If there is a task that levels up to the challenges of choosing your wedding dress, it has to be selecting your bridesmaids dresses. And if you have many bridesmaids, it is even more difficult to choose dresses that suit all of them, go well together and satisfy the women who are to wear them.
The current trend of mixing and matching bridesmaids dresses is a good one on many accounts. Not only can you choose different dresses to suit each bridesmaid, it looks splendid when done properly. This article on the Huff Post proves our point. Take a look at it for some flawlessly executed mix ‘n’ match bridal parties.
The mix ‘n’ match trend also gives you the opportunity to experiment with options till you find one that you like most. Having said this, we cannot overlook the fact that it can be just as daunting, when you have to ensure that all the dresses come together in a cohesive manner.
Whether you go with this trend, or choose the exact same dress for all your bridesmaids, you should avoid certain common mistakes that brides make when they choose bridesmaids outfits. Let us take a look at the list of these likely issues and how you can avoid them.
1.Not clearly communicating the budget
Your bridesmaids know that they have to pay for a new dress when they sign up for the role. However, this doesn’t mean that you can pick an expensive dress and expect them to happily bear the bill. Be considerate of individual circumstances when making a decision. Check with each of them in advance on what they can afford to spend. Do this before you start your research, so you can plan the shopping accordingly. If one of them is in a tight spot, you can think of footing the extra amount on her behalf, but only if you want to. However, if most of them think your budget is on the higher side, it may be better for you to rethink your decision and pick other dresses that fit their budget.
2.Not consulting your bridesmaids about their preferences
It is impossible to make everyone happy when choosing your bridesmaids dresses. However this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. Rather than focus on the features that each of them would like to have in their dresses, pay attention to the factors that they would rather not have. Certain colors can make certain women to look pale or sickly. Or there may be unflattering dress silhouettes that some of your bridesmaids dread wearing. It could also be that at least some of your girls wouldn’t be comfortable in dresses that are too short or those that expose too much skin. Check with your bridesmaids to find out what they would not like to wear, instead of what they would like to wear. This will help you eliminate dresses with any of these factors and narrow down your choices.
3.Giving your girls free rein
With the mix and match trend continuing to be a hit, many brides allow their bridesmaids to pick out their dresses themselves. However, do this wisely. Unless you provide at least few guidelines to abide by, it is possible that you will end up with bridesmaids looking entirely different and with no cohesion whatsoever. The issue arises when the parameters you set are vague. If you were to ask your ladies to pick green dresses, you could end up with a set of dresses varying from mint green to turquoise, and entirely different in finishes. The result would be disastrous. So, be very specific with the guiding factors. Try to fix at least two or three focal aspects of the dress such as the color, neckline and hemline that will make the group look cohesive. If you fix a color palette, allot specific shades to each of the girls and make sure they stick to the same color.
4.Not considering each woman separately
Every woman in your bridal party will be different in her own way. There will be differences in build, complexion and style. So a dress that looks good on one of your bridesmaids may be a terrible choice for another. Although you cannot perfectly match dresses to each lady, it is best if you consider their individuality when choosing dresses. Find dresses that they can connect to and they will appreciate your consideration. Be flexible with options and creative with your choices to pick dresses that will satisfy all your girls. If you decide to go with very similar dresses for all the ladies, zero in on a neutral that suits most complexions and a silhouette that will flatter almost any body type. Colors to consider include navy, brown and black, while the modified A-line silhouette looks good on most women.
5.Not doing your research first
Just like with your wedding dress, you have hundreds of options in bridesmaids dresses. While this is a good thing as it gives you enough variety to choose from, it can also make the whole process very tedious. So arm yourself with a general idea of what you want, before you go shopping. Look online and in bridal magazines to identify pictures that you like. Explore your options and make note of your specific requirements. Create a list of dress features and ideas that would be right for your wedding. Use this as your starting point when you actually go shopping.
6.Not giving due thought to length
Very short and too long bridesmaids dresses are simply not practical. On your wedding day, expect your bridesmaids to be very busy as they handle a range of tasks. Small dresses can make it uncomfortable for them to move around, and also make them very conscious when they have to pose for pictures. Long dresses are accident-prone, and if your venue involves a staircase, it is an invitation for trouble. Another problem with really short dresses is that they look quite cheap, and rarely flatter anyone unless they have an amazing body structure. Go with dresses that hit between knee-length and ankle-length and there shouldn’t be any issues. Also go for well-structured dresses and longer hemlines when the wedding is held outdoors in windy weather, to avoid embarrassments.
7.Choosing the wrong fabric
The fabric for your bridesmaids dresses should not only have the right texture, it should also be practical. The fabric choice should depend on the look you wish to achieve. While fabrics like silk and chiffon have a formal look, others like crepe are casual. If your wedding is held outdoors, the fabric shouldn’t show sweat. Choose light fabrics and cotton blends for warm weather, while opting for heavier fabric for the cooler months. It is also a good idea to choose similar fabric for the bridesmaids dress as for your wedding dress, as this will create a delightfully cohesive effect.
8.Shopping at the wrong time
As with everything wedding-related, don’t wait till the last minute to do your wedding shopping. It can take time to find the perfect dress and few more weeks to have them delivered and altered to the right sizes. So, factor this in when you start your bridesmaid dress shopping. You may come across attractive discounts in certain seasons. Make the most of these when available and your bridesmaids will appreciate your thoughtfulness. However, don’t shop too early either. Many things can change over time especially if you have a long engagement. You may find your girls grow in size, lose pounds or even announce they are pregnant. All these factors will affect your dress choices. So, don’t go shopping earlier than 6 months before the wedding.
9.Making just one appointment
It is a big mistake to go for your bridesmaids dress appointment with all the girls at once. This can cause chaos and confusion. The chances of making the wrong decision are very high when this happens. The better approach is to first go shopping with just one or two bridesmaids. Look at your options and narrow down the dress choices to a select few. Bring your bridal party in for another appointment and have them choose their dresses from the ones you had previously short-listed. This will make the entire task a lot easier and get rid of any possible confusion in the process.
10.Forgetting the accessories
Don’t be so caught up with dress research and shopping, that you forget all about your bridesmaids accessories. The jewelry and footwear they wear on your wedding day will have an impact on the overall look. So, give due thought to these aspects before you make a final decision. Instead of just planning the dress, think of the overall picture and plan from there. Also think of how practical a choice will be for the venue and weather, when selecting footwear. Aim for a balance between the dress choice and the accessories, so the overall look is neither too cluttered nor too simple.
11.Not prioritizing comfort
Even the most stylish dress will not look good if the woman wearing it finds it uncomfortable. So, make comfort a priority when choosing your bridesmaids dresses. Avoid patterns that are too tight, too revealing or short. When the dress fits correctly and doesn’t make them overly conscious, your bridesmaids will be able to focus their attention on you and their wedding-related duties. There are also better chances for them to reuse a dress that they are comfortable in. So, focus on this factor and you will help them get more value for the money they spend.
12.Not thinking of how it will photograph
Certain dress colors, details and designs don’t look as good in photos as they do in person. Bright shades of pink and orange look entirely different on camera, and can take on an entirely different appearance from what you planned. Embellishments may look cheap or may not be noticeable at all, in certain combinations and colors. Consider these factors when you choose your bridesmaids dresses. Think of how the colors will go with the bridesmaids bouquets and rest of the accessories like shoes and jewelry. Take sample photos to make sure it doesn’t clash with the complexion or hair colors of the girls. This will save you from being disappointed when the colors in your wedding album don’t match the ideas in your mind.
13.Compromising on your vision
It is important to give due thought to your bridesmaids opinions when choosing their dress However, this shouldn’t be at the expense of compromising on your wedding vision. Always keep your ideas and priorities in mind when planning their look. Be flexible, open to suggestions and listen to your bridesmaids suggestions. Nevertheless, the dresses you choose should match your wedding theme and colors, and be appropriate for the type of wedding you have in mind. It should be a reflection of your personal style and taste. As your bridesmaids will feature with you in many photographs and will be a big part of the overall wedding scenery, you shouldn’t take this decision too lightly. Don’t give in to any amount of coaxing, or sway too much from your personal vision. After all, it is your special day.
At Best for Bride, we have an impressive collection of bridesmaids dresses in all sizes, styles and designs. Whether your wedding is held indoors or outdoors, is in summer or winter and whether your bridesmaids are all the same height or look totally different from each other, we have the solution for all your needs. Take a look at our online bridesmaids gallery to view our collection. You can also find attractive discounts and the current deals in bridesmaids dresses in our special offers and clearance sections. For more details about the rest of our services and the stock we carry, visit our Best for Bride website.