On My Way Down the Aisle: Bridesmaids Dresses

Thinking about walking down the aisle to marry my best friend, is quite nerve racking. I’m sure there are a lot of girls out there that feel the same way. Every time I think about each step I will make towards Matt, my eyes start to tear up. When the song that Matt and I chose to walk down the aisle to plays on my Pandora Station at work, my eyes start to tear up. When I think about my Daddy walking me down the aisle arm and arm, my eyes start to tear up. But the one thing that I am excited about is having my best girlfriends stand by me while I make the biggest decision of my life, my bridesmaids.

My bridesmaids Mary, Samantha, Adrienne, Delaney, and Kristin will stand by my side on September 13th this year and I could not feel more blessed to have them a part of my wedding. Something that we are all excited about are the bridesmaid dresses! After choosing my dress, it’s now time for us to shop for them… Bridesmaid dresses should never upstage a bride, but enhance the brides dress and the theme of the wedding. There are different paths you can take when choosing the dresses.

Figure out everyone’s budget for the dress. Nowadays, you can either BUY or RENT a dress. One of my favorite websites for Buying or Renting a dress is littleborroweddress.com! They offer a bunch of styles of dresses in different colors. Because the shop is online, they will send you fabric swatches to make sure that you are satisfied with the color. Perfect! Once you buy or rent the dress, they send you two sizes in case the other does not quite fit! Little Borrowed Dress takes the guess factor out of purchasing a dress online.

 tynvoraszmxblpwamtgz  tymgyxxkrnr7g7dnjx9ev5ewh8wiml0pzcdn0exe

Same dress, same color. This is the traditional bridesmaid dress scenario. The style and the color of the dresses are the same. Usually, the bride will chose the dress and whether you love or hate the dress does not matter! You would wear anything to make your bride happy!

1185706_10152245606603636_1489846548_n

(This obviously isn’t a picture of bridesmaids but flower girls! My sister (Samantha) and I are leading the flower girl line! Thought it was too cute not to put in this post! Still shows the same dress, same color concept!)

Same dress, different color. This is another bridesmaid dress scenario that is a bit of a twist of the traditional same dress, same color. This could either be a hit or a miss. If you are not careful with the colors you chose, there will not be any sense of consistency in your wedding photos. However, if you can pull this off, your wedding photos will be creative and fun! One of my favorite themes for same style with different colors is pastels.

10346829_10154299423170574_1299774518_n

This is a photo from my friend Adrienne’s wedding with her two bridesmaids my sister and I! Different dress, same color! Adorable…

Different dress, different color. This could also be a hit or miss. I was a bridesmaid in my friend Kristin’s wedding and she could not have pulled it off more beautifully! Her colors were a champagne/blush theme. The different shades and styles of dresses created a bohemian/eclectic look. Each bridesmaid felt comfortable in her dress, considering we all got to pick our dresses!

1653257_10201486619547299_1268568516_n

This photo, shot by Kati Rosado, is a PERFECT example of how to accomplish the different dress, different color deal! Well done, Kristin! ❤

I love each of these options for Bridesmaid Dress shopping! My favorite is probably the different styles of dresses with different shades of the color of your wedding…I might steal that from you Kristin ;).

XO,

Jessica Calkins

On My Way Down the Aisle: Aisle Style

10624969_10202738564725146_1730113573253213116_n

There isn’t anything more exciting and nerve racking than searching for that perfect white dress for your wedding. I couldn’t tell you how many “Say Yes to the Dress” reruns I have watched or the amount of wedding magazines I have read to find my perfect dress. No matter how many reruns I watch or how many magazines I read, it does not make my decision of finding a dress any easier. I’ve researched what dress looks best on my body, color, and budget; all major factors when choosing a dress. However, researching will only take you as far as a pretty dress that looks great on you. The most ESSENTIAL aspect of choosing a dress, it was feels right. Can you see yourself walking down the aisle in this dress?

As I’ve said before, I am not too traditional of a bride. I wanted a dress that was unique but fit my personal style and the style of the wedding. I was lucky enough to fly to Los Angeles and search for the perfect dress! (Thanks, Mom!) My sister, my mother and I flew to LA last October. What brought us to LA was the Trunk Show for Grace Loves Lace. I’m sure most of you are familiar with Grace Loves Lace, one of the most unique, wedding dress designers from Australia. I had my eye on a few of their dresses for a while, even before I was engaged! Anyway, we decided to plan a few visits to small boutiques in the LA area as well, one of them being Lovely Bride Wedding Boutique. Lovely Bride has several shops; even one in Washington D.C.!

My first appointment of the trip was at Lovely Bride and I couldn’t have been more ecstatic to start my journey on finding my dress with my mom and sister. When we first arrived, we all looked around the shop and picked out our favorites. I was really open to trying on any dress since it was my first appointment. As a bride, I didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself because I wanted this to be a fun experience for all of us. So, I tried on all types of dresses of different shapes, lengths, and styles. One after the other, I would walk out and we would talk about what we liked and what we didn’t like about each dress. After a few, I tried on this beautiful lace gown (I don’t want to give too much away because Matt reads this blog!) that made me feel like a bride for the first time. As I pulled back the curtain to show my mom and sister, we could all see that it was a top contender. I still had a few dresses to try on, but that dress was definitely in the back of my mind for the remainder of the appointment. After I had tried on all the dresses, I wanted to put that beautiful lace gown back on. I’m looking at myself in the mirror with only my wedding dress consultant in the room with me. I kept telling her, “this is it…THIS IS IT!” Again, I pull back the curtain to show my mom and sister and tears start streaming down my face. I felt so beautiful and knew that I wanted to walk down the Aisle and marry Matt in this dress. It couldn’t have been more perfect for me…except one thing. I did the one this you are NOT supposed to do when trying on a wedding dress. I tried on a dress that was WAY out of my budget. I was upset to say the least. I could never spend this amount of money on a dress that I was going to wear once in my life. I would never forgive myself.

We decided to hang up that gorgeous dress and leave. The way that dress made me feel was something I’d never felt before, and it was so, incredibly hard to let it go. We headed toward the Grace Loves Lace Trunk Show and were feeling optimistic about what we were going to find. Once we arrived, there was an extremely long line to try on dresses that weren’t even in your size. There was one dress of every style of dress that they had, which was maybe 20-25 dresses. Feeling discourage, we left. It just didn’t feel right.

We ended up flying back to Washington, D.C. without a dress in hand. I have tried on a couple dresses here and have found a very close second but that dress is ALWAYS on my mind. I have recently enter a contest on Instagram for Lovely Bride! They are giving away $5,000 toward any purchase of their dresses. Of course, there are thousands of beautiful brides entering…but there is always a chance, right? Wish me luck!

Xo,

Jessica Calkins

10665253_723919064350398_1300631863036956334_n