with Lynne and Leslie

Bride at 35 Fashion: Beautiful Bridesmaids Dresses, Happy Everybody

by SweetMidlife



We know that our blog is read by people on all ranges of the wedding spectrum, but one thing that many of us have in common is that we’ve been IN a wedding at some time in our lives.  And no term sets fear into the hearts of a bride’s close friends like “bridesmaids dress”.  The bride has a vision, but you don’t know if you want to be a part of it if that includes a strapless full-length peach taffeta dress designed for a 100-lb 18 year-old (if that’s not who you are) .  And who wants to spend $250 on something that you and she BOTH know you will never wear again because looking like an overgrown clown on a Snickers bender does not fit into your everyday life?

Our expert today could be the answer to your problems, Dear Over-35 bride or bridesmaid.  Athelia Wooley is the designer and co-owner (along with her business partner Emily McCormick) of Shabby Apple, a wonderful company that designs beautiful, classic, affordable dresses for work and other occassions that flatter different ages and body types. And while “flatter” often means “doesn’t make you look awful”, in Shabby Apple’s case it means “makes you look awesome”.  Their main audience is women in their mid-20’s through their early 40’s; these are women who are past college-age, but still want to be pretty and trendy. “”They don’t want to look too young, but they aren’t  ready for Talbots yet”, says Athelia.

As Athelia was planning her own wedding, she looked around for dresses for her attendants but she mostly found short strapless ones that her friends were not going to feel comfortable in.  This inspired her to design a wedding line, so a year ago, Shabby Apple introduced The Bridesmaids Collection.  Enjoy the following pictures, along with Athelia’s thoughts on pretty, affordable, respectable dresses that your bridesmaids WILL want to wear again. We would.

Picking bridesmaids dresses that both you and your friends like can be tough, and Athelia says that a good place to start is with materials. The thicker the material, the more stretch it has; the more stretch, the more flattering.  This means a dress  “that looks good on everybody”. 

As for bridesmaids who get to pick their own dresses, Athelia thinks that you should wear something that you like but that doesn’t distract from who you are. “Pick something that you are going to wear”, she says,” and not that is going to wear you.” But before you get TOO cute, Athelia says that you should remember whose day this is. “The bride is the center of attention; look good, but don’t try to outshine her.”

Like you and your bridesmaids, Athelia kept budget in mind and was “super price-conscious” as she designed the line; all of the dresses in the line are $130, and are made of the best fabrics possible. This is good for your wedding, and good for business. “If the customer has a good experience and doesn’t have to spend a lot of money, they will come back and tell their friends.”

Ultimately, beauty is a state of mind, according to Athelia, and this is especially true of women in their 30’s and above. “You have to believe (in your own beauty) ; if you believe it yourself, you will portray it.  If your age makes you insecure it makes you unattractive.”  And you can find that beauty while still maintaining your dignity.  “If you are classy you will look beautiful. The biggest mistake is that we try to be vampy, but it looks silly, and it doesn’t respect you”. 

Shabby Apple’s designs are perfect for the Bride at 35, and we hope you check them out.  And since Athelia was 31 when she got married, she is today’s Real Life Bride at (almost) 35.  Here are some pictures of her wedding, which she calls “a wonderful celebration with people who I love”.  Enjoy.

2 Responses to “Bride at 35 Fashion: Beautiful Bridesmaids Dresses, Happy Everybody”

  1. liritsvoice@gmail.com' Rebes says:

    Wow, those dresses really are gorgeous. And she looks so very happy in her wedding pix! 🙂

  2. erica@eandoapparel.com' Erica Harman says:

    These photos are simply beautiful! Thanks for all of the information on these new boutiques as well. I am someone who would rather dress a little more modest than normal fashion brands are sharing. These look like they have some of the same items I would like to wear.

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