Having trouble deciding what to do for your bridesmaids’ dresses? These tips are guaranteed to get you started in the right direction!

1. Decide on individual bridesmaid dresses versus group styling.

It is difficult to find a one-size-fits-all solution for a group of bridesmaids. Every woman is so different, from height, weight, and shape, to colouring and taste. Trying to please everyone with the same dress may seem easier, but it is a hard task and let’s face it – fashion tastes vary.

A good compromise is to agree on one element, whether colour, fabric, or style, that remains common across all the dresses and then you can let each bridesmaid choose their own version of that, thus ensuring that it suits their body type and tastes.

2. Always keep dress cost in mind.

Before approaching your bridal party, consider whether you are going to cover the cost of their bridesmaid dress, or if you would prefer for them to foot the bill. If you’re looking for them to pay, you’ll need to consider that you might not be able to have as much say about what you want. Plus you will need to agree on a price range that everyone is comfortable with. And don’t forget that not only are there costs involved for the dress, but also for bridal accessories to go with it!

If you have your heart set on dresses that are more costly than they can afford, you could cover any extra cost over and above their budget. Of course, if you’re going to pay 100% of the costs, then getting what you want will be much easier!

3. Decide whether it’s your big day or that of your bridesmaids.

There are two schools of thought on this. Either you put your bridesmaids first and try to find them a dress that will stand the test of time and that they can use again and again. Or, you put yourself first and look for a bridesmaid’s dress that’s all about complimenting what you’re going to be wearing.

Don’t hesitate to influence the decision with your own taste and desired wedding look and feel – after all what they wear is still a reflection of you and your partner. On the other hand, don’t expect your bridesmaids to wear something you know they would never choose to wear.

Remember that you can’t please everyone. Do your best and if they’re good friends they’ll just want to make you happy.

4. Keep dress colour and style top of mind.

The two big factors in choosing bridesmaids dresses are colour and style.

Consider the entire colour theme of your wedding and don’t just think it has to be one colour either. Various shades of the same colour can work really well and create individuality for the bridesmaids. Darker shades are more popular, since they are simple, classic and create an elegant, formal look.

Shorter bridesmaid dresses are increasingly trendy, moving away from the more traditional longer styles. These are useful if you’re hoping they’ll be worn again.

Take into consideration what you are going to be wearing at all times. You want your bridesmaids to compliment your dress, but not be too much like it. Otherwise you run the risk of becoming swamped by their look.

5. Involve your bridesmaids from the start.

Selecting and buying bridesmaid dresses is a team effort. If the decision comes as much from them as from you, then they’re more likely to come to an agreement on budget and style.

Organize dress shopping outings in small groups of 2 or 3. You’ll be able to get a better sense of what they like and what is going to work for everyone.

Also share examples of what you like with your bridesmaids as a group via email. They’ll be able to get a good sense of what you’re looking for, give their input, and come to a compromise.

As a bridesmaid, it is good to remember that it’s not your day, but the bride’s. So while you should definitely have an opinion and input into the ideal dress, make sure you listen to the bride and get something that works for her just as much as it does you.


Photo Credit: © Deborah Kolb | Dreamstime.com