Ok, so you've found the wedding venue and your wedding dress. Great! You've won half the battle. Now you can begin the search for the perfect bridesmaids dresses. This part of the process should be a fun experience for you to hang out with your bridesmaids and play dress up. But if you're not prepared, the experience can seem like work. Here are the essential things you should know before calling up the girls and heading out to try on dresses.
What's your timeline? Always, always, always consider how much time you have before your wedding to do the following:
- Shop around for styles you like.
- Get valued opinions from friends or family.
- Collect and submit your bridesmaids' measurements to your retailer.
- Collect payments from your bridesmaids.
- Order the dresses from your retailer.
- Have the dresses altered.
Many retailers (like Anya Bridal Warehouse) will help you every step of the way to select the right dress and manage logistics. Some retailers (like Anya Bridal Warehouse) also offer an online service where all your girls can place their individual orders on their own, streamlining the process. You should typically allocate about 3-4 months to wait for the manufacturer to produce the gowns, and 6 weeks before the wedding date to have the dresses altered -- a total of 5 1/2 months before the wedding. If you stick to this timeline, you should also have some cushion left just in case there are any last minute changes.
How much can your bridesmaids afford? While you may have expensive taste in bridesmaids dresses, you should keep in mind that your girls are already making a financial sacrifice to be a part of your wedding. It is typical to expect your bridesmaids to pay for their dresses (or at least half), so be courteous and not ask them to spend an arm and a leg and a big toe on a dress. Your bridesmaids may also appreciate you chipping in to pay half or 25% of the cost to help out. Just be cognizant of price as you search for dresses. I promise -- it is possible to find quality dresses without asking your bridesmaids to break the bank.
What are the best colors? Even if you have not had a course in color theory, choosing the right color will not be like rocket science. You can select your color theme, and consider the time of year you are having a wedding. For example, darker greens, purples (like Alfred Sung's D676 in Majestic), and gold tones look amazing in the Fall and Winter. Pastels and highlighter colors work well in Spring and Summer. You should also plan for colors that will not minimize your presence, but instead help you to stand out among your wedding party. If you were to wear an ivory wedding dress, and then put your bridesmaids in beige, you might be later disappointed when you look back on pictures of you blending in with the group. Instead, you want to look back on your wedding day pictures, and feel special about your big day.
What are your bridesmaids' body types? Most of us are guilty, to some degree, of looking through the bridal magazines and falling head-over-heels in love with a bridesmaids dress that seems to look perfect on a 5'7", size 2 model. Think realistically about your bridesmaids' body types, and look for styles that will flatter each of their frames. Yes, it's your day, but your bridesmaids should feel just a special and confident as you will feel. If your bridesmaids have totally different body types on opposites ends of the spectrum, consider having them all select their own dress styles of the same color and/or length. Answer the above questions, and you are well on your way to selecting the best bridesmaids dresses that your wedding party will love.
If you have questions, call 404-699-4655, and speak with a Wedding Party Stylist at Anya Bridal Warehouse. We are here to help you and your bridesmaids look absolutely stunning.