We decided on our colour scheme quite a while ago; fuchsia pink being the main colour as it sums up what we want in our wedding - girly, romantic, summery bright colours, and the colourology tone for love and romance, perfect. Then we considered needing another colour to compliment this, as we didn't really wish to dress our bridesmaids in full - on fuchsia pink (Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, anyone?!)
|Errrm...no. (Photo from channel4.com)|
Furthermore, knowing we are on a fairly strict wedding budget, we wanted to find nice dresses for as cheap as we possibly could. Well we live in Birmingham City Centre, with every shop you can imagine on our doorstep, so we never really considered that finding three dresses would be so blinking difficult! Our maids, all about our age or slightly older, are all very different shapes, and range from size 8 - 16. However, we had in mind the kind of dress that would suit them all; a short cocktail style dress, that was neither strapless or too short in length, and something that would compliment the season of our wedding day.
So first stop... internet shopping! Just to get an idea more than anything. A couple of people had already mentioned eBay as a source for cheap bridesmaid dresses so that was one of the first places we looked, and bought from. The dresses took a couple of weeks to arrive, and they were AWFUL! They were all the same size despite ordering an 8, 12 and 16, bits of the hem were sewn together in the wrong place, one of the shoulder straps was too short, another far too long, and none of the dresses were the same colour. For anyone considering whether the cheap dresses on eBay are too good to be true - they are. They may be cheap, but you get what you pay for. So we scrapped that idea and moved onto actual shopping from actual shops!
For the past year or so we have spent many hours wandering round the shops that Birmingham holds. French Connection, Coast, Warehouse, Debenhams, Monsoon, Oasis, Next, Jane Norman, Zara....you name it, if it stocks dresses, we've looked there. But we haven't found a single dress that we like! Firstly, it seems, nowhere wants to stock grey dresses (I didn't realise it was such an unusual colour until we started looking!), and furthermore, nobody wants to stock grey cocktail dresses! Even in places who stock bridesmaid dresses on the high street...Coast, Debenhams and BHS being the big three, none of them have anything that even nearly matches our colour, or the style of dress we like. Argh! So our ideals of managing to find the dresses in the sales are slowly dwindling, we've been through two spring / summer seasons and one autumn / winter so far, and have not found a single dress in the collections, let alone wait for them to go in the sale and buy them then!
So having at least doubled our budget by extending our search to the high street, it is looking increasingly likely that it will be doubled again as we face the scary prospect of buying ACTUAL BRIDESMAID DRESSES from an actual bridal shop! There are many advantages of this - the big designers like Dessy, Alfred Angelo and Romantica have about 40 - 50 styles in their collection each season. And once you have chosen your dress you then have a choice of about 25 different colours, with about 10 shades of each of those colours to chose from. So there will be no doubt that we will find the perfect dresses.
We are giving ourselves until after christmas until we accept the inevitable and go visit the bridal stores! But in the meantime, if you happen to stumble across exactly what we are looking for, please let us know. How do they make it look so easy on Don't tell the Bride?!