White Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Hi Annabel,

I follow your blog and get thoroughly excited every time I see a new post in my Reader account. I now find myself in need of your advice and unbiased opinion. I am getting married on Jan. 1 of this year. I have scrambled high and low to find affordable bridesmaid dresses, but colors are very limited in the price-point I feel comfortable asking my girls to pony up for.

I’ve decided I want light champagne/light gold or neutral dresses and have already placed my flower and invitation orders to that effect, so I can’t really change my color theme now. The most flattering dress style is unfortunately only available in an off-white/cream shade — something my mother fears is too close to the color of a wedding dress.

Now I have no concerns that I won’t “stand out” (it should be pretty obvious given the veil, train, and people’s memories of what I look like that I am the bride). How do you feel about off-white for bridesmaid dresses?

— Bride-to-Be

Dear B to B,

I think off-white bridesmaid dresses can be very chic. I agree with you – there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that you’re the bride.

Having said that, I can understand why your mother might be concerned. Here are a few subtle ways to help distinguish the bridal party:

  • Length. Can the bridesmaids’ dresses be tea-length or shorter? If you’re concerned about additional costs for your girlfriends, maybe you can work this minor alteration into your wedding budget.
  • Neckline. Does the flattering bridesmaid dress you’ve chosen have a neckline that’s markedly different than yours?
  • Accessories. Have you considered adding a deeper gold or champagne-colored sash to the bridesmaids’ gowns? You might also try gold pashminas, which could come in handy anyway for a January wedding.

One other thought: even though your flowers and invitations were chosen with light gold or champagne in mind, keep in mind that this is a very neutral shade. You could easily add another warm color (blush, butter, sage, etc.) to this palette without disrupting the overall look of your wedding.

The best way to really test this is to have one of your girlfriends try on the bridesmaid dress and take pictures standing next to you in your fabulous gown. This way, you’ll have a solid idea of what you and the ladies will look like together on the big day.

You sound like a lovely, considerate bride. Best of luck with the wedding planning, and thank you so much for following my blog!

Graciously yours,


P.S. Readers, please chime in if you have any insights or great ideas to share!

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