Had you asked me a few years ago about bridesmaids wearing ivory dresses, I would have completely dismissed the idea and probably told you that you were crazy. However, at that point, I had never seen the look actually executed by a bridal party and had this crazy vision that all the ‘maids were styled in bridal gowns alongside the bride. Obviously, that vision was completely wrong, because ivory bridal parties have become a huge wedding trend and it's pretty dang stunning!
If you aren’t sure if the look is for you, but have definitely been considering it, keep reading! I’ll tell you a little bit about the history of ivory bridesmaid dresses, how they got back into the wedding limelight, and some of the greatest concerns that brides have when they’re debating to go the ivory route or not.
Believe it or not, bridesmaids once held a bigger role than just planning epic bachelorette parties and helping brides to get dressed on the big day — they helped to ward off evil spirits! Sounds weird, I know, but it was once believed that evil spirits were out to harm the bride and groom so the ‘maids dressed as the bride to confuse the spirits of who was who.
After a few decades, brides started adding more color into their weddings and thus, colored bridesmaid dresses became the tradition.
It wasn’t really until 2011, when an iconic moment history really brought ivory bridesmaid dresses back to life. Remember that thing…the royal wedding? Of course you do!! Unless you lived under a rock or were below the age of 15, how could you not? Princess Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton, wore the most stunning Sarah Burton dress…in IVORY. It caught everyone’s attention and from that moment forward, we started seeing neutral colored bridal parties popping up like crazy.
Kennedy Blue 'Londyn' is featured second from the right. | Ben Saefke Photography
Now, ivory bridesmaid dresses are most certainly not for everyone, and that’s totally okay! Maybe you’ve dabbled with the idea in you mind, but have a few concerns regarding whether it’s the right choice for your big day. If so, here are X common concerns that brides have about dressing their bridesmaids in ivory and how you should approach them to determine if the color choice if for you. Here we go!
Question: Will they take attention away from the bride?
This thought always lingers in the back of every bride’s mind and is probably the main cause for concern when you express your ivory idea to family and friends. “People aren’t going to know who’s the bride!” Let’s get real, people. If you honesty don’t know who the bride is, maybe you shouldn’t even be there. Truth is, the bride is going to stand out no matter what and no one can take your sparkle away!
Question: Is ivory going to be flattering on all my girls?
This is where people get confused. White and ivory are not the same thing. The majority of brides are opting for ivory now-a-days because white, in the bridal world, has turned harsh, overly bright, almost to the point of having a blue tone to it. Ivory is much more subtle, muted, and extremely flattering on just about every skin tone.
Question: Are my bridesmaids going to look more like brides?
I mean, unless you’re putting your girls in grandiose bridal gowns similar to yours, I’m pretty sure your dresses will be pretty distinguishable. Be smart about your selection if you go the ivory route. Either have all of your girls pick her own style so it creates a rustic-chic look, or go with a style that’s quite different from your own. For instance, if you’re wearing a strapless fitted lace gown, style your ‘maids in a strapped lace bridesmaid dress with a flowing, a-line fit.
Question: Am I totally going to regret this color choice in a few years?
I’ll be completely honest here — there are probably a lot of things you chose that you’ll look back on in 10 years and say, “what the heck was I thinking?!” Unfortunately, with us living in such a trend-based world, that’s just the way it goes. However, I will say that ivory is a completely timeless color (neutrals never go out of style!) so you definitely have that going for you!
Question: Are people going to think my bridal party looks bad?
Everyone will have their opinions about everything and no matter what color in the world you chose, there’s always going to be those people who don’t love it. Pick a color for your bridal party that you love, be firm with your decision, and tell your haters to suck it! …but in much nicer terms of course! :)
As a bride, you 100% deserve to stand out on your big day. Styling your ‘maids in ivory dresses won’t take the focus off of you, but there are easy ways to keep them looking like bridesmaids while you stand there all glowing and bride-like. Here are some ideas to consider:
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Taking Your Measurements
For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor.
**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.
Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).
Waist size: While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.
Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.
Choosing your correct size
Compare these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.