Of the many tasks you have leading up to your wedding day, dress shopping takes up majority of the time. Not only do you have to say yes to your own dress, but you also have to select the best look for your bridesmaids. It’s easy to get caught up in your own idea of how you want your girls to look, but you need to keep their opinions in mind. We gathered what we believe may be the key to making everyone in your party happy!
Keep Body Shape in Mind
This is among one of the most important steps in choosing a dress. While you might love the idea of a mermaid gown that tightly hugs their tops and flares out below, some may not. Every woman comes in different shapes and sizes, so not every style suits them best. Bridesmaid A who is 5’2 with bigger hips probably won’t feel as comfortable in a mermaid gown as Bridesmaid B, who is 5’7 in a double zero. Now, we can guarantee you every woman of every shape or size is equally beautiful, but if a specific dress is going to lessen their confidence on your wedding day, do not make them wear it. You want all of your girls to proudly walk down the aisle ready for a night of fun! To avoid issues like this, bring all of your girls with you to try on different styles. If you want to go the non traditional route, you can even have them purchase different dresses in the same color.
Plan in a Timely Manner
If you know exactly who is in your bridal party, exactly what color you want them to wear, and exactly where to search the day after you get engaged-go for it. There is no restriction that says you can’t have everything done in advance. If anything, doing so will allow for more time for the thousands of other things on your to-do list. As soon as you can, gather up your girls and head to your chosen bridal shop to start. Getting everyone together at once can be difficult, but the sooner you start, the more time you’ll have to make sure everyone stops in. Not to mention, you definitely want to make sure there’s enough time for the dresses to arrive or for any last minute alterations. Especially for those who are having their’s custom made.
Set a Budget
As the bride, you already know how expensive weddings are and while you’re definitely spending the most money, remember that your girls have high costs, too. They’re buying you a gift for your engagement party, planning your bridal shower, getting a gift for that, paying for your bachelorette party, a wedding gift, and their dresses! You’re at a point in life where your friends are probably also getting married, buying houses, or having kids. The last thing you should do is make them spend $500 on a dress. Sit down with them, ask each girl what they can afford, and make sure you stay within that budget!
Be Conscious of Color
This is a topic that we feel is constantly overlooked. Your bridesmaids have a variety of skin tones, so it’s dire that you find a color that suits them all. Say your maid of honor has pale, Irish skin. Do you really want to force her to wear a pastel yellow that will wash her right out? We get it, it’s your wedding and your color scheme. However, if you want everyone to have the best time at your wedding, you need to make sure everyone is happy with their appearance!
Be Mindful of Personal Life
As we mentioned before, many of your friends land in several different categories regarding what life stage they are at. Do not get mad at Nicole for struggling to make time to go dress shopping when she has one kid and another on the way to worry about! Believe us, your friends know how important this is to you and they will absolutely find time to get everything done. Do not turn into a bridezilla and freak out over someone who hasn’t gotten their measurements yet. You have much more to worry about.
Cover Another Cost in Return
Chances are you cannot afford to purchase all the dresses for your party of ten, but you can cover another expense. If you’re having the dresses custom made, maybe you can pay for the fabric. Or pamper them! How fun would it be if you hosted a sleepover with all of your bridesmaids doing face masks and spa-like treatments all night? When you wake up the next morning, surprise them by having your hair/makeup artists come to your house and letting them know it’s on you! It’s a small gesture, but hair and makeup can add up quickly!
If you’re planning a wedding in the middle of the winter, please DO NOT pick a short, strapless dress. Opt for a longer dress with sleeves. If you’re adamant about the shorter length and sleeveless look, allow your girls to wear stockings or fur capes. The same goes for a wedding in August. No one wants to wear a gown made from heavy material, or silk that will cling to any area with the slightest amount of sweat.
If the theme of your wedding is a Black Tie Event, you most likely want your entire bridal party to wear black. However, if your wedding dress is lacy and princess-like, black will look too harsh next to it. Instead, choose navy blue or burgundy. Not only must you worry about color, but also material. Wearing the same or similar materials may clash, resulting in mediocre photos. Bring samples and pictures of your wedding dress along with you while bridesmaid shopping in order to pick one that compliments you best!
Is there anything worse than seeing someone dancing awkwardly because they are so restricted by what they’re wearing? Don’t do that to your party! You want them to be able to dance freely and party all night. Make sure you pick a material and style that’s comfortable enough for them to maneuver around as they please.
Ask Them What They Don’t Want
Maybe this will make things easier in the long run. You don’t even have to sit down with them to figure this out. Have everyone text you a list of things they certainly do not want to be forced to wear or feel they don’t look best in. Don’t force your flat chested friend to wear a strapless sweetheart top. While this is a good idea, you need to set a limit. You cannot guarantee each person that every single detail they listed will be followed. Otherwise, you would never be able to pick a dress.
Gift Them a Proper Thank You
In the end, the bridesmaids are usually thanked for everything they’ve done with a gift. The gifts are normally given on the night of the rehearsal dinner. We understand that this can get expensive, especially if you have a large party. Just keep in mind all they have done and spent on you to make your wedding night the best it could be. The sky is the limit with the amount of options you have for the perfect gift! We already have several in mind right now, but we’ll save those for another time.