How to Choose the Right Dress — For Your Bridesmaids

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Choosing bridesmaids’ dresses is no easy task, but it is one of the most exciting and often the most emotional parts of the wedding planning process.

Inviting the special women in your life to be your bridesmaids – your sisters, your lifelong friends, your cousins and special family friends – is a way to seal important relationships during this very special time in your life. Choosing the bridesmaids dress, whether you do it yourself or together with your bridesmaids, is an integral part of the tradition.


Tips on Choosing the Right Dress

Though it is the bride who should be the focus of attention on her wedding day it is equally important for the bridesmaids to look gorgeous as well. Choose something simple and not over-decorated or detailed, but which will make your bridesmaids look elegant, sophisticated and feminine.

It’s important to choose a dress style flattering to everyone’s figure. This is never an easy task, but empire waists and A-line or princess skirts tend to suit most shapes and sizes.

If your bridesmaids have very different figure types and heights, and you think they might feel uncomfortable in matching dresses, a nice alternative is to choose the fabrics and colors, and allow each individual bridesmaid to choose her own dress style.

Always keep a budget in mind for your bridesmaid gowns. It is very unfair to expect your bridesmaids to buy overly expensive dresses, and it could damage your relationship with some of the most important women in your life if they feel that pressure. About $150-350 each dress is generally considered a reasonable cost. If you have your heart set on a more expensive gown, you might consider making up the difference yourself.


Classic Looks

Any kind of formal gown, semi-formal or evening dress can be chosen as a bridesmaid gown, so you have literally thousands of options. Satin, organza, chiffon, georgette, tulle, lace, brocades, and crepe are all classic fabrics for these dresses. Whether you choose real silks and imported laces, or more economical alternatives will depend on your budget.

It’s traditional to choose a one-piece dress or gown, but separates are definitely an option. Mixing and matching separate blouses and skirts makes it easier to find a style to suit each individual bridesmaid.

You should think about the time of year you plan to hold the wedding, and how this will affect your gown choices. Choose lighter fabrics for summer, and a sleeveless or even a strapless dress style. If your wedding is planned for a cooler time in the year, long skirts and sleeves are best, or include a shawl or wrap as part of the outfit.

It’s a nice idea to choose your colors according to the time of year also. Fresh, soft colors are lovely for spring and summer; golds, copper tones and rusty reds for fall, and deep marine blues, teal green, deep burgundies and plums, or platinum shades for winter.

Choose colours to match the flowers which are in bloom at the time of year, so your gowns will blend nicely with the bouquets. Discussing your colour ideas with your favorite florist will make the job of choosing much easier.

For a very sophisticated, formal look, black or black and white never goes out of style… Alternating black and white solid panels has a very dramatic effect.

For a more romantic look, use white or a solid color overlaid with black lace, either as a feature of the dress itself, or as a shawl or wrap.

Soft, pretty pastel shades like lilac, powder pink, cream, platinum and eggshell blue are always popular colors for bridesmaid dresses, because they always look good together with the white or ivory shade of the bridal gown. Adding dramatic colour accents in the bouquets creates a very attractive look for the wedding party as a whole.

Another idea which works very well for bridesmaid gowns is the use of silk or satin fabric with a subtle crossweave in a contrasting colour, and then matching the bouquets to the crossweave colour. The bouquets will bring out and enhance the colour highlights in the dress fabric, which has a very pretty effect.


Accessories for Bridesmaids

The simplest look will tend to work best, so accessories should be kept to a minimum. Often a simple pair of earrings, a brooch or necklace is all the jewellery you’ll need. One lovely tradition is for the bride to give her bridesmaids their jewellery as a wedding gift.

For a very formal look, shawls, gloves and even small tiaras are always appropriate as bridesmaids’ accessories.

Keep comfort as well as style in mind when you choose shoes for your bridesmaids. Very high heels may be uncomfortable to stand in for any period of time. Also consider the fact that the bridesmaids will most likely be wearing the shoes for the wedding ceremony and the reception, so choose shoes which will be comfortable to wear all day, and then to dance away the night!

Category: Bridesmaids, FASHION, SHOPPING