Choosing dresses for your best girls can be a daunting task, especially if you have bridesmaids who are different sizes, different colouring, different tastes or live at opposite ends of the country! With so much choice available from sequin bridesmaid dresses to short and flirty, and with so many colours to choose from – how can you possibly narrow it down!? So here are our Top Tips for Bridesmaid Shopping!
Bridesmaid dresses can take up to 16 weeks to arrive – so make sure you plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to make the right choice. It’s best to order your dresses at least six months before your wedding. If your girls are dieting (and they often are!), let them know when you want to order so they don’t think of your wedding date as the time to reach their goal…but the day they will be measured instead. Of course dresses can be altered down a size or two, but this is added expense you might want to avoid if possible!
Giving yourself a maximum price for the dresses will rule out ones that are not an option and help you decide on which brands are for you. Boutiques sell bridesmaid dresses from £70 up to £400, so give shops a call to find out f their designers are in your price range, they will be happy to help! We strongly advise against buying online. Cheap dresses direct from China may not be the colour you were expecting or have the fit and structure a better quality dress will give you, and of course, your maids will prefer to try the actual dresses on before purchasing. See our blog here about buying cheap online wedding dresses – many of the risks remain the same with bridesmaid dresses!
Check out boutique websites, bridal pages and start building a Pinterest board! Maybe your girls could pin some that they like and you might start to see some common themes between what you like and what they all like! Each of your bridesmaids are likely to have different body shapes, heights and styles. Taking these things into consideration is a really nice thing to do and will be much appreciated by your girls. Talk to your most body conscious maid – be mindful of her concerns. Also, ask for advice, an advantage of buying in a boutique is that the consultant will have seen many ladies in her dresses – and know what works!
It’s best not have got an exact, fixed shade of your chosen colour until you find the dresses you like. You may know you want pale pink, or purple, for example, which is a great starting point. Then when you find a dress you love you can view the exact shades of pink and purple available in that dress. Taking in an exact colour swatch can cause problems, if the dress you love is not the exact shade. Best to let the bridesmaid dresses determine the exact shade and tone of your colour, and work the rest of the colour scheme from there!
As an alternative, there is always the option of having ‘mis-match’ bridesmaid dresses. This on-trend at the moment, with brides choosing different styles in the same colour or different shades to create a rainbow effect.
Arrange a date where they can all get together. Visiting a shop without all the maids means you can’t order, you can’t get measured and you can’t be sure they all are happy with your choice… and you have to do it all over again! Book your appointments where you know there are dresses that fit the style you’ve decided on, there are samples to fit all your girls, and they are in your price range. Then enjoy! With planning and preparation you can get the dresses sorted in one hit, then find a wine bar and start planning that hen night!!
Most boutique bridal ranges offer ties, cravats and hankies to match the bridesmaid dresses. Make sure you ask!
Good luck with your bridesmaid search!