And the winner is…

After an exhaustive search, we finally have a bridesmaids dress! We’re going with Lula Kate’s “Ashley”, with a full skirt and in-set waistband:

Lula Kate Ashley dress with portrait neckline

…but in Raspberry

To say it was a long journey here would be an understatement, but, 13+ months later, I think I’ve found it!

At the outset, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted:

– Strapless, w/ a sweetheart neckline
– Defined, fitted waist
– Full, but not exactly A-line skirt (ideally, more bell-shaped).

A quality fabric with a bit of structure was a must, but that was really so my #1 requirement could be met: NO SHINY MATERIAL!!! Silk dupioni has a gorgeous luster but costs a pretty penny, so I was looking for alternatives.

Color was my lowest priority. I wanted to stay flexible so I could adapt based on the dress style and the girls’ preference.  But I’m a bit of a color-phobe when it comes to clothing, so black was my preference, honestly.

Option #1: This was the inspiration for ideal style, not quite material

{source: Style Me Pretty}

Option #2: I’d sworn up and down that I wouldn’t put my girls in long, uncomfortable dresses they’d never wear again, but these pastel babies (PASTEL?!) had me singing a different tune. I was completely smitten, but they were quickly nixed because they were basically begging for a wardrobe malfunction.  At the reception? Hey – it’s a party! But in church. Nuh uh.

{designed by the bride herself, Rebecca Hessel Cohen; similar style here}

Option #3: Then I had a crazy moment in early January. I dragged my sisters, mom, and bridesmaid Shawna to try these “non-bridesmaids” lace sheath dresses on at Nordstrom’s, only to have them sell out of sizes as soon as I’d committed to them:

{by Adriana Pappell, here}

I really loved the deep V-neck, waist-band detail, and sleek shape of this last one, so at least I was honing in after being all over the place with option #2, but I was starting to lose hope that I’d ever find something decent in a reasonable price range, so I reluctantly set up an appointment at a bridesmaids boutique in Boston. Time was running out!

On January 28th, Michelle and I braved the first real snowfall this winter and met up at Bella Bridesmaids in Boston to try some dresses. This might look pretty, but it was soooo chilly + windy:

But it was worth it once we reached Bella’s. Isn’t it just lovely?

I want to live here. And wear all these dresses.

The storm prevented a lot of the girls from coming into the city and forced my two sisters to just miss the appointment, so many, many dresses later [you’re a saint Michelle], we’d earned a cocktail so we headed to Met Bar. Vicky and Skylar met us to review the selections, and at a follow-up appointment that Thursday, Michelle and Shawna tried the “Ashley” neckline on and it was basically decided. Except I still needed to choose a color.

There was a bit of a time-crunch for them since the brand requires 16-18 weeks for delivery, so after a flurry of e-mails and 8 amazingly prompt bridesmaids order form completions later (THANK YOU ladies!), the order was in to my fabulous Boston consultant, Holly.

A special thank you to her co-worker Britt for fielding about 10,000 phone calls and emails from me with every possible question imaginable.  They also humored me and let me make the final decision on color moments before the order was officially submitted on Wednesday, February 8th.


And that is how I spent 13+ torturous months searching for bridesmaids dresses.



  1. Beautiful!! I love the color and the full skirt is fantastic. I can’t wait to see how you wrap it all together on the big day. Great post too, I felt like I was really there alongside you during your decision making 🙂

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