Picking bridesmaids dresses can be a daunting task. There are budgets, body shapes, and a wide variety of opinions to consider and it can leave your head spinning. Here are ten essential tips for choosing a bridesmaid ensemble with as little stress and tension as possible.
Ask About Budget
Traditionally, being a bridesmaid can be an expensive task. Bridesmaids are expected to pay for the entire ensemble, including the dress, jewelry, and shoes, as well as any travel and lodging expenses to the wedding. LDS weddings are generally a more frugal affair and members of your bridal party may be operating on different budgets. Ask each member of their bridal party what their preferred budget range is. Take it into consideration when researching dresses.
Cohesive or Eclectic
How alike do you want your bridesmaids to look? That is one of the first questions you’ll need to answer. Everyone can pick the exact same outfit, from two or three different outfits, or they can all wear different outfits in the same color. The more formal your wedding, the more cohesive the bridal party is generally dressed.
Stick With One Brand or Designer
One of the greatest ways to create a cohesive bridal party look is to pick one brand or designer. This will allow your bridesmaids to choose different styles of dresses that suit their personality and body type while keeping the fabrics and colors the same. Many designers even create sets of dresses that come in varying styles but go together in a set.
Stick With a Color Theme
If you want to give your bridal party more options, allow them to work within a color scheme. Pick complementary colors or varying hues and shades of a single color. You can then use wedding accessories such as flowers, jewelry, or hair pieces to tie all the different looks together.
Let Them Pick Their Dress
Whether you allow your bridesmaids to pick their own dress style or you give them options of dresses to choose from, let them be involved. They will be more excited about the process the more say they have. A word of caution: give options, but not too many. Either give them the designer and the color and let them pick the style, or give them a few different dresses to choose from and have them vote.
Give Them a Deadline
When giving your bridal party options, keep them to a deadline. Budget requests? Deadline. Final dress pick? Deadline. Ordering dates? Deadline. Fittings? Deadline. Keep the lines of communication open and put your maid of honor in charge.
If you are going to have to have any dresses altered, especially to make them modest, remember it can take anywhere between three and six months for alterations. Make sure you’ve done your research and know how long any alterations will take. You’ll also want to make sure your bridesmaids know when to come to fittings to ensure everyone looks their best.
Plan for the Weather
What time of year are you getting married in? Answering this question can help you determine what style of dress to pick. If your wedding is in the winter, you don’t want your bridesmaids freezing in short sleeved dresses. You also don’t want to pick a heavy fabric if you’re getting married in the hottest months of the summer. The more comfortable your bridesmaids are, the happier they’ll be.
Think About the Photos
The photos of the dresses will last longer than the dresses themselves. Think about how the dresses will photograph and how everyone will look together.
Make Your Vision Clear
At the end of the day, your bridesmaids want to support you and the vision you have for your dream wedding. Get them excited about what you’ve come up with. Help them catch the spark and they’ll be more likely to understand why you are wanting a certain type of bridesmaid dress.