A Budget Bride’s Search for the Perfect Bridesmaid Dress

When I first started looking for bridesmaid dresses I knew one thing: I didn’t want to get them at David’s Bridal.

I know this is silly. David’s Bridal has about a bazillion dresses in hundreds of colors. I just felt that purchasing from David’s Bridal would be like buying from ‘The Man’—a company built around playing on the emotions of brides and gorging the pockets of their bridesmaids (but what bridal store doesn’t do this?). Plus, purchasing bridesmaid dresses from a huge bridal warehouse didn’t really jive with me (and I thought their dresses were low quality for the price). Yes, I was crazy.

I was obsessed with finding a dress under $100 and one that my gals could wear again. I began my search online at Macys, Dillards, and Nordstrom. I thought it would be easy to find a light blue dress for our little garden wedding…but GEEZ I couldn’t find any dress remotely near the color I was looking for (or in the price range I was looking for).

While on one of my (many) trips to Solutions Bridal in Gainesville, I came across a beautiful Watters bridesmaid dress. But, once again, the price was a shocker coming in at about $204. J Crew makes a similar dress priced at $180. I was left disheartened by how much I loved both dresses and that I was extremely uncomfortable asking my bridesmaids to pay so much. My wonderful bridesmaid, Emily, saved the day and found a ‘knock off’ of both dresses as an ‘online exclusive’ at David’s Bridal. And the price? $120. I was SOLD! Plus I found a discount code which took $20 off each dress (put in 0029RWD1 at checkout), putting them right into the price range I was looking for. Hooray!!!

Now for a comparison between these three gorgeous (and garden style) dresses:

Bridesmaid Dress Comparisons

From Left to Right: Watters $204; J Crew $180; David’s Bridal $120 ($100 with coupon)

Here’s a picture of the J Crew dress in action:
J Crew bridesmaid dress modeled in Real Weddingsource Once Wed


Here is a picture of the dress (David’s Bridal #83362) in ‘real life.’ Picture came out a little more turquoise then it really is.

I have to say I was a little skeptical about the David’s Bridal version but was pleasantly surprised when the dresses came in. They were even more beautifully crafted then I expected (and I got them within 3 days of ordering). All of my bridesmaids love them. I certainly give David’s Bridal brownie points on this one. I won’t be so quick to judge in the future after seeing the beauty this company has produced. :-)

10 Comment

  1. Hello!

    You are so cute for being a Gator Bride!! We love Gator Brides!! Check out our website at http://floridabridesblog.com for all types of wedding resources!!

    Last week we posted the most adorable Gator Bridesmaids Dresses!!! You must check them out!!

    Best of luck in your wedding planning!!

  2. […] bridesmaids over here at Gator Bride. First we had beautiful flower hair pieces, then I revealed my lovely bridesmaid dresses, and now we have actual GATOR bridesmaid dresses. I can’t think of a better way to finish out […]

  3. Hi! I stumbled across your blog while looking for bridesmaid dresses online. I’m also a budget bride and I have the exact same bridesmaid dress dilemmas that you do. I think I’ve decided to go with David’s Bridal style 83362 as well for my June 2010 wedding.

    Where did you find the discount code? And does it really work?

    Thanks! :)

  4. Hannah says:

    I love the great deals you can find online! I was in love with the Juliet dress until I saw the price tag :( This David’s bridal dress is super cute and way cheaper! Congrats :)

  5. […] will be wearing an ivory shirt (since my dress is ivory), and a pool vest and tie to match the bridesmaid dresses, along with a Calvin Klein tux. The Tux is specially made to be as cool (temperature) as possibly. […]

  6. I love your choice of dresses! And ohmygosh how cute are those cowboy boots in that one photo?!?

  7. […] I want to do my hair and makeup on our wedding day) and her bridesmaid dresses are very similar to my lady’s dresses. I just love the whole look. Check our Mrs. Cowboy’s sweet wedding. All images by Tec Petaja […]

  8. MARY BETH says:


  9. yoursurprise-1 says:

    Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    1. WordPress. It’s a great platform. We custom-designed the template which was relatively simple as I’m a web developer by day.

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