Shopping for bridesmaid dresses (when done correctly) is a fun and exciting endeavor! The internet has tried to simplify the process, but in doing so has changed the tradition of spending quality girl time doing what girls love most…SHOPPING! The truth is, spending time with your girls and trying on dresses is a rite of passage and is fun! Shopping for a dress makes your bridesmaids feel important and like they are a part of the process; and let’s be honest who doesn’t like to sit around with their best friends and play dress up.
Here are some top tips to help you shop for the perfect bridesmaids dresses.
Head to Your Local Retail Store for Your Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaid dresses from a bridal store are customized. Girls get the expertise of an experienced salesperson helping them with style, color and sizing. You walk out having felt the fabric, seen the color in person and tried on the style you want so there are no scary surprises when the dress arrives weeks later. This is in contrast to ordering online where the color isn’t as you pictured, the size isn’t right or the style isn’t as the picture looked on-line. Shopping in store is a fun and simple process that eliminates problems all while spending quality girl time.
Enlist the Help of a Bridal Consultant
Bridesmaid dresses are made for all shapes and sizes; from size zero to women’s sizes, petite length to extra length, junior bridesmaids, maternity bridesmaids…you name it, it probably exists. The idea is to make your girls feel gorgeous while also looking uniform. It is a lot to navigate on your own because customization is endless! Fabrics and colors with endless options. That is why it is best to call in the experts (aka bridal consultants). It is much less of a hassle and will possibly save you money in the long run by relying on the experience of bridal consultants who have been working with bridesmaids for years. They have seen it all and done it all. They have worked with:
- Bridal parties consisting of different shapes and sizes
- Girls who aren’t all located in the same area
- Parties wearing the same dress and same color, the same dress in coordinating colors, the same color in different styles and some other variation of styles and colors
- Girls who just got pregnant or will have just had a baby prior to the wedding
- Girls that ordered cheaper dresses on-line and are now in desperate need of a quality dress quickly as what they ordered online wasn’t as it appeared.
Bridal consultants know which dresses look best on which bodies and how to measure and size properly. They understand the role of the bridal party, from the maid of honor to the role of a junior bridesmaid, so they can ensure the attire is appropriate. They know how to prevent many of the problems that you don’t even know you will have if you do it alone.
Familiarize Yourself with the Bridal Dress Shopping Etiquette
With different members of the bridal party involved in dress shopping, it can often become a difficult and stressful task. This is the last thing you want.
To help the bridesmaid dress shopping be the fun endeavor it is supposed to be, there are several shopping etiquette rules that you should follow.
Consider What Bridesmaid Dresses You Want in Advance
It is a good idea for you, as a bride, to consider what bridesmaid dresses you would like ahead of time. You can head to Pinterest to seek some inspiration. This will give you and your bridesmaids plenty of time to find the right dresses, purchase them, get them altered, and leave time for any delays or changes. It will also help the process go smoothly, and make shopping for the dresses fun. Many brides will choose the color they want, and then leave the style and silhouettes flexible. Shopping at the last minute can be stressful, and result in not finding the perfect dresses.
Agree on a Budget
Discussions around money can be a difficult topic for some. It can be a good idea to get this discussion out in the open right in the beginning, so that any concerns can be addressed, and the rest of the dress shopping process can be easy and fun. Bridesmaid dresses are typically purchased by the bridesmaids themselves. Make sure everyone in your bridal party feels comfortable with the finances that are involved in the dress shopping. You can do this by speaking to them all individually and gaining an understanding of their budgets and expectations.
Involve Everyone in the Final Decisions
While you might have an idea of what style and color bridesmaid dresses you would like your bridal party to wear, they must have a chance to try on the dresses and share their feedback with you. This will ensure that adjustments can be made, and everyone in your bridal party feels comfortable and confident, ready for your big day.
Find the Best Time to Buy a Bridesmaid Dress
When do you buy your bridesmaid dresses? This is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to wedding planning. There is so much to do, so having a timeline and to-do list can be helpful to ensure your big day goes as planned. It is suggested that you start shopping for bridesmaid dresses after you have purchased your wedding dress, but at least 8 months before your wedding day. This will ensure you consider your dress when choosing the bridesmaid dresses while leaving plenty of time to find dresses and try them on. Choosing the bridesmaid’s dresses will be a process, and may take some time until you make your final decision.
Shopping for Bridesmaid Dresses FAQs
To help you further on your journey to shopping for the perfect bridesmaid dresses, here are some of the most frequently asked questions from other brides.
What Color Should My Bridesmaids Wear?
The color of the bridesmaid dress will be completely unique to your wedding. There are many different ways that brides will choose the right color for their bridesmaid dresses. Here are some of the best ways to choose:
- Match the colors to the theme of your wedding
- Choose colors that compliment the season your wedding day is being held in (rich deep hues for a fall or winter wedding, bright or pastel colors for summer and spring)
- Pick your favorite colors
- Let your bridesmaids pick according to their personality types or favorite colors
- Utilize trending colors
- Choose neutral colors
Should My Bridesmaids Wear the Same Color or Style of Dresses?
Many wedding parties choose to have a cohesive look for the bridal party, by choosing the same color and style of dress for all the bridesmaids. This is very traditional, and a common way to help guests identify the bridal party, and make the bride stand out more.
In more recent years, bridal parties have been going against tradition and choosing mismatched bridal parties. This can create a unique look for your bridal party and allows each member to stand out on their own. Some brides will choose different colors, while others will allow their bridesmaids to choose, with their approval.
If you want to choose a balance between the two, you can mix and match your bridesmaid dresses in a variety of ways while still creating cohesion. For example, you can have your bridesmaids in the same color dresses, but with different silhouettes. Alternatively, you can choose the same silhouettes, but different colors.
How to Match the Bridesmaid Dresses to My Wedding Dress?
The best way to match your bridesmaid dresses to your wedding dress is to consider the style and formality of your wedding dress. If you are wearing a boho-style wedding dress, then it is unlikely that ball gown-style bridesmaids’ dresses are going to match well, and vice versa. This will take into account the entire theme and intention of your wedding, and whether you are choosing a laid-back and fun party, or a luxurious and elegant experience.
Once you have considered the style, you should consider the length and silhouette of your wedding dress. The bridesmaid dresses should be of a similar style.
Lastly, you should consider the color of your dress, and the theme of your wedding. If you are not opting for the traditional white dress, then you will need to ensure that the colors of the bridesmaid dress complements, or matches your dress. Your bridal consultant or shop assistants will be able to help you choose the perfect dress.
Should the Maid of Honor Wear a Different Dress?
The maid of honor’s dress is typically the same as the bridesmaids. Some brides like to step outside tradition, and have their maid of honor stand out, and therefore will choose a different style dress or color dress. Alternatively, they may choose a different piece of jewelry to signify their status, so the bridal party remains cohesive.
How Long Should Bridesmaid Dresses be?
The length of the bridesmaid dress will depend on a variety of factors, for example, your personal preference, the average height and body type of your bridesmaids, the theme of your wedding, and the dress code.
You want all of your bridesmaids to look stunning in their dresses, as well as feel confident. The length of the bridesmaid dresses should complement their body sizes and shapes. If you are planning a formal wedding, with a strict dress code, it might be that you decide to have bridesmaid dresses that are longer in length. Shorter dresses are not standard for formal occasions, and instead, would best be suited to an informal theme, such as boho, or a destination wedding.
What is the Best Fabric for Bridesmaid Dresses?
There are a number of important fashion decisions that you need to make as a bride, and one of them is choosing the fabric of the bridesmaid’s dresses. Some of the most popular fabrics for bridesmaid dresses are chiffon, lux stretch, velvet, and satin.
The fabric is important, as it will impact everything, from the way the dress sits to the comfort of your bridesmaid. You should first consider all the details of your wedding, and what will impact the type of fabric that your bridesmaid will wear. Remember, they will have to wear the dress all day, and all night, so it needs to be comfortable. Here are some of the most important things to consider:
- The style of the dress
- The way the dress sits
- The weather conditions on the day of your wedding
- How comfortable is the fabric is
- How the fabric changes your chosen shade of color
Who Should Pay for a Bridesmaid’s Dress?
Traditionally, bridesmaids will pay for the bridesmaid dresses. On occasion, the brides will kindly gift the dresses to their bridesmaids. This usually depends on personal preferences and budgets. Make sure this is discussed with your bridesmaids as early as possible, so everyone is informed of their responsibilities.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to shopping for and choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses. As a bride, this is your special day, and everything should be tailored to make your dreams come true.
Don’t leave anything to chance, these pictures last a lifetime! Find a bridal shop near you!