How to match your bridesmaids dresses to your wedding style and venue
If you thought choosing the perfect wedding gown was a big challenge, wait till you start looking for your bridesmaids dresses!
Apart from your personal preferences, there are many other factors to consider. The dresses you choose should not only look good on the women who wear it, but they should also be suitable for the wedding theme.
In my previous post, we looked at how to choose wedding dresses for different wedding venues. Although not easy, it is possible to identify whether a dress is suitable for a wedding venue. Making the right pick is important. Unless the dress you choose matches the venue, you will not look like you belong. Meanwhile, it is equally important that this choice reflects your personality and personal style.
Once you make this decision, the next challenge is to choose bridesmaids dresses. These dresses should compliment your wedding dress. After all, your bridesmaids contribute to the visual scenery at your wedding. Their outfits, hair and makeup will make a difference to the impact of your wedding. Hence this task requires few hours of research and planning.
In today’s post, the fashion team at Best for Bride will tell you how to do it right. We will look at different wedding venues and wedding styles and explore appropriate bridesmaid dress styles for each of them. The accompanying pictures will give you a good idea of what we mean. I suggest that you use them as inspiration to plan your own wedding party look. So, let’s get started!
Formal wedding in a Church or house of worship
Church weddings are old-fashioned and definitely traditional. Most brides choose timeless, classic dress styles for these weddings. Veils, tiaras and long trains are signature elements at a traditional church wedding.
Take cues from your own attire to choose a suitable style for your bridesmaids dresses. Aim for simplicity, but make sure their outfits reflect sophistication. Stay away from short hemlines or other revealing dress styles. These will look out of place in the setting. Structured silhouettes and classic dress styles are ideal.
Style suggestions: Full-length gowns in structured silhouettes look grand in traditional settings. Or go for a hemline that ends at the knee or below. Traditional cuts like the A-line, fit and flare or styles with a fitted bodice look stunning. Single solid colors are recommended. Fabrics like satin and chiffon are suitable. Considering the nature of the wedding, it is a good idea to pick classy accessories. Aim for a feminine, polished look with tasteful accessories, classic make-up and traditional hairstyles.
This is the Mori Lee 121 Beaded Lace dress with cap-sleeves and illusion neckline is sophisticated with a fit and flare silhouette and satin waistband.
The 6740 A-line crepe gown from After Six bridesmaids collection is simple and uncluttered, but elegant. The classic neckline and sleeves render it suitable for a traditional wedding.
A ballroom wedding is a formal affair, one that has a luxurious ambiance. Most brides make their choice between a modern, stylish silhouette and a traditional dress style like the ball gown for such weddings. Either way, the idea is to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Bridesmaids dresses in timeless, classic colors that flow to full-length will effectively compliment your look.
Style Suggestions: Full-length gowns are an ideal bridesmaid dress style if your wedding is a formal affair. For a modern theme, choose dress details like off-the-shoulder or halter necklines. These features create a signature look, and will stand out.
Chiffon is a fabric to consider, as it is comfortable to wear as well as dance in. You can also look for dresses with signature motifs in the bodice, or with features like ruffles or embellishments for a dressy look. Pay attention to the neckline and draping, as it can make a huge difference to the final result. Soft flowing solid colored gown packs a punch and will stand out in any setting.
The 6726 full-length A-line bridesmaid dress from After Six collection is glamorous and stylish, and thus perfect for a ballroom wedding. The soft tulle fabric makes the drape impeccable, and the scintillating silver bodice is dressy.
Elegant and attractive, the Mori Lee 141 chiffon full-length gown features an off-the shoulder neckline detail. Additionally, thin spaghetti straps support the bodice.
Rustic wedding venues like barns
Characterized by the intimacy and casual nature of the venue and décor, these weddings continue to be a huge hit. The warm and cozy venue has a relaxed and laid-back effect. This is easily carried through when you choose lace bridal gowns and vintage-inspired dress styles. It is suggested to choose a relaxed dress silhouette to match the ambiance and formality of the event.
It isn’t too difficult to find bridesmaids dresses that are suitable for this type of venue. Take inspiration from vintage styles and also consider how practical a dress will be for the venue you have chosen.
Style suggestions: If you have chosen a lace wedding dress, why not put your girls in lace too? The textures will have a cohesive effect. You can vary the length and neckline from your gown, so the dresses aren’t too similar.
Although long gowns are fine, dresses with shorter hemlines that end at knee-length are better suited. You can also choose dresses in sturdy fabrics with lace accents in the bodice or skirt. These will be simple, but good-looking. Allow each bridesmaid to choose a suitable neckline from strapless to fully-covered. Not only will this have a mix and match effect, but it will also look elegant. Mix different colors from the same color family for a more interesting effect.
The Jasmine B173010 is a romantic dress with criss-cross empire-waist bodice. The lace details in the the dress and the embellished shoulder straps add textural finesse.
The 31034 from the Mori Lee collection features all-over lace and a stunning strapless bodice. With a short hemline and uncluttered look, the dress is suitable for a barn wedding or other rustic style affair.
A beach wedding is casual and relaxed. Brides usually opt for unconventional choices when their wedding venue is a beach. You may be looking at soft, flowing gowns in light, breathable fabric for your own wedding dress. After all, this is both pretty and practical in the natural ambiance.It is also sensible to avoid a train and keep the hemline short for your own dress.
Use your own dress choice as the guide to finding bridesmaids dresses that go well with this theme. The last thing you want on your hands is a bridesmaid who trips and falls. So, long hemlines are definitely off the list. Keep it short and smart, and it will be functional.
Fun and flirty styles are ideal for beach bridesmaids. The weather will most likely be hot and humid. So, choose fabrics that do not show sweat and are comfortable in the heat. Experiment with soft, fluttering fabrics that look right in the natural environment. Go with bright, tropical colors or neutral shades to make them stand out. Muted colors can look washed out and too subtle in the natural background. So, avoid them.
If it is a destination wedding, don’t forget to pick dresses that travel well. Low-maintenance dresses that do not wrinkle easily are the best. It should be possible to easily press the dresses to look perfect, as your bridesmaids will have to transport their dresses on a flight. Find more tips on how to plan a destination wedding in this previous article.
Style suggestions: Both loosely draped and fitted silhouettes are equally suitable. A-line dress styles are the other popular choice. Mix and match necklines to make the overall effect more fun. Strapless, halter, one-shoulder and sleeveless styles are usually perfect for the occasion. Dresses with soft ruffles and loose pleats add interesting texture.
Heavy embellishments will look out of place. Keep the accessories including jewelry and bouquets small. Bright floral bouquets in small sizes are usually beautiful in these settings. Choose flat heels or pumps that make it easy to walk over the uneven terrain.
Casual and light, the B173001 bridesmaid dress from the Jasmine collection is perfect for a beach wedding. The halter-style neckline is an extension of the draped chiffon bodice, and it adds to the overall casual nature.
Stylish and sexy, the Mori Lee 31043 is a smart, but practical dress for a beach wedding. The single shoulder-strap detail and criss-cross bodice add more charm to the dress.
A garden wedding is the epitome of romance. With lush greenery in the natural background, little décor is needed to make it more attractive. The natural outdoors makes the entire mood light, fun and relaxed. However, being an outdoor venue, there are more constraints than choosing dresses for indoor venues. Unless the wedding is in early spring, it can be warm and humid. Breathable fabrics are ideal in this scenario. Go with romantic, feminine patterns for the dress to be suitable for the natural vibe at this venue.
Style suggestions: Lace increases the feminine appeal of a dress, and is suitable for a garden wedding. Dresses with shorter hemlines are also very beautiful. Soft, flowy fabric with few embellishments look beautiful and attractive.
Keep the colors simple and soft, with pastels and other muted colors for a charming and elegant effect. Choose dresses that show off just enough skin to be feminine, but not provocative. Mix and match different necklines from strapless to cap-sleeves, so your bridesmaids can all pick a styles that suit them best.
Perfect for spring, the Alfred Sung D724CP is a beautiful sateen twill dress with bright floral prints in the skirt. Set against a stark white bodice, the dress is representative of spring itself.
In an A-line silhouette with a strapless neckline, the 113 tulle Mori Lee bridesmaid dress is just right for an outdoor garden wedding.
City Hall Wedding
We haven’t seen brides with too many bridesmaids when they plan their wedding is at City Hall. Nevertheless, for the few that will be in the bridal party, you have to find a suitable, smart and chic attire that makes them look special. The occasion is formal. So, a full-length gown or a cocktail dress that is well-tailored and structured would look good.
Style Suggestions: Always choose dresses with definite structure for your bridesmaids. If you will be wearing a full-length wedding gown, go with long gowns with uncluttered embellishments for your bridesmaids. Equally suitable are dresses that end below knee-length and have a definite shape. Go with formal styles to keep it appropriate. Dresses with sleeves look good. Similarly, experiment with necklines that are stylish-but modest. Keep the accessories, hair and makeup simple and uncluttered. Stay away from too much bling, as this can work against the look you want.
Smart and uncluttered, the color block feature of the 2956 from the Dessy Bridesmaid collection is a dress that is good for a City Hall wedding.
The Mori Lee 31042 features a sleeveless V-neckline with criss-cross bodice, pleated skirt and zipper back.
While this guide will help you obtain a general idea of what should work at your wedding, remember that these are not the only options to explore. When choosing your bridesmaids dresses, do your research and shopping with an open mind. This will improve your chances of finding exactly what you want your favorite girls to wear on your special day.
At Best for Bride, we have an impressive range of bridesmaids dresses from world-class designer collections. Most dresses come in a whole range of colors, making it easy for you to find the dress you want. Start your research early, narrow down your choices and consult your bridesmaids before you make your final decision. The earlier you get on with this task, the more time you will have to make a wise choice. Click on this link to go to our page of bridesmaids dress collections.