I took a pretty sobering walk through David's Bridal the other day. I wasn't looking to buy, but I was curious as to how 25+ pounds of fabric might feel when you're walking around in it all day and wondered if the bridesmaid dresses are as ugly as people joke they are.
Surprisingly, they did have more than one dress in my size (that's plus-size, at least until my daily workouts start to make a visible difference) and actually, there were three that weren't completely terrible. Unsurprisingly, they felt cheap. Ditto for the 'maids dresses, which are kind of expensive for the quality you're getting, but since I wasn't really looking to buy, it didn't bother me as much.
I probably won't be choosing David's Bridal for my dress or bridesmaids dresses, but I'd have to recommend at least checking out what a heavy dress feels and looks like on. The waif models in all the glossies can make any dress look gorgeous and effortless - as they should, it's their job - but seeing how something like a sheath dress looks on in real life is eye-opening experience. Hello, exercise.
In a perfect world, I'd really like to have a Chicago designer make my dress. Probably something A-line, or equally flattering for my body type, but I haven't really narrowed that down yet. A friend of mine suggested Elise Bergman, and I contacted her for an appointment to get a look at what the possibilities might look like (and cost). I'm looking forward to seeing her previous bridal work. Her wrap dresses look like a great idea for the bridesmaids too, this one's the signature silk multi-wrap in Henna color ($285):
And while this is all very early in the game and idealistic, I kind of have my heart set on Twobirds Bridesmaids dresses for the ladies. They're a little pricey (Calf length is $270 and Floor length is $290) but I love that they run sizes 0-16 and have plus sizes available too, and they wrap ten different ways, so if someone doesn't feel like going strapless they don't have to. I also like to think that they're the bridesmaid dress that someone really would wear more than once (especially since we'd probably go the shorter dress route, making it easier to wear this more than once to someone else's wedding) but everyone likes to think that. Here's the chocolate brown color from someone's real wedding photos (thank you Ariane for sending the images!)
Ulimately, I am going to just ask what everyone would rather do and I will probably end up having to do the "everyone-find-a-dress-remotely-close-to-dark-brown" route, but it's nice to dream.