The road to finding that perfect bridesmaid dress could be easy and wonderful – or paved with a bit of drama and discomfort. It doesn’t have to be the latter, though. Whether you’re a veteran bridesmaid yourself or you’ve never been in someone else’s bridal party, many brides have expectations and assumptions about bridesmaid attire that just won’t work. Read on for 10 details your bridesmaids wish you knew about choosing their dress – but might not be telling you.
1. If they’re not comfortable in it, they won’t look or feel their best.
As a cardinal rule for all other details your bridesmaids will want you to know, this one probably is the most all-encompassing. Your bridesmaids need to be comfortable in what they’re wearing, or they simply won’t have a good time at your wedding. This applies for self-confidence as well as physical comfort on the big day. Plus, if they don’t look or feel their best, guests will notice…and it’ll show in your wedding pictures!
2. Price really does matter.
The average bridesmaid dress can cost anywhere from $100-$300. That doesn’t mean that each of your bridesmaids can afford to purchase a dress within that price range, though. Be mindful of their life situations. Will any of your maids need to fly in and get a hotel, in addition to purchasing a dress, shoes, and so on? Do they work more than one job to support their family? Are they students working part-time jobs?
While it’s likely not appropriate to inquire about their financial situation, you could definitely reach out to each maid privately to see what she feels is her budget limit for the dress. That way, you can make sure you choose a gown within everyone’s budget, or you can offer to cover the cost (or part of it) if out of their price range.
3. If the dress works, they’ll see it as an investment.
If you choose a really fabulous, functional dress as your bridesmaid attire choice, your bridesmaids will be oh-so-grateful! This is especially true for shorter gowns and lighter fabrics. Keep in mind that attire in darker colors is generally easiest to reuse, too.
4. Consider the time of year your wedding is, and dress your maids appropriately.
While you may be in love with Victorian, full-lace sleeves and thick fabrics down to the ankles, that won’t suit a summer wedding outdoors. Much like when you choose your wedding dress, you should consider how your bridesmaid dresses will look in your venue at the time you’ll get married. Your bridesmaids will thank you for it!
5. Sometimes one style just won’t work for everyone.
One bridesmaid is tall and lean. Another is short and stout. Will the same gown look great on both of them? Not likely.
Keep in mind that your bridesmaids don’t have to be matchy-matchy to look like they’re part of the bridal party. Pick a fabric and color, and then have each maid pick out a gown of her choosing to wear. I definitely suggest requesting final approval before they purchase it, though!
If you’re still holding on to dreams of a matching bridal party, try opting for an A-Line silhouette. This generally looks good on all body types.
6. One color doesn’t always work for everyone.
Fuchsia may be your absolute favorite color, but that doesn’t mean it’ll look great on every bridesmaid. When considering what your bridesmaids will wear, think about their complexions and hair colors. What will work? What will wash them out? Consider dressing them in another accent color if necessary and having them carry your primary color in their bouquets. Or, you could mix and match the colors they wear.
7. Strapless gowns can cause issues.
If any of your bridesmaids are chesty, a strapless dress could cause issues. Also, keep in mind how the dress will function if you’re planning to have a dance rave at your reception. Unexpected attire malfunctions could be quite distracting!
8. Their opinion matters.
It’s easy to think of yourself as the dictator of bridal party fashion when you’re the bride. Don’t let yourself go there, though. While it’s true that your opinion matters most, and you do in fact have the final say, what your bridesmaids wear should be a conversation – not just an assignment. That’s especially true if they’re paying for the gown!
9. They’re not out to upstage you.
I’ll just say it: if you chose someone who you think will try to upstage you or cause problems on wedding day, you didn’t choose the right bridesmaid to begin with. That being said, and assuming you did choose the right maids, they love you! Why would they try to steal your thunder on wedding day? So, instead of picking a gown that will ensure everyone looks a little frumpy or just a little out of place around you, choose a gown that they all look like rock stars in. After all, you’re the bride. All eyes will be on you! If they look bad, it’ll look like poor planning on your part…both during the wedding and in pictures.
10. They don’t want the dress decision to be stressful any more than you do.
Keep an open mind. Know what your vision is before you begin the dress-hunting process, and consider how the gowns will look next to yours on the big day. Once the decision’s been made and the gown or gowns have been chosen, assign your Maid of Honor to handle dress orders and other dress-related details. Stay cool and calm, and make sure everyone feels comfortable to discuss the decision freely with you from start to finish. You’ll be glad you did later – and so will they!
What other details do you wish brides considered when choosing the bridesmaid dress?
Tell me in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Chattanooga wedding photographers Bamber Photography.