I'm looking at what places sell bridesmaid dresses in my area, and so far all I've seen are David's Bridal, and Sorella Vita for brands. I was looking at a few online too, but they're often really expensive, or look really hard to wear, with lots of odd straps, or shapes that wouldn't look good on anyone I know. Are there any websites worth checking out? I want to have a few options, bonus points if they have floral designs.
The backup plan is that all of us sew, so we could make something, skirts usually take me about 3 hours so with teamwork, it wouldn't take long, but I don't know if everyone would go for that idea, and I'd like to look at my options first.
Ideally I'd like a medium purple (currently DB Wisteria is the best I've seen), and we're going for semi-formal garden party attire, so I think a floral print or lace might be fun. I'll be wearing a floral lace so it would be nice to have something to tie into the theme that isn't just plain chiffon that you'll only wear once.
Also, who pays for the dresses? My mom said that she bought dresses for her sisters when she got married, and she thought that would be my job, but a lot of things I've seen say otherwise. Would it be worth looking at the more expensive dresses and going half and half on it, or should the dress be the thank you gift?