The bride-to-be often worries about selecting the correct bridesmaids’ dresses for all of her chosen bridesmaids, as there is usually more than one person to please, which can be difficult when your bridesmaids are all different shapes and sizes and they all have very different tastes and styles. Here are some of my top tips for selecting bridesmaids dresses to ensure both you and your bridesmaids are happy on the day, from North West Personal Stylist Nicola Cupples.
Know Your Own Bridal Style
If you are the bride, before you even start looking at bridesmaids dresses it helps to have chosen your own wedding gown first and have a clear idea of the theme, colouring of your wedding so you can ensure your bridesmaids’ looks fit in with the overall style of the wedding and complement you and your groom in all the wedding photography.
In ancient times the idea of having bridesmaids dressed in similar styles and colours to the bride, was to distract and confuse any evil spirits who attempted to disrupt the wedding – the bridesmaids made it impossible for the spirits to identify the bride! However these days the look of the bridesmaids serves to enhance and complement the bride, being either in contrasting dresses (very popular theme at the moment being bridesmaids in black) or complementing dresses, usually in a softer, lighter hue or even white if you’re going down the Kate Middleton route.
Know Your Bridesmaids
Are there lots of similarities between your bridesmaids or are they all completely different?
Important factors to consider are size, shape, age, style, and colouring. Something that would look great on one girl may look hideous on another, even if the dress is beautiful! Talk to your bridesmaids and ask them if there is anything in particular they would not feel comfortable in and take this into consideration when shopping for dresses. Back to top
Ensure you have an idea of colour and length.
On your wedding day you want your bridesmaids to be happy, smiling and having a great time so you want to make sure they all feel great on the day in an outfit they love, however be careful not to give your bridesmaids free reign or they might all want completely different styles! However if you’re happy just for them to wear what they are happy in; this is a great solution all round.
If you want some degree of control over what they will wear, the best thing to do is establish the colour of the dresses and the length first, and then find a few different styles you like. Only then should you consult your bridesmaids as to which ones they like. If you do this and narrow the choices out of the thousands available on the high-street to say, five options; your bridesmaids can still feel like they have had their ‘say’ but you are happy if they pick any out of the five options. It’s quite popular these days to have different styles for each bridesmaid in the same fabric which can be a win-win option!
Remember when choosing the colour to bear in mind the colouring, size and shape of your bridesmaids! The wrong choice could make them look washed out or a size bigger than they actually are and that won’t look nice on your photos or make them feel very good about themselves! If you’re unsure about this, you can always ask a style advisor like myself or use our online personal shopping service to ensure you find the right dress
Fabric is important!
Don’t forget to think about fabric when you choose your dresses! If you’re having a summer wedding you need a lighter fabric and the opposite for an autumn or winter wedding.
Remember too that the choice of fabric teamed with the style and colour can shed or add pounds to your bridesmaids so choose carefully. E.g. anything shiny or stiff will tend to add pounds, even more so if it’s in a lighter colour. Wereas darker colours in a jersey will drape nicely over any lumps and bumps.
Don’t make accessories an after-thought!
Very often, the dresses are seen as the main item and the accessories including the shoes, bag and jewellery are often an afterthought. As a personal stylist I know that accessories can make or break any outfit including on your wedding day so include plenty of time to look for the right accessories. The high-street offers so much choice these days that you can find amazing accessories to really add the right finishing touches to your bridesmaids at really low cost!
Again, don’t forget to think about size, shape, colouring and style of your bridesmaids when choosing the accessories! For example the wrong length of necklace or style of shoe could ruin the whole look!
Fittings and Ordering
Always get your bridesmaids professionally measured as different manufacturers will use different sizing so you need to ensure the dresses fit well all over.
The last fitting when the dresses come in should be at least 3 – 4 weeks before the wedding to allow for any last minute alterations. Don’t just pick the dresses up a week before the wedding thinking it will be enough time and hoping they will fit like a glove!
It’s a good idea to order all your bridesmaids dresses together to ensure that they are all cut from the same dye-lot otherwise you could end up with a slightly different colour for each which will really show up on the photos.
A Style Advisor can help.
A Style Advisor can ensure you make the right decision in regards to you and all of your bridesmaids and find a style, colour, fabric and length that suit everyone so is well worth the investment. Having an third party giving you honest, expert advice in a diplomatic and inspiring way can really help get all your bridesmaids on board with your decisions whether it’s a shy friend or a demanding sister!
Plus an independent style advisor will ensure honest advice as they are employed by you to make you and your bridesmaids look your best for the big day, so you know you are being given an expert opinion and not just being “sold” to with regards to a particular dress.