The end of this story goes: I ordered a dress I fell absolutely in LOVE with. But, the decision, and getting there, wasn’t exactly easy. Choosing a bridesmaid dress should have been fun, but for me it was extremely stressful.
Being chosen to be the maid of honor was truly a special thing for me and I had a lot of pressure to get it right.
Knowing that I would be in pictures and standing next to my beautiful Sister-In-Law, I wanted a flattering dress with great quality, and I was prepared to spend as much as this required. However, I’m not one for fancy dresses, ever. I usually wear pants and occasionally shorts or a skirt, or a simple dress. But this occasion meant I would need to break out the “keesh” and get formal with it, so I started my search for the perfect dress. I wanted something modest, yet tasteful and flattering. I thought it would be FUN to find one, uh, ~wrong~.
The largest consideration was color. Once a color is picked you don’t have the option to just get anything from anywhere, because the dyes are very specific and can be hard to match. We realized that even though the other 3 girls bought their dresses at David’s Bridal the colors all looked a little different due to the fabric type (lace, satin, chiffon) differences, so that was surprising and a little concerning, but they turned out fine in the end (pictures and video being the “end”). My Sis had given me a fabric swatch of her color, which was called wine at David’s Bridal but was more of a burgundy than a purple.
David’s Bridal & Other Options
At my own wedding 10 years ago my bridesmaids purchased their dresses from David’s and they were beautiful and reasonably priced, so that was the first place I went to find one. I looked first online (at David’s) and found a few that were good considerations, but nothing “perfect” for me and they seemed to run a lot higher than I remembered. I had to set up an appointment which wasn’t available for a few weeks out and my Sister (In-Law) went with me. I was sad to say that was not the visit I was hoping for. First, it was a madhouse of people (love is apparently booming) and the lady assigned to me was helping several other people and was hard to get a hold of at times but doing her best to keep up. Second, out of the dresses which I liked from the racks (which were ALL shredded and dirty) none of those came in the right color, so I had to basically try on the ones they told me I could. It was a really weird experience actually. Even though I hate the way I feel in these fancy things a few of them didn’t look awful but I couldn’t get over the texture of the material. At my wedding the quality of the David’s bridesmaid dresses was thick satin which was well made and lined. The dresses now at David’s felt like that fabric you find at a Halloween store, thin, curling material made of nylon or something else cheap as hell and super sheer. Which would have been okay except that these dresses ran around $179.00 and weren’t altered yet (another $50 or so for that piece). I couldn’t stomach spending that much money for something that I didn’t love and was made so poorly. Some of the orders were months out as well, and while we were ahead of the game by a few months I didn’t want to cut it that close in case it was the wrong size or something happened where I’d need to reorder it. So, I continued to search.
How do you Match Colors Online?
I looked online at a lot of wedding dress/bridesmaid dress shops and it scared the heck of me to think of getting something that might look pretty on a model but might a) not fit b) not look good on me c) not be good quality d) not match the color, and e) would be a hassle to return. I made a few appointments around town to look at some of the other options for in-person purchases. Unfortunately, all those places still have to order the dress which takes 8 weeks to months for delivery and you are stuck trying on a version of the dress you like (if they have it) in the wrong size and color. So, I took my swatch to one of those places and it roughly matched the color, but I ended up trying on a dress that was a size 12 (I am a 6) so this obviously didn’t give me the answer I needed. Plus, the dress I liked was over $250.00, worth it if it looked great but that was WITHOUT alterations as well and I had no idea if it would look good since I couldn’t try it on in my size. What was a girl to do?
Not Sure about Azazie
I had seen a company named Azazie in my online searches, but I was skeptical. I liked what I read about the company, the lady who started it did it because she felt that most bridesmaid dress prices were outrageous, especially for the quality, and wanted to offer a better option. Ding, ding, I concur!!! The prices on Azazie were more than reasonable, and the styles were nice, but the colors were very hard to tell if they would match or not since online pictures and colors can be different once you see them in person. There was a color called Cabernet that looked close, but I didn’t know if it would be good enough. For $1.00 I ordered a swatch. The swatch came in a few days and the color was perfect, matched the David’s Bridal swatch exactly. Now, the dress itself was just a touch off from the swatch so that was a little misleading – but really the colors were fine on the day of, as I mentioned – especially since we were all a very small shade different between us.
Trying it on for the first time
Yes, I made the leap and went with Azazie – online dress shopping – eek, scary. I found a dress I liked that was modest but also formal and refined, and I LOVED that they actually custom make it to fit. This was the craziest thing ever – you take your measurements (they instruct you on how to do this exactly) and the dress fits like a friggen GLOVE. I’ve never had a custom-made item like that, so it was a—maaa-zing to zip something up that fit my body to a tee. It also comes with a built-in bra so no need to fuss with invisible or strapless bras or whatnot and the quality for the price was unbelievable. There are 3 layers, so there is a lot of dress, but they have done such a good job with manufacturing it that I was really surprised, in a good way. The fabric does not feel cheap – they use a chiffon on the top layer and a poly-blend for the 2 underneath layers that is probably rayon. The order times were estimated at 8 weeks I believe, but it ended up arriving in about 3. I honestly could not have been happier with the entire process/purchase/delivery and outcome.
In the Wedding
One thing I should mention is I did my own hemming at the bottom. I opted for the “add an extra inch for shoes” option, just to make sure it was too long and not too short, but it arrived about 2 inches too long. The hemming was easy but because I had to do 3 layers it took all day for me. With hemming the biggest part there is just measuring it correctly and I am lucky enough to have a dress-form which is a lifesaver for things like this. It’s hard to have something on you and have to bend over and draw a hem (which raises the dress up/drops it down). I recommend if you do this without a dress-form, have a friend help you pin the dress to where you want the hem while you stand straight and tall wearing the shoes you will wear at the wedding. Since I requested the length extra long I can’t say for sure if the hemline would have been okay if I just put in my measurements and let them do their thing. It may have been, but I don’t want to mislead anyone since I don’t know. At the end of the day the wedding was gorgeous, my dress fit me PERFECTLY and made me feel good, and my bank account didn’t suffer much by the ~$120.00 I had spent on a custom fitted dress. I just need another special occasion to wear it to now. If you are looking for an inexpensive, quality bridesmaid dress or other formal event dress, my own personal experience was stellar, and I highly recommend them. Click here to go to Azazie’s website.
For More Information Including FAQs, Read our full Azazie Review.