Monday, August 12, 2013

Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses - Long Gone are the Days of Bows on the Butt

After you have found your wedding dress, you can start looking for your bridesmaids dresses. Long gone are the days of terrible taffeta, big sleeves and bows on the butt. As tempting as it may be to make your girls wear a putrid-colored peach dress to make yourself look better, your bridesmaids will be by your side the whole wedding day, so you want to choose a dress or dresses that they'll feel comfortable in, and that is flattering for a range of body types. Plus, you don't want karma to come back around when they're getting married!  

The traditional rules that all of your bridesmaids must wear the same dress have been thrown out the window. Many brides today are choosing a style of dress and allowing their girls to choose a color from a color palette, so each bridesmaid can look good. Other brides are opting for a specific color, and are letting their bridesmaids choose a style that's flattering for their body type. As long as there are some guidelines so all of your bridesmaids complement one another, I like allowing your girls some free-range to choose what dress works best for them. Let's face it, a dress that looks great on a girl that's 5'10" and 120 pounds, probably won't look the same on a girl that's 5'3" and 150 pounds.

My best friend had a vintage wedding and she wanted all of her bridesmaids to find a dress in a shade of white and covered in lace. Even though we were all in different shades and styles, the lace tied us all together and looked great in pictures. The best part about it, was the fact that I didn't have to drop over $200, on a dress that I would only wear once. I spent under $100 on a dress I liked, and I have already worn it multiple times.

If you're more of a control freak (like me!), allowing your bridesmaids to choose their style or color may be too much for you to handle! When I went shopping for a bridesmaid dress, I was only able to shop with my sister and my mom because all of my girls live in different states. We each found dresses that we liked, and if we all liked them, they went into the pile to be tried on. Once we narrowed down the dresses, I allowed my sister to pick which dress she felt best in. (Fortunately, we both chose the same dress!)

Since my sister is also my Maid of Honor, I wanted her dress to stand out a little bit from the rest of my bridesmaids. I've seen some brides choose a different color dress for their Maid of Honor, but I chose to do something a little less drastic. My sister and I chose a sparkly belt to accent her dress to give her dress a little extra pop.

Much like finding your wedding dress, it's important to be open-minded when finding your bridesmaid dresses. Have your girls try on different lengths and colors, unless you're absolutely sure of what you want. I went into the appointment thinking that I wanted short, light pink dresses, and we ended up choosing long, gray dresses! Also, unless you're planning on purchasing the dresses for your bridesmaids, you should consider the price of the dress. Wedding costs not only add up for you, they add up for bridesmaids. After spending money on bridal showers, bachelorette parties and wedding gifts, not every girl (especially 20-somethings) can afford to spend $500 on a top designer gown.

I'm fortunate that my bridesmaids are laid-back and would have probably worn a paper bag if I had asked them too! If you're not as lucky as I am and you have more opinionated friends who may try to take over the appointment, you may want to consider leaving them at home. It's your day and you should help pick the dress that everyone loves!

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