Tips for Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

Posted by Aoife O Gorman

Here are a few tips before shopping for bridesmaid dresses:

  1. As a bride, take charge but don’t practice dictatorship.
    It’s your wedding and you’re the one who decides your wedding theme and vision. You may want short dresses while bridesmaids may want long as hate their legs. Discuss before hand. If you don’t share your idea with them, your bridesmaids won’t know where to start looking and will follow what they want which could be several different ideas depending how many you have. Share with your maids the vision, the vibe you want to show and the color palette of your wedding. Don’t make the decision of the bridesmaid dresses alone as in don’t wield absolute authority like a dictator. Remember you’re not the one wearing the dresses. Some of your maids may dislike the style or color you picked. Consider different styles in the same fabric as it means the bridesmaids are more comfortable in their own style. You could pick the color palette and fabric and let them decide the final shade they want. Remember don’t be too pushy.
  2. Your color palette
    You should have a wedding palette of two to four colors. That way you could complement everything well and that include your bridesmaids’ dresses. Your maids come in different skin tones so make sure the dress color you choose flatter them all. For e.g. a fair skinned bridesmaid will be washed out by beige color and dark color will not flatter brown skin tones. You can also decide whether you want all your bridesmaids to dress in the same color or shades of same color. Do take note of the maids’ hair color too when choosing bridesmaids’ dress color.
  3. Bridesmaids’ style & body shapes
    Body shapes are a risky topic nevertheless it’s a topic that can’t be ignored when it comes to dressing for your bridesmaids’ body shapes. Think of your bridesmaids choice of style and their body shapes into their dresses. After all a happy bridesmaid will ensure a happy wedding atmosphere as they won’t be caught up fixing themselves all day and will help the bride more.
  4. Take location, time of day and season into consideration
    Location does influence how you would choose your bridesmaids dresses. If you’re going to have a garden wedding, green dresses will wash out your bride. Dark color dresses like black, navy or brown may be perfect for December wedding but look a little too much in mid-afternoon outdoor wedding. Spring is the best time to go all pastel. Summer days allow more flexibility to go knee length.
  5. Complement the Bride
    Bridesmaids’ dresses should work in harmony with the bride’s wedding dress, whether it’s the color or style. They should never steal the limelight from the bridal gown. Bridesmaid dress should remain humble and play second to the wedding gown. Many bridal stores carrying a larger selection of chiffon gowns as they are flowy, light and compliment all gowns especially lace. Satin is usually stiff and considered more old fashioned and traditional.
  6. Unity in bridesmaids’ dresses
    When the bridesmaids are picking their own style or color, make sure all the dresses come in united form. example: same fabric so same shade can be ordered.  It’ll be weird to have all dress in single shade but one in color blocking or when all dresses have the same color or style except one. If you’re opting for mismatch style or different shades of the same color, you should have something that tie them together such as bouquet of flowers, same length of dress or same pair of shoes. Guest should be able to tell the bridesmaids apart from the rest of the crowd.
  7. Go for simple
    No matter how you see it, most women will only wear their bridesmaid dress once. Only 1 or 2 bridesmaids out of 10 will ever wear that bridesmaid dress again. So you see, it’s important to choose a versatile bridesmaid dress so that it can be altered to wear for other occasions.
  8. Pregnancy
    Many people have friends who are married or who may be trying for a baby. It is worth speaking up and asking them to come forward if planning or in early stages of pregnancy. This will save money down the future as can order a larger size or maternity dress with no boning. Not speaking up means the bride will lose the deposit which is non refundable and can cost more to get a dress ordered in a rush. Doesn’t mean this bridesmaid can’t participate but worth asking the question as dresses are ordered 5-6 months in advance of the big day.
  9. Open mind
    Not all things will fall into places no matter how thorough your planning are so be open mind with it. Also be in the know that you as a bride can’t please anyone 100%, so be brave and it’s okay to make the final decision but do take into your bridesmaids ideas beforehand.

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