As a bride, working in the fashion industry can be both a blessing and a curse. When it came time to choose the most important dress I’ll ever wear, I got pretty lucky – I found “the one” on my first shopping trip. (Can’t wait to share that story with you!!) Granted, I’ve had the opportunity to wear quite a few glamorous gowns in my life thanks to my years in pageants, so I already had a distinct idea of what my gown should be and shouldn’t be. It definitely shouldn’t be anything that looks more beauty queen than bride, that’s for sure.
Choosing dresses for your bridal party can rival the difficulty of choosing your own wedding gown. Whether your ‘maids are your sisters, cousins, bffs, childhood friends, or all of the above, getting a diverse group of women to collectively agree on anything can be difficult enough! Imagine having to cater to a variety of sartorial tastes, color preferences, and body types. Last year, when my girlfriend Annilie asked me to be a part of her bridal party, I was thrilled when she asked us what we wanted to wear. I took a similar approach with my girls, giving them free reign over dress styles as long as they adhered to a few rules: 1) the dresses must be long, and 2) they all have to be the same fabric and color. I love the idea of having each girl wear a unique dress that they feel comfortable in and expresses their personal style. The problem with this styling approach was the logistics behind actually acquiring the different dresses. One of my bridesmaids lives in New York, while my Maid of Honor is a busy attorney. Coordinating a shopping date to get everyone together at the same time was close to impossible. Not to mention the hours it would take to visit showrooms and boutiques that may or may not have what we were looking for. I was admittedly putting off a shopping date with the girls, and then Style My Bridal stepped in.
As a stylist, I never considered hiring anyone else to style my own bridal party – but Style My Bridal did just that! It was a little unnerving to relinquish creative control over my entire bridal party’s wardrobe, but the ladies at SMB made the process painless, and freed up my time to dedicate to other more pressing wedding matters.
How Does it Work?
Think of Style My Bridal as a fashion concierge for your bridal party. My experience started with a phone call with Amanda, one of the co-founders, who got to know more about me and our wedding, and what I was envisioning for the bridesmaids. We talked dress styles, colors, designers, fabrics, and what the overall process would be like. Next, she curated a custom lookbook of designs from Bari Jay along with shoes and accessories for each look which incorporated my ideas from our initial conversation. There were three different themes to choose from, and I was able to share the lookbook with my girls via email for their opinions. Once I narrowed down my choices, all I had to do was choose a date for a fitting and SMB shipped the samples directly to me.
I love any excuse for a party, so I partnered with The Conrad Miami to host my bridesmaids for an afternoon fitting soiree. Everything about the day was sweet – including the gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay from our suite, the Chandon limited edition rosé, and my favorite vegan indulgences from Bunnie Cakes.
Along with the dress samples, Amanda made sure to include fabric swatches, a styling guide, and a measuring tape with the shipment. Between sips and taking instax polaroids, the girls were able to try on dresses at their leisure while we discussed which styles flattered each of them best. There were early favorites, but luckily I didn’t have to break up any Total Divas-style brawl. I loved the intimacy of hosting the fitting rather than shopping in a store; we were able to relax and didn’t have to worry about an aggressive salesperson or time constraints. (Amanda offered to join our fit session via FaceTime, but I felt comfortable without her supervision.)
Ordering the Dresses
After the fitting session I made my final selections with input from the girls, and the ordering process was simple. Each bridesmaid was given a link to a personalized web page where she could purchase her dress. I followed up by sending Amanda everyone’s measurements from our fitting, and in a matter of clicks it was done. Six dresses ordered, and one more thing off the list!
Truth is, personal stylists are no longer just for celebrities. Have Amanda and her team style your bridal party to perfection from head-to-toe, and focus your time on more important wedding details like the dreaded guest list, (or seating chart).
To get started, visit www.stylemybridal.com or email Amanda@stylemybridal.com.
See more photos from our fitting party on Facebook.
Photos by Bella Mente
Accommodations courtesy of Conrad Miami