Choosing the Bridesmaids’ Dresses
After the bride’s dress, one of the key components of any wedding is the bridesmaids dresses.
This is your opportunity to choose something absolutely stunning and glamorous for your best female friends.
It also gives you the opportunity to inject a bit of style with the colourings, the patterns and the style of the dresses. There are several things to consider as part of this. But before you even think about their dresses, you need yours!
Priority number one needs to be the bride’s dress, fullstop. Get your dress chosen first. You may ask why: it’s actually very simple. I’ve known of four occasions where the bridesmaids have chosen first, only for the bride to find a dress they loved but was too close in style to the bridesmaids style. That then leads to a very awkward choice: reject the dress you love, or ask your bridesmaids to reject the dresses they love. Good luck with that one!
Firstly, where should you look for them? Well you’ve got options galore at your fingertips. You could look at specific bridal stores, be it online or in person. The other option, which I have found recently worked very, very well is the likes of ASOS, Pretty Little Thing and also Next. Some of the advantages of the online store approach mirrors that for the groomsmens suits, which I explain here.
You can share web links with your bridesmaids, they can share them with you. Before you know it you’ve got a messenger or whatsapp group going strong with loads of ideas flowing through! This way you can also share in the discussions with your friends, get their take on what they like, what they don’t like and whether or not the options that you’re putting forward are to their liking and to their taste.
Then, when you’ve found the right dresses and had them delivered it’s clear you’ll need a prosecco and wine night at home to try them all on together and make sure everyone is happy. Ultimately this gives you the ability to do it at your own pace, your own speed and involves everybody from day dot.
The next question is one of symmetry. You have several options here as well. The most traditional approach and the one which is favoured I would say 80% of the time is that the colour, the styles, and the lengths of the bridesmaids dresses is consistent across all the bridesmaids. This of course is the traditional approach and does bring a nice element of symmetry when you consider that the groom suits are likely to be similar or the same in style.
The next option you might consider is slightly different styles, but in the same colour. This is an interesting one and it gives every bridesmaid the ability to display their own character and hold that moment of individuality. This gives the slightly advantageous scenario where you can mirror the style of each dress to each individual bridesmaid. Let’s face it, not everybody is the same size or shape and asking all the bridesmaids to fit into the same style is something that can be difficult and at the very worst case scenario can look rather unflattering to your best friends. Ultimately, although this is probably obvious, it is as inappropriate to have a larger lady in a smaller fashion size as it is the other way around. The simple reality is that if all the colours are the same shade, the symmetry still applies. This also gives you the benefit that your bridal party will look and feel at their happiest.
The final option is in terms of adapting both colour and style simultaneously. This is all about individual personalities, and it’s all about people being able to be themselves. As the picture below will show you. I did have one wedding where the bride grew up in Hong Kong, and therefore, her choice was for different styles of geisha dresses for the bridesmaids. Not only did this bring lovely colours to the ceremony, but each dress was perfect for each bridesmaid
Now, ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s your choice. It’s your day, you make what you will, but I certainly feel there’s a very large part here to play in discussing this with your bridesmaids as a collective. Ultimately you want them to look at their best. They are your best female friends or you wouldn’t have asked them to be your bridesmaids after all. Therefore, you want them to be at their happiest and feel amazingly comfortable and confident striding down the aisle before you. It is of course easier to just decide for them, but would you be doing your friendship justice this way?
Yes, I know it’s your wedding day, but you want your best friends to shine as well.
Making your bridesmaids happy
Giving your bridesmaids to shine and look amazing is one of the kindest things you can do. Taking the time to find out with them what they’d like most dress wise is the potential difference between happiness, and pure love for their dress.