So I’ve told you all about my dress (post here) and in that post I talked about how vital my bridesmaids were to making my ridiculously ridiculous train ‘workable’, but I haven’t told you about their dresses yet…
The whole subject of bridesmaid dresses seems to be a major headache for a lot of brides. They’re even more of a headache for the poor bridesmaids who have to wear them.
I haven’t been a bridesmaid since being a child, but there aren’t many situations where adults are told very specifically what to wear by other adults. The whole thing is a bit weird when you think about it. Throw in the horror stories you hear of brides purposely ensuring their bridesmaids don’t look half as good as them, and you can see why being a bridesmaid can be more of a burden than an honour.
I had six bridesmaids and the age gap between some of them was 20 years. (Not that you’d know it to look at them!). So I knew I wanted to find a style that *everyone* would be happy in, but also one that didn’t break the bank as anything multiplied by six can get VERY spendy hideously quickly.
Luckily, the bridesmaid dresses were the first thing ticked off my wedmin list. I had bought all six before we’d even booked a venue or set a date. I think these had been purchased within a fortnight of our engagement. I’m very aware that this makes me look bridezilla levels of organised, but I did have an excuse – they were on sale. Everyone loves a sale, right?!
My best friend Katie alerted me to these dresses as she works in womenswear buying at M&S and yep – these dresses were from M&S.
MY BRIDESMAID DRESSES WERE FROM MARKS & SPENCER. (And they still sell them!)
They were multiway dresses which was great because it meant everyone could wear them in the style they liked the best. After all, it’s unlikely six different women will want to wear a dress the same way. They also received a lot of praise from the girls for being loose and flowy, meaning everyone could actually allow themselves to sit down/eat/be a human whilst wearing them.
I bloody LOVED them and was tempted to buy one for myself. The colour was *exactly* what I wanted, the fabric was gorgeous (soooooo slinky soft!) and everyone complimented them all evening.
I don’t have many pics to prove it but they looked fab from the back too…
The best part though had to be the price if I’m honest. They retail at £55 but I bought them during a 20% off sale where they were £44, then got staff discount on top of that through my ex-M&S employee dad which meant they were only £35.20 each. Crazy no?! And because it was good ol’ M&S, I bought loads of sizes for the girls to try on and just sent back the ones which didn’t work for a full refund. It meant we didn’t have ‘the fun’ of going to shops trying stuff on (is it fun?!), but with six girls scattered across the country that would have been a nightmare to organise. Buying online and then having a mammoth trying on sesh at my cousins’ house one night was easier all round and entirely hilarious.
A word of warning if you’re tempted by this dress – it’s not in stores. You can only buy it from the M&S website. But like I said, returns are super easy and as it’s not massively fitted it’s not like you really need to try loads of sizes the way you might with a snug zippy corsetty number.
It comes in other colours too…
The girls did their own hair (thank you so much Eve for helping!) which resulted in exactly what I wanted – everyone looking different and having the style that suited them best which, crucially, they chose themselves. I hate traditional ‘prom hair’/’bridesmaid hair’ looks and really didn’t want to enforce a standard style across the six of them, so although I did feel mega guilty about leaving them to their own styling devices, I much prefer that everyone looked different and ‘like themselves’.
As for shoes, again I just asked for them to wear nude heels but otherwise left them to choose a style they found comfiest/already had/could actually walk in/would wear again. Most of them wore M&S shoes actually too.
I feel exceptionally privileged to have had Heather, Katie, Pip, Lottie, Eve and Lucy as my bridesmaids. They’re all wonderful wonderful women and they all mean a huge amount to both me and my husband.
Thanks for being amazing, ladies!
Random bridesmaid selfie I found on my phone the next day!
You can read the rest of my wedding posts here 🙂
Tomorrow I hope to blog about hair and beauty. Woop!
Pics: Mark Seymour
Venue: The Aviator, Hampshire
Church: St Nicholas, Compton
My Dress & Veil: Pronovias
Bridesmaid Dresses: Marks & Spencer
Flowers: The Flower Boutique
My Jewellery: Tiffany & Co.
My Make-Up: Emma White Turle