You have found your dream dress, picked your wedding colors, and asked your girls to be your bridesmaids, now it is time to start looking for bridesmaid dresses! While this is a very fun part of the wedding planning process, it can sometimes be overwhelming for brides because of the vast number of choices: what designer will you go with, will all your bridesmaids wear the same dress in the same color or different dresses in the same color or even different dresses in different colors. But we are going to walk you through everything you need to know about bridesmaid dress shopping so you can have a fun stress-free experience.
Start Shopping WAY Before You Need to Order
Just like with your wedding dress, you don’t want to feel rushed into deciding on what your bridesmaids will wear. You also want to make sure that you give you bridesmaids enough time to get measured and order each of their dresses. we recommend that you and your girls start looking for dresses 6-8 months before your wedding. Bridesmaid dresses take approximately four months to arrive from when the order is placed with the manufacturer. All orders for the bridesmaid party are placed with the manufacturer at the same time to ensure there are no final changes. You also want to make sure that you factor in at least six weeks for alterations, so you don’t get hit with rush charges.
5 Factors that Will Decide Your Bridesmaid Dress Style
Every wedding is as unique as the bride and groom, and as such we know that we need dresses that not only match the wedding style but also makes each bridesmaid feel beautiful on the special day as well. To make sure that we didn’t leave any bride wanting for a dress style, we have brought in more than 1,000 sample dresses from 8 of the top bridesmaid designers: Allure, B2, Bari Jay, Bill Levkoff, Hayley Paige, Khloe Jaymes, Morilee, and Wtoo.
The thought of browsing over 1,000 dresses may seem a little overwhelming, but our consultants will be there by your side at each appointment to help you find the perfect designer, color and style for your bridesmaid dresses. Our consultants will help you determine the five factors that will have the biggest impact on the bridesmaid dress style that you choose are your wedding date, venue, wedding colors, time of day and formality.
Time of Year and Colors
If your wedding is in the fall or winter richer fabrics, more length, and deeper jewel tones are often a great fit. For spring and summer weddings airy fabrics, loose silhouettes, and lighter shades like blush, lavender, and mint often compliment the lush colors in nature. If you are thinking about doing a color palette for your bridesmaid dresses instead of having them all wear the same color, our consultants can help you determine what colors complement each other and provide recommendations for mixing and match different colors and fabrics.
Venue, Time of Day and Formality Considerations
At the same time, your venue will have a big impact on the style as well. If you are getting married at a barn style venue or on a beach, then you may want to go with an airier look compared to if you were getting married in a historic ballroom full of ornate gold accents. In addition to time of year and venue, the time of day and formality of the wedding matter as well. For a midday wedding you may not want to go super glam, but it would work great for a formal evening affair.
Discuss Budget Ahead of Time
Bridesmaids dresses can range from $140 to over $350 depending on the designer and fabric, and that does not include alterations. While you can receive a discount on bridal party dresses if you purchase your wedding dress from our store, you still don’t want your bridesmaids to be stuck in a jam, so we always recommend discussing a budget before your appointment. This will also help the consultant guide you towards the dresses that fit both your style and budget.
All Bridesmaid Dresses Will Need Alterations
While there is a very slim chance that a bridesmaid dress will need zero alterations, almost all dresses need at least a hem because they are a standard length. To decrease the amount of alterations you will need, we always order your dress based on measurements we take during your appointment and compared to samples of that size that we will have you try on. For bridesmaids that are ordering from out of town, it is critical that they have their measurements done by a professional before they order to make sure that the dress size ordered is correct and extend of alterations needed is decreased. If a bridesmaid is over 5’ 8” or going to be wearing very tall heels, we may recommend that you order extra length on your dress to ensure that it won’t be too short. When discussing the budget for the dresses, make sure factor in the cost of alterations, which can run as high as $100 per dress.
Above all remember it’s YOUR wedding and the bridesmaids want you to vocalize your vision. They will love whatever you pick because they love you!
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