With the average wedding having four to five bridesmaids, choosing bridesmaid dresses can be even more daunting than choosing the wedding dress itself. You need to ensure that the dresses complement your maids’ style as well as that of your special day.
The perfect dresses will make your bridesmaids look gorgeous while still not upstaging you. But finding them involves more than just deciding on a color palette. With that in mind, here are a few tips to get you started when choosing the best dresses for your bridal party.
The Formality of Your Wedding
Like every other fashion choice, your bridesmaid dresses need to match the formality of the event. For instance, satin won’t do if getting married barefoot and in a boho gown on the beach. Breezy chiffon dresses, on the other hand, will be perfect.
Similarly, pretty lace dresses will suffice if you plan on dancing the night away outdoors in a rustic barn setting. Outfitting your bridesmaids in full beaded dresses or sequin gowns is a perfect choice if you’ll throw a black-tie reception in a grand ballroom.
The venue and your wedding gown will help dictate the formality of the ceremony. Therefore, don’t decide on the bridesmaid dresses if you haven’t decided on the above.
Consider the Costs
Traditionally, the bridesmaids pay for their dresses. As such, it’s important to be considerate of the cost implications when dress shopping. Keep in mind that the dress may not be the only thing your bridesmaids are paying for. This is especially true if you want a destination wedding.
There are a few things you can do if you’re concerned about the wedding being a financial burden for one or more of the bridesmaids. You can try going for dresses in a more affordable range.
Alternatively, choose a specific color(s) you like and let your bridesmaids buy their preferred styles off the rack. You can also take a cue from the groomsmen and rent your dresses.
Consider the Fabric
An often-overlooked factor when it comes it bridesmaids dress ideas is the choice of fabric. There are a ton of fabrics to consider, and many of them coincide with different seasons.
Chiffon is one of the more popular fabric choices because it creates a romantic look as bridesmaids walk down the aisle. It’s also light and breathable, making it a perfect choice for summer weddings.
Crepe is a great choice if you’re leaning toward structured gowns. It offers more structure and feels more preppy than its satin counterpart. Speaking of satin, you’ll want to consider it for a classic wedding. However, its heavier weight makes it unsuitable for summer weddings.
Lace is one of the few fabrics that will work for anything and everything, including formal, garden, and vintage weddings. Silk is light and smooth, and lends a romantic feel to your big day. It’s also easy to dress up for a formal theme. On the downside, it’s expensive.
For more bridesmaid dress ideas, it’s recommended to visit a bridal store. Check out this bridal shop located here.
Flatter Their Figures
It’s always a good idea to consider your friends’ body shapes before deciding on the silhouettes for bridesmaid dresses. Finding a style that works for everyone can prove overwhelming if your bridesmaids have wildly varying body types. The good news is that there are different shapes, necklines, and sleeve lengths to choose from.
You can pick a color or variety of colors and allow your bridesmaids to choose their own dresses if finding a dress that works for everyone is too difficult.
You can also try being more flexible when it comes to custom alterations if your heart is set on a specific silhouette. Small tweaks like toning down a high slit, or adding cap sleeves to a sleeveless dress can help your bridesmaids feel more comfortable.
Be sure to check the maximum dress available to ensure it’ll work for everyone. You cannot expect a plus-size bridesmaid to choose too small a dress. Besides, your squad will thank you for being considerate and considering gorgeous size-inclusive dresses.
Match the Wedding Color Palette
The bridesmaid dress colors should align with your vision while complementing the overall theme and style of your wedding for a cohesive look. Start by matching or complementing the wedding colors. You can choose dresses that match one of the main colors for a harmonious look.
Alternatively, you can opt for complementary colors that work well together.
Consider the undertones when selecting dresses in a specific color. Some colors have warm undertones (e.g. yellow, peach), while others have cool undertones (e.g. blue, silver).
You can also mix and match styles or varying shades within the color palette. This adds visual interest while allowing each bridesmaid to choose a dress that suits her personal style.
If your wedding color palette consists of bold or vibrant hues, you may want to incorporate neutrals. Colors like ivory, champagne, or light grey provide a sophisticated and elegant look and can help balance out the overall color scheme.
Consider the Season
It’s important to consider the season to ensure the comfort and suitability of the dresses for the weather and the overall theme of the wedding. Below are some factors to keep in mind for each season.
Spring is a season of renewal and fresh blooms. Consider dresses in soft pastel shades or floral patterns to complement the vibrant atmosphere. Light and breathable fabrics such as chiffon or organza are ideal for mild temperatures.
Summer weddings often call for lightweight and airy dresses to combat the heat. Look for fabrics like cotton, linen, or lightweight silk blends. Consider sleeveless or off-the-shoulder styles to keep your bridesmaids cool and comfortable.
Fall weddings often embrace rich and warm colors, inspired by the changing foliage. Earthy tones like burgundy, deep red, or burnt orange are popular choices. Heavier fabrics such as velvet, taffeta, or satin can add a touch of elegance.
Winter weddings are an opportunity to embrace the cozy and elegant vibe. Opt for dresses in darker shades like navy, deep green, or burgundy. Fabrics such as velvet, satin, or brocade can add a luxurious feel.
Choosing the Perfect Bridesmaid Dresses
Now that you know how to choose the best bridesmaid dresses, you can be more confident in your search. Remember to consider your theme, season, and body types.
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