Posted on 2 Comments

10 new and exciting bridesmaids dress ideas

Bridesmaids in matching outfits, and resembling big balls of cotton candy! These belong to the past. Today’s brides are smart and sensible, and want their bridesmaids to look and feel great on their big day. For this to happen, it is quintessential to toss the old rule book and make way for new rules for dressing up your bridesmaids.

So, here are few ideas that will help you dress your handpicked girls to look fabulous and add extra drama and excitement to your wedding scenery. Enjoy!

Rule 1: Mix up the textures

Here is an interesting way to give each of your bridesmaids their unique style, while keeping the look cohesive–Choose dresses in the same shade but different fabrics. With this simple switch in fabric choices, you change the overall look, but with subtlety. This option also helps brides who aren’t very sure of how to do the mix ‘n’ match concept to get it right. Dresses in the same shade but using different fabrics will easily go together, and the difference in texture will add an extra dimension of fun. Most designer collections give you plenty of colors for each design, and this allows your bridesmaids enough choices. They can choose from lace and tulle, to satin and charmeuse. Another factor is that as the fabric changes, so does the price of the dress. So, this allows your bridesmaids to choose a dress for their budget, as long as the desired color is chosen. As long as there aren’t too many accessories, it is bound to bring all the bridesmaids together. Just make sure you confirm that the dresses are of the same shade, before you give a thumbs up.

We have an example here to illustrate this idea.

Our first pick is the vintage style 8622L from the Alfred Angelo collection, in a gray color and created in soft net.

We have paired it with the 7342L from the same collection, which is an organza gown in a similar shade. Notice how the different fabrics give either dress a distinct personality, even while they come together beautifully!

Rule 2: Color block with one constant

Color blocking is an easy and uncomplicated way to bring more than one color into your bridesmaids outfits. Dressing up your bridesmaids in the same colors can resemble the original pattern of having all matching bridesmaids. This doesn’t do justice to allowing your bridesmaids shine individually. The better option is to mix up color block dresses, with different colors. However, keep one color constant throughout, so that there is a unifying factor that brings their looks together.

Let us demonstrate this with an example. Take a look at the 7344S from the Alfred Angelo bridesmaids collection.  It features color blocking with a black bodice and a gray skirt.

A dress that will work well with it is the 7345S from the same collection with a black bodice and soft beige skirt.  Although distinct from the first, the black bodices are strikingly similar, and this will bind the two looks together. These dresses can be chosen in any color shade in the skirt, and so make a perfect choice to play with color blocking.

Rule 3: Neutral color dresses with accessories that pop

There are two advantages to choosing bridesmaids dresses in neutral shades—your bridesmaids are more likely to use the dress again and the colors are usually easy to mix into any color palette. White, black, brown, gray and navy are neutrals that are easy to work with and form great pairings with most color palettes. These are also shades that look good on almost every skin tone. So, your bridesmaids will not have to worry about how the color clashes with their complexion.

The result is that everyone is happy, except for one small issue; not all neutral colored dresses can make that strong presence you require for your wedding. The solution—dress it up a notch with accessories in bold colors that will not go unnoticed. Choose shoes, belts or jewelry, and it will instantly add the necessary punch of color to your bridesmaids outfits. It will certainly be a better idea than having your girls dressed in unusual colors that they may not appreciate. Since they are paired with a neutral, there is no chance of the accessories going overboard. And, how about making these your bridesmaids gifts? That way, they get to use it on your wedding day and show it off. So, you now no how to add peach, sunset yellow or bubblegum pink to your bridesmaids outfits without making your girls cringe.

Take a look at this picture to see what we mean. Here, the bridesmaids dresses are a sober beige, and a bright dose of color is added through colorful heels and bouquets. By mixing up the colors, the result is interesting and lively.

The colorful bridesmaids
Image Credits: Ms.Phoenix,via Flickr,CC BY 2.0

 Rule 4: Neutral color dresses with zingy metal and jewel tone accessories

For an ultra-stylish and glamorous look, choose neutral colored dresses and pair it with bright and beautifully designed golden accessories. There are two benefits to this choice—your bridesmaids will most likely use the neutral dress again, and the metallic accessories will also work for them on another occasion. So it is a win-win situation, where they can get the best value for their money.

Here is a beautiful black evening gown, the J4003 from the lovely Jadore collection at Best for Bride.

Featuring a wide cut scoop neckline, sheath silhouette and softly sculpted cap sleeves, the gown is a beauty by itself. However, pairing it with an oversize gold necklace, waistband and bracelet makes it a dress that personifies Hollywood glamour. We are sure your bridesmaids will be excited to have a look like this. With such brilliant accessories, they will have that festive dressy look, perfect for a wedding day. The best part is that the dress being in a neutral shade gives them so many options to dress it up differently on another occasion. So, it’s definitely not a dress that will be exiled to the confines of their closets after your big celebration.

Rule 5: Go to different lengths to vary the style

Of the different ways to keep a consistent look but add drama, one of our favorites is to vary the lengths of the various gowns while keeping the color or print constant. This gives you ample choice to choose dresses in lengths that suit different body shapes and ages. So, if you have bridesmaids from different age groups and looking entirely distinct, you can easily vary the look yet bring it all together with dresses of varying hemlines. We look at dresses from the Mori Lee bridesmaids collection to bring you two examples of dresses that can achieve this look effortlessly.

Our first choice is the navy blue tulle 112 bridesmaid gown from the Mori Lee Tulle Affairs collection.

A full-length gown in tulle, with a sweetheart neckline and interesting criss-cross ruched bodice, this dress is elegant and looks best on both tall and short bridesmaids.

Here, we pair it with the Mori Lee 11100 from the same collection.

This dress has an illusion lace neckline and cap sleeves, and a short and fun skirt that ends a little above the knee. Although the two dresses are entirely different, they make a splendid combination because of the matching color. Hence you have suitable choices both for the women who want to look elegant and the bold and fun-loving bridesmaids in your wedding party.

Rule 6: Go from dark to light in a single color

Choose colors like red or yellow, and ask your bridesmaids to pick dresses in different shades of this color. This will keep the spectrum constant, but with interesting variation. This ombre trend has been in the limelight for a while now, and is an exciting way to dress up your bridesmaids. The only thing you should remember when choosing this option for dressing your bridesmaids, is that you should choose colors that cannot vary too much. Green, purple and blue are colors that can go totally wrong, if this happens. This is because colors like turquoise can fall into both shades, although it may look entirely different from pure shades like navy blue and mint green. So, choose colors that can vary only in the intensity of the black and white they may contain, when you choose this method.

Rule 7: One color with different prints

Printed bridesmaids dresses are interesting and exciting. While you may be tempted to choose the same prints for all your bridesmaids, it is a better idea to look around and find dresses in the same color with different prints instead. This will add a subtle variation to the look, and each bridesmaid will be unique in her own way. The unifying factor will be the color that all the dresses feature, and this is all that is required to bring the overall look together. You can also consider mixing up dresses that have prints all over with those where the prints are limited to chosen areas on the dress, like the yoke or hemline. Here are two dresses from the Jadore collection. The first is the J6013 from the Jadore collection, with black prints on a beige base.

The next is the J5009 from the same collection, with the same combination of colors done entirely different.

Rule 8: Alternate plain and print

In this option, your job is relatively easy. All you have to do is finalize a color and choose one plain and one printed bridesmaid dress in it. Alternate this choice for your bridesmaids, so you have equal numbers wearing the plain colored dress, and the same number wearing printed dresses. By keeping the designs uniform and the hemlines of both styles the same, the entire group looks well coordinated and classy.

Here is a wedding party that has achieved this result with alternate plain and printed purple dresses.

@shoopsmoo &#bridesmaids
Image Credits:leesean, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The printed purple dresses feature very subtle white floral prints all over the length of the gown. The dresses blend well with the plain purple dresses that the rest of the bridesmaids wear. What we specifically loved about this combination is that the plain dresses are not exactly similar, each one features a different neckline. Thus we can safely conclude that each bridesmaid has her distinct style of dress, and yet gels in with the group seamlessly.

Rule 9: Add variety with infinity dresses

Infinity dresses are basically dresses that can be worn in various different styles. It is the true convertible dress. Here, the fabric left in the neckline and bodice to be wrapped in different ways to yield different looks. By draping the top half of the dress in different ways, you can achieve different necklines like the one-shoulder strap, strapless neckline, cap-sleeve look and more. This dress allows each of your bridesmaids to wear the style that flatters her most. Hence, it is versatile and everyone ends up happy. Check out this article on My Wedding website, which illustrates the different ways in which an infinity dress can be draped. With this choice, you play it safe by choosing the same color for all. Even so, each has her personal style enhanced with a suitable pattern.

Rule 10: Same style, different prints

We have seen prints and plains as well as textures in the same color and pattern. Now, the only one left to experiment with is prints in the same pattern. This is a fun and exciting way to make your bridesmaids stand out from the rest of the crowd. Printed dresses make them look different from typical bridesmaids, but the unifying design brings the entire party together instantly. Here is a sample.

The Lil' Getting Ready Bridesmaid Dress Styled Shoot.
Image Credits: Plum Pretty Sugar, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

In this picture, the pretty bridesmaids sport strapless dresses with vibrant prints. The hemline is uniform, and ends at mid-thigh. The dress also features a bow detail at the waistline, making all three dresses unusually cohesive.

Hope you now have enough inspiration to mix and match and perfect your bridesmaids dress looks. For more exciting inputs on styling your wedding, as well as for all your wedding shopping needs, continue visiting us at Best for Bride—your one stop bridal destination.

Posted on 6 Comments

Your all-inclusive guide to choosing the perfect wedding ring

rings header

Your wedding ring is the symbol of your union that you will wear forever. So, choose it with care and you will love wearing it in the years to come.

Rings or wedding bands are available in every design, pattern and color. While having so many options allows you to find a unique choice, it can also become very difficult for you to choose. This article will guide you through all the options available to you, so you can narrow down your choices to what you love the most and buy your ring based on it.

Type of metal

Rings can be made from different metals, and the metal you choose will not only determine the look, but will also affect the durability and usability of your ring. So, this is a good place to start. The most commonly preferred metals for wedding bands include the following.

White gold: Gold is alloyed with other metals like nickel or platinum to create a white or silver colored finish. These rings are usually coated with an outer layer of rhodium for added shine and this makes the ring whiter. Although this layer may wear off with continuous use over time, it can be reapplied to regain the original look. White gold resembles platinum, but is more economical. The purity of gold in wedding bands can be18ct or less, depending on the amount of gold in the ring.

white gold

Yellow gold: The traditional choice for wedding bands, yellow gold is an alloy of gold with other metals that look yellow in color. Similar to white gold, it is available in 18ct, 14ct and 9ct. It is also available as 22 ct or even 24 ct. However, as the amount of gold increases, the band becomes very soft and hence isn’t suitable for daily wear. A ring of 18ct or less would be ideal.

gold ring

Rose Gold: A shimmery pink colored alloy of gold, these rings contain copper alloyed with gold in a specific ratio to have a pinkish color. The presence of other metals like zinc can alter the color to a reddish yellow or dark yellow, but it has a distinct pink overtone.

Platinum: One of the most expensive options, platinum is a metal that is greatly preferred by couples today. Platinum rings have a white color, similar to that of white gold. The difference however, is that it tolerates wear and tear very well, and is the ideal choice if you want a ring that will stay unmarked even after years of use.

Silver: One of the most budget-friendly choices in metals, silver an rings are usually white, but can also take on oxidized, satin or polished finish. Silver rings look similar to white gold initially, but they are most prone to wear and tear in comparison with other metals. Being a soft metal, every small scratch and mark will show up and cause it to look aged. You may also like to look at palladium sterling silver, which contains palladium in the alloy. The benefit of this choice is that it has better durability and you can still enjoy the original charm of a traditional silver band on your finger.

silver ring

Titanium: This light weight gray metal is the ideal choice for people who are allergic to metals. Titanium is slightly darker than traditional white gold or platinum, but is a good choice for its durability and hypo-allergenic properties. It also feels very light on the finger.

Now, let us look at the different ring finishes that you can choose from.

Wedding ring finishes

Mirror or glossy: Here the ring is polished to be reflective, and this makes it shine and look brand new till wear and tear sets in.

Matte: The best way to describe a matte surface is to call it misty. The texture of the ring is such that it will be coarse to the touch, and look marked or rugged. You can choose between fine matte and coarse matte, depending on whether you want it to look slightly textured or uneven and visibly marked.

Stardust: Here, the surface of the metal is subjected to both high polishing and texturing, so it selectively sparkles. As the name suggests, the effect is similar to that of stardust with a distinct shine, and it has a sophisticated look.

Hammered: Here the ring surface is softly hammered to create dents that reflect light and give it a rugged appearance. The entire surface will be textured in multiple directions due to the uneven hammering effect, and this makes the ring brighter than it actually is.

Sandblasted: The ring is subjected to high pressure and the surface is blasted with sand grains to create a definitive textured finish.

Next, let us take a look at the different ring profiles, as this can greatly impact the way the ring shows on your finger.

Wedding band profiles

Court: This is the traditional style, where the edges are rounded and both the inner and outer faces are curved. The outer surface is gently curved, so it doesn’t look too bulky. When choosing the rings together, many couples usually choose the same design with the groom chooses a wider width for their ring than their bride does.

D-shape: The inside of this ring is flat, while the outer area is rounded. This makes it sit closely on the finger, while the rounded outer surface makes it comfortable as well.

Flat court: These rings are comfortable, as it has a rounded fit on the inner surface. The outer surface, on the other hand, is flat and reflective, making it slim and shiny.

Concave: Distinct from the other types of rings, concave wedding rings have an inward curving outer surface. This gives it a textured look. Although it is an attractive looking profile, the drawback is that this profile isn’t easy to re-size, so you may have to consider this factor when you choose to go with it.

We have looked at the technical details pertaining to wedding rings. Next, let us move on to the more interesting aspect—Style! The wedding ring you choose should be a reflection of your personal style, as it will be part of your daily attire. We suggest you devote some time to decide which style will still appeal to you, years after you’ve been married. Let us look at the options available.

Wedding ring styles

Plain band: As the name suggests, the plain wedding band has a simple structure with no fancy designing or details. It is the traditional favorite. The plain band can take on any of the profiles and finishes mentioned above, and it is easier to modify or re-size later, should the need arise. If you have a beautiful engagement ring which you will continue to wear along with your wedding band, the plain ring is one of the best options that will sit well with it.

Shaped ring: One of the important factors to consider, when you choose to wear two rings side-by-side is how well they sit together. If your engagement ring is slightly bigger in diameter, or has a distinct style, it is important to choose your wedding band in a shape that will go well with it. Shaped wedding rings are contoured to suit the size of your finger, and they come in a variety of shapes. The most common shapes are curved, wishbone or cut out. They form an attractive alternative to the traditional plain wedding band.

shaped ring

Stone or gem-set: gem set ring You may have a solitaire or precious stone of significant size on your engagement ring, but it won’t hurt to add a little sparkle to your wedding band as well. Diamond set wedding rings are fashionable, with brides either choosing to add a single small gem inlay or having gemstones all over the curved surface of the ring. The stone is usually round or square-cut. However, it is not unusual to find stones of unique shapes, such as a pear-shape or marquise-cut. Gemstones other than diamonds, such as tanzanite, sapphires, aquamarine, ruby and topaz are common choices. It is a good idea to have gems set in both wedding bands, as this allows the groom to also wear a sparkling gem that reminds him of his beautiful bride. Gem set wedding bands are usually done in plain or shaped ring designs.

Inlay: Whether you want something unique, or are unable to decide which metal is best, wedding bands with inlays are your best choice. Duo-tone bands with one metal sandwiched between strips of another metal allow you to mix your favorite metal colors. The other option is to add a wooden or ceramic band in between two metal layers or adding a hammered or textured inlay. By varying the thickness of the inlay, you can find a design that is unique. Mixing of white gold or platinum with yellow gold is a popular choice, as it is durable and has a timeless elegance.

metal inlay ring

Engraved: engraved ring A beautiful and romantic addition to any wedding ring, engraved wedding bands have always been very popular. Most couples engrave a line of text on the inside or outside of the ring. However, you can choose to have anything engraved on your ring. The common choice that most couples go with is to engrave their initials and their wedding date. You can also choose a simple expression or quote like “All my love.” We also found some more interesting ideas for wedding band engravings on the Brilliant Earth website, such as

  • Foreign sayings, if you love the way a phrase sounds in another language
  • Religious verses, if both of you are religious
  • Connected sayings, where a quote is split into two, with the first half being placed on your band and the rest of it on your partner’s.
  • Personal sayings that the two of you use between yourselves
  • The name of a place you love, where you first met or the name of the place where you first lived together
  • Customized rings with your fingerprint engraved on the inside.
  • Symbols or signs that mean something special to both of you.

When you choose to have your wedding band engraved remember that the customization will take time, and you will have to place your order early, so it is ready on time. Also remember to double check your spellings before you place the order, as it cannot be redone if there is a mistake. Keep in mind that there is a limit to the number of characters that can be engraved, depending on how small the ring is. So, plan accordingly.

Now, here are some general tips to remember when you go wedding band shopping.

Wedding ring shopping tips

#1 Start Early

As with everything wedding-related, start shopping for your wedding band early. We think that two to three months before the wedding should give you sufficient time to browse through options, narrow down choices, try on rings and zero-in on the one you love. If you choose to have your ring engraved or custom-made, it can take anywhere from one to two months. So, keep this in mind when you go shopping.

#2 Choose a ring that is suited to your lifestyle

Your wedding band will be a regular on your finger throughout your lifespan. So, make sure that you choose a metal that will tolerate the strain it will have to endure. If you actively work with your hands and use sharp instruments or apply a lot of strength and force, choose metals like platinum that can endure it. Also avoid gemstones that can come loose or engravings that quickly trap dirt and age the ring quickly.

#3 Think long-term

Before you finalize a ring that is flashy and very trendy, think of how your choices may change over the years. The wedding band is meant for eternity, so it should be a choice that you will continue to love over the years. Think of how you see yourself ten years from now, and consider whether you will still love this choice then. Classic and timeless designs are better that way.

You should now have all the information you need to start shopping. Have a great time trying on rings and hope you find one that you will always love.

Continue visiting us on Best for Bride for more wedding related tips and advice, and also to shop for all your wedding needs.