The first Wedding Monday post is officially here, and per request, the topic is bridesmaid dresses! Oh, the fun and frustration that comes with bridesmaid dresses… I think I’ve only talked to a handful of brides over the years who didn’t get totally frustrated when choosing what their best friends would wear the day of their wedding. Even after seeing so many options at different weddings, choosing bridesmaid dresses for my girls was one by far the most challenging part of planning my own big day. I mean, there are just so many options!
Long. Short. Casual. Dressy. Matching. Not matching. Strapless. Straps. Chiffon. Satin. Taffeta.
Has your blood pressure risen yet? Time to break it down.
First things first – Length!
Just think, once you determine long or short, you’ve eliminated half of the dresses out there! Traditionally, longer styles are better suited for more formal weddings, or indoor weddings. Short dresses are great for outdoor ceremonies, or weddings smack dab in the middle of the summer, when your bridesmaids might be roasting in a long dress. Don’t forget shoes, either! If you want your girls to wear some adorable cowboy boots or super-sexy-stilettos, don’t cover them up with a long dress! But hey, if you know your maids will end up in flip-flops by the time you cut the cake, you may want to consider a longer dress!
Vanessa and Brady had a more-formal ceremony and a more-relaxed reception, but long dresses still fit the day perfectly – especially in October with the risk of some chill in the air!
Ok, so you’ve decided if you want long or short, now the next decision – Will all the bridesmaids wear the same dress?
The biggest thing to remember here is body shapes!! If you have a group of ladies with similar body types, a dress will look similar on all of them, but if you have a handful of different body types, one dress will look different on every girl! One may love it, and one may feel uncomfortable. If you’re up for the challenge of finding a dress that fits a handful of different shapes and sizes, go for it! But don’t say I didn’t warn you about the challenge you may be facing! A great compromise if you still want some sense of cohesion, but don’t want everyone in the same dress is to choose a designer, and have your girls pick their dress from the designer’s line!
Kilee did an amazing job finding the perfect dress for all of her bridesmaids to match in!
Length? Check! Matching? Check! Now, what about the fabric?
One of the most surprising things about shopping for bridesmaid dresses is the crazy amount of options for fabrics! You name it, you can make a dress out of it. The most important choice here is satin, or no satin? You see, satin appears to have a sheen in photos – just as it does in person! Put that next to a chiffon dress, and in your photos, you have one bridesmaid looking absolutely nothing like the other! Keep in mind the weather on your big day, and choose a fabric that will keep your girls comfortable!
How about color?
Think of your bridesmaids as your frame. Yes, they are there to support you, create memories with you, help you throughout the day. But let’s admit it – we all want them to make us look good, too, right? 🙂 Make sure whatever color you choose, your bridesmaids enhance the overall look and feel of your ensemble, and the look and feel of your entire day!
Maybe flowers are a big part of your day. Big, bright, over the top flowers! Let the girls’ dresses serve as a canvas for the flowers and pick a neutral tone. On the other hand, if you’re going for a big “pop” with the dresses, and letting other details be a bit subdued, go crazy with the color!
Sarah’s wedding was soft, romantic, and with a hint of vintage. These soft-pinkish-peach dresses from Forever 21 made for the perfect look.
My last little tid bit of advice – don’t forget that bridal shops (while they are great for options, styles, and professional advice) are not your only option!! Department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s and even stores like J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Ruche, and H&M have some fabulous dresses that can be worn by your bridesmaids!
And finally…here’s what I had my lovely ladies in the day of our wedding! We had a modern wedding at a downtown art gallery, so we chose bold colors, and a short dress. It was a challenge, but I found a dress that worked for all four of my girls – including my pregnant sister! To add a little spice to the consistency of the dresses, we decided instead of all 4 girls matching, they should alternate, which added for a fun little twist 🙂
see you next monday!