Bridesmaid Dress Selection 101

Selecting the look you want for your bridesmaids can be tricky business. While you may have a specific idea in mind, you have to cater to a group of women with various shapes, sizes and tastes. Choosing the right garb for your girls is no easy task, and many brides underestimate the challenge until they’re in the thick of it.

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Jacqueline Rae is here to make this undertaking a little easier. Check out the suggestions below before you start the search.

Don’t make it a free-for-all

Giving your group zero direction (“Just buy a dress that you feel good in!”) can be a bit perplexing for your maids. Flexibility is great, but your squad needs style
ideas and colour palettes to refer to. If you provide them with no context, they may collectively miss the mark, or worse, begin feuding over everything from material and shoes to accessories.

Select a fabric and color
From here, let your bridesmaids do the rest! Many stores carry dresses that come in different necklines and lengths, which gives your maids the opportunity to pick their favourite and most flattering style. You want your girls to feel like rockstars, so be sure to gather their input before making hard and fast decisions.

Think outside the box
Don’t be afraid to play with different tones and prints, so long as you’re sticking to a palette of no more than three shades. You want to keep your lineup charming, not chaotic. Gone are the days when bridesmaids are expected to have identical dresses, shoes and hairstyles – feel free to mix it up and have fun doing it!

Covering costs

Most bridesmaids anticipate paying for their own dresses, and are perfectly happy to. While this is pretty standard, consider covering the cost of hair or make-up as a present to your friends. If you’re thinking about gifting your girls an accessory or a piece of jewelry, give it to them ahead of time so they can budget for the rest of their ensemble.

Your girls come first!

Always bear in mind what your bridesmaids may be going through, from potential pregnancies to crazy work schedules. Be sure to plan in advance so that everyone can take part in the fun, or at least weigh in on decisions. Before you set your sights on a particular dress, take a moment to consider the style and price, and how these factors might affect your friends.

For those of you still waffling about other bridesmaid-related decisions, be sure to consult an earlier blog posting, The Indecisive Bride’s Guide to Selecting Your Wedding Party.