It's been a minute since I wrote a wedding update, so I thought I'd share a bit about the process for Bridesmaid Dress shopping! I hadn't thought too much about what I wanted my girls to wear, so when it came time to narrow it down, it was harder than I anticipated. Our wedding is in July and will be outdoors, so I knew that I wanted something that was fitting with the season and the setting. I much prefer the look of a long dress, and I was going for a muted, almost neutral color. I really liked the idea of all the girls wearing the same brand and color, but different styles of dress. (Note: this was a lot harder to accomplish than I anticipated). After weeks and weeks of searching online, I found a brand and color that I loved, that would allow the girls to all get slightly different styles. Long story short, the quality was subpar for the price and it just wasn't worth justifying asking them to pay for them. It was back to the drawing board on dresses and I was getting stressed. 

I explained to my sister what I was hoping to find (styles and color palette shown above) and she was able to find a style and color that just might work! They had four sizes left in stock - each of which would perfectly fit my four bridesmaids. Plus, they came in at under $90 a dress! I'm pretty sure the stars aligned for that one. I got them delivered and was pleasantly surprised by everything - the color, the style, the material and the price tag. I made sure the girls felt good in each of their sizes and made it official! It was a huge relief to mark that one off my list, and has allowed me to make a lot more decisions about color palette, accents, family outfits, etc. I ended up finding them at Lulu's, of all places. They're non-bridesmaid dresses, which explains the price. I love that we were able to find some that can very easily be worn again, so the girls don't have to have a $200+ dress that they wore once and stash in the back of their closet!

For some brides, they know exactly what they want their bridesmaids to wear, even before they're engaged. For others, it's a harder decision - that was me! If you're having a difficult time narrowing down the style and feel you're going for, consider one of the trends for bridesmaids for 2017. I'm working with Shannon Gail's Team to help plan our wedding (If you're in Chicago and need a wedding planner, look no further. I'm serious!). Shannon is an expert in all things wedding, so she's sharing some of the trends to help get you thinking about what you may want at your wedding!

"Non-Bridesmaid" Bridesmaid Dresses
As planners, we are constantly looking to simplify tasks and processes for our couples, making the wedding process as easy and stress-free as possible. This is why we are loving (and recommending!) the newest trend we are seeing for 2017, which is choosing dresses from high-end retailers and department stores vs. mainstream bridal boutiques. A dress is a dress, whether or not it is specifically labeled or marketed as a “bridesmaid” dress. Often, a department store offers significantly more flexibility and a much easier process. Your ladies can visit a store, quickly try on a dress in their actual size, or order online from anywhere in the world. The sizing is standard, not bridal, meaning it’s much easier to select the best size and not worry about trusting measurements and inflated numbers (we’ve all been there!), and shipping, returns, and exchanges are much quicker and easier - no more waiting 8 months for the dress to come in!  Hello Nordstrom! 

All White! 
Celebrities and people of note have hopped on this trend a bit quicker than the rest of us, keeping the idea unique and untapped, which is why we love it so much for 2017! Both Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton chose to outfit their maids in white, and we just love fashion decisions which push the traditional wedding mold. Having your girls in white makes such a bold statement, while also keeping the party classic, formal, and oh-so-chic! We recommend keeping the dress choices simple without extravagant necklines or detailing. We do want the Bride to stand out after all!  
photo by Britta Marie Photography
Bride's People and Groom's People
We’ve saved our favorite bridesmaid trend for last, and that is having no bridesmaids at all! Who says your best friends have to all be females? We recently planned a wedding where the couple had “Bride’s People” and “Groom’s People” and we could not have adored it more! Each of them had their favorite people standing right alongside them, regardless of gender, and this is one “trend” we think is here to stay!
photo by This Is Feeling Photography
Obviously, I'm a little partial to the first, as that's what I ended up going with, but I also really love the idea of all white. I love that you can choose to do whatever you (and your fiancĂ©) want for your wedding day - you don't have to follow any tradition or expectation!

Check out the blog at Shannon Gail for tons of inspiration!

Dresses in top graphic, from left to right: one, two, three, four