11 Affordable Summer Dresses That Double Up As Bridesmaid Dresses You'd Actually Want To Wear

It's that time of year again: wedding season! If you're one of the lucky few who have been bestowed the honor of being a bridesmaid, and you get to pick your own dress, then do not fret — here you will find multipurpose formal dresses for bridesmaids to shine in. Although, of course, you won't upstage the bride!

Being a bridesmaid is a really fun experience and you're often given lots of responsibilities to handle, too. Traditionally, brides would pick their bridesmaids' dresses and you would have to like it or lump it, even if you were put in a peachy meringue. But nowadays, brides are tending to give their ladies a color scheme and let the 'maids choose their own dresses.

I have been honored to be a bridesmaid three times and this summer is my fourth go — I am relieved to be on number four due to the old wives' saying, "Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride," especially considering I am engaged! For my first three bridesmaid experiences, I had yet to hit puberty, so I was put in a pretty dress each time and dressed up like a doll. This time I am very excited to be an adult bridesmaid for my fiancé's sister and I have been absolutely spoiled rotten. The bride took her cousin and myself, the maid of honor, to a gorgeous wedding dress boutique and said we could try on whatever we liked as long as it fit the color scheme. Obviously we were thrilled and managed to find a gown that suited us both and that we equally adore. Plus, our entire outfits have been paid for down to our sequin shoes; told you we'd been spoiled!

I know this is definitely a rarity and I feel truly grateful and blessed to be a bridesmaid, let alone being treated to such a gorgeous outfit. One of the most popular, modern methods of choosing bridesmaid dresses is for the bride to allow the bridesmaids to choose whatever dress they like as long as it fits the color scheme.

Often, the bridesmaids will pay for their gowns out of their own pockets (or perhaps pay a contribution towards them) with the understanding that they can wear the dresses again in the future. This bridesmaid-dress-buying trend was most likely born out of the recession and due to everyone having to tighten their purse strings. However, with being given the honor of being a bridesmaid, most people don't mind contributing towards their beautiful dresses.

So if you are one of those lucky ladies out there who have been asked to be a bridesmaid, here's a selection of fabulous frocks that won't break the bank, which you can wear for the big day and beyond!

1. The Sweetheart Dress

Floral Embroidered Tulle Dress, $30, F orever 21

A gorgeous, pale pink dress with a sweetheart neckline is perfect for a bridesmaid. It is super cute with its flirty cutout on the back and it has a padded bust that will give you extra support and security. Plus, it has a pretty skirt that is made out of a stereotypical bridesmaid dress material: tulle.

2. The Sunshine Yellow Dress

Satin A-Line Dress, $105, T op Shop

Yellow is such a happy color. Which IMO is an awesome choice for a wedding. I once saw a "real wedding" in a wedding magazine that I will always remember. The color scheme was sunshine yellow and the bridesmaids held beautiful sunflower bouquets and I couldn't help but smile.

3. In The Navy Maxi

Contrast Side Slinky Maxi Dress, $45, AX Paris

If the bride has chosen a darker color scheme or a black tie theme, this dress would be a winner. It is such an elegant floor length gown and the elaborate crochet and lace side panels give it a "wedding" feel. If the bride has chosen a traditional, white wedding dress, the side panels will also tie in nicely to the bride's gown, creating a feel of continuity.

4. The Embellished Frock

Lovedrobe Embellished Skater Dress, $44, A sos

Embellishment is another key feature that transforms a formal dress into a bridesmaid dress. This intricately embellished skater dress is super sweet and would be awesome for a summer wedding with its fresh, mint green shade.

5. The Golden Girl Dress

Fun One Like You Dress in Gold, $170, M odcloth

Metallics add a hint of luxury to any occasion, so why not add a touch of sophistication to your bridesmaid outfit by choosing this dazzling lace and sequin frock? You'll feel like a million dollars.

6. The One-Shouldered Wonder

Miriam Chiffon One Shoulder Prom Dress, $52, Boohoo

If you are struggling to find a bridesmaid dress, you can always count on a chiffon gown. Another material loved by bridesmaids, it is youthful, pretty, and feminine. The one-shouldered strap adds a touch of playfulness to this dress yet the flower detail plants this dress firmly in the realm of wedding attire.

7. The Scarlet Number

Love Red Dress, $169, Stop Staring Clothing

If your bride has a love of drama or is going for a Hollywood theme, a stunning scarlet dress like this one would go down a treat. This dress manages to be sexy and demure, which is a rare combination. The figure-hugging cut and exposed décolletage add the sex appeal while the knee length hem and capped sleeves give it a sophisticated edge.

8. The 1920s Flapper

Unique Vintage Plus Size Ivory & Silver Beaded Fringe Fitzgerald Flapper Dress, $211, U nique-Vintage

If you are attending a 1920s or The Great Gatsby themed wedding then this is the dress for you. It flaunts glass beads and silver beaded fringing. The ivory and silver shades make this a darling choice for any aspiring Daisy Buchanan.

9. The New Age Floral Number

Asos Salon Two Piece Vintage Floral Prom Dress, $26, A sos

This super cute floral number is actually a two piece. Complement your modern bride with a new take on florals in this blooming, marvelous outfit.

10. The Powder Blue Dress

Confident and Powder-ful Dress, $100, M od Cloth

Pastels are always a popular choice for a wedding color scheme. Be the bride's "something blue" in this ladylike, pleated dress.

11. The Awesome Ombré Maxi Dress

Pleated Ombré Maxi Dress, $38, Forever 21

This edgy ombré maxi is a great gown to wear to a modern wedding. Some brides favor an ombré cake but why not show you're a super stylish bridesmaid and be one step ahead of the fashion pack in an ombré maxi dress?

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