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How to match your bridesmaids dresses to your wedding style and venue

If you thought to choose 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 complement 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.

Ballroom 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 complement 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 the criss-cross empire-waist bodice. The lace details in 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.

Beach wedding

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.

Garden wedding

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 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 the 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 the 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.

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Wildly Unique Outdoor Wedding Venues

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While a church is the traditional choice for wedding venues, so many possible wedding venues often are overlooked. More and more people are choosing unique outdoor wedding venues that reflect their hobbies or interests. There are many unconventional choices for those who want their wedding to reflect their love nature. Here are some examples of wildly unique outdoor wedding venues.

Rustic venues appeal to many couples. Numerous country settings rent space for weddings. A popular version is the barn wedding or reception. Across the United States, barns are rented as rustic chic wedding venues. You may be surprised what is available in your area if you do an internet search for “barn weddings.”

An apple orchard wedding is a way to hold the wedding and reception outdoors in the same location. Some apple orchards regularly rent an orchard space for weddings. Some allow the couple to use their apples in their decorations. If the couple wanted a few bowls with apples or small floral arrangements with apples included on the reception tables, they should verify the policy for using apples from the orchard or bring their own apples. Of course, it would be much easier to buy apples that match the kind at the orchard from a grocery store rather than worrying about picking apples.

Natural waterfalls and caverns may offer wedding packages. Businesses offer waterfall weddings in many tropical locations such as Jamaica and Costa Rica. If you are looking for something closer to home, you may want to contact area tourist locations with the features you want for your wedding. Some may not have considered offering a wedding package until you contact them or might not have the packages advertised on their websites.

Butterfly and botanical gardens make wonderful wedding venues. These are popular wedding venues, so you will want to book yours well in advance. As with all outdoor venues, make sure you are happy with the provisions for a rainy day. Consider things like parking and the availability of restrooms.

Love the outdoors but want something truly unique? Why not have a day of glamping for your wedding? Glamping is luxury camping. Some couples create fun glamping spots in their backyard for the big day. Others rent out a camping park that specializes in glamping. Instead of the usual reception dinners, the couple may go with traditional camping food such as grilled food and smores. If roasting marshmallows is your style, glamping may be perfect for your fabulous wedding.

Who doesn’t love animals? If the couple loves animals, why not rent out a petting zoo or space at a regular zoo. Would you love monkeys or penguins as added guests to your wedding? Believe it or not, some zoos such as the Oklahoma City Zoo and Philadelphia Zoo offer wedding packages. Some zoos truly cater to the needs of the couple and offer several possible wedding venues within the zoo. Even if the local zoo does not have wedding packages, many zoos have areas that can be rented for events like weddings. Now, that’s wildly unique!

For more great tips on creating an amazing wedding, check out the Best for Bride blog. We offer many tips and fun ideas to make the most of your special day.

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Five alternative wedding reception venues

Wedding receptions play a huge role in the success of any wedding. Receptions give the bride and groom to wind down, talk to guests and really enjoy themselves. When planning weddings, couples will normally opt for the usual venues including hotels, golf courses, bars and restaurants. Often overlooking alternative venues many newlyweds are missing out on the opportunity to wow guests and make their special day memorable for all the right reasons. To give some inspiration here are five great “alternative” wedding reception venues.

Museums

Museums provide an ambience like no other, steeped in atmosphere museums will provide a cultured yet fun wedding reception. For many years now the museums of London has been offering newlyweds the opportunity to host their reception in the heart of the museum. Located in the centre of the London the venue can host a drinks reception for up to 1000 guests and a dinner reception for up to 350 guests. Surrounded by historic artefacts, a museum is a guaranteed way to wow your reception guests.

The Zoo

Ok, so you may think the zoo is a strange location to hold your wedding reception, but one thing is for sure; your guests will have fun. When thinking of zoos you may automatically assume that it will be a muddy and not so glamorous affair, wrong! ZSL London Zoo provides a truly unique wedding reception venue, with elegant and stylish suites that overlook 36 acres of gardens; your guests will be truly blown away. Although London Zoo doesn’t have a license to serve alcohol, never fear, companies like Bars2you have recently popped up, enabling you to have a bar in any venue that suits, so party on!

Lighthouse 

If you are looking for a truly unique reception venue a light house will definitely fit the bill, a lighthouse reception will guarantee you with a sea front location, spectacular views and an intimate venue. Situated on the picturesque south coast of Wales, is one of Wales last remaining operational lighthouses, Nash Point. Nash Point is a quaint white washed lighthouse, perfect for small, intimate receptions; the lighthouse has room for up to 25 guests. Don’t miss the boat and book your perfect lighthouse venue today!

Nightclub 

A nightclub reception is perfect for the more hedonistic couples out there. Although not to everyone’s taste, a nightclub can be a great location for a wedding reception. The world famous nightclub Ministry of Sound in London has recently started offering wedding receptions at their famous venue. Ministry of Sound can accommodate parties of 100 to 1500, providing both drinks receptions and seated banquets. The venue comprises of 5 rooms which can be booked as a whole or on an individual room basis. A nightclub venue will be sure to keep your guests up all night and give them a night to remember (or not).

Soccer stadium 

The assumptions are that those who opt to hold their wedding receptions in soccer stadiums are fans of soccer, but this isn’t always the case. The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has been offering newlyweds the chance to hold their wedding reception at their iconic stadium for a number of years now.  Located on the banks of the River Taff, The Millennium Stadium is a 72,000 capacity super-stadium. All wedding reception suites overlook the famous pitch and can host dinner receptions for up to 300 guests. Hosting your wedding reception at a soccer stadium will be a sure fire way to score a hit with your guests.