One of the best parts of being a bridesmaid this year was I finally got free reign to pick out my own dress (well, within parameters, I suppose. Otherwise I’d just be wearing this or this to every wedding I go to). But as soon as I started my search, what I learned was that traditional bridesmaid dresses often fall into two categories: affordable bridesmaid dresses (aka sub $200) that are boring, and S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G bridesmaid dresses that cost a fortune. It was particularly hard to find dresses that felt special enough in the $200 range ($300 got me closer, but I learned the hard way that $300 dresses come with $100 alteration fees. And sadly, I do not have a money tree growing in my backyard, so I could only get away with that mistake once). So today, we’ve rounded up forty-seven bridesmaid dresses that cost less than $200 but will make you feel like a million bucks.
Pro-tip: If your bridesmaids come in a range of shapes and sizes, traditional bridesmaid dress designers often carry a wide variety of sizes (typically from 0–28.) So your best bet might be the most obvious one.
Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).
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I’ve joked all year that 2017 has been 365 days of professional bridesmaiding. Humor aside, though, this year was huge. I had a baby, then three of my best friends got married (and my sister follows this weekend), and it all sort of melded together into one big emotional reunion after another. The last of my BFFs to get married was my oldest childhood friend, Kristina (who you might recognize from my wedding, and possibly from here). Kristina is the first person I told when I started dating my husband (when we were fifteen), she was in the room with me when I gave birth, and I’m pretty sure she actually talked me into getting pregnant when I did, so that I could drink and dance at her wedding unencumbered by pregnancy.…