Maid to Perfection - Part II

In yesterday's post, I wrote about our initial efforts at finding the perfect dresses for the six lovely ladies in my bridal party.  Just to review the criteria, the dress(es) had to be appropriate for a black-tie-optional wedding, be stylish and fun, and be affordable (i.e., under $200).

As a reminder, here are our favorite choices from our visit to Bridal Reflections

While these Alfred Angelo dresses were lovely, I had some reservations.  First, I had difficulty conceptualizing what the dresses would look like in the lilac color we chose; after all, we only had a tiny swatch of fabric to work with.  Second, I wasn't sure whether the dresses would be formal enough.  They would be beautiful in the context of an outdoor or daytime wedding, but would they be too understated for a formal wedding?

While I was pondering these deep, incredibly important questions, I got an email from Bluefly about a 15% off sale they were having.  And there, hidden in plain site amongst dozens of overpriced and overly embellished gowns, was the perfect dress.  It came in the most exquisite shade of mauvish, silverish purple.  It was chic, sexy, and resembled the cut of my dress.  It was just the right level of formality.  And, best of all, it was on sale.


[Photo Source]

The gown is satin and made by Amsale.  It's pretty in the photo, but it's even more flattering in person.  Here is a picture of R trying on the dress:

I hadn't anticipated outfitting all four of my "friends of honor" in the same dress.  I had always planned on allowing them to choose a different style dress in the same color.  But it turns out that all four really loved this Amsale gown.  And why wouldn't they?  They looked muy caliente in them!

To tone down the matchy-matchiness of the bridal party, I decided to ask my two "sisters of honor" to wear gowns in similar, though not identical silhouettes in silver satin.  Here is the Jim Hjelm dress that Sister Hot Cocoa will be wearing:

And here is the gown that FSIL Hot Cocoa will be wearing.  The Jim Hjelm website, unfortunately, doesn't have a picture of the front of the dress, but it's a simple and lovely deep v-neck.

[Jim Hjelm 5680]

From the front, the dresses are very different, but I love how they are nearly identical from the back and how they echo the shape of the Amsale dress.  I ended up ordering the two Jim Hjelm dresses from Pearl's Place, and each was under $200.

After many weeks of scouring through stores online and in person, I've finally outfitted my bridal party.  Woo hoo!  Now, I can shift my attention to what Mr. HC and his groomspersons will be wearing.  (Is it just me or is the work of a bride never done?!)

Will your bridal party be wearing identical dresses?  Did you find it hard to accommodate the different aesthetics and body shapes of all of your attendants?

Sweet T  – (November 22, 2008 at 2:14 AM)  

i saw this amsale on bluefly too- lovely choice! i was in BM dress shopping hell (this time, I was the BM!)... I know I would've appreciated it if the bride just made the choice for us, especially since I'm in the middle of planning my own wedding and can't deal with any more wedding!

Bride in Exile  – (November 22, 2008 at 11:20 AM)  

Great choice!! If I were your bridesmaid I'd be thrilled, that is a stunning dress :-)

Bridesmaids' dresses have been the most frustrating part of wedding planning for me so far. I just can't seem to find anything that I like! Like you I was hoping to let my bridesmaids pick between a couple of different dresses from the same line, but it's been harder than I thought. My biggest challenge has been finding a dress that will allow one of my 'maids to wear a regular bra (she is well-endowed and strapless bras cause her serious discomfort). Very few lines have even one dress like that, it's almost all spaghetti straps or strapless. Sigh!

Carly  – (November 22, 2008 at 12:23 PM)  

Very chic choices! You and your bridal party have great taste. Can't wait to see how everything turns out!

Bridechka  – (November 22, 2008 at 9:16 PM)  

These are all so beautiful! You did a great job :)

Miss Hot Cocoa  – (November 23, 2008 at 1:26 AM)  

@ Sweet T: I decided to purchase the dresses for my bridal party, since I felt so bad that they all had to schlep across the country to come to my wedding. But it ended up being nice for me too, since I felt like I had a little bit more latitude with the choices.

@ Bride in Exile: I hear you -- my FSIL wanted something similar, and I had the darnedest time finding something she could wear a bra under. She might end up having cups built into the dress or adding an extra panel in the back. Did you try the Alfred Angelo one that were in my previous post? That tank is very bra-friendly.

Krista  – (November 25, 2008 at 5:04 PM)  

Oh, that will be an amazing look, the mauve and the silver.

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