Ok, so you’ve found the wedding venue and your wedding dress. Great! Now is the time to begin your search for the perfect bridesmaid dresses. This part of the process should be a fun experience for you to hang out with your best girlfriends and talk style. The process can seem a little daunting when you mix different personalities, conflicting schedules, and unique style preferences among friends. Before dialing up the gals and booking your first bridesmaid appointment, answer these important questions.
How much time do I have?
You should typically allocate a total of 5 1/2 months before the wedding date to complete the process: about 3-4 months to wait for the manufacturer to produce the gowns, and 6 weeks before the wedding to have the dresses altered if necessary. If you stick to this timeline, you should also have some cushion left just in case there are any hiccups in the plan. Many salons will help select the right dress and manage logistics between the bridesmaids and the manufacturer. Some retailers offer an online service where all your girls can place their individual orders on their own, streamlining the process. However you choose to order your dresses, remain aware of your timeline.
How much can my bridesmaids afford?
While you may have expensive taste, keep in mind that your girls are already making a financial sacrifice to be a part of your wedding. It is typical to expect your bridesmaids to pay for their dresses (or at least half the total cost), so be courteous enough not to ask them to spend an arm and a leg and a big toe on a dress. Your bridesmaids may also appreciate you chipping in to pay half or 25 percent of the cost to help out. Just be mindful of price as you search for dresses.
What are the best colors for my wedding theme and season?
You can select your color theme and consider the time of year for your wedding. For example, darker greens, purples, and golden shades look great in the Fall and Winter. Pastels and highlighter colors work well in Spring and Summer. You should also plan for colors that will not minimize your presence as the bride, but instead help you to stand out among your wedding party. If you were to wear an ivory wedding dress, and then put your bridesmaids in beige, you might be later disappointed when you look back on pictures of you blending in with the group. Instead, you’ll want to reminisce, and see yourself as a shining star.
What style best suits my bridesmaids’ body types?
Most of us are guilty, to some degree, of looking through the bridal magazines and falling head-over-heels in love with a bridesmaid dress that looks perfect on a 5’7″ size 2 model. Think realistically about your bridesmaids’ body types, and look for styles that will flatter each of their frames. Yes, it’s your day, but your bridesmaids should feel just as special and confident as you will feel. If your bridesmaids have totally different body types on opposites ends of the spectrum, consider having them all select their own dress styles of the same color and/or length. Twist wrap dresses can be a great way to diversify the line up with various tie-up methods that work for each girl.
Featured Cover Image Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige