Picking bridesmaid dresses can be one of the most difficult decisions for a bride. Not only does she have to like the dress, she must consider what her bridesmaids will think of the gowns. Dressing a group of bridesmaids can be challenging when everyone has a different shape, size and complexion…not to mention budget! Read on for tips on picking the best bridesmaids dresses that will ensure everyone is left smiling.
Start your search for bridesmaid dresses early and online. Before you head to any bridal shops or dress boutiques look on the internet to get ideas of what you like and don’t like. Try to pick out dresses at least 6-8 months before the wedding so your bridal party has enough time to order their dresses and have any alterations done.
When considering what color the bridal party will wear think of the season. Your bridesmaids may not be comfortable wearing yellow in the winter when they’re skin doesn’t have a nice bronze. If you have a large bridal party it’s also a good idea to take into consideration all of the girls’ skin tones. Bright red or purple may not look as flattering as another color if you have a red head in the group.
The length of the dress is a very important decision when picking out bridesmaid dresses. If you’re having an outdoor wedding t-length may be the best bet. Your bridesmaids won’t be dragging their dresses all over the ground where they’ll get dirty and possibly snag or rip. If you’re getting married in a church t-length dresses are fine for an afternoon wedding, but are not appropriate for a formal or evening wedding.
Take your maid of honor along when you go shopping for bridesmaid dresses. It’s not a good idea to take all the bridesmaids when you’re first picking out dresses. You don’t want too many opinions. It will just add stress and confusion. If you want to be considerate and give all the girls a say, email them pictures of your top three picks and ask them which they’d prefer.
Avoid picking anything extreme or obnoxious. Forcing your bridesmaids to wear huge puffy sleeves or a patterned dress may not only annoy them, you risk upstaging yourself. It’s important to pick a dress that flatters your bridesmaids without drawing attention away from you – the bride.
Try to be budget-conscious when picking out bridesmaid dresses. It’s expensive to be in a wedding and you wouldn’t want to put one of your bridesmaids in a situation where she feels strapped for cash. Besides the dress, bridesmaids have to pay for hair, makeup, shoes, travel, a shower gift, and a wedding gift. Try to keep the bridesmaid dress you pick to under $250. (No matter what you think of the dress it probably won’t get worn more than just this once!)
Since everyone is built differently you may want to allow your bridesmaids to choose from different dresses in the same color and designer line. Many lines offer two piece or mix and match gowns. Girls with larger chests may feel more comfortable in something different than a bridesmaid who is smaller chested. Many lines offer sweetheart necklines, strapless, and v-neck all in the same material. Be mindful though if all the bridesmaids picks the same top except one it may look a little odd, especially if she is not the maid of honor.
These days bridal parties are spread out all over the country. Make it easy for your bridesmaids and choose a dress from a national bridal chain store such as David’s Bridal or Jessica McClintock. This way the bride can register their dress selection at one store, but each bridesmaid can order her dress at a local store. You, the bride, won’t have to worry about collecting money, taking order, ordering the wrong size, and distributing dresses.