Selecting Bridesmaid Dresses

Most every bride is concerned with clothing at their wedding. There are so many decision to be made – picking out THE dress, the groom’s tux, and of course what the wedding party will be wearing.

Today, I want to address the wedding party, specifically the bridesmaids. There are decisions to be made here: will all the bridesmaids be dressed identically with the same dresses and shoes (please, please don’t make them all wear the same hairstyle…allow them some individuality)  or will they all select their own dress in a uniform color, or will you do it another way altogether?

This is an important choice to make, it will greatly influence the appearance of the wedding and your wedding pictures.

I have been a bridesmaid in two weddings. In the first wedding (which was beyond gorgeous, but also VERY stressful for the bride), the bride chose all of our dresses ($200+) and our shoes. In the second wedding (which was a much for casual and low budget affair) we were given a color guideline – navy blue- and the bride went shopping with us to select the dress. (I think I spent $35-$50 on the dress.)

I personally enjoy the the more uniform appearance of the wedding party, and is likely what I will do for my own wedding – but if you choose this option please be aware of a few things:

a) Body Types: Dress Cut & Color! Be aware of the body types and skin tones that your bridesmaids bring to the table and do your absolute best to put them in dresses that flatter their body types and skin tone. (Think A-line skirts and empire waist dresses.) You may need to learn a few things about which dresses flatter different figures, but that’s nothing the infographic I’ve provided below and a little search on the internet can’t solve. (Here is a place to start in your search for the most flattering dress.) There is nothing worse than spending a bunch of money on a dress that looks horrible on you, and makes you feel uncomfortable. Which brings me to my next point:

b) COST! I know, I know, you are shelling out a whole lot of money for your wedding, and what you are asking of your bridesmaids is such a small amount in comparison. But please, try to keep the dresses cost on the lower end of the scale or at least be aware of their budgets and shop within those budgets (or if you really have your heart set on a more expensive dress, pitch in to cover the difference). When my friend got married, I was a teenager fresh out of high school and at the time $200+ was a LOT of money for me then. It’s still a lot for me to spend now, especially for a dress I didn’t like all that much and was really only able to wear a couple of times.

c) Wear-ability: Your bridesmaids will really love you if you can manage to select a dress that they find comfortable and would wear again. Ideally, something that could be dressed up (like for a wedding) and something that could be dressed down a bit.

One idea, pretend you are a bridesmaid and try the dress on yourself. Ask yourself, how you would feel about the dress if you were the one buying it. And, honestly assess how it looks on each of your friends.

For more information, dos and don’ts and tips and tricks check out these articles:

Tips for Choosing the Rights Bridesmaid Dresses – The Knot

6 Tips for Picking Perfectly Coordinated Bridesmaid Dresses – David’s Bridal

Happy Hunting!!

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