Standing next to you on your big day will be your best support group and the most beautiful accessories you could ask for: your bridesmaids. Since their entire look should complement you and your gown, their attire is an important wedding detail that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Between internet browsing and shopping trips, choosing dresses, and scheduling alterations, we know picking your bridesmaids’ dresses can be overwhelming. We’ve devised a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Find your inspiration
There are so many different ideas out there—dresses in different color shades, styles, and even some with bold patterns. Whether you’re flipping through bridal magazines or browsing the internet, bookmark sites and save images to build a collection of colors and styles you’re interested in.
Stylist tip: Keep your ideas in one place! Make a shared Pinterest board or photo drive where you can save your inspiration, and where your bridesmaids can share their ideas.
Set a timeline
Stick to a timeline to ensure your bridesmaids aren’t scrambling with final details at the last minute. Designer gowns usually take 4-6 months to come in and another four to six weeks for alterations, so 8 months or more is an ideal timeframe.
Think of your own gown and how the dresses will look with it
Since you put so much thought and time into choosing your own gown, you definitely want to make sure your bridesmaids’ attire coordinates well with your look. If your gown has details like lace, beading, and/or other accessories, we suggest keeping the bridal party dresses more simple.
Stylist tip: Shop for bridesmaid dresses at the same store you purchased your bridal gown. This way, you can try on your gown with the bridesmaid’s dresses and see how they all look together.
Zero in on a color or color theme
Play off the color scheme of your wedding, and even the venue and season. For instance, if your wedding will be held at a rustic barn with décor in deep reds and burgundy, you might not want to go with bright yellow dresses. Rich colors like deep purple and emerald green work well in the fall and winter. Lighter shades—mint, pale pink, lavender—are perfect for the bright spring and summer months.
Stylist tip: If you can’t settle on one exact hue, go for a general color and let your bridesmaids pick their favorite shades.
Consider the fabric of the dresses
Fabric does matter because comfort is key! Your bridesmaids will be shuffling around making sure your day is perfect and spending the night on the dance floor. Our stylists will help you choose from a variety of different fabrics. From there, your bridesmaids can try them on to feel how they fit, flow, and breathe.
Stylist tip: Chiffon gowns are a good go-to since they are lightweight and easy to move around in.
Remember—your ladies are all different shapes and sizes
One size does not fit all, and as mentioned above, comfort is key! You want each of your girls to feel comfortable and beautiful in dresses that flatter their bodies. The A-line dress style is universally flattering, which makes it perfect for all different shapes and sizes. However, many brides are opting for the mix-and-match look, giving their bridesmaids the freedom to select their own dress style. Think strapless, high-neck, one-shoulder, knee length, floor length, etc.
Stylist tip: Give your girls a few guidelines to follow, or a collection of styles to sort through to ensure the dresses still coordinate with each other and your own gown.
Make sure everyone has the right lingerie
This detail is easily overlooked because you are so focused on what the dress looks like on the outside. Depending on the dress style, your bridesmaids may need some special support. Trust us, the wrong bra can make even the most beautiful dresses look unflattering! Each bridesmaid might also need a specific panty or body shaper.
Stylist tip: Remind your girls to bring basic undergarments for shopping and for dress fittings. From there, they can figure out what extra pieces are needed for the dresses you choose.
Visit our partners at The Dress Shop to find inspiration for your bridal party attire. Call ahead for an appointment 517-546-3600 — we’ll help you find the perfect bridesmaid dresses and make the process fun!