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10 important things every First time bridesmaid should know

Being a bridesmaid for the first time is a thrilling experience. It is not to be taken lightly when you have been given the honor of being in the wedding party. This is only because the bride values you a lot, and would love to have you by her side on the most important day of her life. When you think of it this way, it can also be daunting. So, don’t be surprised if you feel nervous about donning the role.

Here are some of the most important things that you should know. This will help you to handle your role well, not have any nasty surprises, and basically understand what the bride will expect you to do. So, let’s begin!

1.The sticky issue—finances

When you agree to be a bridesmaid, remember that there are a number of expenses you have to bear. This includes the bridesmaid dress, accessories, hair and makeup, expenses for the bridal shower, and the wedding gift. The bride decides most of the outfit, hair, and makeup choices, while the bridal shower expenditure is up to the bridesmaids group.

The bridesmaid dress is one of the most expensive items on this list, and how much you spend on it depends on the bride. If you are on a tight budget, it is best to discuss your constraints with the bride beforehand, so she can keep it in mind when planning her choice. You can also volunteer to help her find the best deals and offers that will be easy on your pocket while she still gets what she has in mind. If all the expenses come to go beyond what you expected, you are entitled to go for a budget wedding gift. You can either get the bride your own wedding gift or do it as a group. We will look at this in more detail, later.

2. The bride makes the choice

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Your friend, the bride, may have specific ideas about how her wedding day should be. She will also have a certain idea of how her bridesmaids should be dressed and what they should or shouldn’t wear. As a member of the bridal party, you are expected to go with them. If you are very particular about not wearing something, share your opinions with the bride. Nevertheless, it is up to her to decide if she wants to consider it when making her choice. So, if she chooses a dress silhouette that doesn’t flatter your body shape or a color that doesn’t go well with your complexion, gracefully accept it. Tell yourself that you have to go with her choice because it is her big day. Although you may tell the bride your honest opinion, don’t dwell on it, or criticize her. A bride has so many things to plan for her wedding day. So, she can only accommodate everyone’s personal preferences so much.

3. What you gift is up to you

Your being in the wedding is definitely more important than the gift you get the couple. The bride knows that you are already shelling out money to buy her a dress, paying for the bachelorette and bridal shower, all for her. So, it isn’t reasonable for her to expect a big gift. However, it is customary to give her something on this lifetime occasion, even if it is small. With a little creativity, you will have no trouble finding a gift that will mean a lot to her, without breaking the bank. It could be something handmade, so you can gift her a personal gift that doesn’t cost a fortune. Or you can volunteer your help with something that she would appreciate. In some cases, all the bridesmaids pool money together and get the bride a better gift than many small, individual ones. If you think this is a better idea, but none of the others are suggesting it, you can take it up and see whether the others would like to join you. You will also be expected to give her a gift for the bridal shower, and this will mostly be opened up in front of all the attendees. So, make sure it is something that the bride will love.

4. Planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower

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Although it isn’t compulsory, it is usually the bridesmaids who throw the bride a bachelorette party and a bridal shower prior to the wedding. The entire bridal party works together to plan these events, and usually, the Maid of Honor approves the final plan. The idea behind having such parties is to ensure that the bride has a great time and likes the way it is set up. So, offer your suggestions to the group on what you think the bride would like. If the bride has, at any time, shared her ideas of what a great party means to her, discuss this with the rest of the group. Finally, it should be a function that reflects her personality and choices. You will also be expected to work hard on the décor, food, and arrangements so it goes smoothly. Be prepared to run around, make arrangements, and help to make the events a success. Both the bachelorette and bridal shower are usually held within a month or two before the wedding. Discuss the dates in advance and make sure you are available on the day. Also, since you will be contributing to the expenses, make sure that you are comfortable with the budget and be ready to pay the expenses that are expected from you.

5. Be there to support and help

Weddings can stress out even the most easygoing bride. The bride will have a million things to handle, and it isn’t uncommon for her to feel emotional, angry, or upset while planning the wedding. As her bridesmaid, you can ease her tension by offering your help when possible. Whether you choose to help her complete her responsibilities or are there to support her when she is feeling down, make sure she knows she can count on you. Volunteer your help for whatever you can assist her with, and help her stay positive and happy. Do not complain or criticize, but offer constructive suggestions. Nevertheless, remember that she may or may not take them, and don’t be disappointed if she doesn’t. If she asks you for your opinion, provide honest feedback. If you come across good ideas or inspiration you think she may find useful, share it with her. Overall, ease her responsibilities by pitching in with help when possible, and she will appreciate you being on her team.

6.Understand your responsibilities and perform them well

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Bridesmaids have an active role prior to the wedding, and on an actual day. Usually, the bride or maid of Honor will delegate duties that each bridesmaid has to handle. Prior to the wedding, your duties include attending the dress selection, buying the dress, getting it altered, and collecting it on time. On the wedding day, you will have to get dressed, help the bride get dressed and attend to jobs that are designated to you. Make sure that you are available and enthusiastic to handle any task assigned to you. Have everything you need to get ready for the wedding and handle your jobs responsibly and punctually. At the wedding venue, the bride may turn to you for last-minute help or assign new duties. Accept them gladly and do your best. If you are in doubt, consult the Maid of Honor, or bride herself, and plan accordingly. Remember that you aren’t a regular guest at the wedding, instead, you have a very special role. So, try to live up to the expectations of you.

7. Be there for the different wedding events

Bridesmaids are expected to be present at all the important events leading up to the wedding. This includes the bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and any more events that the bride or Maid of Honor notifies you of. Once you sign up to be a bridesmaid, keep your calendar ready to accommodate these events. Unless you are far away from where the events are held or have a commitment that you simply cannot miss, don’t forge excuses to keep yourself away. You will have to work with the rest of the girls to plan the bridal shower and bachelorette and be prepared to assist the bride with planning the rehearsal dinner if required. It will also be nice if you can accompany the bride to her vendor appointments or dress fittings if she asks you to. A little help can go a long way in making your friend happy, and it will be fun too to be involved in something so exciting. Now, if you are a junior bridesmaid, it is possible that you will be excused from the bachelor party if the plans are not suitable for your age. In such a scenario exit gracefully, and only engage in tasks that are expected of you.

8.Learn to compromise, adjust and work in a team

10 new and exciting bridesmaids dress ideas

All the members of the bridal party are important to the bride, and they will all have a role to play in the wedding and events before it. So, you may have to deal with people you are unfamiliar with or don’t get along with. Compromise and make adjustments when necessary, and don’t be too stubborn about everything. If there is something that is genuinely concerning you, discuss it with the Bride or Maid of Honor, and they should suggest a practical solution. The bride trusts you to do things in her best interests. Don’t be a drama queen and be a good team player, so you can all help the bride have the wedding she wants. Don’t get into fights or arguments, as this can make the entire party uncomfortable. Help each other out where possible, and things will be a lot easier for both the bride and for all of you.

9. Follow the bride’s instructions

The bride or Maid of honor is responsible for delegating duties and responsibilities. Try to be a good friend and follow them. If you are expected to hold the bouquets in a certain way or be in a specific place after the ceremony, take note of it and follow these instructions. The bride may need your help to go to the washroom, for bustling her dress, fixing an emergency situation, or touching up makeup, so don’t get lost at the time she needs your assistance. All the same, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have fun at the wedding. By all means, do! Just be aware of the needs of your bride and be available when she needs you to help. If you aren’t sure of what you are expected to do, ask, and find out.

10. Be pleasant, friendly and approachable at the wedding

Guests look up to the bridal party as the hosts of the event. So, you may be asked questions and asked for assistance. Take up the responsibility of helping those who wish to know something. Be pleasant and welcoming, and you will be a fantastic bridesmaid. Try to help those you come across feel comfortable by chatting with them or getting them to meet people they can mingle with. Invite people to the dance floor and ask if there is anything you can do to help those who seem to need it. Spread the joy around and you will feel just as happy as you make the people around you feel. Plus, your friend will appreciate your efforts to make her special day extra-special.

Are you a first-time bridesmaid? If so, do tell us what you look forward to at your friend’s wedding? And for those of you seasoned bridesmaids, tell us how you have evolved from a novice to an expert over the many weddings you participated in.

Best for Bride brings you designer bridesmaid dress collections in sizes ranging from 0-34. Visit our online store to see the variety of stock we carry and make your choice from the thousands of choices we have to offer. We are sure you will not be disappointed.

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10 tips for a minimum-stress wedding day

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Weddings are big events, and big stress is an unavoidable factor when events this big. Even if you will be having an intimate wedding with just family and close friends, you will still have a lot of planning to do. And, unless you have previously been involved in planning an event with as many details as a wedding, there will be moments when you will feel totally stressed out.

There is only so much a bride can do to prepare for such scenarios. Nevertheless, any challenge can be tackled, if you are calm, organized and refuse to succumb to pressure.

Here are ten tips that will help you navigate the unexpected, or at least prepare in the best possible way for it.

1.Insure your wedding

Most couples overlook the importance of wedding insurance, as they are already operating on a tight budget. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile investment, when you think of the potential mishaps that can throw your wedding into chaos. You will be working with most vendors for the first time ever, and even those with sterling reputations can disappoint or cancel at the most inopportune time. If you have a long engagement, things may change from the time you booked your venue to the actual wedding day. Then there is the weather factor; one of the most unpredictable problem-makers in the wedding world. Instead of worrying about what might go wrong on your wedding day, it is always best to have a safety net. This will help you relax, since you have a back-up and your money will not be lost, should anything unplanned happen.

There are different types of wedding insurances, and you can choose one that suits your budget and needs. Either have the entire wedding insured, or insure only those aspects that are expensive or prone to problems. So, if a blizzard comes along, or your wedding jewelry loses a gem, you can reschedule, replace or re-organize for a minimum difference in cost.

2.Do your lists digitally

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Some brides prefer to do everything the pen and paper way, but this is tedious, time-consuming and error-prone. We think it is best to start all your wedding planning with a suitable wedding planning app. Else, designate a folder on your desktop for all your wedding planning. This will allow you to collate all the information in a single location and this minimizes the stress later on. Google allows you to organize your various documents, and with its many options, is one of the most streamlined ways to plan every aspect of your wedding. This article on the Huff Post suggests creating a Google doc with your potential guest list and all other details pertaining to it. What a brilliant idea! It is much easier this way, and you can add not just the names, but addresses and even RSVP details later, in a single place. Cloud sharing allows you to share this list with all those who are involved in the planning, thus making the entire process very efficient.

3.Take small breaks from wedding planning

You know how it is when you are planning a wedding, when you are either working or planning, planning and planning! Avoid overwhelming yourself this way. When you put together your wedding planning time-line, make sure to incorporate breaks from all the wedding planning. This will help you focus and get back to it with full gusto, after you rejuvenate yourself. If you have a full-time job, it is a good idea to take a day or two off work just to relax. And absolutely no wedding planning during those days! Plan a date with your fiancé instead! Unless you fuel your romance during your engagement, you will miss the best time of your relationship running behind details and not enjoying what you should be doing, at the time. Try to have at least a few normal weekends with friends and family and catch up on some well-deserved couple time. Your wedding stress will naturally reduce, as you will not be burning yourself out.

4.Hire help

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You may believe that you are perfectly capable of handling everything yourself, and we think you are too! Still, consider hiring help for some, if not all wedding tasks. This is just so you aren’t overloaded with responsibilities, and planning is actually fun and not tiring. If you plan to DIY things, do not exceed what you can manage within the available time. Remember that you will be doing everything on a large-scale. So, account for the time, effort and resources that will go into a task. When you overburden yourself, you will not have the time or energy to enjoy your wedding day, and that wouldn’t be fun. So, divert a part of your budget to hire help. For a smooth wedding day, you should definitely consider a day-of planner. And, if you have the budget, and aren’t obsessed about micro-managing everything at your wedding, consider hiring the services of a wedding planner, or at least a part-time planner for some aspects.

5.Have someone else hear the speeches

Many brides look forward to the wedding toasts and speeches, but are equally worried about inappropriate things being said or a speech being long and boring. However, listening to the speeches yourself is not a good idea, as it can ruin the surprise for you. To save yourself any worry, ask someone you trust to hear the speeches and tell you if they sound fine. Your maid of honor or mother, or someone who thinks like you do, can do the job. Provide a crisp set of guidelines of what to look out for, so they can analyze whether the speech is fine or not,. Then, leave it to them. This will be one less thing for you to worry about, and you can relax trusting that the speeches will be great, and not to mention New!

6.Plan the day before

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Just like you plan every detail of your wedding day, plan the day-before as well, and you will find things progressing smoothly. There are a number of things that you should do on the day before your wedding. This includes setting out your dress and accessories, checking on your bridesmaids and vendors, finishing last-minute arrangements and finding time to relax. The day before can be very stressful, as there will be many arrangements to attend to. So, rather than go through the day attacking things as time allows, create a checklist and it will save you a lot of stress. List all the tasks for the day, and schedule in time for each of them. Also add some buffer time, so you can catch up on any last-minute needs, or finish off tasks that take longer than anticipated. Most importantly, you must find time to relax, catch your breath and sleep well on this day. So, if you have your rehearsal dinner on the day before your wedding, make sure you wind it up in time to get home and rest well. We also suggest that you take a look at this previous post of ours, and plan the day before your wedding day based on it.

7.Plan the day-after

You won’t believe us when we say that your wedding day will be over before you know it. Despite all that intense planning and the hundred things you took time to perfect, you will find your wedding day fleeing by. Before you know it, your wedding day will flee, and it will be time to busy yourself with what has to be attended to after the wedding. Make sure to relax and find time to dwell on the memories of your special day, while you can still remember it, by planning a relaxed and laid-back day-after. While planning the your wedding day details, also find time to sort out the things that should be done soon after the wedding. You will have to send your wedding dress to the dry cleaners, pay wedding vendors and do things like taking home the gifts you received at the venue. We think that this suggestion on the GalTime blog of making arrangements for a late hotel-checkout and booking a car service to the airport, is very sensible. It will allow you to relax before you go for your honeymoon. Make arrangements for these activities in advance, and you will not have to buzz around after the wedding worrying about them. Instead, you can enjoy time with your spouse.

8.Tackle things as early as possible

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The days leading up to your wedding will be chock-full of tasks. It may be tempting to put aside some of them for later, so you can relax a bit. But, remember that the pile is just going to grow. As long as there are pending things to complete, you cannot relax. So, do everything in small installments, as and when possible. It is productive to create a list of tasks you must handle, and cross them out as you complete them. Not only will this give you a feeling that you have made progress, it will also get things done faster. One thing you can start with before the wedding is, writing your thank you notes. This is easier to do bit by bit, than when you attempt it in a single go. Start writing your thank you notes as and when your gifts arrive, and it will take you less time to complete. You may even find it relaxing and enjoyable. This previous post on how to write your thank you notes may be useful for you.

9.Choose assistants for everything

Wedding planning can be exhausting, when you attempt to do it all by yourself. Always asking the same person for help may also affect the overall productivity. The better option is to ask the right people to assist you with each relevant aspect. Working with different teams will allow you to relax and enjoy the experience better. You will have family and friends who are eager to help with the wedding. So, take a short while to think of who could best assist you with each aspect of the wedding, and ask them for their help. If one bridesmaid is particularly organized and systematic, she can help you plan the logistics of ordering, altering and getting your bridesmaids dresses delivered on time. If you have a friend who has a great taste in colors, prints and patterns, she can assist you in choosing the right wedding colors, prints and patterns for your décor. So, find out each person’s strengths and make the most of it, so your wedding planning is less hectic.

10.Have a go-to person who knows just as much about the wedding as you do

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Trust us, this is a huge stress-buster. This could be your mother, Maid of Honor or even wedding planner. The person you choose for this role should know everything about the wedding, just as much as you do, so they can be the alternate point of contact. You can direct people to this person, whenever needed, and you can focus on other tasks instead. This article on the Bridal Guide also suggests that you hand over your cell phone to this person on your wedding day, so she can do a complete job of handling any last-minute needs from the vendors or guests.

Hopefully, these tips will reduce the stress on the days leading up to the wedding, and on the day itself. Every bride will have moments where she is overwhelmed with worry and bothers that things will not go as per plan. Should this happen to you, just relax, take a deep breath, and take a look at the big picture. Everything will then fall into place.

For more wedding day tips and advice, and for all your wedding shopping needs, keep visiting Best for Bride—your one-stop destination for all needs bridal. We have everything from bridal dresses to attires for the wedding attendants, party favors, décor, wedding cakes, invitations and more to help you plan the perfect wedding day.

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10 things to do before you put on your wedding gown

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Once you wear your wedding gown on your wedding day, your transformation into a bride is almost complete. There are few things left to do now, before you walk down the aisle. But before you step into your dream wedding dress, there are a couple of things you should first complete. This is what we will look at today. Here is a list of must-do’s before you finally wear your bridal dress, and are ready walk down the aisle.

1.Eat and drink something

While you should have something light to snack on, even after you change into your dress to keep the hunger pangs at bay, you should fill yourself up prior to wearing your dress. Once you are in it, you should be very careful not to soil your dress. So, make sure that you snack on something nutritious and filling before you change into your wedding dress. Don’t skip this step as you need your nutrients to keep going through the hectic evening. All the excitement can also make you feel light-headed, and an empty stomach will only make it worse. So, even if you have a hearty meal early in the day, carry a few non-colored snacks to chomp on, should you feel hungry later. Check out this post on the Bridal Guide blog for some great food suggestions. Also don’t forget to have enough fluids, so you are fresh and your skin retains its freshness. Save the juices and other colored drinks for before you wear your wedding dress. Sip on clear liquids and water, once you change into your dress, so you minimize the chances of staining your wedding dress.

2.Take one-last trip to the bathroom

Your wedding dress is made from yards of fabric, and it isn’t easy to visit the bathroom once you are wearing it. Although you will have to do it at least once during the reception, you can try to delay it for as long as possible by making a visit prior to wearing your dress. In all the rush during the day, don’t forget to schedule in this last visit, just before you wear your dress. You can even ask your maid of honor to remind you, just in case you forget. While we are on this topic, it is also worth a reminder that you ask your maid of honor to learn how to bustle your dress, so you can comfortably maneuver it during your visit to the bathroom.

3.Finish your hair and makeup and allow it time to set

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Not only should you finish your hair and makeup prior to wearing your dress, you should also allow it enough time to sit. Even a small hint of makeup on the dress can form an unsightly mark, that will easily damage the beauty of your gown. To avoid this, make sure your makeup has enough time to set. After applying your makeup, dust it with translucent powder or use a setting spray, and wait till it sets, before wearing your dress. This will protect both your makeup and your dress.

Tip: While applying makeup, don’t forget to cover all the areas on your body that will be exposed. Blend each layer in very well, so that the makeup looks continuous and doesn’t end abruptly to expose patches of raw skin.

4.Get all the things you need for your dressing ready and in one-place

Once you are in your stark white wedding gown, you want to avoid any accidents that may cause a stain. Think of all the likely situations that can cause an accident, and then prevent it at all costs. You can do this when you plan your wedding schedule to the last detail, including what all you have to do after you wear your gown. Try to collect everything in one place, so you needn’t wander around in your gown and risk any accidents. Set up all the things you need, the day before itself, so you needn’t worry about it in the morning. Place everything, including your shoes and bouquets in low-traffic areas, so the chances of staining your dress are low. Don’t forget the ground either, as your dress will be trailing on the floor. Spread clean towels or sheets over the floor before you get into the dress. Similarly, have all the items you need to get dressed handy. We think this idea on the Knot is simply brilliant. The suggestion is to have a crochet hook on hand if your dress has a number of fabric buttons, and you can avoid handling them too much. Also keep a towel handy to cover up the front of your dress when you eat, drink or touch up your make-up.

5.Take a proper look in the mirror and make sure you are all set to wear your dress

Once your hair and makeup is done, the only thing left to do is to get into your wedding dress. Don’t rush it. Spend a few minutes to get a proper look of yourself in the mirror, and make sure you are entirely happy with what you see. If you think your makeup is missing any detail, or your nails could do with one top coat of polish, this is the time to do it. Also check your hair and make sure that it is in place, like it ought to be. Mentally run through all that you should complete as part of your hair and makeup, and before stepping into your wedding dress. These few minutes could be valuable in reminding you of something you may have overlooked. Once you have completed everything that is to be done, there is nothing left to do but change into your dress.

6.Finish off any work that you have to do yourself

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If there are any DIY details or personal stuff that you have to handle yourself, make sure it is completed before you change into your wedding gown. Whether it is overseeing the centerpieces, arranging the wedding favors, feeding your pet or doing your flower girl’s hair, you should tackle it before you change into your wedding dress. However trivial a task may be, it is better to get it out of the way before you change into your dress. After all, the wedding dress is a detailed garment, and it may not be wise walking around in it and risking an accident. Once you are dressed in your wedding gown, all that should ideally be left to do, is wait to get married.

7.Do a quick stain check

Like we suggested earlier, you should have your dress pressed and on the hanger, the day before your wedding itself. The dress should still be wrapped in a transparent bag to ensure that there are no chances of getting stained. Place it inside the closet or in a spot that not many people will access, to avoid any risk. On your wedding day, just before you step into your dress, spend a brief minute or two checking it for any possible stains. If there is an unexpected mark, it is always better to tackle it before you put the dress on. Have your emergency bridal kit on hand, and you will have the solution to your problem there. Find out more about what your emergency kit should contain, and how you can buy a ready made one, by checking out this previous post on the topic. Don’t be too worried if such a stain is indeed visible. Try to hide it, if not get rid of it. Just go for what looks like the most practical solution at that point of time. Once you are in your dress, be super careful about not adding any more stains to your white dress. While stepping into your dress, and moving about in it, ask for help from your bridesmaids so you can avoid brushing against anything that may cause it to catch color. Also, it is better to be safe than sorry. See to it that you put away makeup, food and anything that can cause an accident, and check any surfaces that you will be sitting on or leaning against so there are no chances of catching stains.

8.Have your wedding dress photographed and getting ready pictures clicked

Yes, you need to add a picture of your wedding dress on the hanger, into your wedding photo collection. Only then will the transformation after you wear it be evident. Make sure your wedding dress is on a pretty hanger, or placed neatly on a neat and pretty surface, so it looks good. It is also customary to have pictures of yourself and the bridal party getting ready for the big event. Work with your photographer to plan the timing of the shoot. Make sure you get this done with sufficient time to get fully dressed, so you won’t have to rush through everything. Also schedule this into bridesmaids time schedule, so they are all present on time. Discuss how much time this will take and other details with your photographer, so you won’t be late, nor should this clash with the rest of the wedding day activities.

9.Put your garter on and take that one loving glance at your dress

If you are a traditional bride who will be following the age old tradition of wearing a wedding garter, make sure that you wear it before you wear your gown. Well, you could always add this little accessory even after you are in your wedding dress, but it won’t be easy. Since you’ll be lifting up the skirt for this, you risk scrunching it up and spoiling the fresh look. So, save this task for before you are actually in your wedding dress. Once the garter is also in place, all that is left to do is dress yourself in the gown. Before this, we suggest you take a final look at your dress, as it awaits you. It’ll be a memory you’ll love to hold on to later.

10.Get your helpers in position

It is very unlikely that you will be able to get into your wedding dress and have it zipped or buttoned up, all by yourself. Getting yourself strapped into your wedding dress is usually at least a two member task. So, have your assistants at their posts, before you set about getting into the dress. It would be wise to use a scarf over your face, so you do not smudge your makeup or stain the dress. Also remember that the right way to wear a wedding gown is not to pull it over your head, but to step into it. The only exception is if the gown is a sheath style dress or a high-neck design without a zipper or long button train at the back. So, have all that you need to assemble everything into place handy, and the bridesmaids who will assist you, in their positions. One of them should hold the dress open and stiff, so it doesn’t get crumpled. It would be a good idea to hold on to one of the other girls for support as you step into the gown. Finally, they can zip or button you up, and the job is complete.

So, now you know all that you need to do prior to wearing your dream wedding dress. We hope this post has been useful for you. For more such wedding related advice, tips and tricks, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.

We are the one-stop bridal destination for not only brides in Canada, but all over the world. With a stunning array of wedding gowns from top-class wedding designers, we bring you both classic and modern wedding dresses of every type imaginable. Our collection also includes bridesmaids dresses, mother of the bride dresses, flower girl dresses and much more. Visit our online store to find out all about the various wedding services we offer. We ship orders worldwide, and so you are closer to realizing your dream wedding vision, than you were ever before.

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Bridesmaids dress shopping: 10 valuable tips

If you thought wedding gown shopping was stressful, just wait till you start looking for your bridesmaids dresses!

Finding the right dresses for all your girls, so they not only fit into the wedding scene beautifully, but are also satisfied with your choice, can be a little too difficult to achieve. It is a challenge alright, but one that is possible to deal with. And, we are here to help you with it today.

Go with these 10 tips listed here, and you will feel the stress of bridesmaid dress shopping lifted in a big way.

#1 Remember that one dress needn’t fit all

Unfortunately, there is no single dress style that will look good on every woman. Women are built differently, and every one of your bridesmaids will have her own unique built, height, size and color. So, choosing a single design for all your girls will usually end with one of them not looking too great. Also, it is no longer the trend to have matching bridesmaids. So, be ready to be flexible with your choices. Keep your mind on the big picture—you want a cohesive look that is interesting and attractive.

We suggest you look at dresses that are similar in two or three aspects and vary the rest of the features. For example, consider the same color and different designs, or different colors with the same design. You can also check out different dresses from the same designer collection. This way, the fabric colors will match, but your bridesmaids will each have their own unique look. One word of caution; don’t give your girls free reign to pick any dress that will fit the idea. This can end up becoming haphazard, and their overall look may not come together. It is better to stick to a certain set of criteria, and let your girls find dresses that suit them, while also meeting these requirements.

#2 Discuss budget upfront

Since your bridesmaids will be paying for the dress, you should discuss the budget with them, before you go shopping. Get a clear idea of what is the maximum they can afford to pay for their dress, and make sure you do not ask them to stretch it any further than that. Remember that the amount they suggest is usually inclusive of alterations and accessories, and it will be good if you can clarify this if you aren’t certain. Then, plan your shopping budget and do your dress research based on these numbers. Once you know the amount that your bridesmaids are ready to shell out for their dresses, you can search online. Look for collections that will give you what you want, in this range. Make the most of sales, discounts and offers.

At Best for Bride, we often offer discount on bulk bookings of more than a certain number of bridesmaids dresses. So, if you search around in advance and place your orders in one go, you will most likely be able to avail of such offers and help your girls get the best deal for their money. Also remember that it isn’t necessary that to use up all the money they are ready to spend. If you find dresses at a better bargain, I am sure they’ll appreciate it if they can keep the extra cash for themselves. So, be a considerate bride. Your bridesmaids will love you for it.

#3 Start early

Just like you spend months researching and planning your wedding day look, you will need plenty of time to find your bridesmaids dresses. So, start early, and do your research several months before the wedding. The benefit of starting early is that you can make the most of any sale or offer that comes up in the months leading up to the wedding. You should have sufficient time if you start seven to eight months before the actual date. Since you will already know what you want, it is just a matter of waiting for a good deal to come up. Research is a lot of fun, when you do it online, as you can see almost every dress that will be available in store, on the boutique website.

Once you order the dresses, you will still need time to have it altered and fitted, so it is perfect in time for your wedding day. 75% of women who buy bridesmaids dresses will need alterations. While this will mostly take just one appointment, it can also take two or more depending on the type of dress chosen. So, have your bridesmaids mark their calendars for dress appointments and alteration sessions well in advance, so everything progresses smoothly.

#4 Ask your girls for their inputs

Your bridesmaids may have ideas of what they would like to wear to your wedding. Welcome their opinions. Whether you take it or not is up to you, but it won’t hurt to ask. You can share your own vision of how you expect them to dress on the day, and then ask them for their suggestions. There are several digital apps like Pinterest and Evernote, where you can share pictures and ideas with each other. So, use this to streamline and collate all the information that your friends would like to share with you.

If there are certain styles that your bridesmaids would rather not wear at all, eliminate these from your selection. Not all girls are comfortable wearing strapless dresses or ones that are too short. So, stay away from such choices unless you know they won’t mind wearing it. The same goes for colors too. Not all colors may look good with all skin tones, and if your bridesmaid is worried that she will look sickly or washed out in a particular hue, it will be good if you choose an alternative that will work. If there are silhouettes that they think would be best on them, you can plan the overall look based on it. When you know their preferences, you can choose a dress that they will get the best out of. Dresses in universally flattering colors and in silhouettes like A-line or with V-necklines look good on most body types.

#5 Go shopping by yourself the first time

This is a simple way of ensuring that your opinions are not side-lined, and you can actually see what is available. Book the first appointment with the salon and attend it by yourself or just with a friend, say, your maid of honor. We think this is essential, because some dresses that you may have shortlisted online, may look entirely different when seen directly.

So, rather than hauling all your girls down and discovering this, it helps if you do a test run yourself and make sure that what you had in mind is what you see in person. If you do not have any specific designs in mind, and intend to go with what is available in shop, you can discuss your ideas one-on-one with the shop assistant, and find out what she has to suggest. Bring the girls in later, and the actual appointment will be a lot easier. Remember that it has to be your decision finally, so prepare for the options and you will make it in a much wiser way.

#6 Ask your girls to mark their calendars, well in advance

Not all your bridesmaids may be the super-organized or easily available. So, every extra inch of time will help you with your bridesmaid dress shopping. Once you have a general idea of what you want, or perhaps have even picked out the lot that your bridesmaids will be selecting from, don’t delay getting your girls to the shop. Fix a date and ask them to make themselves available at the said time.

If you have a relatively large bridal party, with more than 4 or 5 bridesmaids, it may be a good idea to break them up into two lots. This will help you focus on those who are there at each appointment, rather than make it a noisy and busy affair. Our suggestion is that you make your picks during your first appointment session and only show these to the bridesmaids, to choose from. This way, there will be no chances of swaying too far from your opinion, and you will get the cohesive effect you wanted, in the end. Once the dresses are picked, the shop assistant will measure your girls and suggest alterations. So, schedule their fitting appointment right away, so you can get that out of the way.

#7 Delegate duties to your most reliable friends

With a wedding to happen, we know how you will be buried under wedding planning tasks. Remember that you needn’t handle each and every detail by yourself. This is why you have a Maid of Honor and bridesmaids in your team. Delegate the responsibility of getting the girls to their dress fitting appointments, paying their dress bills on time and receiving their dresses in time for the wedding. It will be one job off your shoulders, and you can spend the saved time on something else that deserves personal attention.

If your Maid of Honor isn’t the right person to handle this task, there should be someone else on the bridesmaid team, who can do it for you. Hand over this responsibility to her instead. To be on the safe side, make sure that you check on the arrangements once in a while, so everything progresses as per plan and your bridesmaids all have their dresses in time for the wedding.

#8 Don’t stress too much over your decision

If you are the ultimate perfectionist, we know how you can easily feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of choices out there. Yes, wedding planning is a little monster, where you never know for sure whether the choice you made was actually the best one available. But, don’t sweat it!

At least in some areas, good enough is enough! So, don’t loose sleep over your bridesmaids dress selections too much. Take it light and go with what you think is good without too much deliberation. Make the most of your inspiration boards and what your shop assistant suggests, and it will most likely work out well.

#9 Accessories will complete the look

The overall look will also be determined by the accessories you chose for your bridesmaids. You have to choose bouquets, jewelry and shoes. Reusable choices are the best, as it will help your friends make their money go further. Choose neutral colors and designs that flatter everyone on the team. You can even mix and match them up, so each girl has her distinct look but still blends in well with the rest of the team.

If you feel uncertain about your dress choice, you can always dress it up or down by the apt choice of accessories. If your bridesmaids dresses were expensive, it would be very considerate if you pay for the accessories. This could double up as your bridesmaids gift too. Work with your imagination and draw inspiration from the various pictures you may have seen in magazines and online. Make sure that the accessories, hair and makeup, all come together and look attractive and suitable for your wedding theme.

#10 Remember you cannot always make everyone happy

Your bridesmaids may not always be happy with what you want them to wear. If this is the case, you may feel worried about forcing your choice on them. If you have tried your best by choosing within budget, adjusting your priorities to accommodate their likes and cannot help any further, just stop trying to make it work!

Bridesmaids should realize that it is the bride’s likes that get priority, and that they were prepared to accept it when they signed up for the role. So, don’t feel too guilty as you have to stick to your vision of how the wedding day should look and be. It’s your lifetime celebration after all, and you don’t want it to be different from what you always wanted, just because your friends aren’t too happy with your decision.

At Best for Bride, we have a comprehensive and extensive collection of bridesmaids dresses from several designers. Check it out today, and we are sure you will find dresses for all your bridesmaids in our collection.