Today, I’m sharing with you some tips in regards to bridesmaid dresses. Before planning my own wedding, I had never been a bridesmaid, so I didn’t have a clue about bridesmaid dresses. It wasn’t until after my wedding that I got to be a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s wedding. I picked up some tips and feedback in regards to bridesmaid dresses from my own bridesmaids, as well as being a bridesmaid myself. I want to share these tips with you so that you’ll be happy, but your bridesmaids will also be happy.
First, let’s address some misconceptions about bridesmaid dresses. I always thought that all the bridesmaids had to be in matching dresses, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. More and more, I’ve been seeing bridesmaids have similar dresses in regards to color & length, but different in regards to style. Personally from my experience, I think that’s the best way to go. Why? Because you don’t want to limit them to one dress, to one set price because then they’re boxed in and don’t have any choices. By having similar dresses, but not identical dresses, you as the bride have an input in the general aspects of the dress, but the bridesmaids get to pick their own dress to their liking. This is important because everyone has their own unique style and different body types and one dress might not be a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing.
So below, I’ve outlined 6 tips in helping you and guiding you into letting your bridesmaids choose their dress, but also making sure it aligns with your vision/color scheme that you’re going for.
1 Pick a color & length
This one is pretty self explanatory. Pick a color for your girls’ dresses. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, you have an idea of what your wedding color scheme is or what theme you’re going with and what colors best go with that theme. Now, with the color, you can do it differently for your Maid of Honor or Maids of Honor. My friend did this for her wedding and it looked really pretty. Careful though, if you’re picking two different colors, make sure they complement each other so that they don’t clash. I did mine all the same color, but again this is up to you and what your overall vision looks like.
Next, pick the length. Do you want your girls to have long dresses or shorter (knee-length, above the knee, below the knee, etc.) dresses. This one is pretty self-explanatory as well. Traditionally, bridesmaids have long dresses, but you can pick whatever you want. I picked knee-length dresses for mine because a lot of my bridesmaids are not very tall so I was trying to save them alteration fees if they were to have gotten maxi dresses.
Again, color & length is up to you (the bride) & your preference!
2 Give them a couple SUGGESTIONS
Now, after you give them the color & length, don’t leave them in the dark in regards to where to even start looking. What my friend did, that I really liked, was she gave us a couple suggestions, but let us know that our options were not limited to the suggestions she gave us. Just as long as our dresses were the color & length she had given us, she was okay with us picking where to get our dresses from. I think that is very smart because you’re giving your girls some options and a reference point, but you’re not limiting them to looking elsewhere.
3 Let them know that they might need to get it altered
Now, if you are a first time bride or first time bridesmaid like I was, I was oblivious to alterations. This is especially true if you order your bridesmaid dresses online, which we all did. I don’t regret it at all because I feel like there are more options (and cheaper ones too) online than in boutique stores. You just have to be aware that you might need to take your dress to get altered. A common theme for my bridesmaids was the length of their dresses, they were too long (below the knee). For my sister, it was too loose around her breasts and shoulders. Now these are just some examples, but other things on your dress might need to get altered in order for it to fit your body how you want it to fit. Just make sure that when you give your bridesmaids their choices (color, length & suggestions/websites) that you also let them know about alterations so that they’re not blindsided when they get their dress and it doesn’t fit perfectly. Usually, your local dry cleaners offer dress alterations or with a quick google search you can find local affordable places that perform alterations.
For my bridesmaid maxi dress, I did have to get it hemmed because I’m 5’0″ so that was a given that it was going to be too long. It cost me $50 & it was ready in a week.
4 Ultimately, let them choose
Now, that you’ve given your bridesmaids the color, length, suggestions/websites and informed them about alterations, it’s time to back out and let them do their thing. Trust me, you will have your hands full with other wedding preparations and your girls can handle picking their dresses.
5 Offer to be available, but don’t be pushy
Let them know that you’re available if they want to run something by you or they need your opinion on something, but don’t be all up on their business. Don’t be a control freak and make it a requirement to have them run everything by you because then they won’t enjoy the bridesmaid experience. This is my personal opinion and I’m sure bridesmaids everywhere are nodding their heads right now. So again, be AVAILABLE, but don’t be PUSHY!!
6 Give them plenty of time and do a friendly follow-up reminder
This is an important one! From the moment you give them their choices to the wedding day, make sure there’s enough time in between. Why? Because no one likes to feel pressured. Because it’s their money, so they might need time to save up for their dress, alterations, other wedding costs. Trust me, it gets pricey and nobody just has money laying around to where ‘money ain’t a thang’!
I would suggest to do a friendly reminder maybe 2-3 months before the wedding just to make sure that if some bridesmaids still haven’t gotten their dresses, they still have ample time to get it done before it’s time-crunch season and boom the big day is here!
These are my 6 tips in letting your bridesmaids choose their bridesmaid dresses! You’ll be happy & they’ll be happy! Win win!
Happy wedding planning!