Lauryn Bride Tribe.JPG

Mrs. In Training Lauryn, center, with two of her bridesmaids, Megan, left, and Stacy, right.

You know June is peak wedding season when even a simple Saturday channel-surfing session is bombarded with movies like “Bridesmaids” and “Bride Wars.”  

As a bride-to-be, I watch these classics through a different lens now. I can’t help but appreciate the role my bridal party plays in making my and my fiance Jeremy's big day special.

From the start of wedding planning, I was determined not to turn into a "bridezilla." (So far, so good!) This included making sure my bridesmaids weren’t stuck buying a dress that didn’t fit right, wearing shoes that gave them blisters or emptying their pocketbooks in the process, just to appease the bride.

Here are some tips I learned that helped take the drama and stress out of bridesmaid dress shopping.

Price, style, color — there are so many options for bridesmaid dresses. All I knew for sure was I wouldn't force my bridesmaids to spend an arm and leg on a poofy cupcake dress that they would shove to the back of the closet after all was said and done.

It was important to find dresses at a reasonable price point and in a color and style that allowed each of my bridesmaids to feel beautiful, both individually and as a group — I knew this wasn’t going to be a simple task! I enlisted the help of a couple of my bridesmaids, and we set off to a local bridal boutique in search of the perfect look.

We tried on dresses of every style and color, but the same kind of dress wasn't a winner with everyone. Ladies, if we’re being honest, we know our bodies and can determine pretty quickly what makes us feel beautiful (or bloated). I knew one dress, one style and one color wasn’t going to work.

I decided it was best to go for a cohesive look by matching color, but also giving my bridesmaids the freedom to rock whatever style they wanted, whether strapless or halter, flowy or fitted.

Problem solved, right? Well, not quite. I was found that dresses labeled “bridesmaid” had $200+ price tags. I knew there had to be a better option for us out there.

I abandoned the in-store bridesmaid shopping experience and explored my online shopping options. I saw a number of highly rated online dress shops that make it simple to coordinate any look you can imagine. I was even able to order fabric swatches from each website (I HIGHLY recommend doing this!) before selecting the company that had my perfect color and an array of styles at reasonable prices. From there, I sent all my gal pals to one website with hundreds of dress styles to choose from, with the only limitation being to order in the color swatch I selected. I ended up using Azazie for their beautiful neutral palette of taupes.

To go along with the dresses my bridesmaids handpicked, I arranged for our own "glam squad" to come pamper us at my wedding venue on the big day, so we can all indulge in the fun of professional hair and makeup. This was something that was important to me as a bride, to give to my ladies as a huge thank you for standing by my side.

I am probably more excited to see my beautiful "bride tribe" by my side on my wedding day than I am for myself! I know I couldn’t celebrate this milestone without each one of them by my side. I want them to feel pampered, beautiful and appreciated for the friendship and support they’ve given Jeremy and me over the years.

So brides, don’t forget to show your bridal party some love in the midst of your wedding planning. :)

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