all body types.

Target Hester Strappy Heels in Sand – $19.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Target

Skip the traditional metallics and opt for a cool, chic neutral. This heel is just strappy anough to be sexy but just demure enough not to wig out the preacher.

Target Cinched Clutch in Mocha – $16.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Target

Follow the same color cue as your shoes and go for a cool neutral clutch (stick within the same hue but go up or down a shade to keep from being too matchy-matchy).

Target 2 Row Frontal Shell Necklace – $12.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Target

**PAIRED WITH**

Target Round Chandelier Fashion Earrings in Turquoise – $7.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Target

A little bit beachy and a little bit fun but definately church ceremony appropriate.

Option #3 (Total Cost of Outfit – $84.47):

J Crew Organza Pencil Skirt in Sweet Orange – $29.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: J Crew

**Paired With**

Target Cowl Tank in Fresh White – $9.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Target

Pairing this juicy skirt with this more fitted and formal tank makes for a unexpected but perfectly appropriate wedding outfit. Tuck in the tank or wear it out – this will depend a lot on the body types of your 'maids. And remember, hem lines can always be changed with the help of a good tailor.

Payless Karaway Dress Sandal in Orange – $9.99:
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Photo Courtesy of: Payless

A citrusy shoe for a bright and juicy skirt.

Straw Studios Hillary Clutch in Orange – $22.00:
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Photo Courtesy of: ebags

Nothing says summer like a great straw clutch!

Old Navy Faux-Pearl Chokers – $7.50:
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Photo Courtesy of: Old Navy

**PAIRED WITH**

Old Navy Faux-Pearl Stud Earrings – $5.00:
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Photo Courtesy of: Old Navy

Wear these classy faux-perals and let the awesome color of the skirt be the focal point in this outfit.

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