Tips for Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses

bride with four bridesmaids wearing purple bridesmaid dresses

Once you decide who you want to walk down the aisle with you, you need to deal with choosing bridesmaid dresses. This isn’t always easy, especially if you got a bunch of ladies to outfit that have very different styles. Although the bride can choose whatever she wants her bridesmaids to wear, it’s always nice to give them some input, especially when it comes to price.

Ask You Bridesmaids About Price

Being a bridesmaid can be very expensive. Since these ladies are being nice enough to support you, try to choose a dress that’s within a price range everyone can afford. If you do choose a particularly expensive option, you can always offer to chip in toward the cost or purchase the dress as your gift to your bridesmaids.

Start Shopping Early

Just as with a wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses can take some time to arrive after ordering. Any alterations will add to the overall timeframe, so it’s good to start at least 3 to 6 months before the wedding, preferably even sooner, to make sure everyone has a dress that fits.

Look for Inspiration

Check out bridal magazines, Pinterest, and other sources for inspiration on what types of dresses you like. This will help get you started and make it easier to decide which types of stores to shop in when choosing bridesmaid dresses.

Ask Your Bridesmaids for Their Input

These ladies may have some good ideas, and learning what types of styles they’re comfortable wearing can help narrow down the options. They may even be willing to research dresses on their own for you to choose from, saving you some time and effort. This doesn’t mean you have to go with their favorite choice if you don’t like it.

Consider the Size and Shapes of Your Bridesmaids

While you may love a certain dress, if it doesn’t look flattering on your girls, it isn’t a good choice. You don’t want to make your friends purchase dresses that don’t look good on them and stand in front of a crowd feeling bad about themselves. One option to work around this is to give the girls certain guidelines as to the color, length, and shape of the dress and then let them choose from a few different styles so they can find a dress that makes them look beautiful.

Think About Skin Tones

Be aware that some colors will wash out certain people, and choose colors that look nice on everyone whenever possible.

Keep the Style of Your Dress in Mind

You also need to take into consideration the style and color of your wedding dress. The bridesmaid dresses shouldn’t clash with your dress. They need to coordinate well. If your dress is very simple, the bridesmaid dresses can be a bit fancier, but if your dress is a bit flashier, keep their dresses simple and understated.

Don’t Forget About the Weather

If you’re getting married in the winter, make sure that the dresses will be warm enough or that you choose some type of coverup to go with them. Likewise, don’t choose heavy materials and long sleeves for a summer wedding. You want to choose a dress made from a fabric that will be comfortable given the probable weather conditions during the wedding and reception.

Keep the Time of Day and Location in Mind

Some colors or styles are more formal and appropriate for evening weddings, while others may be better for afternoon weddings. Likewise, less formal, breezier styles are common for beach weddings where more formal dresses may look out of place.

Think About Lingerie Needs

Certain styles of dresses will need special undergarments for them to look good. This adds to the overall costs of the bridesmaids. Make sure everyone has the appropriate items to wear under the dress before the wedding.

Remember, They Don’t All Have to Be the Same

The ladies could all choose dresses out of the same material but different styles, or even different colors. Perhaps they could each wear a different shade of the same color. Some people even have bridesmaids opt for dresses from the same material and style but in different colors to achieve a rainbow effect. Brides even opt to have their bridesmaids choose dresses of different lengths or even different patterns and textures sometimes.

Consider Rentals

If bridesmaids have a particularly tight budget or don’t want to be stuck with a dress they may not wear again, consider letting them rent their dresses from Rent the Runway or a similar website.

Have Everyone Try the Dress on Before Making a Final Decision

Have everyone try on the top choices to see which one flatters everyone the best. Dresses look different in pictures and on hangers than they do on people.