0 In Style/ Wedding

more than one white wedding {dress}

During the wedding planning process, I loved the idea of wearing as much white as possible. There aren’t many other times it feels appropriate to wear a full-on frilly, sparkly, or otherwise girly white dress by itself. Sure you can toughen them up with cardigans or leather jackets, but when do you get to revel in a pure white dress all by itself?

I made a point of wearing a white dress for each wedding-related event along our journey. That meant one for the engagement photos, two bridal showers, one bachelorette party, and one for the rehearsal dinner.

White Dress Ideas for Wedding Events | jessalayne.com

It can be hard to find just one great-fitting, stylish, and not see-through white dress — let alone five — so here are some of my tips to help you on your search:

Start early

Once you have a sense for all the events you’ll be attending as the “guest of honor,” start thinking about your outfits. Browse Pinterest for ideas and styles you like. Think about the type of “look” you’ll want at each event and keep in mind that you’ll be the center of attention when you wear these dresses so they should be fun and maybe different than something you’d wear to another person’s shower or party.

I love lace and really wanted to wear it to both of my showers, but felt it might be too stodgy for my bachelorette, so opted for sequins there. Our rehearsal dinner wasn’t fancy but I never mind being overdressed for an event, so I chose a more cocktail-esque dress {still with sequins} for that event.

Set a budget

Most brides set a strict budget for their #1 white dress — the actual wedding dress — but it’s easy to forget how many other dresses/outfits you’ll need for various parties along your wedding journey. Once you’ve determined which dressed you’ll need, set a limit. This can be either by event {for example, $100 for the shower, $200 for the rehearsal dinner} or in total {I need 5 dresses, and I’d like to spend no more than $500 all in}.

Shop around

This may be obvious, but I had the best luck scouring LOTS of sources. Every time I saw a “dress” event from an online sale site, I quickly jumped over and sorted by white/neutral dresses in my size. This took no more than 5 minutes out of my day and afforded me lots of chances to find the right dresses.

Some of my favorite sources :

  • MYHABIT {rehearsal dinner dress}
  • Hautelook
  • ideeli
  • Zara {both shower dresses — I had amazing luck there 2 summers ago!}
  • LOFT
  • JCrew
  • Nordstrom {bachelorette dress}

In general, try the stores where you frequently shop first, but keep in mind that white dresses can be seasonal. If your wedding schedule allows it, try to fit in some serious in-store white dress shopping during spring/summer months. In the off months, I found the online sale sites to be lifesavers.


Sometimes a basic dress is great because it lets you personalize it with accessories. You could also opt to re-use one of your white dresses, if you accessorize it differently. For example, I wore my “Shower #1” dress in a few of my engagement photos. It looked different, though, because instead of a chunky purple necklace and white wedges, I wore it with nautical peep toe pumps and mint green earrings & belt. No one even mentioned it or noticed!

Don’t Forget Underneath

On a practical level, undergarments are particularly important for white dresses. Try on your dresses early and think about the activities you’ll be doing while wearing the dress — for bridal showers, it’s likely you’ll sitting down with lots of guests facing you {legs crossed!}, so you won’t want the dress too short or revealing. This also may not be the time to be sexy, and instead opt for comfortable nude-toned undies. Lastly, consider that you may have a unique undergarment need, such as a slip, depending on the dress. My Shower #2 dress was open lace on the back and I scrambled to find a stick-on bra just days before the shower {I loved this option from Macy’s by the way}.

Even though Labor Day is behind us, there are still plenty of white dresses to be had online — many of which are on sale. I pulled a few ideas based on my favorite styles. Hopefully this helps jump start your search!

Splurge vs. Steal white lace dresses | jessalayne.com

1 | 2  Splurge vs. Steal chiffon off white dresses |jessalayne.com

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Splurge vs Steal on bachelorette party dresses | jessalayne.com

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Now that I’m relegated to guest-only wedding status {once a bride, always a bride… no? okay…}, my white dresses will be shuffled to the back of my closet until I can figure out how to toughen them up for normal day wear. I love a good style challenge, though! How about you?

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