We’ve all seen the parodies, heard the jokes, and even seen the movies about hideous bridesmaid dresses. But the fact is, you don’t have to dress your besties up in ugly gowns to make yourself shine on your wedding day.
Break from the bridezilla role and choose dresses for your friends they’ll be sure to love.
Here’s how to choose the best bridesmaid dresses for any shape, size, or taste of bridesmaid.
5 Ways to Choose The Best Bridesmaid Dresses
When it comes to your best friends and sisters, one size does not fit all, and we like it that way. Variety within your wedding party can be just as beautiful as variety within your relationships.
Still, that doesn’t make choosing a dress that looks good on a 6-foot bridesmaid and a 5-foot bridesmaid easy. Luckily, you may not have to…
1. Find the “Universally Flattering” Dress
This may sound too challenging to be a realistic goal, but as we mentioned, no two women are created exactly the same as far as shape and figure.
That’s why you may consider using a universally flattering silhouette like an empire waist or A-line.
No matter the shape and size of your bridesmaids, either of these styles is always a flattering choice.
Another great option to ensure each bridesmaid wears a dress that flatters her individual figure is to go with the “mismatched” look. Simply choose the colour you want them to wear, the length, and neckline (if you wish), and then set them free to choose their own.
You can provide your bridesmaids with colour swatches or let them choose varying shades of the same colour. However you go about it, the mismatched look is in and gives your bridesmaids a chance to feel like individuals and choose a silhouette that compliments their figure.
2. Consider Your Own Wedding Gown
When you’re choosing the perfect dress for bridesmaids, don’t forget to consider how the bridesmaid dress will look with your own gown.
Don’t want to be too matchy-matchy with your best girls? Have them in a different neckline or material than you.
If you’re wearing lace, perhaps you should go with a more simple pattern or material for your bridesmaids.
Hem length is another way to give subtle emphasis to your own gown without shortchanging your friends’ dresses in the attractiveness department. If you’re wearing a sweeping floor-length dress, consider putting them in calf or knee-length to help add a spotlight to your own gown.
3. Set a Reasonable Budget
We understand this is your big day, and bridesmaids are probably aware that it will entail some investment on their part to be a part of the bridal party. Still, setting a reasonable budget for how much you’ll spend on each dress is always wise.
You may be lucky enough to be able to purchase each dress for the bridesmaids yourself, but for most modern brides, having the bridesmaids buy their own is the only financial option.
In this case, do some research first and give your friends a few good ideas for where to buy the right dress or colour dress at a reasonable price.
If you’re choosing the same dress for everyone, keep the cost within your predetermined budget and remember, if they are paying for a dress you choose… you better make it one they’ll want to wear again…
4. Remember the Venue
You’ve probably already created an entire Pinterest board with all your ideal wedding details. But when it comes to choosing the best dress for your bridesmaids, no matter what you’ve been “pinning”, be sure to keep the weather in mind.
If you’ve chosen an outdoor venue in early spring, those sleeveless, knee-length dresses may not be the best for keeping your bridal party chipper throughout the reception.
It can also be tempting to stick so tightly to what’s “in” and trending right now in the wedding arena, but sometimes what’s trending just makes no sense with your location.
That being said, try to choose a dress that matches the venue and theme of your own unique wedding.
For example, if you’re doing a beach wedding, then floor-length dresses could be a hassle for bridesmaids who have to walk down a sandy aisle. Finding a way to tie your reception and wedding theme into your bridal party’s attire will contribute to a classier looking wedding.
5. Think About Skin Tones and Hair
If you’ve got a great group of bridesmaids, odds are they are going to be spending your big day (and probably many days), bending over backwards to make sure everything is perfect for you.
That being said, is it really too much to ask that when choosing their dresses you keep in mind their hair colours and skin tones? We say not!
For goodness sakes, don’t put freckled-friends in beige or blush. Unless you’re going to have them get a spray tan before your wedding, they’re gonna look naked in your photos.
Definitely, don’t ask your beautiful redheaded friends to wear red. I mean, come on.
We realize that the colour scheme of your wedding is a big deal. You’ve probably had your colour palette picked out since you were 9 years old.
But, if dressing your friends in the worst colour to match their hair and skin can be avoided, we recommend choosing a more flattering shade from your wedding palette to dress them in.
Save those harder to wear colours for your bouquet or centrepieces.
More Ideas for Creating Your Dream Wedding
Choosing the best bridesmaid dresses for your friends doesn’t have to be as challenging as it may seem. One major key to success is to start your search early.
Finding the perfect dress or colour can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months, not to mention you need that time to make sure dresses are ordered, altered, and delivered on time.
For even more fun ideas on creating the wedding of your dreams, take a look at our bridal makeup inspirations and find the perfect look for your big day.