If you are planning to get married in a few months’ time, congratulations! You may have picked out your wedding dress by now but you do know that the dress shopping is far from over right? There is still a big task ahead of you and that is choosing the bridesmaid dresses for your leading ladies. As a bride, your wedding gown is the highlight of your wedding but your bridesmaids’ dresses are just as important. These are your best friends who will be by your side as you walk down the aisle on one of the most important days of your life. Picking out the bridesmaid dresses can be pretty exciting but it has got to be one of the nerve-racking tasks on the bride’s list. The reason being is that it is a challenge to choose a style for the bridesmaid gowns that everyone can agree on. Every woman’s body type varies and as such, it can be difficult to find one style that would flatter all your maids of honor.
In many weddings, the bridesmaids will be responsible for paying for their own bridesmaid dresses but the bride usually makes the final decision when it comes to the choice of bridesmaid dresses. Although the wedding etiquette spells out that the bridesmaids are to pay for their dresses, accessories and other expenses incurred, it would be a thoughtful gesture for the bride to pay for the dress or perhaps a portion of the cost of the dress, especially if the bride has chosen a more expensive dress for her maids of honor. If you are unable to pay for your maids’ dresses and do not want to burden them, you may choose a more affordable range.
In order to pick out the perfect bridesmaid dresses for your big day, there are several factors that you need to consider. Here are some tips on how to choose the bridesmaid dresses that your gals would love and be comfortable wearing them.
1. The Location And Theme Of The Wedding
Are you planning an intimate wedding in a chapel or is your wedding going to be held in the garden or is it going to be a beach wedding? Your wedding theme and the location play a crucial role in the color, style, and silhouette of the dresses that you are choosing for your maids. If the wedding is to be held on the beach, then shorter hemlines like tea length or knee length are ideal because they are easier to walk on the sand and won’t get wet. If it is a fall or winter wedding, you may not want to choose short dresses in chiffon material for your best friends. Instead, pick a cosy fabric to keep your maids of honor feeling snug and nice like velvet bridesmaid dresses. Remember to check on the weather as well. If your wedding is to be held during the rainy season and you intend to wear rain boots, then opt for long dresses that can cover the rainboots or if you prefer to show them off, you may go for knee length dresses. Wearing rain boots make a fun wedding photo opportunity.
Before you begin shopping for bridesmaid dresses, it is important that you do your research first to get an idea the type of look that you want. Firstly, have a look at your own wedding gown, whether it is a classic, vintage, modern or bohemian. Your bridesmaids’’ dresses should also follow the same style and fits the theme of your wedding instead of looking out of place. This will make the shopping process a lot easier. There are plenty of inspirations that you can find on Pinterest or the internet. Remember to bookmark your favourite sites or pin the dresses onto your board so that you can easily refer to them.
3. Bridesmaids’ Preferences
The most important thing to make your maids happy with their dresses is include them in the dress shopping process. Consult them to see what are their preference in terms of silhouettes, sleeve lengths, necklines and etc. This would make them comfortable and feel their best wearing the dress. This step will definitely alleviate any stress and also easier for you to narrow down the search when you have taken notes on what they love. When you include them in the shopping process, it allows your friends to rock their own style and bring the bridal party closer when discussing the various options and styles. Having open communication means a happy ending for everyone! You want happy bridal party, right?
4. Bridesmaids’ Body Types, Sizes and Complexion
It is essential to think about the styles that your friends would like and their body types. Your best friends are very likely to have different heights, body shapes, and styles. It is important to make sure that every one of your squad is treated inclusively especially if you have a plus-size friend or a friend who is expecting. Give some thoughts to their style preferences and see if there is anything that suits them. For those who are petite, ankle length or knee length dresses can be a great style option. Women who have bigger busts can choose necklines that offer more coverage. If you want your bridal party to have a uniform look, you may want to pick a style that is universally flattering on most people. For example, A-line or flare dresses and necklines such as sweetheart, V-neck or scoop neck is a popular choice for bridesmaid dresses.
Your bridesmaids may also have different skin tones like olive, fair or dark tones so you may have to ensure that the dress color which you are going to choose will flatter everyone. Remember to also keep their hair color in mind because a certain shade like burnt orange may clash with your friend who is a redhead.
See Also: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying A Bridal Dress?
5. The Right Fit
The measurement of a bridesmaid dress is usually taken from a person who has wears the biggest size. Very likely, your bridesmaids may order a dress that is one size larger than they normally would wear. If your friend wants to get a size smaller, do let her know that it is better to order a larger dress than a smaller size one as it is easier to alter.
6. Bridesmaid Dress Styles
Certain dress material may be suitable for some women and not others. For example, silk material which can be body-hugging may not be a good choice as it traps heat and shows sweat easily. Your bridesmaids may prefer a dress that is breathable and one which they can move freely in. Chiffon is always a crowd favorite and the safest bet so be sure to discuss the type of fabrics with your girlfriends before making the purchase.
If you prefer a more traditional wedding and want your bridesmaids to have a similar look, you can choose an almost identical dress style for every bridesmaid but with different necklines such as halter top, one-shoulder, straps, or strapless that would flatter their body.
If you have chosen an outdoor venue for your wedding, choose appropriate dresses so that you will not leave your bridesmaids feeling cold when the temperature dips in November or December.
7. Select A Dress Color
One of the easiest ways to pick the perfect color for the dresses is to choose a color that goes with your wedding theme or the season of the wedding. If your wedding is going to be held in the fall, you may want to rule out hot pink dresses that may clash with the fall décor. Instead, go for rich colors like emerald or burgundy which would work well for fall and winter months. Lighter shades like pastel are perfect for a spring or summer wedding.
You can also choose a shade that would flatter your wedding gown or perhaps your flower bouquet. By picking a color, it will let your friends express their personal style and and have them choose dresses in the same hue.
If you think that all your bridesmaids have to match, well think again. You do not have to limit yourself to having your bridal party wear the same style dresses or same color. Mismatched bridesmaid dresses is a good option because sometimes it is really not possible to find the same dress in the fabrics or textures that would satisfy everyone. It is alright if your bridesmaids do not end up with the same dresses. A great way to compromise with your bridal party is to let them wear different gowns and this allows them to exude their own personal style. You can still keep the look together by ensuring the same color theme or varying shades of a single color. Mismatched bridesmaid gowns at a wedding are a very popular trend in recent years.
In order to have a fun dress shopping experience, focus on making your best friends happy and comfortable. After all, they represent a big part of your life. Your bridesmaids deserve to feel and look their best on one of the most important days of your life.