So with that in mind, I thought I'd share with you the bridesmaid dresses we picked out! We're still sort of in the planning process, but I'll bring you up to speed so far.
When I first got engaged I knew immediately who I wanted to be up there with Tommy and I. My sister, of course was going to be the maid of honor. My best cousin Courtney and my three best friends from college, Brittany, Allie and Julie. It was kind of hard not picking girls from high school, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the college girls know Tommy. They've been with me since the beginning. They lived with me for that year we were apart. They apparently were taking bets on when we were actually going to get engaged (when I called Julie and told her, she said "YES! Allie owes me ten bucks" before she said congrats....haha). It just makes sense to have them up there with me because they went through it all. I love my high school friends dearly, and have obviously known them longer, but in the end I went with my gut and picked the girls I did.
Now, while I was sure of my bridesmaids, I was unsure of what they would wear. In case you haven't noticed, most bridesmaid collections are ugly. And they're expensive. And they definitely aren't modest enough for my one LDS bridesmaid. Oh, and did I mention that they're UGLY?!?! So I was having a lot of trouble figuring out what they would wear. I toyed with the idea of convertible dresses because everyone could find a style that suited them the best plus they were relatively cheap plus they looked FANTASTIC in my friend Tiffany's wedding. However, when I tried one on myself, all the styles were fine except the modest one. The one with sleeves was hella annoying. You really couldn't raise your arms up without the sleeves popping up over your shoulders and staying there. That just doesn't really work when you're wearing garments. Believe me.
I also considered choosing just one color and having the girls pick their own dress out. I wasn't terribly concerned that they all wear the exact same shade, in fact I like the look of different dresses, like this:
But my mom was kind of concerned that paying for them would be tricky. Since we are covering the costs of the dresses, and EVERYONE lives out of state, the easiest is to go online. I reluctantly agreed, though not because I didn't like the look. (I really like that look).
Next, I decided to pick my bridesmaids' brains. That's what they're there for, right? I asked them to send me a dress that they thought they would look great in. My idea was that I would get all of their ideas for the "perfect" dress, and go out and hand pick one for each of them online but still have the above look. Well, that kind of backfired. I'm still not sure why. No one really responded. Or they sent me dresses and collections they thought I would like. Not a single one was like, "I look really really good in strapless cocktail dresses" or "don't you dare put me in a one sleeved dress, I hate that!". It was really weird. And that was about the time that things with school started to really ramp up, so I just sort of gave up.
And then, just last week we got a phone call. Well, my mom got a phone call. One of her friends just happened to be walking downtown and passed a store, Lily & Iris, that specialized in bridesmaid dresses. Not just from one designer either, but from many. And really surprising, given our locale, they weren't an LDS shop either (not that there's anything wrong with that, I do have an LDS girl in my wedding, it's just that in Utah, 90% of the bridal stores specialize in LDS weddings because there are SO. MANY. LDS weddings here. So many). My mom said she "had a feeling about this place" and we decided to check it out the next day.
The place was fantastic. OHMYGOSH I can't remember her name, but the woman who helped us was sooooo helpful. She didn't push us into anything at all, she answered all of our questions about alterations (because unfortunately, we're still going to have to alter one of the dresses to be more modest), and she didn't mind when we kept asking to see more and more styles. In the end we picked out five colors from one designer, Alfred Sung, and we're letting the girls pick their own styles. Here are the colors (all photos from www.dessy.com) :
In other wedding related news, I got a dress! But I can't tell you what it looks like because my mom and sister would kill me. Sooooo there's that.