Picking bridesmaids dresses was one of the most stressful things that I did while wedding planning. My taste is totally different then all of my bridesmaids, and none of them could agree on what style dress they liked best. We actually ended up ordering a dress that I loved, but they hated, so I decided to change my mind, return the order and picked new dresses.
The new dresses were not received much better (even though they were picked out by all the girls) and we ended up having to do last minute alterations to them 2 days before the wedding. In the end, they looked great – but there were a lot of stress leading up them actually being worn.
Needless to say, I have learned a few things about bridesmaid dress shopping! Hopefully, some of these tips can help you out if you haven’t started looking yet.
Tip #1 – Don’t expect everyone to like the same dresses you do.
This seems fairly obvious, but I think some brides get stuck in a “it’s my day, you’ll wear whatever I want” mentality. Yes, it is your day. And yes, you should like the dresses. But please remember that these are your friends and family members and they should be comfortable in the dresses they have to wear and be photographed in. Be open to their suggestions and you never know — you may fall head over heals in love with a dress that you had passed by originally.
Tip #2 – All of your girls don’t have to wear the same dress.
A hot new trend is mismatched bridesmaid dresses – where each girl wears the same color dress but in different styles. This lets each girl find a dress that fits their body type best. If you don’t really like the idea of having all the girls dress differently, you could do all the bridesmaids dresses the same and let the maid of honor wear a slightly different dress.
Tip #3 – Let the girls pick their own shoes.
You can pick the color, and request a specific style (closed toe, high heel, no heel, strappy, etc) but let the girls pick out their own shoes. Not everyone is comfortable in 3 inch heels or in flats. You are going to want your girls to wear their shoes for the ceremony and all the pictures, so they need to be comfortable!
Tip #4 – Make it a group effort.
Take everyone with you to try on and pick out dresses if possible. What looks great on one girl may look awful on another. You want all your girls to look good so make sure you get everyones opinion. Plus, some colors do not look good in abundance! Having everyone standing there in bright yellow dresses may sound good in your head, but not look so good in person.
Tip #5 – Don’t stress!
You will find a dress. There are so many styles, colors and options available that you will find the perfect bridesmaids dresses. No, it may not be the first time you head out to look for them, but it will happen. If you really cannot find the style that you wanted in a store, you could always have them made or look into convertible dresses (a bonus for the convertible dress option is that the girls will love that they can actually wear them again!).
Remember to have fun! You picked these girls to be in your wedding because you love them — let them help you pick out some amazing dresses that you will all love!
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