One of the best parts of planning your wedding is choosing who gets to stand next to you. Whether it’s your group of girls from college or your best friend from Pre-K or your brand new coworker, you’ll always remember who got ready with you and held your dress while you went to the bathroom.
The task of choosing bridesmaid dresses can be awkward. You want them to like it, obviously, but you also want it to fit with your wedding vibe. Besides, depending on the size of your bridal party, chances are high you’ll have girls with different styles. When choosing what your bridesmaids are going to wear, here are a few things to keep in the back of your mind.
- How much does it cost? This is the real world, and money is a factor. You don’t want to ask your girls to spend well above their means. Your wedding day isn’t about designer duds, it’s about having the people you love witness your vows—so make sure to get that awkward cost convo out of the way early so you have some kind of range in your head. Try wording it like this: “I was thinking of looking for dresses in the range of $100-$150. Is that comfortable for you?” Your girls are also possibly spending money on travel, hotel stays, hair and makeup, and gifts—for your bridal shower AND bachelorette. If you have a super expensive dress you absolutely have to have, try and find a way to supplement part of the cost.
Check out the 5 Best Ways to Save Your Bridesmaids Money here!
- What goes with your wedding dress? It’s typically better to find your wedding dress first so that the dresses can look nice together in pictures. For instance, if you have a soft, flowing wedding gown, you may not want structured and glitzy mermaid bridesmaid dresses. It might take attention away from your own dress.
- What’s the best silhouette? You may have bridesmaids who have wildly different body types. That can make finding a bridesmaid dress that’s flattering on everyone tricky. You may want to consider a convertible bridesmaid dress or going the same-color-different-style route. If you want everyone to look uniform, know that not everyone may love the dress, but try to be somewhat empathetic to the girls’ thoughts. You don’t want them to feel uncomfortable or unattractive. At the same time, you probably need to accept early on that the dress may not be perfect on every single bridesmaid, and that’s okay. Simpler may be better in this case—high slits may be high fashion, but they won’t look good on a wide variety of women.
- What’s the season? You may love the idea of a winter wedding, but forcing your girls to wear strapless and then take snowy shots? That’s a no-no. Satin shows sweat and is pretty stiff, so it’s not a great material for outdoor summer weddings. Ask your consultant at the wedding dress shop to help you pick a bridesmaids’ dress that will fit with your season. You don’t want goosebumps or sweat stains in your wedding photos.
- Can they help you look? Ask your bridesmaids to accompany you while shopping or to look online. This can be a great way to get suggestions and will usually help find dresses that are both cute and in their price range. If you’re going for a more relaxed vibe, you may even send them some color swatches and tell them to find a dress themselves. Fair warning: this isn’t as easy and effortless as it looks on Pinterest. But it can definitely make for some pretty pictures and comfortable bridesmaids!
Want to shop online? We found the best websites for bridesmaid dresses.
- What do YOU like? This is your decision. Don’t let one pushy bridesmaid keep you from picking the dress you want. She’s in your wedding because she loves you, and she should (try) to be as accommodating as possible—hopefully with no complaints.
At the end of the day, the bridesmaid dresses are your decision. You shouldn’t feel pressured to pick a dress you hate, and a good bridesmaid should be happily willing to wear what you pick. But you also don’t want to put a huge burden on your closest friends and/or family. Try to work together to find something everyone likes (or sort of likes!).