Bridal Party on a Budget: Tips for Affordable Bridesmaid Dresses, Shower Ideas & More

Bridal Party on a Budget 

There’s so much more to being a member of Team Bride than dressing up and taking photos. Bridal party members also have to think about the pre-wedding events — there’s the engagement party, the shower and the bachelorette bash — plus gifts, travel, shoes, jewelry and hair and makeup. With all these requirements, it’s no surprise that the average bridesmaid spends nearly $1,700 on her best pal’s nuptials! But if you’re like many, you wouldn’t dream of passing up the chance to stand by her side on her big day, so it’s either dig into the savings or find ways to make it work.

The good news is that there are thousands of ways you can stretch your budget to ensure that you’re an enthusiastically engaged — and not broke — member of the bride’s cohort. Whether you’re a bridesmaid searching for dresses under $150 (totally doable, by the way) or you’re a maid of honor dreaming of ways to cut costs when planning the shower and bachelorette party, you’ll love these incredible money-saving tips for bridesmaids.

Dessy is here to help you stretch every wedding-related dollar as far as it can go this wedding season with zero compromises for you or the bride-to-be.

bride with bridesmaids holding bouquets

PLANNING THE BRIDAL SHOWER ON A BUDGET

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The bridal shower, though optional, is one of the more enjoyable events for members of the bride’s inner circle. It’s typically a relatively laid-back excuse to get together with your closest ladies to sip champagne, open gifts and enjoy each other’s company. But the bridal shower planning can easily get out of hand, so make sure to reign it in with a few of the following cost-saving efforts.

  • Make DIY Favors and Décor — No big shock here, but did you know that you can save a ton when you opt to make things yourself rather than buying them already made? In fact, putting in a little elbow grease and going the DIY route can save a bride thousands in the grand scheme of things. Wherever possible, scour Pinterest for the best DIY options. In the case of the bridal shower, we’re obsessed with DIY candy boxes, potted plants, treat bags, candles and bath bombs, which are all surprisingly easy to fashion yourself.
  • Have it at Someone’s Home Ask the bride’s parents, aunts and uncles or grandparents if they’d mind providing the venue for the big day. It may not be as glamorous as a big, fancy event space, but it’ll be much more intimate and special. Bonus: It’s also usually zero dollars. Having the shower at home also allows you to create a more casual, comfortable event with homemade food, which will save you a ton if you enlist the help of the bride’s family for the job.
  • Or Choose a Free Space  If you don’t have access to someone’s home, know that there are a few places that will probably be happy to accommodate your party for free. In many cases, restaurants that have private rooms will happily host your soiree so long as you reach a certain minimum for food and drinks. If you can’t find free, shoot for next to free. Often, you’ll be able to affordably rent out pavilions, shelters or rooms within your public parks system or city facilities. You might be surprised at how lovely these spaces are despite their affordable price tag!

 

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  • Keep it Just for the Girls and Her Besties  There’s something that feels right about a co-ed bridal shower — the bride’s future spouse and guy friends should be involved too, right? — and it’s fun to bring it to life with nontraditional themes, games and décor. But here’s the downside: Inviting the guys means you double your guest list, which in turn means you double the cost of food, drinks, table and chair rentals and favors. And think of it like this: There are very few events in your life that you get to spend with only your girlfriends. Cherish everyone!
  • Go Digital Wherever Possible Skip the pomp and circumstance of paper invitations — which can be quite costly if you have them custom-designed and professionally printed — in favor of digital ones. Your guests will be more likely to RSVP in a timely fashion if all they have to do is click a button, and you’ll save on the design, printing and postage. Check out some of the most popular invitation platforms for ideas.

 

line of girls blowing confetti

PLANNING THE BACHELORETTE PARTY ON A BUDGET

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The bachelorette night is the one time in the entire wedding process when it’s not only OK but encouraged to totally cut loose. Thus, it’s often one of the most favorite wedding-related traditions among the bridal party. Luckily, there are some amazing cost-cutting tips you can employ to ensure that the bach bash doesn’t cost the crew more than they bargained for.

  • Keep It in Town  As fun as it is to get away with your girlfriends, having a destination bachelorette party really ramps up the cost, especially for the maid of honor who should act as the hostess. When you plan an out-of-town event, you’re also effectively asking some of the attendees to take time off work, leave their families and find child- or pet-care, which could add to the cost. If everyone in the crew is focused on saving dough, keep it in town. You can still create the feeling of a getaway by having a fancy dinner or renting a limo. Why not?
  • Have It at Home Who says you have to plan a fancy spa day to reap all of that rejuvenating self-care sweetness? Not us! Gather your closest girlfriends, don your bridesmaid robes, crank up the Zen-nest Spotify playlist you can find and you’ll instantly feel like you’re at a spa somewhere far, far away. You can hire student massage therapists, manicurists and estheticians to give you pro-level treatments for a low price.

 

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  • When Penny-Pinching, Book Early If you’re committed to having her big bachelorette bash out of town or at an extra-special venue, make sure you book at least six months out. When wedding season gets going, event spaces and other wedding-related services get super busy, so they’re not likely to cut you a deal. However, if you get in there early — preferably before these services are even thinking about wedding season — you can often get yourself a discount. If you and your besties are students or are able to get some time off, consider booking your bash on a Thursday or Sunday when costs are lower.
  • Skip the Frills with the Help of Tech Look to your favorite digital tools to find alternatives to traditionally high-cost services. Rather than staying in a laid-out hotel suite, split the cost of a house or condo with your pals through Airbnb. Instead of the stretch limo, grab your group an Uber XL (or an UberBLACK if you’re feeling extra fancy). Don’t forget to consult Groupon or LivingSocial to get serious discounts on hotels, event spaces or party-worthy concerts and special events in your area.
  • Throw Away Nothing  As a young lady who is (presumably) in the prime of her bridesmaid years, know this: You will have many, many uses for that “bridesmaid” or “maid of honor” sash down the road. Offer to gather and store all the party accoutrements — from the novelty temp tats to the bride’s blinged-out goblet — and bust them out every time someone in your group inches towards the aisle. After all, you should only have to buy a single bridal party tiara in your lifetime. Make it last!

 

girls celebrating with champagne

WEDDING ON A BUDGET: TRAVEL, STYLE AND MORE

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Inevitably, all these soirees lead you to one thing: the wedding! But even though it’s all drawing to a close doesn’t mean that the spending stops. In fact, you’ll need to bust out your wallet (or, who are we kidding, your Venmo app) a few more times before your bestie reaches the altar. Here’s how to make sure your bank account is still well-funded by the time you’ve had your last drink of the night.

  • Vote for Reasonable Bridesmaid Dresses  While the official dress selection will come down to the bride, she will certainly listen to your concerns and understand your budget constraints. To help encourage her to select affordable bridesmaid dresses — like our latest line of gowns under $150! — first get an idea of the style she’s aiming for. Next, find a few budget-friendly options that match her vibe online and send them to her as gentle suggestions. She’ll appreciate that you’re taking the initiative to help lighten her load!
  • Stick to Affordable Accessories  Your wedding accessories might make your look, but they can quickly pile up and weigh down your budget. Rather than blanketing yourself in ice, consider picking one or two statement accessories — a pair of eye-catching shoes or a blinged-out necklace, perhaps — and choose a versatile style that you’ll be able to wear again for your next formal affair. You might also suggest to the bride that she give accessories as her gift to the bridal party so you won’t have to worry about that cost.
  • Bunk Up with Other Members of the Bridal Party If the wedding is out of town, one of the best things you can do early on in the wedding process is get to know all the other bridal party members. When it comes time to plan and attend events, you’ll already have friends and people with whom you can split accommodations, travel and maybe even gifts. Bonus points for the fact that, if you get along well, you may just make a lifelong friend out of the whole affair.
  • Get Creative with Gifts So with all these events, you might ask yourself: Do I have to bring a gift to all of them? Opinions are split about the bridal party’s gifting obligations, but if you err on the side of the bridal party members giving a gift, get creative wherever possible. Consider going in on a group gift with the rest of the bridal party or creating something DIY that the bride will cherish forever. Remember, the couple will be opening tons of checks and items off their registry, so anything different will be a guaranteed hit.
  • Do Your Own Hair, Makeup and Nails  So long as the bride doesn’t have a super specific vision of what she wants you to do for hair, makeup and manicures, this is another avenue where you can take the DIY route. If you don’t feel comfortable doing your own, there’s a good chance there’s someone in the bridal party who is, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just make sure you have a solid plan in place so that you’re not stressed out — or stressing others out — on the day of the wedding.

 

excited bridesmaids clapping hands

BEING OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT YOUR BRIDESMAID BUDGET

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One of the biggest mistakes a bridesmaid can make is not speaking up when she feels that her budget is being stretched too thin. Chances are, if she’s a good friend, the bride will do her best to help ensure that her big day doesn’t put you in the poorhouse. And now that there are more cute and affordable bridesmaids dresses than ever before, plus a wide range of cost-cutting apps and services, there’s no reason you can’t be the best bridesmaid ever while saving a little dough along the way. Just remember one thing: Always suggest Dessy to the bride-to-be who wants max style without maxing out her bridesmaids!

Six Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Junior Bridesmaid Dresses

If you’ve decided to ask a mini member of your inner circle to stand beside you on your wedding day, congratulations! You’ve got yourself a junior bridesmaid — aka JB. She’s someone who’s too old to be a flower girl and too young to be an official bridesmaid — perhaps she’s somewhere between the ages of 8 and 14 — but you still want her to feel included when you walk down the aisle. Though she probably won’t have the same duties as her older counterparts, she can still provide plenty of support (and cuteness) while you’re addressing stressful wedding tasks.

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Whether she’s your cousin, your sister or your daughter, this pint-sized party-goer deserves as much attention as the rest of the crew. Selecting her dress is a fun part of the JB process, but you can’t treat it in the same way you treat the others. There are a few extra-special considerations that should be at the forefront of your mind, including:

1. Her Age: Let Her Dress Be More Youthful — There’s nothing cuter than a little one dressed up in a grown-up gown but remember that you want her to look and feel her age too. Your best bet is to opt for junior bridesmaid dresses that are specifically made for the juniors. These gowns are designed for girls and tweens, so they won’t cause unnecessary fit issues or feel inappropriate for her age.

2. The Cost: Her Parents Will Probably Pay  More than likely, your JB won’t be shelling out the dough for the gown, so you have to consider who will be. If her parents are also a part of the wedding or have other tasks and costs associated with your special day, try to keep your dress selection relatively reasonable. Be sure to communicate with her parents throughout the dress-selection process.

3. The Length: Consider Her Shoes — Unlike your older bridesmaids, your JB probably won’t be wearing super high heels. Thus, you want to make sure that her gown is the ideal length to go with bridesmaid flats or low-height heels. This is another reason it typically makes much more sense to pick a junior-specific bridesmaid gown rather than a regular dress sized down. The length of your JB’s dress will probably matter much more than that of your adult bridesmaids.

Junior Bridesmaid Dresses

4. Her Comfort Level: Make It ‘Her’ — If you want to ensure that your youngest bridal party member feels completely comfortable while she saunters down the aisle, ensure that she’s wearing a gown that speaks to her personal sense of style. Like grown-up bridesmaid dresses, junior bridesmaid dresses should play to the wearer’s personality as well as the bride’s. To make sure it’s a perfect match, provide a few dress options and let your JB pick.

5. The Coordination: Does it Have to Match? — Do you want your junior bridesmaid to perfectly match the rest of the crew or do you want hers to be slightly different? It’s all up to you but know that you can be creative with the process. Consider dressing your junior in a patterned dress to coordinate with your bridesmaids’ solid colors or put her in a similar gown with a slightly different cut or color.

6. Her Accessories: Tying it All Together  Just because she’s younger doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get the royal treatment with the rest of your girls! Make sure to surprise her with coordinating accessories to go with her gown and invite her to join in on the fun with all the girls when you’re getting ready together. You can make sure she feels totally included with her very own matching bridesmaid robe.

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Make it Fun and Memorable

Remember, your junior bridesmaid wants to be like one of the big bridesmaids, but she’s still a kid. As long as you keep that in mind while you’re selecting her dress, she’ll feel right at home when walking down the aisle and standing next to your besties at the altar. Dessy is here to help you find the prettiest, most age-appropriate junior bridesmaid dresses around. Explore our complete collection for trendy and adorable looks that will make your special miniature feel like a crucial part of your big day.

Brand Spotlight: Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Dresses

When you’re flipping or clicking through page after page of bridesmaid dresses, they may start to lose their luster. But occasionally you’ll stumble across a dress designer who totally vibes with your unique wedding-day vision, whether it’s ultra-glamorous or subtly sophisticated.  In addition to capturing your exact theme, a good bridesmaid dress must also be flattering for all and versatile enough to suit a plethora of bridal themes. For many, the dress designer who meets and often exceeds these expectations is Jenny Packham.

Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Dress

About Jenny Packham

Known for a style Vogue describes as “dazzling feminine glamour,” red carpet designer Jenny Packham is known throughout the fashion world for dressing celebs in bedazzled formal gowns that exude high style. She has dressed all sorts of British style icons, including Kate Winslet, Emily Blunt, Keira Knightley and, yes, the Duchess of Cambridge herself. In fact, Kate Middleton has been known to step onto many a red carpet in Packham’s creations, including several from her ready-to-wear collections.

Packham’s masterpieces have been seen all over the big screen. You may remember the bespoke gown Packham designed for British Oscar winner Adele back in 2013 or the one designed for Emma Watson to wear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Her gowns have also made appearances in Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, Casino Royale, The Devil Wears Prada and Die Another Day. Indeed, they are some of the most photographed gowns in all of Hollywood.

The British-born, London-based designer studied fashion at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London before founding her namesake line in 1988. But it wasn’t until 1997 that Packham unveiled her bridal collection, instantly skyrocketing her into the world of bridal style. Her current collections include wedding dresses, ready-to-wear formal dresses, children’s occasion wear and, now, bridesmaid dresses.  Dessy has teamed up with this beloved designer for the creation of the truly exceptional Jenny Packham bridesmaid dresses.

Styles We Love

In addition to her stylish ready-to-wear women’s gowns, we can’t help but drool over the Dessy exclusive Jenny Packham dresses. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite bridal party styles by this must-wear designer.

 
 
  • Jenny Packham JP1015 — This pretty floor-length bridesmaid dress perfectly captures the dazzling feminine glamour for which Packham is known. Available in dozens of different colors, the JP1015 gown features an elegant, airy lux chiffon material that’s glammed up with stacked mirror bead trim along the bateau neckline.
  • Jenny Packham JP1006 — Simplicity meets sophistication with this pretty, ruffly bridesmaid gown by Ms. Packham. It has a totally airy and feminine look thanks to the ruffly V-neckline, delicate spaghetti straps, high-low skirt and open back. Not only does it come in lots of staple solids, but it can also be ordered in a few sweet patterns — including fresh florals — for a fabulously fun feel.
  • Jenny Packham JP1005 — A flattering choice for all your bridesmaids, this pretty and simple empire waist bridesmaid dress offers shirring at the V-neckline with a crisscross midriff for full-body flattery. You’ll also love some of this gown’s vintage touches — it’s ideal for that Old Hollywood glam feel!

Picks from the Jenny Packham 2019 Line

Here at Dessy, we’re delighted to share with you some of the greatest selections from this year’s Jenny Packham bridesmaid line. These sweet styles will surely help you create a bridal look that’s all you. Here’s a sneak peek!

 

Jenny Packham JP1024

Jenny Packham JP1021

Jenny Packham JP1023 

 
  • Jenny Packham JP1024 — The wide band at the waistline of this calf-length bridesmaid dress makes it totally flattering for many body types. Like the JP1005, this look offers some vintage vibes for the bride who loves mid-century style.
  • Jenny Packham JP1021 — This slightly more formal Jenny Packham bridesmaid dress gets a glamorous finishing touch with the help of its sheer cap sleeves. An elegant, pleated skirt and V-neckline provide the perfect detailing for the bride’s crew.
  • Jenny Packham JP1023 —Love a simple look but don’t want to compromise on the glamour? This gorgeous and glammed-out style has two glimmering, beaded bands at the waist plus a unique column neckline for a high-fashion (and subtly sparkly) approach to bridal style.

Finding Your Dream Gown by Jenny Packham

Dessy is here to help you find the perfect Jenny Packham dress for your bridesmaids. We’re committed to simplifying the process of buying bridesmaid dresses online, so we offer simple sizing, easy and free returns and effortless customer service to help you get the exact look you’re after. Plus, we happily stock our gowns — including our Jenny Packham gowns — in many retail locations throughout the U.S. Try one on today!

Wedding Day Essentials: The Ultimate List of Bridesmaid Duties for the Big Day

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So, you’ve been picked to be a member of the bride’s squad. Congratulations! You’ve weighed in on the bachelorette party plans, ordered your bridesmaid dresses and popped a bottle or two in celebration — what else is there to do?

Being a member of Team Bride is equal parts fun and responsibility, and your bridesmaid duties will begin the minute she pops the big question — “Will you be my bridesmaid?” — and won’t end until the last mimosa at the post-wedding brunch. But the big-day duties are arguably the most important, so you’ve got to make sure you’re ready for anything during the wedding weekend.

Though your list of duties is lengthy, there’s no need to stress. You’re already a good friend, as evidenced by your bridesmaid status, so you’ll be a natural! Here’s everything you’ll need to handle for the bride-to-be on her special day, from supplying the a.m. lattes to gathering her things after last call.

GETTING READY: BE THE RIGHT-HAND GAL

Throughout the day, but especially in the hours leading up to her big walk down the aisle, your job as the bride’s bestie is to be her go-to gal. Do your best to anticipate everything she might need at every point in the day, whether it’s a handkerchief to dry her tears or assistance fastening her next-level bridal heels.

group of women sitting in gowns 

  • Be on Time If you’re not early, you’re late: No piece of advice is truer on wedding day. It should go without saying, but don’t show up to any wedding-related event late. The thing is, nothing can start without you there, so make sure to be on time with bells on. The bride will probably assign you a timeslot for hair and makeup, with some as early as 9 a.m., so pick one that you know you can reasonably achieve.
  • Bring Coffee — How to be a hero on her wedding day: Start with a cup of good coffee. The key to knocking this duty out of the park is to know her Starbucks order without having to text her to ask because she’s got more important things to think about. Depending on the crowd, you might also want to be in charge of supplying the wedding morning cocktails. Just make sure the bride is down for a little boozing before the start of the ceremony, and don’t make the drinks too strong.
  • Offer Your Assistance — Don’t wait to be assigned a job. Ask the bride, the mother-of-the-bride, the photographer and the other bridesmaids if there’s anything you can do to help the day run smoothly. There are a hundred moving parts to a wedding, and it’s inevitable — a dozen people will be hurling questions her way while she’s getting dolled up. Do what you can to field the inquiries and provide the bride with everything she needs to enjoy her day without extra stress.
  • Help Her Get Dressed — One of the most important jobs for members of the bride’s squad is helping her get into her wedding gown. Let’s face it: Those things are not designed to be tossed on without additional help. You might have to do a whole lot of lacing, buttoning and bustling while you’re getting ready — and you’ll likely be assisting during quick bathroom breaks. Do yourself a favor and watch some YouTube videos on how to bustle a wedding gown. Trust us, you’ll be the wedding day MVP if you show up prepped and practiced in the art of bustling. Don’t forget to make sure the photographer is ready to shoot when you’re all helping her get into her gown.
  • Calm the Bride  Even the most well-prepared brides get butterflies before their first look or walk down the aisle. Do everything you can to help ease the nerves so that she feels confident and ready for her debut. Simply asking her what she needs at any given moment will go a long way in helping the bride avoid panic.

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SNAPPING PICS: BE UP FOR ANYTHING

Fair warning to first-time bridesmaids: The picture-taking portion of the day can be boring at best and downright maddening at worst. But know that everyone — even the bride and her spouse-to-be — will be ready for it to be over by the end, so the best thing you can do is to keep a positive attitude, lighten the mood and simply be game for whatever.

  • Prepare for Emergencies — This is the time of day when a wedding day emergency kit will seriously come in handy. Imagine, for example, that someone’s bridesmaid dress — or, gasp, the wedding gown — snags or tears in the photo shoot process. Or that someone’s self-tanner rubbed off onto her dress. Your survival kit should have all the necessities to handle these kinds of snafus, including a sewing kit, some safety pins, a stain-remover pen and extra bobby pins. If there’s rain in the forecast, try to help secure some umbrellas or facilitate indoor shooting locations.
  • Offer to Touch Her Up — Consider adding a few touch-up essentials to your bridesmaid-to-the-rescue kit, including some blotting paper to prevent sweat and moisture from ruining her makeup as well as some travel-sized bottles of her foundation, lip gloss and eyeshadow to provide instant touchups. You could even ask the photographer’s assistant to hang onto a small makeup bag or cosmetics case filled with all these day-of essentials so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re getting your picture taken.
  • Strike a Pose — During this part of the wedding activities, the photographer — and no one else — is the boss. Don’t try to advise the pros and know that the photography team is more than likely doing exactly what the couple asked them to do. Typically, the newlyweds-to-be will have conferred with the photographer beforehand to come up with a list of must-have shots and poses. Be prepared to take pics in a hundred poses and combos, with the bride, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen and solo. Don’t complain, even if it seems like the shoot is taking forever.
  • Let the Bride Shine — Make sure that no member of Team Bride is overshadowing the lady in white! The person who will know how to showcase her the best is the person behind the lens, so take direction gracefully as it comes. If you notice that one of the bridesmaids is taking away from the bride, quietly ask her to step out of the frame and allow the bride to be the star.

bridesmaids wearing royal purple dresses

DURING THE CEREMONY: HOLD BOUQUETS AND FIX GOWNS

When we think about quintessential bridesmaid duties, we often think about holding the bouquet and adjusting the train during the “I do” portion of events. Indeed, these responsibilities are crucial to the big day and should not be taken lightly! Making sure the bride looks perfect beneath the arch or at the altar should be your principal consideration when the couple is saying their vows.

  • Fix Her Dress — Typically, the maid of honor will be in charge of adjusting the bride’s train so that it lays properly while she’s saying her vows. However, if it’s a particularly long train or if the dress has special features that need to be taken into consideration, this might be a job for the entire crew of bridesmaids.
  • Hold Her Bouquet — During the ceremony, she’ll need both her hands to exchange rings, hold her partner’s hand and perform any special traditions, like the unity candle or sand ceremony. Thus, you’ll need to step in and hold her bouquet during a big chunk of the ceremony. The details of the fixing of the dress and holding of the bouquet — who should do it and when — can be ironed out during the rehearsal.
  • Hand Her a Hankie — Sadly, a mini pack of tissues doesn’t exactly go with her outfit. If you can, figure out a way to discreetly hold some tissues during the wedding so that you have something on hand in case there are waterworks mid-ceremony.

hand holding wedding bouquet

THE RECEPTION: ENJOY THE PARTY

After the makeup is done, the photos have been taken and the couple is officially hitched, it’s time to party! But don’t immediately head straight to the bar for shots. There is more pomp and circumstance to be had at the reception, including toasts, dances and the cutting of the cake.

  • Nail Your Grand Entrance — Usually, the couple will have the entire bridal party make a grand entrance to the reception. Be sure that you’ve ironed out the details of this portion of the day with the bride. She may want you to enter with the groomsman you walked down the aisle with or with all the girls at once. She may want you to lighten the mood with a dance, a funny prop or an upbeat song, or she may prefer to keep this portion formal. Let the bride guide the vibe.
  • Maid of Honor Only: Give Your Toast — If you’re the maid of honor, the primary responsibility you’ll have that the rest of the bridesmaids will not have is giving a maid of honor toast. As obvious as it sounds, make sure that you’ve spent some quality time planning for this. You should have your speech written, polished and rehearsed at least two weeks before the big day. The emcee will usually invite the maid of honor and best man to give their toasts during dinner, traditionally after the fathers (or mothers, in many cases) give their toasts to the new couple. Tip: if you’re in charge of raising a glass, make sure to wait to drink any alcohol until it’s over.

maid of honor quote 

  • Keep the D.J. on Track — More than likely, the newlyweds had a very clear vision for the music before the wedding commenced. But during the reception, they’ll be bouncing from table to table and mingling with their guests, so they won’t have time to keep tabs on the soundtrack. Ask the couple beforehand what they envision for the music and if there are any songs, artists or genres that are off-limits or must-plays. If you have to step off the dancefloor to keep the DJ on track, do so politely and only to honor the couple’s vision. In other words, don’t request the songs you want to hear just because you’re bored with the DJ’s picks.
  • Gather Her Things — Another important role of the bridesmaid crew during the reception is to make sure that all the bride’s personal belongings are accounted for. Ideally, she’ll have all her items — her phone, some cash and lip gloss — neatly gathered in a pretty bridal clutch — to make your job easier. In the event that she traded in her high heels for some comfy bridal flats, make sure to grab her heels and anything else she may have left behind after dancing the night away.
  • Help Clean Up — Depending on the size, budget and complexity of the wedding, you may be employed to help gather decorations, remove linens and collect gifts after the final dance. Ask the bride beforehand what she plans to do for cleanup — will there be a crew, or does she plan to have her family and friends pitch in to help? Remember, the sooner it’s all cleaned up, the sooner you can head to the after party!

bridesmaids standing with bride

REMEMBER: IT’S HER DAY

At the end of the day, your role as a bridesmaid is to provide your bestie with whatever she needs to enjoy the day she’s been planning and obsessing over for years, including emotional support. In everything you do, make sure that you put the focus on her and remind everyone that it’s her day and no one else’s. With any luck, she’ll do the same for you when it’s your turn to tie the knot. Dessy is always here to help you be the best bridesmaid you can be!

Deep Hues and Dusty Blues: The Best Bridesmaid Dresses for Fall Weddings

If you’ve decided to tie the knot in the fall, there’s a good chance you’re all about the warm and cozy. And we don’t blame you! Autumn is everybody’s fave season for good reason. Cooler temps are in the air, the leaves are just beginning to change and everybody’s trading their flip-flops for ankle boots.

Plus, a fall wedding is an amazing excuse to integrate cozy throw blankets, hot chocolate and apple cider into everything. It’s also high time for some of the cutest bridesmaid dresses ever! If you’re struggling with how to style your best gals for fall, here’s some inspo for you based on this year’s top fall wedding colors.

Dusty Blues: A Cool Take on the Fall Wedding

When we think about fall, we often think about warm colors. Reds, oranges and yellows are indeed autumnal essentials, but they’re not the only colors that should be on your radar. This year, it’s all about the dusty blues. Here’s why we love this spectrum of stylish shades: It’s not your typical fall pick, but it still brings the soft, muted feel that you often get with traditional fall schemes. It also pairs perfectly with some of this year’s most popular fall accent colors, including burgundy, emerald and gold. These are this year’s must-haves in the dusty blue bridesmaid dresses department:

 dusty blue bridesmaid dresses

  1. After Six 1512 — This gown features a dusty matte tone that’s perfect for a wide range of skin tones and accent colors. Your ladies will love the open back detail with crisscross spaghetti straps and the elegant trumpet skirt. It also comes in several of the most popular dusty bridesmaid dress colors, including dusty pink and dusty purple. Dust a move!
  2. Lela Rose LR243 — If you’re going for a fall romance vibe, you can’t go wrong with a little bit of dusted lace. This pretty, off-the-shoulder gown keeps things sophisticated and classy with its softly draped trumpet skirt and bodice done top to bottom in luscious Marquis lace. It also comes in various dusty hues, including suede rose.
  3. Jenny Packham JP1015 — Bring a little bit of autumnal glitz and glam to the table wth this luxurious chiffon gown available in an assortment of dusty hues. With a sweetheart neckline, a pleated overlay bodice and stacked mirror bead trim, this dusty delight is equal parts trendy and timeless. 

Deep Hues: Classic with a Twist

If you want more of a classic but still updated fall color palette, consider dressing your besties in some deep hues and jewel tones. This year, it’s all about the navy, emerald, burgundy, mauve and ruby. The beauty of these shades is that they play perfectly to your cool-weather vibe, so they’re especially ideal if you’re hosting an autumnal affair somewhere that’s likely to be chilly in October and November and you want to warm things up. From emerald to gold bridesmaid dresses, these looks scream fall. Pair any and all of these hues with soft creams and blushes or dusty accent colors for a perfectly pleasing palette.

  1. After Six 6799 — This flattering floor-length gown is guaranteed to please your entire crew, thanks to the thick shoulders that make it supportive and bra-friendly. It features a stretch crepe feel that drapes just right, plus a cute low V-back for some 360-degree style. This gorgeous jewel-toned bridesmaid dress comes in a variety of fall-perfect shades, including burgundy and hunter green.
  2. Alfred Sung D745 — We love the plunging illusion neckline on this aubergine bridesmaid dress. The elegant chiffon knit construction, center front slit and pretty pleating add extra intrigue without being overdone. If you’re not a huge fan of the eggplant color scheme, this style comes in an assortment of dusty colors and jewel tones. Be sure to explore all our burgundy bridesmaid dresses for more.
  3. Dessy Collection 3027 — Try a little emerald on for size! This lovely fall bridesmaid dress bridges the gap between classic and up-to-date, thanks to the floor-length style and long sleeves coupled with a wrap-style top and side tie. It’s made of a jersey fabric that’s flattering and gives it a not-too-formal vibe.

elegant-bridesmaid-dresses

Tying it All Together

The first step towards planning your perfect day is to pick a color scheme that captures your special vision. Once you’ve got that nailed down, it’s all about the fashion! Pull together your fabulous fall motif with all the fall wedding finishes you can dream of, from cozy plaid throw blankets to dreamy chrysanthemum bouquets. Just remember to be true to yourself and don’t feel like you have to adhere to a traditional fall theme if that’s not your thing.

A Match Made in Heaven: Six Tips for Choosing Mix-and-Match Bridesmaid Dresses

We’ve got good news for the bride-to-be who believes that one size should not fit all! Ultra-trendy mix and match bridesmaid dresses are here to stay. With mismatched styles, the bride’s crew can sport dresses in different colors, styles and textures for a totally unique and one-of-a-kind approach to bridesmaid styling.

Why mix and match? This trend is both high-style and highly practical — because let’s face it, your girlfriends are not carbon copies of one another. It allows them to select gowns that are figure-flattering and complement their personalities. When your girls feel like themselves, they’ll shine like the stars they really are!

Mix and match bridesmaid dresses

Ready to hop on the mix and match bandwagon? Here are some of our best tips for choosing mismatched bridesmaid dresses that please all bridesmaids and still play into your dreamy bridal theme.

  1. Pick a Base Color — If you like the idea of a little bit of matchiness, you can start by choosing one main color and then ask your ladies to pick gowns in different variations of the same theme. For example, if you’ve decided that you want blue bridesmaid dresses, decide on a few specific shades of blue and then allow your ladies to choose the one they like the best. You can mix turquoise, dusty blue, navy blue, berry blue and more to create a cohesive look that doesn’t feel forced.
  2. Pick Complementing Colors — Not keen on going all in one shade? No worries! Think about creating a color palette that includes a wide range of complementary colors and then allow your bridesmaids to choose the hues that speak to them. Popular palettes include soft hues, pastels and jewel tones. You can also pick just two colors, like pink and gold, to create a two-toned look.
  3. Go Convertible — One of the simplest and most popular ways to achieve the mismatched bridal look is through convertible bridesmaid dresses. These dresses are designed so that they can be worn in an assortment of ways, from cap sleeve to halter to one-shoulder to backless. The beauty of going the convertible route is that your crew can match in color and texture (or you can opt to mismatch there too), but everyone gets a totally flattering fit. These are also some of the best bridesmaid dresses for destination weddings because they’re made with packable fabrics.

    Multicolored vibrant bridesmaid dresses

  4. Mix Different Textures — Color isn’t the only thing that you can mix and match! You might also consider pulling together different fabrics to add a the-same-but-different feel to your bridesmaid style. Pair chiffon with velvet, jersey material with satin or mix them all together for a totally multidimensional look that still looks intentional and tailored. You can also mix and match with finishes. Pepper in lace, rhinestones, beaded trim, mesh, pleats and more for a fun take.
  5. Add Some Prints — Who says bridesmaid dresses have to be solid-colors? Not us! In fact, patterned bridesmaid dresses are some of the trendiest options du jour. Dress a few ladies in floral prints, stripes, dots and other fun patterns, then ask the other bridesmaids to sport solid-colored gowns in matching hues. This is the perfect way to bring a little bit of excitement to the bridal party style without the overdone feel of dressing everyone in busy patterns.

    blue and pattern bridesmaid dresses

  6. Think Beyond the Dress — Some bridesmaids won’t feel comfortable wearing a dress, and it doesn’t hurt that nothing is more in-style than the dressy jumpsuit. Allow one or two of your ladies to swap the traditional gown for a bridesmaid jumpsuit that screams chic! You can have the entire crew don the jumpsuit or just include it here and there for a runway-ready feel.

Matching Is for the Birds

When you’re picking out bridesmaid dresses, remember one thing: There’s no formula to fashion. Don’t feel like you have to follow a specific set of rules or prescriptions when you’re tying together your wedding theme. If you’re all about breaking boundaries or if you want your best girlfriends to feel their absolute best on your big day, you can’t go wrong with a little mixin’ and matchin’! 

Bridesmaid Dresses in Steel Blue

Steel Blue Wedding Inspiration

Steel blue bridesmaid dresses are elegant, chic and work beautifully from day to night. What's more, steel blue is an ideal color to choose for your wedding day for all sorts of reasons.

  • It blends beautifully with white flowers or contrasting vibrant shades.
  • It works through spring, summer and looks dazzling in winter

steel blue bridesmaid dresses

Above from left to right: After Six Bridesmaid Dress 1514, Dessy Bridesmaid Dress 3025

Dessy Real Wedding: Steel Blue Wedding

Dessy Real Wedding | Color: Larkspur, Fabric: Rococo Lace, Photographer: Carly Fuller
Shared by Norah: "...everyone looked beautiful in their Dessy dresses, ties and pocket squares. It was the perfect look for our winter wedding by the sea!"

What about the style?

Don't feel either that you have to put your girls in the same style dress. Think about who would suit a halter neck, who'd look good in something strapless and who would look best in sleeves. If your girls are curvaceous, Dessy styles are all available in plus sizes. If you have young, pre-teen bridesmaids who are too old to be flowergirls but won't fit an adult style, then check out our Junior Bridesmaid dresses. For more inspiration read our previous advice on necklines to suit your bridesmaids and dresses for different types of girls.

steel blue bridesmaid dresses

Above from left to right: After Six Bridesmaid Dress 6728, Studio Design Bridesmaid Dress 4525

Your color reference for Dessy steel blue shades are Windsor Blue, Larkspur, Cloudy. Use our Pantone color reference tool and fabric swatches to get your exact color match and share with your vendors.

A Final Touch

For your wedding bouquet, you could choose the blue shades that your bridesmaids are wearing. And then get the counter-contrast by having all-white bouquets made for your maids, to tie in with your wedding dress.

Now that would be super-stylish.

5 Beauty Mistakes NOT To Make Before Your Wedding Day

5 Beauty Mistakes to Not Make Before Your Wedding

Sadly some brides make classic beauty mistakes before their wedding day and have to live with them long afterwards. Every time they look at their wedding photographs. Not something YOU want to be doing.

So here are five key bridal beauty errors to avoid ...

1) Getting tan and having strap marks which show at the neckline of your wedding dress. This is an easy one to forget about until it's too late. I've seen several photographs of brides with visible white strapmarks showing above their dress - and that goes for the bridesmaids too. So if you're trying to get a bit of a glow before your wedding day, watch what you're wearing and make sure your tan isn't going to leave visible marks - you need to have even skin color at the neckline of your wedding dress and you don't want to be trying to patch things up last minute with fake tan. Far better to be careful in the weeks before your wedding when you go out in the sun.

2) Completely changing your make-up. You may lack the confidence to do your own make-up on your wedding day and decide to use the services of a professional make-up artist. In that case, give her plenty of photographs of you so that she can see what your normal look is. You don't want to walk down the aisle looking nothing like your normal self - your bridegroom will get a shock and he fell in love with the way you look - not somebody who looks like a stranger. Oh, and ditch the lip gloss on your wedding day - it's likely to stick to your veil.

3) Overplucking/waxing your eyebrows before your wedding. Again, this comes under the advice given above - don't make drastic changes to your look. If you've never waxed your brows you might have a reaction to the procedure so you don't want to do it just before your wedding anyway. Your eyebrows frame your eyes and are a key part of your face - so don't change them dramatically in the build-up to your wedding. Get them professionally shaped by all means - but don't do anything too much.

4) Having a facial in the week before your wedding. Facials are supposed to wake up your skin, brighten and get rid of toxins. Which means that you're stirring everything up and those toxins are likely to come out in the form of spots and blemishes. (Ewww - not a good look for those all-important wedding photographs.) So have a facial a few weeks before so that your complexion has time to calm down.

5) Dyeing your hair a completely different color, having extensions for the first time, having a drastic hair cut. Again - you really don't want to have something done that you can't change before your wedding day and which doesn't suit you. Certainly, you should have your hair trimmed and deep conditioned so it looks its glossy best but don't become a platinum blonde if you're a brunette (or the other way around). If you must, save hair style explorations for after your big day when the photographs are safely taken.

Have you ever been to a wedding where you a) Didn't recognize the bride because her look had completely changed? b) Heard of pre-wedding beauty disasters? Let us know on our Facebook page to warn other brides to be!

Soft, Elegant, Timeless - Why Velvet Bridesmaid Dresses are a Fabulous Choice

5 romantic velvet bridesmaid dress ideas

Velvet has a wonderful sheen, depth of color and drapes beautifully. And if you're planning a winter wedding or a wedding during the cooler months, it's the perfect fabric. Dessy has created a number of bridesmaid dresses in velvet, in different styles, to suit different girls and different wedding moods.

Velvet Dresses

For a formal wedding and top notch glamor, choose a full velvet dress with a diamante belt feature. Add some chandelier earrings and diamante detail on the shoes and you're dressed to perfection.

For an elegant wedding, choose a romantic velvet and tulle dress featuring a black velvet bodice with a flattering sweetheart neckline and matched with a floaty tulle skirt available in a variety of different colors from blush to burgundy.

romantic velvet bridemaid dresses

Velvet Separates

Or what about separates? Choose a velvet spaghetti strap top or velvet halter top and match with one of Dessy's bridesmaid skirts - choose a matte finish for the skirt in a heavier fabric or a lighter tulle for a summer wedding. Of if you want to mix it up a bit, try Dessy's velvet skirt matched with a silk, strapless fitted camisole.

velvet bridesmaid separates

Choose a velvet dress for your girls and they'll certainly want to wear it over and over again. A velvet dress is a timeless classic that every girl should have in her closet.

7 ideas for a fabulous fall bachelorette party

7 Fabulous Fall Bachelorette Party Ideas

If you're holding your bachelorette party in Fall, then you need to make the most of the season. It may be a little cooler than in summer - so no beach parties - and it may not be cold enough for skiing - but in fact it's a perfect season for being out and about and going places. 

The weather is crisp and clear, probably not too wet so it's ideal for hiking or exploring a city. Here's some ideas for a bachelorette party in Fall to enjoy with your squad.

1. Apple Picking: It's a Fall tradition so why not spend the day in the orchards? This is also a great idea if the bride and groom are doing a combined bachelor and bachelorette party. You can follow the apple picking extravaganza with with a late lunch or early dinner at a nice restaurant nearby.

spa bachelorette party

How wonderfully relaxing does this look? The bride and her bridesmaids will have a fabulous day spent in bliss.

2. Spa Day Pampering: While this can be done in any season, this is always a fun bachelorette party idea. Especially if your bride isn't into going to a club or bar hopping for her bachelorette party. This makes for great bridesmaid bonding and always needed relaxation. My friends and I did this for a close friend of ours for her bachelorette party and it was a total hit. We topped the day with dinner and drinks which made for a wonderful bachelorette party day.

3. A Spot of Tea: This is also a great idea for the bride who isn't into going to clubs or bars for her bachelorette party. Enjoy delicious pastries, scones, sandwiches and variety of teas. You can find various tea themed restaurants in most major cities or you can host one at home with the bride and her maids.

4. An Old Fashioned Sleepover: I don't care what anyone says, girls are never too old for a sleepover. Take everyone back to your middle school and high school days and do each other's nails, watch a scary or chick-flick movie (chick-flicks are my favorite, personally), make delicious but so bad for you food and let the bride enjoy one of the last nights as a single girl.

5. A Night Out with the Girls: If the bride is the type who wants to party, take her to a major city like New York City and rent a hotel room, go to dinner and club or clubs. You can also do a pub crawl and enjoy the night with some great music. You can also take your bride to a Broadway show or comedy show, that will be both entertaining and promise a lot of laughs.

NYC Bachelorette Party

Enjoy a night in a major city like New York City! Eat, drink and be merry with bridesmaids and friends.

6. Toast the Bride at a Winery: Every fall I tell myself I will do more visits to wineries, but I never do. But what a fabulous idea for the bride and her maids! Travel to one winery and have a private party with assorted cheeses, wonderful wines. Or go to multiple wineries and have a variety of tastings and pick your favorite one! (I would recommend getting a party bus or limo with this as well.)

7. A Night at the Casino: Take your bride to the casino where the evening can begin with a delicious dinner and drinks and slot machines. This is always a bachelorette party favorite, many casinos also have clubs and bars in them that will surely complete the evening.