Gone are the days when bridesmaids had to be dressed the same head-to-toe. Today, women in the bridal party wear unique bridesmaid dresses that are suited to their body shape and personal style. The bride might ask that they be in the same color palette or coordinated in some way but they don’t need to have identical silhouettes anymore. This allows bridesmaids to feel more comfortable and stylish and means that there are plenty of options for shopping for gowns. Bridesmaid dress options are more affordable than ever and each girl can wear a dress that represents her own unique style. 

What are the benefits of bridal parties dressing in their own unique bridesmaid dresses? Let’s take a closer look. 

Body Shape

Though many brides thought the consistency of the wedding party wearing the same dress looked good in pictures, it was often a nightmare for her friends. The same is true today unless the women you’ve asked to be in your wedding have identical bodies – something that’s all but impossible.

The unique bridesmaid dresses of today take into account that no two women have the same body and, therefore, it’s unlikely that a group of women will all look as gorgeous in the same silhouette. One girl might prefer a sweetheart neckline while another wants a high neckline or maybe one wants spaghetti straps and another prefers cap sleeves. There are far too many ways to coordinate your bridal party in a modern wedding to be forcing any of them into identical dresses that, at best, are suited for only one of the girls. 

Affordability

Opting for alternative and unique bridesmaid dresses helps the people in a wedding save money. Traditional bridesmaid dresses could cost upwards of $200 or more once all was said and done with alterations. Today’s dresses can be in any price range because there are so many styles and options for dressing buying available.

Style

Even if a traditional bridesmaid dress fits the women in your bridal party, it’s unlikely the style was suited for every one of your friends. If you want your bridal party to relax and have a good time when they’re sharing your big day, let them choose a style that helps them feel comfortable and confident.

Interest

For years, many brides loved the cohesive look of having all of the women in their wedding dressed exactly the same. Some even coordinated the look right down to shoes and jewelry. The truth is, though, when it came to the visual interest, this look was dated and boring. Looking back on their wedding albums, many brides wished they’d done something more creative and fun with their wedding fashion. Having bridesmaids dressed in their own unique style creates interest and allows brides to be happy with their wedding photos for years to come.

Shopping Options

Where do you go to find unique bridesmaid dresses when you aren’t forced into a box and required to buy your dress where everyone else is shopping? Just about anywhere!

You can still visit a bridal salon for a dress to choose from selections that are more traditional or shop sales racks for deeply discounted options. Or, you could also choose to have the dress custom-made. But there are plenty of other places to look.

Thrift Stores

Another option for finding unique bridesmaid dresses is to visit your local thrift or second-hand store. Though you might be thinking, “I’d never wear a worn out old dress in a friend’s wedding!” the truth is you can find like-new pieces in thrift shops. This is especially true when it comes to formal wear. Most people only wear formal gowns once before donating them so often the pieces you find might as well be new. You might even luck out and find the perfect dress that was donated without ever having been worn.

Vintage Shops

Similar to thrift stores, you can check vintage shops for unique bridesmaid dresses. Most vintage shops are more curated than a thrift shop and the prices tend to be a bit higher but you are still getting a great discount. Just make sure whatever style dress you choose is suitable for the wedding you’re in. There are plenty of vintage party, cocktail, and special occasion dresses that would make perfect bridesmaid dresses but the style should be suited for the overall theme of the wedding. You might not want to don a vintage dress at a modern affair.

Department Stores

Department stores are another option for finding great bridesmaid dresses. This is especially true around homecoming and prom season as well as around the holidays. If you are in a wedding that’s scheduled for June or the summer months, prom season is a great time to shop for a dress. This also leaves you plenty of time to have the dress tailored, if necessary. 

Reusing a Dress

It’s not going to happen for everyone, but if you’ve been in numerous weddings, there’s a chance you’ll luck out and have a bride choose a style direction suited to a dress you’ve worn before. If you’ve been given the option of choosing a dress that just needs to be a certain color, think back to previous formal gowns you’ve worn. Maybe you’ll be able to get more than one use out of a dress you bought for a past occasion.

Online Shops 

There are endless online shops that sell bridesmaid gowns. You are guaranteed to find exactly what you have in mind if you are willing to do some searching. You can even shop on used clothing sites if you’re looking for something specific and you don’t mind that it’s been worn a time or two. 

There are also plenty of reasonably priced shops where you can find a brand new dress for a great deal. Before you buy, just be sure to check where the dress is shipping from, whether there is a return policy, and what the estimated shipping date is. This way you’ll be sure to have the dress in time for the big day.