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Check this out girls! STYLE I do! has all kinds of amazing dresses, gifts and more for brides, grooms and all of the guests on Rue La La right now.

(If you’re not a member, you kind of need to be invited- it’s all exclusive and fun so let me know (comment or email) and I will happily send you an invite to join!)

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Rue La La Bridal Fashion

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Rue La La IN STYLE I do! Bridal Fashion

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Eliza, this one is for you honey. Eliza asked a pretty common question that many stylish and perpetual wedding guests wonder…What do you do when the perfect “Wedding Guest Dress” is a bridesmaid dress on paper… and how the hell do you go about hanging it in your closet without confirming actual bridesmaid participation to the designer?

This is tricky. Those bridesmaid designers… they think they’re god. No handing out dresses to the common folk. Nope. Bridesmaid’s only. No, no. They mean well, really.

First I’ll say this. It’s not what you say… it’s how you say it. Plenty of women get married all the time without a true “bridal party” and still have women in beautiful dresses at their weddings.

Choose carefully when you explain why you only need one “bridesmaid” dress.

I tested this out via email and got little to no response with most of the designers I tried, but via phone with the right wording, you might have a better shot. Also if you go to the actual boutique or shop, you will fair much better face to face.

you have to remember, the designer’s concern first and foremost is with the bride and her bridal party. A “guest” sale is secondary. 

First of all, some designer dresses are easier to score than others… obviously. Anyone can walk into David’s Bridal, claim bridesmaid status and walk out with a pile of pink chiffon. But, not everyone can order Melissa Sweet without a bride to back her up. 

Not that I’m advocating cheating the system, but these dresses should be made available to the general public (and some of them are). As long as the perfect dress you’ve found isn’t:

a) the same make, model or color as the “actual” bridesmaid dresses

b) Not so over the top that you’ll look ridiculously over dressed for the type of affair they’re having

c) You don’t in any way, shape or form overshadow the bride or her actual bridesmaids intentionally. ie. floor length satin with a low back at a backyard wedding in June. Not ok.

That said, shop away. First stop. Ebay. Ebay is an EXCELLENT place to find lovingly worn, or sometimes never worn designer dresses (both bridesmaid and bridal) for WAY cheap. And who doesn’t like cheap in recession times right? 

If you’re a guest, even better. You can score some seriously smashing dresses at seriously reduced prices. Think of it as a bridal “luxe for less.”

Just search the designer name, and “bridesmaid dress” a list will pop up. If you know the dress # of the dress you’re looking for, you could try to search that too, but that might limit your options.  

I tried this with one designer and four dresses from the new spring 2009 collection popped up. One was regular price $358 with FREE Shipping (which lets be honest is a little ludicrous) one for a very low $150 bid, and another $175 BUY IT NOW “no bidding necessary”. The nice thing about Ebay is the turnover. If you give yourself enough time that dress you’ve been searching for just might pop up in your size.

If that doesn’t work we move to phase two. The Wedding Bee, another one of my favorite bridal reads has a marketplace where just married brides often sell their own used or unused in some case dresses and those of their bridesmaids at a discounted rate. It’s definitely worth checking the message boards to see what’s out there.

If you still can’t find the dress of your dreams and you refuse to settle for anything less than perfection, do what you gotta do.  Ask your bride to back you. Although, I say this with the following caveat. The bride is busy, and making sure you have that perfect dress is probably not her priority.

Work hard for that dress. If you want it bad enough, I’m sure you’ll find your persuasive side.   Happy Shopping girls!

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