Time and time again it's the challenge of a lifetime for brides everywhere... what will your bridesmaids wear? *drumroll please*
Considering it's your wedding day, you'd likely want them to look good in the pictures to come so why not do your part to get them the best look for them? Whether you give a crap about their opinions... or not, here's what to consider when making your bridesmaid dress selections.
- Their body shape. Not every dress looks good on every body. Keep in mind that your size 00 little sis may not look the same as your size 8 MOH. Don't expect them to wear the same dress the same way. It just won't happen as you envisioned, and I'm sure you want your ladies feeling confident on your special day.
- Their skin tone. This ties in to dress colour choice (the next point), but your fair skinned red head bridesmaid will not necessarily look the same in the colour you select as your bronzed brunette bridesmaid. It just won't happen. (This also applies to makeup - just saying). With that being said... remember to keep the next point in mind also...
- Flattering colours. Tiffany Blue, while popular, does NOT look good on everyone. Nor does red, or baby pink. Please keep this in mind. If I have not yet gotten my summertime tan on, I definitely would not want to be wearing a pale dress. No thank you! Everyone's skin tone is different and there are ways to find flattering colours for all skin tones, but don't just think that because you love a colour, it will work for the whole crew.
- Flattering material. Slinky and unlined material does not work for everyone. Let me make that clear. I'm sure most women, like myself, are aware of lines and dimples in their body, and while I don't need to hide them per se, I definitely don't want them further accentuated or emphasized by some bare-it-all material. Similarly, taffeta, tulle and sequins are not for everyone. Bear in mind the temperature, body movements, and any other aspects of the day that could be exasperated by a dress that's uncomfortable. And let's be honest... sweat marks are a big NO. Avoid at all costs.
- Fit. Going back to the fact that no two women have the exact same body type... Don't just assume everyone will look good in short cocktail dresses, or mermaid style dresses, or those wear-it-101-ways dresses. (101 ways later and I still see my belly pudge!) Be open minded. Everyone's shape is different and while you may have a vision, be realistic about what works for various bodies. Also - depending on what the day's activities entail, no one wants to be in a dress they can't move in for 14+ hours.
- Budget. While I'm sure mostly everyone would LOVE to rock designer couture like a Michael Costello gown, it's not realistic to ask your bridesmaids to splurge for such a dress. Bridesmaids already have a demand on them to spend quite a bit to take part in a couple's special day -Showers, Bachelorettes, Attires, Gifts, etc. etc. so please be kind and respect their budget. Who says you can't get fab fashion on a budget?
- Weather/Location/Date. If you're getting married in August, or better yet, Hawaii, please don't demand that your bridesmaids wear long, hot and heavy gowns. Be kind for obvious reasons y'all. Additionally, it's probably not a great idea to ask that bridesmaids wear cute cocktail dresses with bare legs in the Fall or Winter. By then, legs are probably pale, and covered in goosebumps.
- Alternatives. Last but not least...Why not think outside the box? Why stick to one colour? Why not print? Or what about an array of colours/hues? Better yet, what about the androgynous look? Some women look killer in a pant suit! Or what about a cute dress off the rack at a store in the mall? Keep in mind that you have TONS of options to choose from and don't have to get caught up in the default 'bridesmaid' section of your local bridal shop. The world is your oyster... find that pearl!
With all that being said... it comes down to this: Know your bridesmaids, respect their individuality, and figure out the best way to accommodate their preferences and your vision.
Please share your challenges when shopping for bridesmaid gowns.