Weddings are a summer staple that are not happening this season in the traditional sense. Brides and grooms are getting creative with micro, virtual and hybrid solutions, and they continue to plan and celebrate with family and friends in a safe, Covid-friendly way. We chatted with Grace Lee and Monica Ashauer, the founders of Birdy Grey, a company that really disrupted the wedding industry by offering super chic bridesmaid dresses for $99, on all things Coronavirus weddings, wedding trends and how they run their business.
What bridesmaid trends are you predicting for post-Coronavirus weddings?
We’re seeing an uptick in microweddings, where couples opt for smaller, more intimate celebrations. A micro-wedding incorporates all the same elements and time-honored traditions (a beautiful ceremony, full bridal party, gorgeous venue, stunning florals, cake, photography, etc.), but with a much smaller guest list of less than 50 people. Basically, you can have your dream wedding, but on a much smaller budget.
What’s your most popular bridesmaid dress color and why do you think it’s the most popular?
Our most popular colors are sage and mauve. They’re both universally flattering on all skin complexions. Also, unlike springy pastels or darker jewel tones, sage and mauve are seasonless and look great year-round.
Is there a bridesmaid dress style/design you think works best on every body type and why?
Our convertible gowns make dressing your bridesmaids a piece of cake. They come with two extra-long front streamers that convert a multitude of ways, so there’s a flattering fit for everyone. If you have a large bust, try it as a halter for extra support. Love your shoulders? Opt for a Grecian or one-shoulder neckline. If you prefer to cover your arms, try with butterfly sleeves. Our convertible dresses are literally a no-brainer.
What are three tips that every bridesmaid-to-be should know?
- If you’re getting alterations bring your heels with you to the tailor so that the hemline hits at the perfect length.
- Chances are high that you’re going to be wearing your bridesmaid dress all day long, from pre-ceremony pictures into the evening. Make sure there’s a little extra wiggle room in your dress, so that you can move/eat/breathe/dance with ease.
- Getting your butt on the dance floor is an actual bridesmaid duty.
When it comes to designing your bridesmaid dresses, what’s the #1 thing you consider?
A flattering fit is always number one. From there, we consider versatility (will this look good on a range of body types?), breathability (will she be comfortable from morning to midnight?) and “Boomerangability” (how well does it photograph and move?).
What inspired you to start Birdy Grey? Was there a wedding in particular that sparked your vision?
I got the idea to start Birdy Grey from the last wedding I was in. Having been a bridesmaid six times myself, I understood firsthand how painful and expensive bridesmaid dress shopping could be. I noticed that shopping online was difficult because everything was made-to-order, dresses were expensive (the average cost is $140,) and no one was catering to the changing habits of millennial customers. So, I decided to change that by offering beautiful and affordable bridesmaid dresses direct to the consumer for $99. It’s as simple as that.
What’s next for your company? Any plans to expand shades, lines of dresses for other types of events, etc.?
There’s a lot of exciting things happening behind the scenes at Birdy Grey. We launched our new Curve collection of size-inclusive bridesmaid dresses this year, which is pretty exciting. Our sizing now extends up to a true 3X (the equivalent of size 24). We also just launched four new colors, as well as robes and masks. We’re also planning to test a couple capsule collections featuring new fabrics, such as satin and velvet.
What are your best tips for brides trying to plan their bridesmaid dresses while under quarantine?
There’s no need to pause planning during COVID-19, especially when it comes to your bridesmaid dresses. We’re making it super easy for brides to plan her color palette without leaving home by offering free swatches (use code: SWATCHTRIO) to see colors and feel fabrics before deciding on styles. From there, have your bridesmaids order their dresses. Unlike most bridal brands that are made-to-order, we hold inventory, so our dresses are in stock and deliver in 10 days (or less) worldwide. Host a virtual fitting party with all of your bridesmaids. Make it festive by sending pretty digital invitations from Paperless Post, and have everyone pop some bubbly for the occasion. It’s a nice way to get the girls together for some bonding, while keeping the planning process moving forward.
Do you offer virtual appointments and fittings?
We have a team of virtual stylists who are available to answer any styling questions. We also offer free moodboards based on the bride’s wedding vision.
And now after being a bridesmaid six times, it’s Grace’s turn to walk down the aisle! “I recently got engaged and can relate to our customers on a whole new level, especially while trying to plan a wedding during COVID. We’re planning on a late 2021 wedding, and while I still haven’t finalized our colors yet, I’m leaning towards Slate Blue. Monica (Birdy Grey’s co-founder & my bestie) will be my MOH, of course!”