If you’ve ever seen Say Yes to the Dress – Bridesmaids, you know bridesmaids dresses can be one of the trickiest parts of planning your wedding. Everyone has different styles or ideas, there’s too many opinions, and no one’s in agreement. Or maybe everyone has similar tastes but don’t know where to start. Captain Cyan is here to save the day. Here are a few tips for both the brides and bridesmaids to make bridesmaid dress shopping stress-free.
Tip #1: Talk About Budget
Budget should be the first thing you talk about before stepping into a salon, or even discussing what everyone is looking for in a dress. Bridesmaids are usually expected to cover the cost of their own gown so make sure your friends’ pockets are taken into consideration. Be reasonable and open with your expectations to avoid any unnecessary conflict. Having an idea on price point can help narrow down where you’ll be shopping.
Tip #2: Choose Dresses They Feel Comfortable In
Make sure everyone feels comfortable with the dress choices. We don’t need bridesmaids passing out from heat exhaustion or feeling some type of way towards you on your big day. Yes, it’s your wedding, and yes, you have a ~ vision ~ of how everything should look, but remember that everyone has different body types and style preferences. Now, I’m not saying it’s possible for everyone’s preferences to be met— but you should at least try to incorporate some of their ideas. Or even better, ask your bridesmaids to send two things they’d feel uncomfortable with and two things they do feel comfortable in. This will help your narrow down your search. Remember, not everyone may have that “perfect look” you had in mind, but you can still find a dress everyone can agree on while still making sure they flow with your dress and theme.
Tip #3: Consider Season And Venue
Thinking about season can help narrow down materials for your bridesmaids gown. In summer and spring, you want light and airy materials like chiffon or georgette. Incorporate lighter shades and looser silhouettes (we don’t need anyone feeling like a stuffed sausage in 85°F weather). In the winter and fall, look into darker, richer colors and heavier materials. You could probably get away with that snatched look in a tighter silhouette too. The venue also plays an important role for picking dresses; you wouldn’t want to wear sequins and long trains on the beach, would you (maybe you would, but most people wouldn’t)? Try to think of what style gown matches your venue. And of course, how formal is your wedding? We don’t need bridesmaids looking too casual at a formal affair.
Tip #4: Shop Early
Just like with the bride’s dress, DO NOT wait until the last minute to get bridesmaids gowns!! Get together with everyone and schedule a good time to meet about 7-8 months before your wedding. Shopping early gives you and your bridesmaids ample time to find the best gowns, get orders in, and finish all necessary alterations. If you’re lucky, shopping off the rack early can give you the chance to find any big sales happening. Now, if you’d like to give yourself a little time crunch but still have a 15% discount, find a quarterly trunk show. You’d still have enough time to place your orders and have all the dresses rushed and ready (mind you, if you start a year early, you may find your trunk show steal a year in advance).
TO THE BRIDESMAIDS
Tip #1: Have An Open Mind
Okay ladies, I know you may be worried that your friend could put you in something raggedy, but please have an open mind. Even if the dress is in a style or color that you hate… just give it a chance. You could end up looking like a goddess in the dress. If it still makes you feel uncomfortable after an honest chance, give the bride a moment to notice and take in your thoughts. However, the the most important thing is that you’re open to whatever will make the bride happy!
Tip #2: Be Constructive With Feedback
If you have some not so good thoughts about the dress, don’t just say “It’s ugly and I hate it.” That’s absolutely useless. Try telling the bride what aspects of the dress you like and dislike so you can guide her towards something else. Maybe some things can be adjusted in the alterations stage to fit your liking. We don’t need Negative Nancy dragging the mood down on a day that should be exciting and enjoyable for everyone.
Tip #3: Wear The Correct Undergarments
Nude panties and strapless bras are your best bet, ladies. A strapless bra allows you to try on different necklines with ease; no one wants to be distracted or have their imagination obstructed by neon pink bra straps. If you are going to a bridal salon with straps, tuck a strapless bra in your bag to be prepared. Nude panties help remove the view of any patterns or bright colors showing through the dress, especially if it’s made of lighter material.
Tip #4: Try To Follow The Bride
So what if the bride tells all her bridesmaids to pick their own dress? First don’t just run off and do what you want. Try to take the bride’s thoughts into consideration. A good idea would be to ask the bride what material she would want everyone in, what are the colors, theme, etc. This gives you, the bridesmaid, an idea on what dresses to look for.