10 main things to consider when choosing your bridesmaids dresses
There are two things that determine whether your bridesmaids dress selection is a success; how happy your bridesmaids are with your choice, and whether you are satisfied with your decision.
Being successful in your search is easier said than done. There are several factors to consider and work with when choosing your bridesmaids dresses. From budget constraints to matching body shapes and personal preferences to making the choice from thousands of options, you are in for a long ride.
Do you already think your head is spinning? Don’t worry, because we have the solution. Follow this list of ten top things to consider when you decide to go shopping for your bridesmaids dresses, and you will have your bases covered.
Your girls know that a new dress is on the cards when they sign up to be your bridesmaid. But, don’t make them cringe and cry by choosing an expensive dress that is way over their budget, and will most likely never be used again. Bridesmaids dress collections are rich and diverse. So, you have plenty of choices to match every budget and still get the look you envisioned. All you have to do is start your search early and search for the best deals. This way, you can find the perfect dress that doesn’t put a strain on your bridesmaid’s pockets and still have a picture-perfect bridal party.
Unsure of how to find the best deals that are budget-friendly? We suggest you start with the clearance and discount section on the website. This is where you can find the latest and most enticing offers. Also consider placing a bulk order, as many dress shops offer attractive discounts when you do so, and your bridesmaids can save some extra cash this way.
Different women have different body structures, heights, and shapes. So, choosing a single silhouette for all of them may not be the best idea. There are universally flattering silhouettes if you must have matching outfits for all of them. The modified A-line dress, that drapes close to the body all the way from the bust to the hips, and then extends into the shape of an “A,” is one such silhouette. The empire style dress with a raised waistline also looks good on most body types and is even suitable for the pregnant bridesmaid.
Nevertheless, we suggest having your girls pick dresses that enhance their best features, but on condition that all the dresses look good when they come together, and not totally disjointed. Or, choose multi-way dresses that allow your bridesmaids to drape it in different ways and find the style that looks best on them. This way, you will see more smiles than frowns, and your girls will feel comfortable and gorgeous on your day. It is a win-win situation, don’t you think?
You may have your heart set on a strapless bridesmaid dress or one that is really short and just perfect for your laid-back, casual wedding style. Before you make it your final decision, make sure you check with your bridesmaids. Not all women are comfortable wearing certain styles. Now, if your choice isn’t one that they’ve ever tried before or stay away from because they aren’t comfortable showing so much skin, it will be a mistake to force them into it on your wedding day. Although you shouldn’t be worried about satisfying everyone with every detail of what they wear on your wedding day, you should consider their opinions when choosing something that they are extremely uncomfortable in. It can be awkward if your bridesmaid is forever tugging on the neckline of her dress or acts oddly because she is uncomfortable in the style you choose.
If you have a junior bridesmaid, make sure you check with her parents on whether they are fine with her wearing strapless styles or a dress with a very short hemline or long slit.
Some women are more fashionable than others, and we know how every woman has her own perspective on what styles are great and what don’t make the list. So, while some of your bridesmaids may be super-excited about a certain style, silhouette or fabric, others may feel it isn’t even remotely their style. As a bride, you have a tough job of finding that right balance. You can either go with what you think is best, or be flexible with your options. This doesn’t mean you will have to compromise on your idea, as you will still have plenty of ways to have a wonderful looking bridal party without choosing the exact same dress. Mix up the looks, play with textures, fabrics and styles and come up with an interesting combination, that will still be cohesive with the help of few unifying elements.
One word of caution: don’t give free rein to your bridesmaids to pick their dresses. Set the guidelines that they have to stick to when choosing a dress. This could be the color, neckline, hemline or any two or more factors. The girls can then choose dresses that match their personal choices, while still meeting your conditions.
There is an enormous variety of colors available in bridesmaids dresses, and this can confuse an already flustered bride. Rather than look at all the available color choices, you should focus on just two factors: the colors that match your wedding theme and colors that will look good on most of your bridesmaids. Remember to stick to this exact order. First, think of the colors that will be best for your wedding theme. Draw inspiration from photos, magazines and online content, and narrow down your choices to a select few. Then, choose the color, or colors that will suit most, if not all, of your bridesmaids. You are done! Since most bridesmaids dress designers offer dresses in several shades, finding the color you want shouldn’t be an issue once you choose the dress. It is best to place your orders together, so all the dresses come from the same dye lot and have the same color.
However, remember that you may not always get a proper idea of what the color will be when you place your order based on the small color sample available at the boutique. Check whether the boutique carries a dress in the color you choose. When it is from the same collection, you will get a better idea of how the color will be, even if it is not the same design you chose. If they don’t, then search online for real pictures of dresses from that collection in the color you chose. Basing your choice entirely on the tiny swatch of fabric you see may give you a result that is entirely different from what you had in mind.
Bridesmaids dress shopping is a lot of fun, especially as you aren’t the one who has to try on dress after dress, and look for approval. As the audience, you have a more relaxed role. However, prepare for the shopping well in advance, and go with a definite idea of what you want. If possible, we suggest you go out by yourself the first time and take a look at your options and shortlist the ones to choose from. This will save you the trouble of walking in with all your bridesmaids and finding yourself buried in choices, opinions and preferences.
We think it is best if you take along no more than four bridesmaids for one appointment. It can get too chaotic otherwise. If you have plenty of time before your wedding, try to plan your shopping for the off-peak season time, so your appointment isn’t rushed.
7.Timing your appointment
As with everything wedding-related, start your bridesmaids dress shopping early to get everything done on time. Selecting the dress design is only half the work. You will then have to place the order and wait for the dresses to arrive. Then there will be alterations, to get the dresses fitted and just right for your wedding day. So, it is best to book your boutique appointment early, and with sufficient time to get all the remaining things completed. This will help you avoid rush fees or disappointment if the dress you choose will not be available within your deadline. Avoid shopping on the weekends, as this is when the boutique will be most rushed. Also, you will have to round up your bridesmaids for their appointment, and it is best to save time by taking at least a few of them in one go. You will have hundreds of other things to attend to as well. So, consider delegating the responsibility of getting the girls to their alteration sessions to your Maid of honor, after the decisions have been made and orders placed.
8.Expect the unexpected
If you have a long engagement, it is wise to not place your bridesmaids dress orders too early. Since your bridesmaids are obviously not going to put their personal lives on hold till your wedding is over, don’t be surprised if one of them announces that she is expecting, or even has a baby during the long wait. When you order the dress closer to your wedding, you have more flexibility to accommodate such changes. Your bridesmaid will also appreciate wearing a dress that is more comfortable for her condition. Simple dresses that do not require too many alterations to fit well, and those that are available in a range of sizes are your best bet. Also, remember that women change sizes all the time. They may gain or lose pounds from the time the dresses were ordered, to when it is actually time to wear it. So, keep an open mind and leave enough time for last minute alterations, so there are fewer hassles as the day draws closer.
Expect your bridesmaids to be very busy on your wedding day; getting dressed on time, attending to guests, helping you with your needs and more. So, the dress you choose should allow them to move around comfortably and it should also withstand strain without becoming wrinkled and dull. Another factor to consider is the weather at the time of your wedding. A dress that is perfect for an outdoor summer wedding may be a disastrous choice for a winter wedding. So, keep all these things in mind when making your choice. Consider your venue, weather at the time, and the duties that the bridesmaids will have to busy themselves with on the day, and then decide the silhouette and fabric that will be appropriate.
We talked about mixing and matching dresses, so you get a perfect balance that matches your bridesmaid’s personal preferences as well as the wedding theme. This is a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. Random dresses that you expect to go together, may entirely spoil the visual impact of your wedding scenery. Your bridesmaids should look great together, so your photos are picturesque and all your effort in planning your wedding theme isn’t wasted. Mix and match dresses, but do so sensibly. Don’t forget to decide upon the unifying factors in advance, and make sure they are ones that will bring the overall look together. Additionally, the bridesmaids dresses should also complement your wedding dress. So, if your dress has abundant lace details, it may be a good idea to go with classic designs and lace as the fabric for your bridesmaids. It needn’t be the fabric either. You can tie your look to your bridal party’s by finding one similar fabric. This may be the neckline, sleeve length or embellishment style.
We would love to hear what factors were most important to you, when you chose your bridesmaids dresses. Do let us know in the comments section.
Best for Bride offers bridesmaids dress collections from leading designers in sizes ranging from 0-34. You can find every silhouette, every pattern, every fabric and design to make your dreams a reality. To make your pick today, come visit our online gallery and find out which is your favorite.