If you’ve ever been asked to be a bridesmaid you’ll know the initial elation of becoming part of your friend’s big day is swiftly followed by a looming sense of panic about The Dress. Because, while your outfit will be far from the most important, it is going to be enshrined for perpetuity in wedding photos that will, inevitably, be shared far and wide across social media – and, frankly, shiny pastel satin just isn’t your brand.
Thankfully, the capital’s best bridal boutiques and designers are here for you. Steer your favourite bride-to-be in the right direction and you could find yourself picking from a thoroughly modern selection of flowing gowns, tailored jumpsuits and form-fitting slips chic enough to be worked into your summer wardrobe after the wedding is over. Here’s where to find the best bridesmaid dresses in London.
Halfpenny London’s meteoric rise in the bridal world continued with the launch of its first bridesmaid collection in 2020. The line, aptly called Sister, is inspired by founder Kate Halfpenny’s own wedding in 2012. She had an impressive 21-strong bridesmaid squad – including Erin O’Connor and Emilia Fox – all of whom were different in style, shape and height. Designed with diversity in mind, the original Sister range has now been expanded to six satin designs (including separates) and goes up to a size 22. Each piece can be customised and comes in five modern colours: navy, pewter, sage, dirty pink and rose gold.
From £120, halfpennylondon.com
Rewritten was founded in 2016 by ex-work colleagues Katie Arnott and Frances Cookson, both of whom were frustrated at the limited options available for bridesmaid dresses. The brand, which has a chic showroom in Hackney Wick, offers a capsule collection of modern dresses and jumpsuits cut from lightweight crepe in a rich palette of 17 colours including oyster, forest green and hot pink and every design is available in sizes ranging from XS to XL. For those worried about the environmental impact of their wedding, Rewritten’s dresses are made from 50 per cent recycled fabric (the brand is aiming for 100 per cent by the end of 2023) and its packaging is 95 per cent recyclable.
From £100, wearerewritten.com
Valle & Vik
While not officially focussing on bridalwear, relative London newcomer Valle & Vik offers luxurious silk slips and breezy summer dresses in a variety of vivid colours, which lend themselves perfectly to bridal parties. Founded by Silje Vaalevik in 2017 with every piece designed and made in the capital, the Norwegian designer continues to create each piece and print herself, and she has a truly contemporary understanding of silhouette and colour that will flatter many shapes and skin tones. Every piece is also made entirely from 100 per cent Eoko-Tex silks and organic cotton.
Dresses from £435, valleandvik.com
Millie Mackintosh opted for blush pink Ghost bridesmaid dresses for her first wedding to great effect. The original dye-to-match doyenne, Ghost offers a capsule collection of timeless and romantic dresses, bias-cut in vintage-inspired satin. Flattering, floor-skimming styles are elevated by simple details spanning scooped backs and cowl necks. Dresses come in dusty pink and chalky hues, as well as rich jewel tones for autumnal weddings.
From £149, ghost.co.uk
Maids to Measure
While working at Vera Wang, India Sellers saw a gap in the market for contemporary mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses in London, which hit the sweet spot between high street and designer. She founded Maids to Measure with her sister Sinclair in 2012, specialising in feminine, fuss-free silhouettes cut from premium silk chiffon and crepe. Colours have appealing names, like frosted fig and cream soda, while classic details include cut-out backs and dropped shoulders. Maids to Measure also offers a full range of maternity bridesmaids dresses that are in-keeping with its signature line. Visit the elegant showroom in Chelsea to peruse the collection in full.
From £150, maidstomeasure.com
Traditionally your go-to for high-quality workwear and elegant separates with modern design touches, whether your bridal party is one or ten-girls strong, Whistles offers contemporary dresses, jumpsuits and two-pieces that your bridesmaids will actually want to wear again. Think minimalist column dresses and flattering wrap silhouettes with subtle feminine details, in a myriad of punchy jewel tones and classic pastels.
From £159, whistles.com
Another upmarket high street stalwart making in-roads in the bridal sphere, Reiss specialises in subtly chic gowns that range from classic block colours in flattering cuts to vivid prints perfect for boho brides. With many of its gowns available in multiple colours, it's also ideal for those with a bridal party who want to show a bit of personality.
From £158, reiss.com