Wedding Party Style Lookbook

Pretty Maids All in a Row:

Oh bridesmaid dresses.  AKA, Bane of My Existence.  We had quite the time choosing dresses for my seven lovely ladies, partially because I was a bit of a Color Fiend, and partially because I really wanted something that wasn’t so… well, bridesmaid-y.

Color – I knew I wanted the girls in a deep raspberry color (or dark pink, if you must) but at first I was not set on them all being in the same dress.  However, after surveying national (non-bridesmaid-y) stores, there didn’t seem to be enough (or any) selection of dresses in the correct shade for them to all pick their own dress.  Then I figured “Ooo, hey, J. Crew makes bridesmaid dresses now!  That’ll be perfect!”  At that time J. Crew carried a color in their chiffon line that seemed like it would fit the bill, but then when we ordered a sample, the dresses were shocking magenta.  No good.   So off to the bridesmaid-y dress shops we went… Even with the plethora of colors offered, almost everything was too pink or too red or too purple.  I was like the Goldielocks of Color Swatches.

Style & Fabric – Given my {Midnight} Garden Party {thrown by Anthropologie} theme, I figured that tea length dresses were more appropriate than long gowns.  But it seemed like every dress we tried on just wasn’t “it.”  Fabric played a huge role in this dilema as well.  Shiny duponi silks felt too preppy; satin felt too formal; and shorter styles in chiffon and cotton looked too sundressy for a cocktail reception in March.

Below are 9 of the many dress we tried on… and when I say “we,” I mean my fabulous matron of honor C, who has been my best friend for over 12 years.  C and I pounded the pavement last September and hit pretty much every bridal salon in Dallas seeking the holy grail of bridesmaid dresses.  Hopefully by now she’s forgiven me for forcing her to model all that synthetic fabric (seeing as she was a ridiculously easy bride and we picked out her bridesmaids’ dresses in about 22 minutes)… and hopefully she will forgive me for posting all these pictures of her in said synthetic fabric!

from author’s personal collection

The bottom-right is the dress we ended up selecting… the short length was just not appealing to me and we finally caved and tried on long gowns.  Turns out, this empire waist, chiffon dress by Melissa Sweet was just the ticket – the style and fabric were the appropriate level of formality without crossing over into black-tie and the dress came in a fabulous shade of raspberry called “Sangria” (extra points for a delicious name!).  While I would never say “Its such a great dress, I’m sure you’ll wear it again!” (total B.S., btw – please, please, please, never utter those words), I thought all my ladies looked amazing in these dresses (not a difficult task because they are all such stunners anyway, but you know)!

my maid (R) and matron (C) of honor in the holy grail dresses

The only other instructions I gave my bridesmaids for their look was to choose their own gold shoes and wear whatever delicate gold or pearl jewelry they wished.  We all had our hair and makeup done at my parents’ home on the day of, but all the girls picked their own looks.  In addition to the clutches I wrote about yesterday, I also gifted the bridesmaids with silk pashminas that Evan and I purchased on our trip to Thailand last summer.  I think they were a hit as they played a big roll in some of the more raucus photographs taken later in the evening – I loved seeing all the different pops of color on the dance floor!

from author’s personal collection

from author’s personal collection

Of course my favorite part of the gals’ looks were their gorgeous bouquets!  Prive Floral did all our floral design and Tina and her team did an absolute bang-up job!  At first I was opposed to having any white flowers at all in the wedding, but I’m so glad Gina and Tina convinced me to add a few white touches to the bridesmaids’ bouquets – I loved how they contrasted with all the color in mine!

All my favorite girls all gussied-up:

And now… Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

The men wore classic black tuxes with black vests from Men’s Wearhouse.  I really wanted them in black suits, but they didn’t all have a black suit and all the suits for rent we checked out looked like costume throwaways from Saturday Night Fever.  To keep their look a bit more casual, we opted for ties instead of bow ties.  The marigold silk ties from Nordstrom + a day of golf were the groomsmen gifts.

I loved the sophisticated ties paired with the quirky, fun yellow kermit button we picked for the boutonnieres.   In the picture below you can also see the posies that the mothers carried instead of corsages.

Evan sported a different look than all the rest of the menfolk, because, after all (despite popular thought), it was his day too!  Evan’s tie was also purchased at Nordstrom and his boutonniere was comprised of a berry ranunculus (my favorite flower).  Initially, we had him wearing an ivory vest (you can see it peeking out in the left-hand photo)… not sure what the hell I was thinking with that one because it looked very “Leisure Suit-esque!”  Never fear – the 1970s ivory vest was quickly discarded!

The Dads wore ties very similar to Evan’s except the paisley was in shades of yellow.  We purchased those from the Tie Bar for $15 each – they were great quality and I wish we’d discovered them sooner and before we spent sixty bucks a pop on the other ties!

Some photos of all our favorite players together – each and every person in these pictures made our day so much more special just by their presence – we are surely blessed to have such amazing friends and family!

Later todayFood & Drink Yumminess!

* unless otherwise stated, all photos by SMS Photography.