Do you pick the dresses or do they get to choose their own? Do you pay for them, or are they buying their own? What about flower girls? What about Bridesmen and Flower Dudes?? There are so many things to consider when it comes to choosing bridesmaid dresses, that we’ve put together a quick plan to help you out.
That, I’m afraid, is up to you. I bought the dresses, nails, jewellery, hair and makeup, but I asked them to get their own shoes. When I was a bridesmaid twice before that’s what I was asked, so it just worked for me and my friends and family. It doesn’t have to be the same for everyone you ask – if you have a mix of ages, or of friends and family, and you know different people have different budgets, you could ask different people to help in different ways. One hard and fast rule is, be honest. Don’t secretly pay for one dress and ask someone to buy the other – they will find out and there will be fireworks!
Unless they are identical triplets with identical lifestyles, the chances of your bridesmaids all having the same body shapes, heights, colourings and hair are infinitesimal. It used to be really unusual to see bridesmaids in different styles of dresses, but that’s becoming more common now, with brides suggesting the colour and brand, and then bridesmaids choosing the style that fits their body.
If you’d rather everyone wears the same dress, I would suggest starting with some online research by yourself. Get a few ideas together then share them with the bridesmaids for feedback. Ask for honesty, and make it clear that your priority is for everyone to feel good and look great in your photos!
Once you have a few ideas, and your colours in place, go to a store together if you can so you can see them in the dresses…it is your party after all, so you get to have the final say.
If your bridesmaids live far apart, or a distance from you, send them the dress and get them to video call you with it on so you can see what it looks like. Everything can be returned…until it’s adjusted that is – which brings me nicely to:
Don’t forget about alterations!
Around 75% of all bridesmaids need to have their dresses adjusted, so allow for time (and budget) for that step.
Do you have any other tips on how bridesmaid dress etiquette? Let us know!